China’s Zhang Mingyang entered Thursday’s Road to UFC 1 a sizeable +450 underdog in his light heavyweight fight against George Tokkos.
He left the fight at the Singapore Indoor Stadium with the attention of MMA fans around the globe — and likely the UFC brass as well.
Zhang vs. Tokkos wasn’t part of the Road to UFC tournament, which sees eight fighters in each of four weight classes (flyweight, bantamweight, featherweight, and lightweight) competing to win their way into the UFC. Instead, the light heavyweight match-up, which opened the card, served as a featured fight, and perhaps as a vehicle for the winner to catapult into the UFC.
While Tokkos was the favorite, it was Mingyang who began teeing off early, bloodying his opponent. That forced Tokkos into takedown mode — but the Chinese fighter was quickly back to his feet, something that was no doubt a confidence booster.
A short time later, Zhang landed a thunderous right hand that sent Tokkos crashing to the canvas. He moved in for a handful of follow-up strikes, connecting roughly five more times and putting Tokkos out cold, if he hadn’t been already.
You may very well be seeing him in the UFC next.
ZHANG MINGYANG WITH THE HUGE UPSET 💥
— UFC (@ufc) June 9, 2022
The nasty knockout left Tokkos prone for quite some time, and he was still being helped to his stool as Zhang was wrapping up his post-fight interview with Laura Sanko. Mingyang Zhang improves to 16-6 with the win, and is now riding a nine-fight win streak.