With both men's solid stand-up credentials, fans were anticipating a striking exhibition for up to the full fifteen minutes.
It didn't happen.
Instead, Mills showcased some evolution to his game, mixing in multiple takedowns to go along with his aggressive and powerful striking, but that's now how the fight ended.
Instead, a fluke injury ended Ludwig's night, the second such time Ludwig has lost via injury TKO in his UFC career (the only fighter to have ever done so).
To get things started, Mills aggressively attacked with his powerful punches, holding the back of Ludwig's head and teeing off with some right uppercuts and a knee. With Ludwig up close, Mills took the opportunity to toss him to the canvas from the clinch, landing in side control.
Ludwig would be in big trouble from here on out.
Despite getting back to his feet, Ludwig was again dragged to the ground and again he found himself on the bottom with "Beautiful" in side control. This time, however, Mills stepped up the offense by dropping elbows and throwing some knees to the body and shoulder.
After Mills attempted to pass to mount, Ludwig retained guard a
nd then tried to scramble to his feet, but he immediately fell back to the ground, clutching his knee as referee Herb Dean stepped in and put a halt to the proceedings.
It was an unfortunate injury, but Mills was still well on his way to getting a victory.
For Duane Ludwig, it might be time to call it quits. He was giving up a big reach advantage and he got tagged pretty heavily in the very brief striking exchange to start the fight. Che Mills does not have a great wrestling attack, but he easily was able to drag Ludwig to the ground. Ludwig just looks worn down in the cage and this is his third UFC defeat in a row now. With a rough knee injury to heal from, it's likely he could be done.
For Che Mills, he showed tremendous improvement from his last fight, a thrashing at the hands of Rory MacDonald who battered him with punches on the ground. Mills looks to have been working on his wrestling in the fallout of that performance and it paid dividends here. He not only was getting takedowns, but he was landing in dominant positions too. His striking looked sharp in the very brief instances it occurred and this was an all-around solid showing. Hopefully he can continue to develop and become more well-rounded.
So what did you make of this bout, Maniacs?
Were you impressed by the improvements Mills showcased? Would Mills have eventually got the win or did he get saved by Ludwig's injury?