Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Light Heavyweights Steve Bosse and Sean O’Connell brawled last night (June 18, 2016) at UFC Fight Night 89 inside TD Place Arena in Ottawa, Canada.
Coming off the biggest win of his career, Bosse had a major opportunity to establish himself as an action fighter at 205 lbs. Opposite a fellow power puncher, Bosse was content to throw down and let the chips fall where they may.
On the other hand, O’Connell entered this bout having lost his last fight quickly. In order to ensure his position on the roster, the Canadian athlete needed a strong showing here.
In the end, both men proved their worth.
In what was practically guaranteed to be a crazy brawl, O’Connell struck first. He scored with a pair of big left hooks, and Bosse fell down hard, appearing to be out cold.
Somehow, he survived.
Despite nearly being finished in the opening minute, Bosse recovered extraordinarly well. It took some time — and lots of grueling clinch work — but Bosse was actually landing the better strikes by the end of the round.
It still wasn’t enough to overcome the near finish.
The two traded a flurry of punches to start the round before moving back into the clinch. At first, O’Connell did a nice job pinning his opponent to the fence and landing small strikes, but it seemed to take a toll on his conditioning.
At about the halfway point in the round, Bosse smashed his opponent with a hard right hand and had him stumbling. O’Connell stumbled around trying to survive but gave up an easy takedown. From top position, O’Connell ate a lot of hard shots but managed to survive the round.
It was a dominant showing from "The Boss."
The two brawlers could be forgiven for taking an extra minute to rest at the start of the third round before breaking into a slug fest. While Bosse landed repeatedly with his quicker punches — particularly the right hand — but O’Connell hung tough and landed his own solid counter punches.
After a pair of very clear rounds, the third was entirely up in the air. Both men traded and landed some seriously hard punches, and it wasn’t clear how either man was still standing by the final bell.
Ultimately, the judges unanimous awarded Bosse the decision victory, though it was really a tremendously close fight.
Bosse showed off his entire game. The man is a hard-nosed power puncher who’s unafraid to throw down with anyone. Even after getting blitzed early on and nearly finished, Bosse stepped to his opponent and threw with no fear.
In this bout, Bosse’s conditioning really won him the bout. The two fighters gave as good as they took, but Bosse was able to throw the harder punches in the final two rounds. Plus, his conditioning allowed him to recover in the first round, as most fighters would’ve been finished.
Following this win — and for the rest of his career for that matter — Bosse needs to be put in the cage with another scrapper. For example, a fight with Ed Herman could be very fun.
It’s tough to be hard on Sean O’Connell. He really fought his heart out, nearly won in the first round, and came close to taking the decision as well.
Unfortunately, he still came up short.
There’s not a lot to really judge here. O’Connell fought pretty intelligently by looking for counter punches on a wide-swinging opponent, which made use of his tighter punches and longer reach. He shook O’Connell’s knees multiple times with a stiff hook, but he simply never connected on that perfect punch to end the bout.
Personally, I really hope O’Connell is not cut following this performance. He went after the win and provided a supremely entertaining fight. Light Heavyweight is not a division overfilled with fighters, so he should still have a home there.
Basically, O’Connell serves a couple purpose. First and foremost, he can help fill cards with the promise of an entertaining war and/or early knockout against men like Bosse. Alternatively, he can be a legitimate test of up-and-coming prospects.
Either way, his fights are fun.
Last night, Steve Bosse edged out Sean O’Connell in a fun brawl. How high up the division will Bosse climb?
For complete UFC Fight Night 89 "MacDonald vs Thompson" results and play-by-play, click HERE!