Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Featherweight scrappers Jason Knight and Alex Caceres and went to war last night (Jan. 28, 2017) at UFC on FOX 23 inside Pepsi Center in Denver, Colorado.
Caceres has scored some big wins alongside some tough losses throughout his UFC career, but he’s been a consistently game fighter. Still, last night was a very important match up for him, as “Bruce Leeroy” did not want a second straight loss to ruin his momentum. On the other hand, Knight entered this bout as the less proven but more consistent fighter. On the heels of two strong wins, Knight was hoping to stop Caceres and jump into the rankings.
This one had the makings of a barn-burner heading in, and neither man wanted to disappoint. The fighters met in the center and fired off combinations and kicks, with both athletes landing early.
While the initial exchanges were pretty even, Caceres was able to routinely stuff his opponent’s shots and begin to find his range first. Before long, Caceres’ creative combinations were landing more cleanly. Additionally, he found a home for both counter punches and long kicks, which dug into Knight’s leg and body. In fact, just about everything seemed to be going Caceres’ way until Knight landed a big right hand, takedown, and nearly landed a choke in the final 20 seconds of the round.
Caceres returned to his rhythm and scored with some nice shots to begin the second round, but he lost a scramble following a takedown and found Knight on his back once again. From back control, Knight was very aggressive in hunting for the choke and slamming hard elbows into his opponent, doing damage while he controlled his opponent.
Despite his opponent’s attempt to scramble, Knight clung tight to his opponent. Over the course of a couple minutes, Knight really wore down his opponent with the aforementioned ground strikes, creating an opening for the fight-ending rear naked choke.
This was far and away the best performance of “The Kid’s” career. At 24 years old, he’s definitely a fighter to watch moving forward, as he showed a full range of skills to go alongside his wild aggression.
Knight’s back taking and control was really excellent in this match. Each time he placed Caceres on his butt, he managed to spin around into the back almost immediately. Caceres worked to defend and attempted some solid escapes, but Knight’s grip control and hip pressure allowed him to maintain the position.
That level of back control makes him a threat to anyone.
Following this win — his third straight — Knight should scrap with someone inside the rankings. He called out Doo Ho Choi in the aftermath, which would certainly be an entertaining battle.
As for Caceres, he looked really good until he didn’t. Caceres’ habit of backing up with his chin high was mostly missing, and his offensive kickboxing was as volatile as ever. However, he was a bit lackadaisical when taken down, which allowed Knight to take his back and finish him. This was particularly obvious in the second round. Caceres defended a toss successfully but tripped to his butt. Rather than sit up into a takedown or try to stand at any cost, he laid back to his guard, which was unceremoniously passed by “The Kid.”
It was a costly mistake.
Last night at UFC on FOX 23, Jason Knight choked out Alex Caceres in the second round. How high can Knight climb at 145 pounds?
For complete UFC on FOX 23: “Shevchenko vs. Pena” results and play-by-play, click HERE!