Chris Wade proved why he’s among the top grapplers in the UFC’s lightweight division with a dominant win over Mehdi Baghdad Sunday at UFC Fight Night 81 in Boston.
Islip’s Wade overwhelmed his opponent throughout the fight with an impressive top game before submitting Baghdad, a late-replacement making his UFC debut, with a rear-naked choke at 4:30 of the first round.
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“When we got that replacement last Friday, we just decided as a team that we weren’t really going to worry about too much about what Mehdi did,” Wade said in his post-fight interview. “We were just going to focus on what I do well and execute our game plan and it worked out.”
Within a few seconds of the fight’s start, Wade immediately shot for a takedown and brought Baghdad to the canvas, working to land some punches and elbows from his opponent’s guard.
Baghdad attempted to use the cage to his advantage and get to his feet, but Wade stuffed each of his attempts, eventually dragging Baghdad down from behind.
After securing Baghdad’s back, Wade flattened out his opponent and slapped on the choke with 45 seconds left in the round. Baghdad attempted to fight it off, but Wade tightened his grip and forced him to tap with 30 seconds left in the first round.
“From the get-go, we’ve been working a lot on top, the intent was to get him to actually roll over,” Wade said. “Once he rolled over I was able to put my hooks in and I knew it was only a matter of time until I was able to get under that chin and put him to bed.”
Wade moves to 11-1 in his professional career with a 4-0 record in the UFC. Riding a six-fight win streak, Wade asked UFC president Dana White for one of the promotion’s rising stars in his next bout.
“I want Sage Northcutt next,” Wade said. “Give him to me, Dana.”