Newark, NJ – UFC light heavyweight Kennedy Nzechukwu surprised fans when he submitted Devin Clark at UFC 288 on Saturday night.
“It was crazy. We knew it was going to be there because he likes to go for a single. I knew he wasn’t going to fully commit, even if he did, he’s worried about the gas tank being diminished,” Nzechukwu told Cageside Press among other outlets at his post-fight scrum.
“So I know once he settles for a second, I always get that choke in practice, I know one he settles I’m able to capitalize on that choke.”
Fans and even the commentators thought they saw Clark tap before the ref stopped the fight after he realize he was asleep. Nzechukwu said he didn’t feel anything.
“I didn’t feel no tap actually. Backstage the ref was like ‘don’t release the submission until I say so’. So I just held onto it. I guess with the spike of adrenaline I can’t realize whether tapped or not,” he said.
“So I held onto it.”
The submission victory at UFC 288 followed a main event spot back in Nov 2022 where he knocked out Ion Cutelaba. Their fight was elevated to the top spot when the original main event fell out.
“It’s just part of the journey. A piece of the puzzle. The more fights I accumulate the more knowledge I obtain. I know that I’m a slow learner than like my cousins back in Africa,” he joked.
“But I know that I put in the work. Pay off in the long term.”
Watch the entire post-fight scrum with Kennedy Nzechukwu above.