Road to UFC tournament winner Anshul Jubli fought for the first time after winning his UFC contract earlier this year, taking on Mike Breeden in Abu Dhabi at UFC 294.
Breeden got what appeared to be one last chance to make his way in the UFC, and with his back against the wall, sporting an 0-3 UFC record, he came back from behind to win in spectacular fashion. Jubli lost his undefeated record here and will have to do some improving to get back on top and blaze the trail for Indian MMA in the coming future.
Breeden and Jubli danced in the center and traded low kicks to start round one. It began as a well-matched striking bout; both men had their lands early but nothing fight-changing. Jubli began to slowly strengthen as Breeden increasingly found himself backing up and out of range when he tried to land himself. Mike attempted a takedown with two minutes left but it was stuffed, though he landed a knee on the break. Jubli’s boxing was fluid and he, too, landed some good knees in close and missed some that were inches away from a highlight reel knockout. Anshul coasted for much of the last minute before halfway knocking Breeden’s mouthpiece out in the final second of the round to seemingly win the first period, 10-9.
Jubli came out and attempted an immediate single leg to start round two but Breeden limp-legged out. Right after that he caught Mike with a right hand that sent the American reeling backwards while shelling up. Anshul came forward with an onslaught but Breeden survived the initial blows and somewhat recovered. Still, he was put on the back foot and the cut on his eyebrow that he entered the fight with was re-opened.
Jubli landed some big right hands after that too, but they did not affect Breeden like the one to start the round. Mike had some good shots of his own too as Jubli’s tall-man defense was porous, but none of them fazed the Indian. However, Jubli did begin to slow his pace and look somewhat tired; he was also forced onto the back foot for the last two minutes of the round as Breeden began to look like the stronger fighter despite likely being down two rounds to none even after his success late in the round.
The final round began with a good knee from Jubli but Breeden was the ascendant fighter, pressing forward with reckless abandon. Mike began to taunt as he walked forwards with his hands down, barking like a dog at times. Jubli mostly shelled up behind his high guard and used lateral movement to avoid exchanges. Breeden had trouble cornering Anshul when Jubli moved, but when he stood still Breeden came forward and landed good shots. Jubli had some good counters, but his volume was so low that Breeden had an easy time cruising in the round, despite having trouble putting many strikes together in quick succession. Still, he was able to get the finish when a right hand crashed through the guard of Jubli and sent him to his knees. He reached out for a single leg but Mark Goddard had seen enough and stepped in to stop the fight, giving Mike Breeden his first win in the UFC.
Official Result: Mike Breeden def. Anshul Jubli by TKO (punches), Round 3, 3:00