London, England — Israeli lightweight Yanal Ashmoz made a big first impression in his octagon debut at UFC 286 on Saturday night.
Brought in to face local favorite Sam Patterson, himself debuting in the UFC by way of the Contender Series, Ashmoz landed a massive overhand blow to fell the lanky Brit. A not-so-short time later, ref Marc Goddard waved off the fight as the ground n’ pound rained down.
Goddard probably could have made the call a fair bit sooner.
Ashmoz (7-0), who previously fought as part of the PFL Challenger Series, addressed the stoppage backstage at the O2 Arena in London, speaking to media outlets including Cageside Press.
“The guy was out, man. He was moving a little bit, but he [the ref] could have stopped that before [Patterson was] eating these shots,” Ashmoz observed. “Like every shot I landed, I looked at his face. If he could stop that, why not? But he’s the referee, so it’s his decision.”
It’s Ashmoz’s job to fight, of course, and he did just that until stopped. He didn’t notice Patterson trying to fight ref Goddard in a fugue state afterwards, but knew the damage was severe regardless.
“I didn’t see that, I was too excited, just going around. But yeah, I watched him after that. He had a hard time to stand up, so I knew it was serious. He got good shots.”
Ashmoz entered the fight as the villain in hostile territory, but noted that having the fans behind you “doesn’t change anything, because when you’re in the cage, when it closes, the crowd’s not going to help you.” The shot that floored Patterson is nothing new to the lightweight, who is used to fighting taller foes.
“The overhands work very well against tall guys. And most of the fights, all the guys are taller than me, so I’m used to it,” said Ashmoz. “I’m always the smaller one.”
Despite that, there’ll be no move down in weight. “Not featherweight, no no. I like to eat too much, it’s too hard.”
With luck, however, you’ll see Yanal Ashmoz back in action soon. Though he has no names in mind for a potential opponent, he added “I’m healthy, I’m good, so in three months I’m going to come back or something like that.”
Watch the full UFC 286 post-fight media scrum with Yanal Ashmoz above.