Doo Ho Choi burst onto the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Featherweight scene with a quickness, putting away the first three opponents he met inside the Octagon all via first round (technical) knockout. “Korean Superboy,” 25, looked to make it four straight tonight (Sat., Dec. 10, 2016) at the expense of perennial 145-pound contender, Cub Swanson (No. 4) at UFC 206, which took place inside Air Canada Centre in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
He didn’t accomplish that lofty mission, losing a unanimous decision, but he won more than he could have ever hoped for in valiant defeat. It was an amazing effort, one that will not soon be forgotten, but he met his mortal match in Swanson.
Choi got the action started with his knees, drilling Swanson with about 10 of them while he had him in a head lock in the center of the cage. Swanson, wisely, broke free and looked to go shot-for-shot. Choi slammed home a jab as Swanson returned fire with an uppercut, but neither man looked to be in any sort of danger. Choi once again grabbed Swanson around the neck and looked to land more knees, but the pair eventually migrated to the fence where they grappled for position. Choi continued to land a precision jab as Swanson looked to land something more creative and powerful. It was a very competitive, action-packed round that could have went either way.
Choi opened up the second stanza with a nice left hand as Swanson charged forward with a series of backfists and side shots. Choi landed another nice jab, but as he retreated Swanson drilled him with several shots along the cage. It looked as if Swanson had him dead to rights, but somehow the South Korean was able to create space, weather the storm and then rally for an insane flurry of his own. In fact, Choi appeared to have Swanson in even more danger than he was in, but he, too, was somehow able to keep it together. After a brief scramble on the mat, Swanson landed another shot — then a cartwheel kick — that put Choi up against the cage. Choi, though, would not be denied as he fired back. It was then Swanson’s turn, again, as he threw everything but the kitchen sink — spinning backfits, haymakers, uppercuts, hooks ... you name it — but Choi would not go down. It was among the most incredible single rounds of UFC action ever.
Swanson started out the third with a right hook then a back elbow, but Choi just dusted it off. Choi landed a solid overhand right as Swanson looked for a takedown. Choi landed another one as the fight hit the floor with Swanson ending up on top. Swanson eventually stood up and unloaded on Choi, again, along the fence, but he would not go down. Swanson landed a hip toss, but the two were back at it moments later. Choi landed an uppercut and a criss as they both took a brief moment to collect themselves. Then it was right back to their firefight, even though they were both clearly out of gas. Choi continued with his precision shots as Swanson went for broke. He finally knocked down Choi with 10 seconds remaining in the match, more than likely sealing his victory with the judges.
Put simply: This was the “Fight of the Year.” It was epic. It was awesome. And it’s impossible to do it any justice with words. Not sure if the two can recapture the magic in an immediate rematch, but fight fans would definitely pay to watch it again ... and again ... and again.
For complete UFC 206: “Holloway vs. Pettis” results, including play-by-play updates, click here.
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