Joshua Culibao bounced back from a low blow in impressive fashion.
It didn’t look like the fight was going Culibao’s way after opponent Melsik Baghdasaryan struck him with a spin kick right between the legs late in the first round, but Culibao recovered and snagged a rear-naked choke in the second round to have his hand raised at UFC 284 on Saturday.
Watch Culibao’s quick submission win above.
Both known for their striking prowess, Culibao and Baghdasaryan put together a competitive first round on the feet. However, the most notable strike of the frame occurred when simultaneous kicks were thrown and a spinning Baghdasaryan drove his heel right into Culibao’s groin.
The Australian fighter, perhaps not wanting to disappoint the home crowd, only took a couple of minutes to recover and was able to continue as Round 1 came to a close. In Round 2, he connected with a jab that hurt Baghdasaryan and immediately pounced for the rear-naked choke that stopped the fight at 2:02 into the round.
“It was pretty bad,” Culibao said of the low blow in his post-fight interview. “It was like one of those ones where you’ve got to figure out if they’re still there.”
Culibao (11-1-1) has now won three straight fights in the UFC’s crowded featherweight division. He is on a four-fight unbeaten streak when including a split draw against Charles Jourdain from October 2020.
Baghdasaryan (7-2) loses for the first time in three UFC outings.