Headlining the card is a much anticipated bout between the No. 2 ranked UFC featherweight contender Brian ‘T-City’ Ortega and the No. 4 ranked UFC featherweight contender ‘The Korean Zombie’ Chan Sung Jung.
The first fight of the main card showcased a bantamweight bout between the returning Thomas Almeida and rising prospect Jonathan Martinez. Almeida’s last fight came in January of 2018, which to put into perspective was a year before TJ Dillashaw last fought.
After opening his career up with a 20-0 record, he’d fallen to 21-3 before his extended break. He spent so much time away due to him requiring eye surgery. Now he’s healthy and ready to make a strong return tonight.
Almeida was initially slated against Alejandro Perez, but Perez tested positive for Covid-19 and was replaced with Martinez considering. Martinez wasn’t even in the UFC at the time Almeida last fought, but he’s been making some pretty great impressions of his own.
Martinez had gone 3-2 in this UFC walking into this fight, and had a 12-3 record overall. One of those defeats was a controversial split decision to Andre Ewell, and two of those wins were very impressive third-round knockouts.
The two opened up trading leg kicks at the early going of round one, and had a feeling out process throughout. Martinez started landing some nice snap kicks, as well as some nice jabs to aid him in keeping the distance against his opponent.
Martinez is looking very relaxed and calm throughout the round, he’s fighting like he knows he belongs here. That’s always a great thing to see from younger fighters.
Round two showed much of the same, as Martinez continued sticking that jab in Almeida’s face. Almeida did end up momentarily dropping Martinez with a left hook after eating a knee to his grill, but Martinez was right back to his feet before Almeida had a chance to pounce.
Martinez then lands a hard left hook, stunning Almeida in his tracks, before Almeida shot on a takedown and missed. Martinez lands a couple hard shots to close out the round, and it was evident where the momentum was going at this point.
Almeida tried for a takedown about 20 seconds in, but was unable to secure it. Martinez again lands a hard left hook in the middle of a punch combination, but Almeida’s chin held up. Almeida lands a nice 1-2 combo in the middle of it, but it was clear who got the better of the exchange.
Almeida tried hard for another takedown, but was again unsuccessful, and was again forced to stand with Martinez. Ultimately, it was the straight attacks of Martinez that got the better of the round attacks from Almeida.
Martinez used his jab and his front snap kick throughout the fight, Almeida threw many hooks to the body and head while he was lunging in. Martinez is a tough guy to make a return against coming off an almost three year absence.
Official Result: Jonathan Martinez def. Thomas Almeida via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)