Following a harrowing opening round filled with crazy scrambles on the ground, Gillespie finally began manhandling Diego Ferreira with his wrestling and grappling, which then allowed him to absolutely bludgeon the Brazilian with punches and elbows to finish the fight.
The official end time came at 4:51 in the second round with Gillespie moving to 14-1 in his career.
“There’s not much that compares to that,” Gillespie said with tears in his eyes after an emotional win. “It’s been such a long time since I felt that. That was a special one for me.
“I had to get tired myself to get him tired. I made him quit. I make a lot of people quit and that’s something you’ll never see me do.”
Showing confidence in his hands, Gillespie was happy to throw hands with Ferreira early but then the former NCAA champion turned to his wrestling in an attempt to put the Brazilian on the ground. Ferreira was able to scramble free again and again, which then led to him chipping away at Gillespie with his punches.
Gillespie continue to hunt for the takedown, which led to even more wild grappling exchange with Ferreira fishing for submissions and making the wrestler work for every position. Just before the close of the opening round, Ferreira actually managed to sink in his hooks to take the back as he pounded away at Gillespie until the horn sounded.
Despite looking winded between rounds, Gillespie surged forward with relentless aggression to take Ferreira back down to the ground as he really began hammering away with shots from the top. With Gillespie just mauling him on the canvas, Ferreira was quickly running out of steam as he continuously got stuck underneath the superior wrestler.
Once Gillespie realized that Ferreira was not able to break free from his grasp, he really began unloading with some vicious ground and pound. Referee Chris Tognoni gave Ferreira every chance to fight back but when it was clear he was just stuck underneath Gillespie with no chance to escape, the fight was stopped.
After suffering a brutal knockout in his last appearance in the UFC back in 2019, Gillespie not only bounced back but he proved that he’s still a contender on the rise as he takes out a top 15-ranked opponent in his return to action.