Belfast’s SSE Arena may have been the location for UFC Fight Night 99, but the performances of Brett Johns and Jack Marshman made it a night to remember for the Welsh.
Marshman made history by becoming the first Welsh fighter to get signed by the UFC. He was matched up against streaking Swede Magnus Cedenblad, who entered into their Belfast bout off the back of four straight wins in the promotion.
The Welshman had absolutely no interest in letting Cedenblad extend his win-streak on the biggest fight night of his career, though. He gave the Swede a little taste of his power in the opening round as he dropped him with a heavy hook. Cedenblad recovered well, scored a takedown and spent the remainder of the round pummeling him from the top position.
Marshman was in a bad spot, but he wasn’t out yet. Cedenblad utilised his reach advantage well but the Abertillery native dug deep and kept coming forward with waves of punches. He knew he had the power to drop his opponent.
He began finding home with his haymakers, stunning the Swede before ending the fight with a vicious barrage about mid-way through the second round.
— Ben Kiely (@TheJivemaster) November 19, 2016
Earlier on in the night, former Titan and Cage Warriors champion Brett Johns made history by becoming the first Welsh fighter to win a UFC fight.
The 24-year-old was paired up against fellow undefeated prospect Kwan Ho Kwak after several big-name fighters were removed from the card. It was an emotional couple of weeks for the Swansea man as he finally fulfilled his dream of fighting in the big leagues after such a long and arduous road to the top.
Magical moment https://t.co/I3GFSZWgiC
— SportsJOE.ie (@SportsJOEdotie) November 3, 2016
You got the felling that no one was going to beating Johns on his night and after trying to work for the takedown in the opening round, he switched to a striking-heavy gameplan in the second frame.
He had the South Korean in trouble several times, but Kwak showed incredible durability to take the punishment and stay in the fight until the final buzzer. However, Johns was the clear victor and all three judges gave him a clean sweep (30-27 x 3).
During his post-fight media scrum, the occasion proved to be all too much for Johns who was moved to tears while speaking about the support his family showed him throughout his career.
— BBC Wales Sport (@BBCWalesSport) November 19, 2016
Catch up with the latest episode of Football Friday Live