Kennedy Nzechukwu
African Savage

USA

Takes back-and-forth war in Vegas
Light HeavyweightUFC
March 6, 2021
Nzechukwu defeated Carlos Ulberg TKO (punches) at 3:19 of Round 2 at UFC 259 on Saturday in Las Vegas.
ANALYSIS
Nzechukwu has been quite inconsistent over the course of his last two bouts, but has somehow managed to walk away with a victory in each. He emerged victorious on Saturday in a senseless back-and-forth brawl in which neither man displayed much fight IQ or secondary skills. Nzechukwu went head hunting for the duration of the bout, but somehow it didn't end up costing him. One big bomb of a right hand dropped Ulberg along the fence and referee Herb Dean was right on the spot to wave it off. The fact Nzechukwu rebounded after dropping the first round on all three judges scorecards is a good sign. Of course, he's going to have difficultly when the competition level rises, unless he varies his attacks and introduces some new tricks to his offensive arsenal. He'll at least have some extra cash to invest in those secondary skills, as Nzechukwu will walk away with an extra $50,000 after this bout was awarded Fight of the Night honors.
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Booked for UFC 259
Light HeavyweightUFC
January 28, 2021
Nzechukwu will take on Carlos Ulberg in a light heavyweight matchup at UFC 259 on March 6, Marcel Dorff of MMADNA.nl reports.
ANALYSIS
Nzechukwu last fought in August of 2019, but he'll return to the Octagon after defeating Darko Stosic via unanimous decision at UFC Newark. Although he had a size advantage over Stosic, he struggled to land with regularity and received the unanimous decision win after Stosic was docked a pair of points for repeated illegal groin strikes. He'll take on Ulberg, who will be making his UFC debut after defeating Bruno Oliveira via KO (punch) at Dana White's Contender Series in early November. Although the appearance was just Ulberg's second as a professional, he displayed some impressive power during the matchup. Nzechukwu has advantages in both height and reach.
Catches break to earn first UFC win
Light HeavyweightUFC
August 3, 2019
Nzechukwu defeated Darko Stosic via unanimous decision (29-26, 28-27, 28-27) at UFC on ESPN 5 on Saturday in Newark, New Jersey.
ANALYSIS
Stosic was docked a pair of points for repeated illegal groin strikes and his infractions turned what would have been a split decision loss for Nzechukwu into a unanimous decision win. He struggled to land with regularity despite having a massive size advantage over Stosic. Kennedy could have packed his bags and took his disqualification win after the third groin strike, but he continued to fight and was eventually "rewarded" with the unanimous decision victory. Nzechukwu has world-class size, but he is extremely raw and unrefined as a fighter. The 27-year-old needs many more reps before he can be considered a threat at 205 pounds.
Second UFC bout in Newark
Light HeavyweightUFC
June 27, 2019
Nzechukwu will take on Darko Stosic in a light heavyweight matchup at UFC Newark on Aug. 3, ESPN.com reports.
ANALYSIS
Nzechukwu had Paul Craig on the ropes in his UFC debut, but the fight slipped away when he was caught in a triangle choke in the closing moments. Inexperience may be the biggest issue for Nzechukwu, as he's been blessed with physical gifts, standing at 6-5 with a 83-inch reach. He'll draw another relatively inexperienced fighter in Stosic this time out, who has just two UFC fights under his belt and is coming off a loss as well. While Stosic picked up a knockout in his UFC debut, he followed that up with a performance in which he landed just 26 significant strikes over the course of a 15-minutes fight.
Poor decisions lead to loss in UFC debut
Light HeavyweightUFC
March 30, 2019
Nzechukwu lost to Paul Craig via submission (triangle choke) at 4:20 of Round 3 at UFC on ESPN 2 on Saturday in Philadelphia.
ANALYSIS
Seemingly seconds away from earning a victory in his UFC debut, Nzechukwu's loss on Saturday was simply due to inexperience. He was docked a point by referee Keith Peterson due to multiple eye pokes and he very easily could have lost another for grabbing the fence on multiple occasions. He had Craig in trouble on numerous occasions, but was unable to end the contest due to his poor fight IQ. While Kennedy's physical gifts are obvious, he is far away from making a legitimate impact at 205 pounds.
Next UFC test against Craig
Light HeavyweightUFC
January 23, 2019
Nzechukwu will take on Paul Craig at UFC on ESPN 2 on Mar. 30, MMAFighting.com reports.
ANALYSIS
Coming off a first round TKO victory in August, Nzechukwu has yet to lose a professional fight. His next test will come against a more veteran fighter in the UFC promotion, though Craig himself only has five fights to his name. Additionally, "African Savage" has a slight height advantage over his Scottish opponent. However, even with his struggles, Craig isn't an opponent to underestimate, as nine of his 10 career victories have come via submission.