Heading into UFC Fight Night 159 in Mexico City, the matchup between featherweights Steven Peterson and Martin Bravo was merely icing on the main card’s cake. Neither fighter is ranked among UFC’s top 15 featherweights, nor are they serious title contenders. But with one spinning backfist, Steven Peterson earned his 18th victory and went viral faster than Martin Bravo’s lifeless body hit the ground.
At 1:31 in the second round, Bravo tried catching Peterson with a spinning elbow, which the veteran fighter countered with a spin of his own. Peterson’s fist connected with Bravo’s jaw, and like a sack of old potatoes, the 26-year-old Mexican nicknamed ‘El Toro’ crumbled and was out like a light.
Don’t blink. You’ll be watching this knockout over and over again.
Steven Peterson’s Spinning Backfist Knockout
The knockout earned Peterson (18-9) the first Performance of the Night bonus of his career and snapped a two-fight losing streak.
“I saw him go for the spin, and I spun faster and harder. It was just a timing thing, the 29-year-old American said after the fight. “But I saw his head turn and him turn, so I spun faster and harder and mine landed.”
That spinning backfist knockout set the tone the rest of the fight card. Irene Aldana unanimously defeated Vanessa Melo, who was a last-minute replacement for Marion Reneau. Brandon Moreno and Askar Askarov finished with a split decision in their flyweight bout. Carla Esparza defeated Alexa Grasso in a top-10 women’s strawweight bout that earned both women Fight of the Night bonuses.
Lastly came Yair Rodriguez vs. Jeremy Stephens, and while Peterson supplied the early fireworks, this fight completely ruined the end of the night.
The night’s main event was stopped 15 seconds into the first round for an accidental eye poke. Fans in Mexico City couldn’t believe it when referee Herb Dean waved his hands and ruled the fight a no contest.
Then, the crowd proceeded to rain trash onto the octagon.
Everyone scrambled to get out of harms way, including the ESPN broadcast team of Brendan Fitzgerald and Michael Bisping. As beer and trash rained from the heavens, Fitzgerald chose to hide under his desk, which thankfully, Bisping caught on camera.
Over 10,000 fans were in attendance, and I don’t think many of them left smelling like anything other than freshly-cracked Modelos.
This article was originally published September 23, 2019.