Aussie UFC fighters score back-to-back KOs

Casey O'Neill. Picture by Mike Roach/Zuffa LLC
SHARE:
Australian fighters Casey O’Neill and Jamie Mullarkey pull off impressive second round wins in their UFC bouts in Las Vegas. Joel Rasmussen reports

Australian UFC fighters Casey O’Neill and Jamie Mullarkey both secured impressive TKO victories in their back-to-back fights at UFC Vegas 38 today.

The event, held early Sunday (AEST), was headlined by light-heavyweights Thiago Santos and Johnny Walker.

Embed from Getty Images

Scottish-born Australian Casey O’Neill remains undefeated as she ended the event’s preliminary card with a second round TKO over fellow flyweight Antonina Shevchenko. 

O’Neill led aggressively in the first round, walking Shevchenko down for the majority of the round. The Australian momentarily seemed in trouble as Shevchenko gained control on the ground and landed some strong strikes, however as the fight made its way back to the feet, O’Neill again took charge and led the bout, ending the round in a dominant grounded position. 

In the second round O’Neill brought the fight to the ground, where she gained back control with opportunity to attempt a rear naked choke, however the Australian transitioned to top mount, where she would finish the fight.

Embed from Getty Images

This win extends her overall record to 8-0, and her third straight victory in the UFC, her previous two UFC victories taking place earlier this year. She also fought twice outside of the UFC this year, bringing her total bouts for the year to five.

“Fifth fight in 12 months. I’m fucking exhausted!” O’Neill said in her post fight interview.

“I’m here. I’m staying. I’m for real.”

At the press conference, O’Neill outlined her plans for the future.

“I’m going to work behind the scenes for a little bit. Every time you go in [the octagon] there’s more and more tape on you to study, I want to go in each time a completely different fighter. I’m still going to be training three times a day.” 

“I want to keep proving myself against the best in the world. I’m here to fight the best.”

Earlier in the night, Aussie Jamie Mullarkey earned a second round TKO over American Devonte Smith.

Embed from Getty Images

Mullarkey overcame harsh adversity in the first round, with Smith landing solid strikes when the two exchanged. Round two opened with Mullarkey landing some vicious leg kicks – a strategy utilised by his training partner UFC champion Alexander Volkanovski in his fight last week.

Mullarkey pushed the action and backed Smith against the fence, where he landed an impressive flurry to the head and body which dropped Smith, where Mullarkey followed and finished the fight. 

This victory raises Mullarkey’s record to 14-4, and marks his second straight victory in the UFC, his last being a first round KO victory over Khama Worthy in March.

At the post-fight press conference, Mullarkey spoke about his rocky start to the fight and when fans can expect to next see him.

“We expected a fast start from Devonte, but when I pushed him against the fence, I felt a shift in momentum there.”

“I’ll go home and heal up – not that I have much to heal from. As soon as they want me I want back in.” 

Embed from Getty Images

UFC Vegas 38 ended with Thiago Santos scoring a unanimous decision over Johnny Walker in the main event, and a controversial no contest due to a head clash between Kevin Holland and Kyle Daukaus in the co-main event. 

O’Neill’s and Mullarkey’s TKOs earned them US$50,000 performance bonuses.

Embed from Getty Images