The only heavyweight bout on the card at UFC Fight Night 128 saw knockout artists Chase Sherman and Justin Willis go toe-to-toe in front of a packed Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City, New Jersey.
With 10 of Sherman’s 11 victories coming by way of KO/TKO and four of Willis’s six wins being delivered by that same method, fans were expecting somebody to go to sleep.
Sherman (11-4 before this fight) was coming off a first-round knockout loss to Shamil Abdurakhimov in November and Willis believed that that put him in a desperate state of mind.
“I see him coming out strong; he is a desperate man. He’s desperate because he lost his last fight, he’s desperate because he’s fighting me. I see him coming out hard.”
But once he began to apply relentless pressure on Sherman, the San Jose resident could only see the fight going one way.
“I see him realising with the ‘oh fu*k’ face that there is nothing he can do. There’s absolutely nothing he can do, I will not stop ever coming forward or not ever stop pressuring him,” said Willis. “I can take him down, I can hit him with a punch that he’s never been hit within his life and I will turn his lights out.”
Sherman would probably admit that in his last fight, he underestimated Abdurakhimov, who he’d claimed was ‘not a very exciting fighter’ and ‘kind of fights like a fu*king girl.’
That underestimation cost him dearly; the Russian knocked him out after just one minute and 24 seconds of action.
Willis (6-1 before this fight) came into this one as the big favourite at $1.27 (27/100) while The Shermanator was paying $3.75 (11/4) to get the job done.
Neither man is ranked but they knew that a win here would put them in line for a top 15 opponent.
Right from the get-go, Willis put his punching power on full display, as he even dropped Sherman in the first round with a left hook. “The Vanilla Gorilla”, however, kept his composure and survived the onslaught, through the next two rounds. Unfortunately for him, he was not able to do enough, and Willis was awarded with the unanimous decision verdict to extend his UFC win streak to three.