Justin Gaethje put on a stunning performance tonight at UFC 249 as he continually blasted Tony Ferguson with big shots, though he’d have to wait until the fifth and final round to finally claim his TKO victory and become the new interim lightweight champion.
The main event interim lightweight title fight is underway in Jacksonville.
Front kick to the body for Ferguson. Gaethje looks for a leg kick, but doesn’t connect cleanly. Body punch from Ferguson, then a front kick to the body and a clean punch.
Superman punch lands and another punch behind it for Ferguson. Glancing uppercut from Ferguson as Gaethje steps into range.
Hard left kick for Ferguson, but Gaethje lands a punch at the same time despite being off-balance.
Big left hand for Gaethje and again. Gaethje starting to warm up here and swinging for the fences as expected. Big strike lands for him.
Ferguson stumbles but gets straight back to his feet. Low leg kick for Gaethje. Ferguson moves forward but Gaethje times a hard counter punch and Ferguson grins after that impact.
Uppercut attempt from Ferguson, but again Gaethje counters it with a punch. Good left hook for Gaethje now.
Hard straight right from Gaethje. Both exchange and it’s Gaethje who again lands cleanly with a big left hook and then another. Ferguson gets a little wild with a spinning kick that misses to end the round.
Ferguson lands with a superman punch, but Gaethje connects too. Both meaningful punches. An exchange in close and Gaethje comes out of that with a big left hook – the punch thats given him the most success so far in the fight.
Nice jab for Ferguson. He glances with a hook. Hard left for Gaethje. Outside and inside leg kick from Ferguson.
Ferguson punching low. Low kick for Gaethje. He lands it again. Light left hand connects for Ferguson. Ferguson in close, but it’s Gaethje who lands again.
One-two for Ferguson. Leg punch for Ferguson. Leg kick for Gaethje. left hook for Gaethje. Body punch from Ferguson.
Hard body punch for Gaethje. Ferguson dancing on the outside, but Gaethje still connects with a punch. Body kick attempt from Ferguson and then lands a hard outside leg kick.
Another exchange and Gaethje counters nicely. Very hard connection from Gaethje, but Ferguson showing an exceptional chin here.
Big leg kick from Gaethje as Ferguson loads up on a big punch and misses. Again Ferguson misses. Gaethje blasting him again with the left hand. One-two for Ferguson. Another punch for Gaethje.
Right and then a left for Gaethje. Leg kick and a jab from Ferguson. Now an elbow attempt. Ferguson lands an uppercut hard and clean which puts Gaethje down to one knee momentarily, but he gets back up and the bell sounds soon afterwards.
Head kick attempt from Ferguson. Body punch and a left hand from Gaethje. Left kick and a nice punch from an unexpected angle from Gaethje.
Ferguson punching to the leg and then upstairs. He’s got some nasty damage around his eyes. Hard counter right from Gaethje.
Uppercut from Ferguson. Huge right for Gaethje backs Ferguson up a bit. Right hand for Ferguson. Nice uppercut for Ferguson. Right hand for him. Gaethje with another big right. What a chin on Ferguson.
Elbow strike from Ferguson. Now a head kick attempt. Three-piece combo for Ferguson. Now a left hand. He lands another left cleanly.
Right hand for Gaethje. He clobbers him with another. Ferguson lands. He sticks a punch to the body too. Now he ducks down and lands a low sweeping leg kick that knocks Gaethje partially off-balance.
Glancing right for Ferguson. Gaethje lands with a head kick and then a punch as Ferguson moves forward. How is Ferguson still upright?
Body kick for Ferguson and a punch for Gaethje before the round ends.
Nice leg kick for Gaethje. Front kick to the body from Ferguson. Ferguson with a right hand. He just misses with a wheel kick. Leg kick for Gaethje.
Left hook from Gaethje. Now a leg kick. Body punch from Ferguson. Hard punches again from Gaethje. Nice outside leg kick from Ferguson. Left hand again from Gaethje.
Leg kick for Gaethje. Front kick to the body from Ferguson. Punch to the leg now. Short left hand for Ferguson. Exchange of punches in which both connect.
Gaethje lands again with a righht and Ferguson seemed a bit rocked by that. He turns and runs away momentarily and Gaethje chases and lands again.
Push kick from Ferguson, but it strays to the groin and forces a brief stoppage.
Gaethje quickly back to it. Ferguson lands a hard hook to the body. Now a jab from him. Left hook for Gaethje. Body punch from Ferguson. Now a one-two upstairs.
Big low kick from Gaethje knocks Ferguson off-balance. Right hand for Gaethje. Hook for Ferguson.
Head kick attempt from Gaethje. Ferguson lands a punch as the round ends.
A couple of punches connect early in the fifth for Gaethje. Front kick to the body from Ferguson. Superman punch from Ferguson, but then a right hand counter for Gaethje hurts him.
Thunderous two punch combo from Gaethje. Now a low leg kick. Jab for Gaethje. There’s absolutely no quit in Ferguson though, he just won’t be stopped.
Outside leg kick for Ferguson. Right hand for Gaethje. Huge punches from Gaethje has Ferguson staggering back rocked once again.
Iminari roll attempt from Ferguson doesn’t pay off. BOth men each trade a huge punch apiece. Ferguson keeps getting clocked by big punches.
Gaethje with a huge right and a left. Body punches from Ferguson. Hard left for Gaethje. Another nasty left from Gaethje and Ferguson shakes his head several times trying to clear the cobwebs. This is getting troubling now and thankfully after another blow lands the referee waves off the fight, handing Gaethje an amazing TKO victory at 3.39mins of the final round.
Ferguson’s chin was astonishing in this fight as Gaethje hammered him with alarming frequency and power for the best part of 25 minutes. However, the referee made the right call in eventually waving off the fight as it was getting uncomfortable to watch Ferguson being too tough for his own good and by that point Gaethje had already done more than enough to prove himself a very worth winner of the interim title.