Jonathan Martinez avoided the scorecards in a back-and-forth fight, knocking out Liu Pingyuan in the third round with a fantastic knee at UFC Sacramento.
On the preliminary card of UFC Sacramento, Liu Pingyuan made his US debut when he faced Jonathan Martinez.
Pingyuan (15-4) was undefeated in the UFC with back-to-back wins over Damian Stasiak and Martin Day. The 26-year old was on a ten-fight win streak and hadn’t lost since 2013. The Chinese native trains out of Team Alpha Male – and was fighting in front of a home crowd in Sacramento, California.
Martinez (10-2) most recently defeated Wuliji Buren via unanimous decision at UFC 234. The 25-year old earned his first UFC win, after suffering a short-notice debut loss to Andre Soukhamthath last October (we spoke to Martinez prior to that performance – check it out here). Martinez trains out of Factory X in Denver, Colorado under head coach Mark Montoya.
Martinez landed the first strike of the bout, with a fast leg kick. A feeling out process early between both men, as Pingyuan fires his first combination a minute into the bout. Both men exchanged kicks throughout the first two minutes. Pingyuan landed a straight right hand that partially landed. Martinez backed Pingyuan up, but ate kicks coming forward from the outside fighter in Pingyuan.
Both men were firing just one shot at a time throughout the first three-and-a-half minutes. Pingyuan landed a big right hand and swarmed Martinez up close. Both men started trading, as Martinez landed a flying knee up against the fence. Martinez threw another flying knee that lands, followed by a head kick. Martinez landed a strong combination to end the round. Back-and-forth round between both men.
Cageside Press scored the round 10-9 Pingyuan.
Martinez started the round as the aggressor. Pingyuan lunged forward with a left hand that missed. Both men were waiting for each other to strike first so they could counter. As pointed out by Michael Bisping on the broadcast, Martinez was following Pingyuan and not cutting him off. Neither man haven’t landed anything significant in round two so far. However, Pingyuan was slightly more active as Martinez was waiting too much. Martinez fired a high kick but Pingyuan blocked it. He then fired a kick once again to end the round.
Cageside Press scored the round 10-9 Martinez.
Both men throwing early to kick off the third round. Pingyuan landed a combination as he stood his ground more in the beginning of the round. Pingyuan fired a head kick that partially landed. Both men landed up close. No takedowns so far in the fight, as both men are content to exchange on the feet. Martinez continued to pressure Pingyuan late in the third round but Pingyuan is more active. Martinez then landed a clean knee up the middle that knocked Pingyuan out cold. Picture perfect placement at UFC Sacramento.
Result: Jonathan Martinez def. Liu Pingyuan via KO (Knee) in Round 3 (3:54)