The first weekend of September was packed to kickboxing, fans were treated to some thrilling bouts and memorable performances. Here are some of the highlights from the combat sports events that took place on 3rd September 2023.
Eubank avenges Smith defeat with TKO win in rematch
Chris Eubank Jr exacted his revenge on Liam Smith by stopping him in the tenth round of their middleweight rematch on Saturday night at Manchester Arena. Eubank, who had lost to Smith by a ninth-round TKO in their first fight in January, knocked down Smith twice and dominated the fight with his speed, power and skill.
Eubank, 33, set the tone early by landing a sharp jab and a right hand that caught Smith’s attention. He then dropped Smith, 35, in the fourth round with a vicious uppercut that sent him to the canvas. Smith, who had stunned Eubank in the same round in their first encounter, managed to beat the count and survive the round.
However, Eubank did not let up and continued to unleash a barrage of punches on Smith, who showed his toughness and heart by fighting back. Smith had some moments of success, especially in the sixth and seventh rounds, when he landed some hooks and body shots that momentarily slowed down Eubank.
But Eubank was too strong and confident for Smith, who seemed to struggle with an injury to his left ankle. Eubank controlled the distance and the pace of the fight with his jab and movement, while landing hard shots to the head and body of Smith.
In the tenth round, Eubank sealed his victory by dropping Smith again with a right hand that rocked him. Smith got up again, but he was clearly hurt and unable to defend himself. The referee stepped in and stopped the fight, giving Eubank a well-deserved TKO win.
UFC Fight Night: Gane vs Spivak
Gane stops Spivac in Paris, Fiorot upsets Namajunas
Ciryl Gane made a triumphant return to Paris, reminiscent of his victory there last year. Following a submission loss to Jon Jones at UFC 285 in March, the former interim champion showcased his skills against Serghei Spivac. In the opening round, Gane strategically targeted Spivac's body before stepping up the intensity in the second. Utilizing his superior footwork and athleticism, he skillfully evaded Spivac's takedown attempts. Gane's striking prowess outshone "The Polar Bear," much like his previous win against Tai Tuivasa. The enthusiastic crowd cheered him on as he regained his footing in the heavyweight division. While wrestling may be his weakness, Gane's stylish and confident striking, often referred to as "Bon Gamin," remains a force to be reckoned with.
Manon Fiorot's overwhelming physicality proved too formidable for former strawweight champion Rose Namajunas, who also suffered a busted pinky finger early in the fight. Fiorot, nicknamed "The Beast," dominated exchanges, landing impactful blows and successfully defending against Namajunas' takedown attempts. Despite a head clash in the second round that left a deep gash on her head, Fiorot remained undeterred, fighting with blood streaming down her face.
While Namajunas had her moments, the compromised hand and the gap in size and strength were insurmountable obstacles. All three judges unanimously favored Fiorot, pushing her UFC record to an impressive 6-0, reaffirming her status as a top contender in the highly competitive flyweight division.
• Main Event: Ciryl Gane defeats Serghei Spivac by TKO (strikes) at 3:44 of Round 2
• Co-Main Event: Manon Fiorot defeats Rose Namajunas by unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28, 29-28)
• Benoît Saint-Denis defeats Thiago Moises by TKO (strikes) at 4:44 of Round 2
• Volkan Oezdemir defeats Bogdan Guskov by submission (rear-naked choke) at 3:46 of Round 1
• William Gomis defeats Yanis Ghemmouri by TKO (referee stoppage) at 2:20 of Round 3
• Morgan Charriere defeats Manolo Zecchini by KO (body kicks) at 3:51 of Round 1
• Taylor Laupilus defeats Caolán Loughran by unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
• Ange Loosa defeats Rhys McKee by unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28, 29-28)
• Nora Cornolle defeats Joselyne Edwards by unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28)
• Farid Basharat defeats Kleydson Rodrigues by submission (arm triangle choke) at 4:15 of Round 1
• Jacqueline Cavalcanti defeats Zarah Fairn by unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)