Don’t ever count out Gerald Meerschaert because he’ll make you pay for it.
As the biggest underdog at UFC Vegas 35, Meerschaert was being treated as cannon fodder for rising middleweight star Makhmud Muradov but rather than go gently into the sweet night, the veteran submission specialist decided to pull off an upset instead.
Of course, Meerschaert had to endure some adversity early after he got clipped with several stinging shots in the opening round but he weathered the storm to deliver some punishment of his own. Finally after dragging Muradov to the ground, Meerschaert quickly wrapped up rear-naked choke submission and he was able to get the finish at 1:49 in the second round to notch his second victory in a row overall.
“Sometimes you’ve got to gut out a tough win like that and I got it done,” Meerschaert said. “He had me rocked pretty good a couple times. The kid’s so tough, I wasn’t sure how hurt he was.
“Once I got him down and I felt he was kind of wobbled, I’ve got the [submission] record in the middleweight division for a reason.”
A technician on the feet, Muradov was clinical with his striking combinations in the early going as he waited for the aggressive Meerschaert to move forward as he set up his punches and kicks. Muradov clipped Meerschaert with an early shot that had the Duke Roufus trained middleweight on wobbly legs momentarily and he followed that up with a perfectly timed uppercut that did even more damage.
While Meerschaert was definitely hurt, he did a good job staying out of trouble and that allowed him to start firing back with some serious pop behind his punches. An overhand left blasted Muradov several times in the opening round, which allowed Meerschaert to rush forward and secure his first takedown in the fight.
That set the tone going into the second round where Meerschaert had full confidence in his left hand while doing his best to avoid the haymakers coming from Muradov.
Meerschaert clipped Muradov with that same overhand punch that continued to pay dividends, which then allowed him to bring the fight down to his world on the canvas. From there, Meerschaert just shredded Muradov’s defense before locking on the fight ending submission.
Win, lose or draw, Meerschaert always puts on exciting fights and Saturday was no different as he earned an impressive win over one of the biggest prospects currently competing at 185 pounds in the UFC.