An MMA fighter earned a $50,000 bonus in his debut fight after his brutal and gruelling UFC 243 match-up, which some people called ‘the round of the year’.
The fight between 28-year-old New Zealand lightweight Brad Riddell and 25-year-old Australian striker Jamie Mullarkey left both men battered, bruised and bleeding, though Riddell came off the victor after punching Mullarkey’s mouthguard out of his mouth and reportedly breaking his jaw.
Riddell emerged as the winner of the fight, leaving Mullarkey with a suspected broken jaw and an ear so swollen it looked like it was about to burst. However, both fighters earned a $50,000 bonus after the bout was named ‘Fight of the Night’.
You can watch part of the fight here:
Round three of Mullarkey vs Riddell at #UFC243 is without question a contender for 'Round of the Year' 🔥
Enjoy five minutes of beautiful madness! pic.twitter.com/reuGliWhUK
— UFC on BT Sport (@btsportufc) October 6, 2019
Riddell and Mullarkey battled it out for three rounds. It was initially on the preliminary card, but because of the pace and apparent violence of the bout it quickly generated buzz and excitement not only in the arena but globally too, Business Insider reports.
Though the match was reportedly fairly even, it was in round three where Riddell took the lead, using quick head movement to avoid Mullarkey’s shots, despite both fighters bleeding heavily from their gums. Riddell even scored a takedown around 30 seconds into the final round.
Midway through the round however, Mullarkey was still battling as he managed to drop Riddell and attempted to choke him out.
Yeah Mullarkey's jaw definitely looks broken, way he's holding his mouth. #UFC243
— Bloody Elbow (@BloodyElbow) October 6, 2019
The fight was judged to be the most entertaining of the night, with Riddell winning the match 29-27, 30-26, and 30-26.
Despite it being his first MMA fight, Riddell, from Christchurch, has a wealth of experience from his former career kickboxing. This came through on the night too, landing 106 significant strikes on his opponent, compared to Mullarkey’s 42, Stuff reports.
Riddell and Mullarkey. Round 3. Gotta be a contender for round of the year. Wow. #UFC243
— Chamatkar Sandhu (@SandhuMMA) October 6, 2019
Speaking after the fight, Riddell said:
This is the best debut I could have ever had, this is the best crowd I’ve ever been in front of, and I think it’s the best crowd I will ever be in front of, so thank you.
Discussing Mullarkey, he said:
He was pretty tough, he’s got a lot of MMA experience and it definitely wasn’t my best performance, so I look forward to a quick turnaround and fighting again as soon as I can.
There was a long moment after the horn there where Mullarkey and Riddell just looked at each other, both bloody and exhausted, like they were each trying to figure out if the other was real or some terrible hallucination.
— Ben Fowlkes (@benfowlkesMMA) October 6, 2019
Despite Mullarkey’s best efforts, Riddell dominated the final round, throwing a barrage of punches and elbows to push the fight into stoppage time, as both fighters finished on their feet.
If you have a story you want to tell, send it to UNILAD via [email protected]
Charlie Cocksedge is a journalist at UNILAD. He graduated from the University of Manchester with an MA in Creative Writing, where he learnt how to write in the third person, before getting his NCTJ. His work has also appeared in such places as The Guardian, PN Review and the bin.