Nicolas Dalby took the fight to Gabriel Bonfim tonight at UFC Fight Night 231, and though he came off second-best in the early exchanges he didn’t give up on himself, and his constant pressure finally paid off late in the second round as his previously undefeated opponent crumbled under a series of big knees to the head for a well-earned TKO victory.
Immediately they fire off punches at close quarters in the center of the Octagon. Bonfim landing the faster, cleaner punches, but Dalby is returning fire.
Low kick from Bonfim lands hard. Dalby drives into a takedown attempt but has to settle for clinching against the cage.
Bonfirm turns into him and they circle each other and then break away. Dalby pressing forward, but Bonfim lands a low kick.
Dalby pressing forward again. Bonfim pops out his jab. solid calf kick from Dalby. Low kick from Bonfim too. Hard body kick for Bonfim.
Bonfim pumps out the jab again. Dalby pressing forward regardless throwing a punch and kicks behind it.
Body kick for Dalby. Bonfim secures his first takedown of the fight nicely in the center of the Octagon. He’s in half-guard with a little over two minutes to work.
Bonfim passes to side control. Dalby working hard trying to get out from here, but Bonfim remains solid on top and then passes into full mount.
45 seconds left as Bonfim goes back to side control. Knee on belly then starts dropping down elbows and hammerfists. Dalby seems ok for now though and we’re headed to the second round.
Dalby starting off the second as aggressively as the first, throwing a couple of punches and then going for kicks.
Now it’s Bonfim though who unleashes a flurry of punches and then drives into a double-leg takedown. Dalby up for a moment and Bonfim takes him straight back down.
Bonfim looking for an arm-triangle choke. Dalby survives that attempt but Bonfim is comfortable in side control again.
Dalby rolls to his knees. Bonfim thinking about a submission though to thwart his attempts to get upright. There’s a bit of a scramble and then Dalby does get back up into the clinch.
They break away and Dalby marches forward immediately. Real tenacity from him. Back into the clinch they go back nothing really happening and so they move away again. Dalby goes back into it. Bonfim with a short flurry of punches, but Dalby takes that and now he’s landing some good blows.
Dalby as turned this into a grueling war and is relishing every moment of it. He lands a few big knees to the head. Bonfim hurt but fires back with an uppercut that misses and he’s wilting under this unrelenting pressure. Another knee lands upstairs and Bonfim falls forward onto the canvas.
The ref is urging him to fight back as ground-and-pound lands, but he’s done and that’s it, Dalby really earned his TKO victory there at 4.33mins of Rd2 with pure grit, determination and aggression.