Kennedy Nzechukwu was still stepping lightly after his win over Darko Stosic at UFC Newark, and who can blame him, after he was hit with a trio of low blows.
Newark, NJ — There are certainly easier ways to win your first fight in the UFC. While there’s no such thing as an “easy” fight, the way you don’t want things to go is how they went for Kennedy Nzechukwu at UFC Newark on Saturday.
In a light heavyweight battle against Darko Stosic, Nzechukwu suffered not one, not two, but three low blows. With a couple of points deducted from Stosic for the fouls, Nzechukwu (7-1) took home a unanimous decision win. It was his first in the promotion, and certainly memorable. Just not for the right reasons.
After the fight, he admitted he was still hurting.. “I just want to sit down since I got out of the cage,” he told reporters including Cageside Press at Newark’s Prudential Center. “My nuts hurt so bad. It took a lot out of me.”
Nzechukwu certainly looked pained, not at all like a fighter who had just claimed his first UFC win. But then, he was still feeling the effects of the low blow, something he’d tried to push through during the fight.
“I didn’t even think about it, I just wanted to fight through it,” he said. “But man, the second one took a lot out of me. But I noticed he was getting tired, so I didn’t want to take the full five minutes.”
An adjustment came next. “After that, I switched stances so he wouldn’t kick me in the same spot. The third one just happened to hit me again, and I’m like ‘wow that one took a lot out of me.’ It hit so perfect. I just wanted to fight through it and keep going.”
A win is a win, however. But Nzechukwu wasn’t fully satisfied with his performance. “I didn’t implement the game plan too much. I gave a little bit of pressure, but I just wanted to land more strikes. I hesitated too much. But still, I’m glad I pulled out the victory.”
Asked if he’d ever been kicked like that in a fight before, he replied “no, never. Never.”
“It hurt so bad. It still hurts right now,” he added. “I just can’t wait to take my cup off.”
Post-fight, Nzechukwu dedicated the win to a teammate going through tragedy. “This win was also for one of my teammates that lost his son. My heart goes out for him, and my condolences.”
He also commented on the rise of Nigerian fighters like himself, Kamaru Usman, Soddiq Yusuff, and others. “We have what it takes, and I’m happy for them. I pray for them to keep winning, and success to all of them.”
Watch the full UFC Newark post-fight press scrum with Kennedy Nzechukwu above!