Rising Brazilian star Paulo Costa kept his unbeaten record intact tonight with an impressive display of striking en-route to TKO’ing Johnny Hendricks in the second round at UFC 217.
Big body kick for Costa early in the opening minute. Now the Brazilian tries to go for a head kick, but it’s blocked.
Another body kick from Costa. A punch then sends Hendricks rebounding into the cage. Another punch and this time Hendricks looks to close the distance and try for a takedown, but Costa stuffs it while landing a knee.
Costa back to stalking Hendricks and then unleashes a brief flurry of punches and digs one to the body.
Lots of offense for the Brazilian so far as Hendricks is forced to work on the outside and is struggling to let his own punches fly with any real effect.
More punches to the body and head from Costa and his knees to the body are dangerous too. Finally Hendricks manages to piece a couple of punches together and a leg kick behind it, but Costa is soon back to drilling him with a knee to the body.
Hendricks lands and gets Costa’s attention, but he needs a lot more of that. Body punch for Costa and then a kick.
Two left-hands and a leg kick for Hendricks that brings about a smile from Costa. Costa attempting a spinning kick that just misses. Heavy knee strike for Costa and a final body kick to end the round.
Leg kick for Hendricks to star the second. Another solid kick to the leg from ‘Bigg Rigg’ after a punch. Eye poke causes a brief stoppage for Hendricks, but he wants to keep going quickly as he thinks the Brazilian is tiring.
However, when they start again it’s Costa who is pouring on the presure as he lands hard punches with Hendricks back against the cage. A head kick and then a left hook staggers Hendricks.
Hendricks partially in survival mode here, but he’s trying to fight back with the occasional punch as Costa continues to pile on the pressure and land big shots.
Costa lands a powerful right hook and that’s the blow that finally seems to buckle Hendrick’s resolve and he sinks to his knees, which signals ‘Big’ John McCarthy to rush in and end the fight, handing Costa an impressive TKO victory 1.23mins into the second round!