Light heavyweight action on the preliminary card of UFC Vegas 26 saw Contender Series alum Tafon Nchukwi up against South Korea’s Jun Yong Park. Park was looking for his third consecutive win inside the octagon; Nchukwi was hoping to retain his perfect record.
Nchukwi threw a low kick to start the fight. For his part, Park landed a nice combo to back Nchukwi up. Nchukwi landed a few body shots. Both fighters exchanged combos and were basically fighting in a phone booth. With half the round left, Nchukwi missed a heavy leg kick, while Park continued tagging Nchukwi with his jab. Less than two minutes, and Nchukwi threw a spinning back elbow but missed. Park landed a left hook on Nchukwi. Nchukwi hit Park with a low blow which halted the action at with just over a minute to go. The action started again, and Park hit Nchukwi with a nasty jab once again. Nchukwi threw a 1-2 with a hook, but Park ate it. Nchukwi threw three leg kicks to end the round.
Both fighters took the middle of the octagon in the second, and Park hit Nchukwi with a leg kick. 30 seconds into the round, and Nchukwi hit Park with a body shot and then rushed him with a combo. With 3:50 left in the round, Nchukwi threw a kick, and Park caught it and put Nchukwi against the fence. Park grabbed Nchukwi’s neck, and then Nchukwi hit Park with another low bow which made Park scream and fall to the ground.
The referee took one point for the low blow, the second of the fight.
The action resumed with just over three minutes remaining in the round. Both fighters hit hooks on each other. Nchukwi rushed forward after hitting hit with a jab and got hit with a hook. Park shot for a takedown, and Nchukwi reversed it. Nchukwi and Park got to their feet. Nchukwi landed a heavy hook with 50 seconds left, and Park jabbed him back. Nchukwi went for a takedown slam, and Park grabbed a very tight guillotine. The round ended, and the bell frankly saved Nchukwi. Momentum had clearly shifted in Park’s favor.
Saved by the bell 🔔
— UFC (@ufc) May 8, 2021
Round three kicked off, and both fighters exchanged punches. Nchukwi landed two heavy hooks with four minutes left. Nchukwi threw a lazy kick, and Park landed a takedown. No ground and pound was thrown as Nchukwi got to his feet. Park got another takedown however and ended up in 3/4 mount. Park grabbed a rear-naked choke twice but let it go. Park started throwing elbows from the top and cut Nchukwi badly. Park ended the fight on top, with a bloodied Nchukwi looking up at him.
The scorecards were all over the map, with one judge ruling the fight a draw, but Park was awarded the win. Park has now won three in a row, while Nchukwi gets his 0 taken.
Official Result: Jun Yong Park def. Tafon Nchukwi by majority decision (30–25, 29–26, 28–28)