UFC 282: Ilia Topuria Stuns, Submits Bryce Mitchell in Dominant Showing

Bryce Mitchell and Ilia Topuria, UFC 282
Bryce Mitchell and Ilia Topuria, UFC 282 ceremonial weigh-in Credit: Gabriel Gonzalez/Cageside Press

Perhaps criminally overlooked and overshadowed by Paddy Pimblett’s beef with Ilia Topuria was the Georgian’s fight with Bryce Mitchell at UFC 282.

In the build up to the event, Pimblett had stolen the show, and reignited his feud with Topuria following a bottle-throwing incident at UFC London last March. But Topuria vs. Mitchell was arguably the best fight on the UFC 282 card, a battle of two featherweights sporting undefeated records and ready to break into the top of the division.

Ranked #8 and #9 respectively, the winner of Mitchell vs. Topuria was likely to be circling the top five come next week, if not in it.

With the action underway, Topuria unleashed a nasty leg kick inside of thirty seconds, spinning Bryce Mitchell right around. The lone kick resulted in Mitchell switching stances, underscoring just how crisp that kick had been. Mitchell flashed a front kick, but his bread and butter was on the ground, and he was having trouble closing the distance. Especially with Topuria’s striking sharp, several blows landing clean.

A wild takedown attempt was stuffed by Topuria just past two minutes in. Around that point, the pair inadvertently clashed heads. Mitchell also ate a clean right hand, leading to a bit of blood trickling down his forehead. Bryce came close on a takedown, staying on a leg, but Topuria was right back up, freeing himself. Mitchell hit to the body, Topuria pressed back, and Mitchell finally landed his first official takedown with a minute remaining. He worked from inside Topuria’s guard, dropping a few punches and elbows, but not doing enough to reclaim the round.

Topuria opened round two with a left hand, continuing to bring the fight to Arkansas’ Bryce Mitchell. Mitchell shot for another takedown; Topuria stuffed it. Mitchell closed the distance, slipping a right hand and getting a body lock, but Topuria struggled free. Mitchell then caught Topuria with a blow, and followed up with a high kick! Topuria got his revenge a moment later, dropping Mitchell with a right hand! Topuria got on top, for some strange reason going to the ground with a ground specialist. That was giving Mitchell time to recover if nothing else, but Topuria managed to land some heavy shots as Mitchell worked his way back up.

On the next Mitchell takedown attempt, Topuria pretty much scoop-slammed him. Topuria was rag-dolling Bryce Mitchel, then locked up an arm-triangle choke and forced a tap! An unexpected turn of events, with Ilia Topuria showing a very well-rounded game.

Official Result: Ilia Topuria def. Bryce Mitchell by submission (arm-triangle choke), Round 2, 3:10