BLOODBATH! Steve Garcia Survives Axe Kick to Start UFC Fight Night with a Second Round TKO

Published 10/09/2021, 2:56 PM EDT


The preliminary card opener for UFC Vegas 39 didn’t disappoint as lightweight fighter Steve Garcia earned a spectacular comeback TKO finish. The finish came at 1:51 of the second round after getting rocked by Charlie Ontiveros on multiple occasions in round one. Garcia landed punishing ground and pound strikes to earn the finish in a rather decisive fashion.

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Chiefly, ‘Mean Machine’ has now successfully bounced back following his loss to Luis Pena in February 2020. He displayed plenty of heart to weather the early storm by Ontiveros despite being out of action for a long time. However, Steve Garcia showed that he’s still as dangerous as ever once the fight hits the canvas.

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In terms of making a statement, it doesn’t get any more decisive than a vicious ground and pound showcase.

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Charlie Ontiveros almost closed the show early

The 11-7 fighter in Ontiveros almost sealed an early TKO finish over Garcia when he landed a picture-perfect Axe kick. The kick grazed the right temple of Garcia and he immediately stumbled onto the canvas. Charlie Ontiveros landed a flurry of follow-up strikes and it looked like he was ready to get Garcia out of there in short order.

However, as mentioned earlier, Garcia managed to get in close and was extremely efficient with his close-range striking. What’s more, he refused to be overwhelmed by the damage he absorbed and was also efficient with his energy management.

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There’s no doubt that his blood and guts display to open out the fight card could earn him a Performance bonus. Furthermore, when factoring the storm he weathered in the early moments of round one, he’s an immediate candidate for a bonus. It’s safe to say that UFC cards without the biggest names continue to deliver in a massive way.

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As for Charlie Ontiveros, he’s now on a two-fight skid after losing his previous fight to the 2020 ‘Fighter of the Year’ in Kevin Holland at middleweight. Ontiveros is massive for the lightweight division and he has the potential to make waves in the division.

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Darryl Pinto

1930 articles

Darryl Pinto is a senior MMA writer at EssentiallySports. He is currently pursuing his graduate degree in Mass Media (with a specialization in Journalism) out of Xavier’s College and has a year's experience in his current role. Darryl specializes in predictions, reporting, and covering UFC events live.

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