UFC 288: Kennedy Nzechukwu Chokes Out Devin Clark in Wild Scrap

Kennedy Nzechukwu and Devin Clark, UFC 288
Kennedy Nzechukwu and Devin Clark, UFC 288 Credit: Youtube/UFC

Light heavyweights Kennedy Nzechukwu and Devin Clark looked to build momentum in their respective careers in a preliminary card collision at UFC 288 on Saturday.

The fight found both men entering off wins (Nzechukwu off two). Clark had most recently defeated Da Un Jung, while Nzechukwu was entering off a main event finish of Ion Cutelaba.

Clark’s kicks made their presence felt from the outset, but an early takedown attempt was fought off by Nzechukwu, who fought a measured first round until the final 90 seconds or so.

Kennedy spent most of the early going pressing forward; a slick level change off a punch by Clark led to a body lock, but “Brown Bear” could not complete the takedown. Kennedy instead reversed, showing a bit of an edge in the strength department. A few quick punches found their mark for Kennedy, who continued to lean on Clark.

Things outright exploded in the final 90 seconds of round one. A right hand landed for Clark, who then went for the kill, unloading lefts, rights, elbows and uppercuts, as Nzechukwu tried to roll with the punches and cover up. In shades of his fight with Carlos Ulberg, Nzechukwu weathered the storm, and reversed, going on the offensive. He smashed, quite literally smashed, Devin Clark with elbows. Just as it seemed like Clark was going to fall, he dug deep, finding enough in the tank to stay standing and close out the round.

Nzechukwu took the fight to the cage early in round two. Clark broke free; both men having been rocked in the first, who could recover first would be key. In a clinch, Nzechukwu fired a knee, while Clark answered with an elbow up top. Nzechukwu landed another big knee, which prompted Clark to fire back with his hands. They came off the fence, but Nzechukwu engaged in a Thai clinch again.

Clark changed things up just ahead of the midway mark, pursuing a takedown. Nzechukwu answered with a guillotine choke; it was tight, and resulted in Clark going out, which brought about the end to a very action-packed affair.

Official Result: Kennedy Nzechukwu def. Devin Clark by technical submission (guillotine choke), Round 2, 2:28