Yair Rodriquez earned a win over Chan Sung Jung last Saturday night at UFC Denver, knocking the Korean senseless with a no-look upward elbow strike. The dazzling technique led some critics to claim the Mexican was “lucky” to land the killer blow.
“El Pantera” and Jung had been engaged in an entertaining five-round war with both men landing shots throughout the fight before Rodriguez landed the astounding, fight-ending blow with one second left in the fight. Rising UFC middleweight Israel Adesanya -- no stranger to flashy striking technique himself -- has chimed in to give his thoughts on the finish and is adamant there was no luck involved. “The Last Stylebender” spoke to Fightful, claiming the 26 year-old had thrown the elbow a number of times throughout the fight already.
“That was crazy,” Adesanya said. “And I’m seeing a lot of people saying that that was lucky, that was a lucky knockout… like, really smart people who, that are like legends of the game. Literally, the example that they gave was, ‘well, he threw it twice beforehand. He threw it twice beforehand and failed. So this time he got it,’ and I’m saying it’s instinct, it’s timing and knowing where the head is gonna be -- not where it is, where it’s gonna be. And his argument was, ‘ah, well he threw it twice beforehand and failed. Was that instinct and timing as well?’ My counter-argument is, hey, look… even against Brad Tavares in the beginning of the first round, I was throwing my jab, throwing my jab, throwing my jab. I wasn’t landing it. And then eventually, from the second round, I bloodied up his face with my jab. And I started connecting my two. That’s not luck, that’s not luck. That is timing, that is trial and error, that is readjustment and resetting.”