UFC Vegas 69: A.J. Fletcher Picks Up First UFC Win, Spoils Debut of Themba Gorimbo

A.J. Fletcher and Themba Gorimbo, UFC Vegas 69
LAS VEGAS, NEVADA - FEBRUARY 18: (R-L) AJ Fletcher elbows Themba Gorimbo of Zimbabwe in a welterweight fight during the UFC Fight Night event at UFC APEX on February 18, 2023 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)

A.J. Fletcher had the job of welcoming former EFC champ Themba Gorimbo to the octagon at UFC Vegas 69 on Saturday night.

Contender Series winner Fletcher was looking for his first win in the promotion, after starting his run with the UFC at 0-2. Gorimbo, meanwhile, was looking to make a big first impression.

The fight started with Gorimbo using his reach advantage right away with his kicks. Gorimbo timed a nice takedown and quickly jumped on the back. Fletcher got to his knees and crawled to the cage. Gorimbo was caught being lazy on the back and Fletcher shook him off getting top position. Fletcher eventually moved into the mount with a lot of time left in the round. Fletcher landed a few elbows but wasn’t too active. The round ended with Gorimbo going after a heel hook.

In round two they clashed quickly creating a wrestling scramble. Fletcher seemed like he would’ve got the takedown but Gorimbo revered and got on top. Gorimbo was hanging on the back and Fletcher shook him off. As soon as they went back to the feet Fletcher landed an elbow, hurting Gorimbo. Gorimbo dropped down and drove in for a takedown — but left his neck exposed. Fletcher sunk in the guillotine and had the choke in tight! Gorimbo tapped twice.

Official Result: A.J. Fletcher def. Themba Gorimbo by submission (guillotine choke), Round 2, 1:37