Steve Garcia was in bad shape after tasting Shayilan Nuerdanbieke’s power, but he rallied for a second-round finish.
Garcia wobbled Nuerdanbieke with a series of punches before sealing the deal with a kick and punch to the body, which crumpled the Chinese fighter 36 seconds into the second frame of the UFC 287 prelim.
Check out the finish below.
WHAT A TURNAROUND FOR STEVE GARCIA #UFC287 pic.twitter.com/u7WswNjK4a— ESPN MMA (@espnmma) April 8, 2023
There is no quit in Steve Garcia!!@MeanMachine505 with the Round 2 comeback at #UFC287! pic.twitter.com/4bSIrDaJmL— UFC (@ufc) April 8, 2023
Garcia’s recollection of the first round would understandably be hazy after his front kick invited Nuerdanbieke to use his preferred weapon, an overhand right that sent him to the canvas. More damaging shots followed from Nuerdanbieke in top position, prompting Garcia to seek escape. Lucky for him, the frenzied pace of early action left Nuerdanbieke vulnerable to his aggressive counter-charge, and a late-round combination appeared to score points.
The second frame had just gotten started when Garcia’s boxing paid dividends. It was his second straight win after a thrashing of young phenom Chase Hooper in his previous outing, while Nuerdanbieke went back to the drawing board after a quick win over Darrick Minner triggered a betting scandal that threatened the very foundation of the sport.