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LI's Chris Weidman wins his UFC debut
Baldwin's Chris Weidman collapsed to his knees in the center of the octagon, his blood-stained hands touching his blood-stained head.
No worries, though, as the overwhelming majority of that blood belonged to his opponent, Italian middleweight Alessio Sakara.
Weidman did what everyone expected him to do in his UFC debut Thursday night, taking down Sakara multiple times and using his wrestling skills to his advantage. He worked a solid ground and pound and won a unanimous decision at UFC on Versus 3 in Louisville, Ky. All three judges scored the fight, 30-27.
"I came in here to stop him, 100 percent, but I'm not surprised," said Weidman, 26, who took the fight on 19 days' notice.
Weidman (5-0, 1-0 UFC) struggled to get that takedown in the first round as Sakara defended well and got off a few punch-kick combinations. A two-time All-American wrestler at Nassau CC and Hofstra, Weidman covered up and landed his own share of shots on Sakara (19-8-1), who had his three-fight win streak ended.
The first round was close, but Weidman asserted himself in the second round with a pair of takedowns. On the first takedown, Weidman kept Sakara on his back for around two minutes and controlled the fight with his ground and pound. A right elbow landed flush on Sakara's forehead and opened up a nasty, gushing cut.
Weidman did the same thing in the third round, getting several takedowns and landing short elbows and powerful right hands to Sakara.
"Thanks for all the support. You were all in the cage with me tn! God is good!" Weidman tweeted after his victory.