After five minutes of spirited action at UFC on ESPN 13, Bukauskas landed a series of brutal lateral elbows as Michailidis shot for a takedown. The round bell sounded, but when referee Dan Movaheti ordered Michailidis back to his corner, the fighter was slow to respond.
Then as Michailidis tried to right himself, he fell backward onto the apron as the UFC crew opened the cage door, and Movaheti waved off the bout, giving Bukauskas the TKO stoppage at the 5:00 mark of the first frame.
Check out the finish here.
Although UFC commentator Michael Bisping questioned whether all of the strikes were legal, replays appeared to show the strikes avoided the part of the skull and neck that’s considered a foul. Damage seen on Michailidis’ head also backed their legality. The losing fighter sat on his stool for several moments after the stoppage, appearing dazed.
On Instagram, UFC President Dana White praised the referee’s performance.
“I think that was a good stop by the ref,” he said.
Bukauskas, who picked up his first UFC win after a long stint in Cage Warriors, defended his work and looked forward to his next challenge.
“Those shots were clean,” he said.
Michailidis suffers his first UFC loss and sees a three-fight streak on the international circuit snapped.