By Michael Angelo S. Murillo

Filipino MMA fighter Lausa wins in UFC debut

Posted on November 28, 2016

DECORATED local combat sports fighter Jenel “The Demolition Man” Lausa made a successful debut at the Ultimate Fighting Championship yesterday, beating opponent Yao “The Conqueror” Zhikui by unanimous decision in their three-round preliminary flyweight contest at “UFC Fight Night 101” in Melbourne, Australia.

Filipino MMA fighter Jenel “The Demolition Man” Lausa won in his UFC debut in Melbourne, Australia. -- Jenel Lausa Facebook account
Fighting in the first of his four-fight deal with the UFC, 28-year-old Lausa did not disappoint in his maiden outing in the world’s biggest mixed martial arts organization as he dominated his opponent from start to finish en route to the UD (unanimous decision) win, 30-27, 30-27 and 30-27, in the opening fight of the UFC event at Rod Laver Arena.

After a brief feeling-out moment early in the contest, Mr. Lausa, a champion boxer and MMA fighter, went to work, clipping his opponent with shots and counter-shots.

The Filipino stepped it up further in the second round that saw him dropping Mr. Zhikui with a high kick to the head. He then followed it up with punches before going for a guillotine. The Chinese, however, would extricate himself and then the two engaged anew.

Sensing that he was behind, Mr. Zhikui came out aggressive in the third and final round but Mr. Lausa would keep him at bay with his speed and crisp shots to continuously frustrate his opponent all the way to the final bell.

Apart from winning his first UFC fight, the victory took Iloilo native Lausa’s MMA record to 7-2 while pulling down Mr. Zhikui to 2-4 (1-3 in the UFC).

“I want to thank all of my family, my wife and son, my team, my fans, everyone who has always supported me in the Philippines and around the world. I am especially thankful to God for this blessing,” Mr. Lausa said after his win.

“This win is going to be the first of many and I hope to get more blessings, more fights and hopefully I will eventually get to the belt,” added the Filipino fighter, who signed a 24-month, four-fight deal with the UFC this year.

Meanwhile, in the main event at UFC Fight Night 101, Robert “The Reaper” Whittaker (no. 7) made short work of Derek Brunson (no. 8) in their middleweight clash, winning by technical knockout (head kick and punches) in the first round.

The win extended Mr. Whittaker’s winning streak to six and improved his record to 17-4 while Mr. Brunson (16-4) lost for the first time in six fights.

In earlier bouts, lightweight Andrew Holbrook was victorious over Jake Matthews by split decision (29-28, 28-29 and 29-28); welterweight Omari Akhmedov defeated Kyle Noke by unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28 and 30-27); lightweight Alexander Volkanovski TKO’d Yasuke Kasuya in the second round; light heavyweight Tyson Pedro submitted Khalil Rountree in the opening round; women’s strawweight Danielle Taylor beat Seohee Ham by split decision (28-29, 30-27 and 30-27).

Next for the UFC is “The Ulitmate Fighter Champions Finale” on Dec. 4 (Manila time) where UFC Flyweight Champion Demetrious “Mighty Mouse” Johnson will defend his title against a still-to-be-determined opponent. It will also feature the clash of former flyweight title contenders Joseph Benavidez (no. 1) and Henry “The Messenger” Cejudo (no. 2).

In the Philippines, Cignal TV, the country’s foremost direct-to-home (DTH) company, is the new home of the UFC after the two groups agreed to an extensive three-year deal that will see the UFC beamed on various platforms.