UFC Vegas 78: AJ Dobson Scores First UFC Victory, Earns Decision Win Over Tafon Nchukwi

A.J. Dobson and Tafon Nchukwi, UFC Vegas 78
LAS VEGAS, NEVADA - AUGUST 12: (L-R) AJ Dobson punches Tafon Nchukwi of Cameroon in a middleweight fight during the UFC Fight Night event at UFC APEX on August 12, 2023 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Al Powers/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)

The second of back-to-back would-be middleweight fights on the UFC Vegas 78 main card found AJ Dobson paired up with Tafon Nchukwi.

With Nchukwi missing weight for the fight, this one was contested at a catchweight.

Both Nchukwi and Dobson are coming off two consecutive losses and badly needed a win. With Nchukwi missing weight you had to figure that he would come into the fight with a level of desperation.

Round 1 was more of a heavy sparring sessions with both men electing to attack the legs with heavy kicks then go to the body. Some combos peppered in between leg kicks, but the biggest moment came near the round when Dobson caught a body kick, took Nchukwi down, and landed some shots from top as the round ended.

Round 2 Dobson took initiative as he went in with more kicks, but backing them up with combinations. Nchukwi continued to land the outside leg kick to the lead leg of Dobson, but he was wary of going to the body kick knowing Dobson was looking for the takedown.

The rest of the round looked like a heavy sparring session again with Dobson seemingly getting the better of the round. He shot for a takedown at the end of the round, but was unable to secure it.

Round 3 was again more of the same except Dobson got a takedown early in the third round. He got top position and controlled Nchukwi well, but wasn’t doing too much in terms of damage which judges have been emphasizing a lot more lately.

Not a ton of damage on the ground with less than a minute left in the fight. Dobson tried to posture and land shots, but he must have felt he was winning the fight and took little risk. Fight ended with Nchukwi getting to his feet, but Dobson hanging onto him and throwing a high kick as the horn sounded.

Official Result: AJ Dobson def. Tafon Nchukwi via Unanimous Decision (29-28×3)