Exciting action kicked off UFC 189’s main card tonight with Thomas Almeida and Brad Pickett both being dropped in the opening round before Almeida produced a devastating flying knee finish early in the second.
The two fighters feel each other out from range to start. Pickett with a solid right hand. Now lands a left, but Almeida lands a counter in return.
Leg kick from Almeida and one from Pickett. The two are starting to exchange in closer range now and Pickett gets the better of it. Again Almeida looks to exchange at this range and again Pickett connects better.
Suddenly Pickett staggers Almeida to the floor with a left hand. He presses forward with confidence and a big knee to the nose drops Almeida again. Almeida goes for a leg lock, but Pickett is out of that quickly and back to his feet.
Hook for Pickett. Suddenly a big right from Almeida floors Pickett! Pickett looks to grapple to buy himself some time and then stands.
Almeida warming up to this fight now despite his face being smeared with blood and he tries a few spinning backfists. More head movement from Almeida too as he looks to engage and he’s landing cleaner now than earlier in the fight.
Nice left hand for Pickett, but then gets caught with a quickly flurry of fists as the round comes to a close.
Flying knee attempt to the head from Pickett. Left hand from Almeida and then he leaps into a flying knee and it lands right to the chin with a crack and it drops Pickett flat on his back. He seems to be out cold for a second and the ref calls an end of the fight immediately with just 27 seconds of the second round gone, though Pickett comes too quickly and tries unsteadily to get back to his feet.
Crazy action in this fight, with both men battling through adversity in the first round before that big finish early in the second. Almeida now moves to a perfect 20-0 in his career, and on top of that he’ll have learned some important lessons from this fight with a tough, in-your-face veteran like Pickett.