An unlikely UFC 124 co-main event saw heavyweight giants Stefan Struve and Sean McCorkle square-off with both men looking to back up their pre-fight online trash-talking.
Struve came out at the bell looking confident and before long was looking to establish his striking, firing straight punches down the pipe. That left him open to the takedown though and McCorkle capitalized, getting him to the mat and quickly threatening with his favored kimura. Struve smartly backed up against the cage though which helped him fend off the submission and eventually he broke free from it.
The early pace appeared to be taking a litle out of McCorkle and he then slowed down a little, throwing some ground and pound but without real conviction, while Struve began to work his own submission game from his back.
As they moved past the midway point of the round the Dutchman began working for a kimura of his own, and then cleverly used it to sweep perfectly into the mount position where he immediately set to work aggressively raining down blows on McCorkle, who looked very uncomfortable fighting from his back. After balling up while more strikes continued to land the referee was left with no choice but to step in and call an end to the fight.
UFC 124 is turning into a night of quick finishes, with this one lasting just under four minutes. Struve was delighted, but sportingly he squashed his pre-fight beef with McCorkle within seconds of the fight ending.
McCorkle looked disheartened, and I can’t help but feel that he shouldn’t have been fighting in the co-main event of a major fight like this given the lack of quality opponents he’s faced prior to this fight. This will have been a tough lesson for him, and it’ll be interesting to see how he bounces back.