Montel Jackson survived a grappling exchange with Rani Yahya and then delivered a brutal knockout just seconds later at UFC Vegas 71.
With size, reach, and power on his side, Jackson had every advantage on the feet, but he still had to be wary with Yahya desperate to get him to the ground. After getting up from an initial takedown, Jackson set up his strikes and waited for the moment to unleash his best offense.
The end came after Jackson dodged a punch from Yahya then came right back at him with a devastating counter left hook that dropped the Brazilian the canvas. Jackson followed him to the ground with a couple more shots as Yahya went limp and the referee rushed in to save him from further harm.
Montel Jackson brought the boom in his first round KO victory #UFCVegas71 pic.twitter.com/JbOABXJuu0— ESPN MMA (@espnmma) April 22, 2023
The stoppage came at 3:43 in the opening round.
“I was prepared for him to start lunging when he couldn’t hit me,” Jackson said afterward. “I’ve just got to slide back and hit him with that left hand.
“The fights in here are easy. The fights on the street are hard. There’s nothing to be excited about in here.”
The knockout moved Jackson to 4-0 in his past four appearances in the UFC, with a 7-1 résumé overall since joining the promotion by way of the UFC’s Contender Series. This latest finish will certainly help propel Jackson forward in the bantamweight division, especially taking out a savvy veteran like Yahya in such impressive fashion.