It wasn’t all that long ago that UFC flyweight Cody Durden was public enemy number one, branded as racist after saying he’d had to send opponent Aori Qileng “back to China where he came from.”
Although Qileng actually does hail from China, many saw the comments as implying that Durden didn’t see foreigners as welcome stateside. But after Durden was annihilated by Muhammad Mokaev at UFC London back in March, all that was quickly forgotten.
At UFC Vegas 57, Durden returned, looking to avoid a third loss in four outings when he went up against JP Buys. The South African, who had won his way into the promotion on Dana White’s Contender Series in 2020, had lost his first two bouts inside the octagon.
With the affair underway on Saturday, Buys opened with a high kick; he’d later land to the calf. But Durden wobbled the South African within the first 30 seconds! They’d tie up, Durden looking for a takedown. Back at center, Durden rocked Buys again! Buys had shot in wild, and paid for it, ending up dropped. Durden swarmed with hammer fists. Though the ref gave JP Buys plenty of time to defend or escape, he pretty much just wound up battered.
“I belong here!” Cody Durden hollered after the win, admitting in his post-fight interview that he had faced a fair amount of adversity in his last fight, and had been looking to prove something Saturday.
Official Result: Cody Durden def. JP Buys by TKO (punches), Round 1, 1:08