Photo by Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC
A head kick from Jai Herbert nearly ended Topuria’s night early, but he somehow recovered before making it to the final horn in the opening round. Topuria then decided to unleash some violence of his own in Round 2, pushing Herbert back towards the cage and unleashing a massive right hook that clobbered the British lightweight and sent him crashing to the canvas.
Referee Marc Goddard rushed in to stop the fight, with the end coming at 1:07 in the second round.
“The game plan was simple: Come in and take his head off,” Topuria said.
Prior to the finish, Herbert was the one headhunting and looking to give the veteran featherweight a rude welcome to the 155-pound division. With Topuria trying to find his footing, Herbert uncorked a huge early head kick that landed flush, and it appeared that a finish could be possible.
Despite being rattled, Topuria recovered well enough to close the distance and grab onto a takedown to help stunt Herbert’s momentum while recovering. Herbert eventually climbed back to his feet, where he started to unload on Topuria again as the Georgian fighter once again entered survival mode.
Bloodied and down a round, Topuria had no intention of allowing Herbert to do the same thing to him again in Round 2 as he came charging out from his corner.
Topuria fired heavy punches from the inside, and that’s when he connected with the right hand that twisted Herbert around before he just collapsed to the canvas. It was a massive one-punch knockout as Topuria made quite the impression in his lightweight debut.
Following the win, Topuria seized the moment by calling his shot after getting into a pre-fight altercation with England’s own Paddy Pimblett, who is also competing at UFC London.
“He’s a b****. Paddy Pimblett, win or lose, I want to fight you next and kick your ass like I did the last time,” Topuria shouted. “F*** you. I want that blonde b****. That Paddy b****.”