Oh Drew. Drew Drew Drew Drew.
Unlike most head-on collisions, said Albuquerque cagefighter Freddy Sandoval Jr., this one was no accident. Sandoval pulled off a major mixed-martial-arts coup Saturday night at Santa Ana Star Casino, stopping former UFC fighter Drew Fickett via first-round TKO with a devastating knee to the head. No, make that a knee to the face.
Fickett, a Tucson veteran of 46 cagefights, lunged for an attempted takedown. At the same instant, Sandoval came up with his knee. The UFC veteran crumpled to the ground, the Albuquerquean pounced, and it was all over in 28 seconds.
So simultaneous were the two actions, Fickett’s takedown attempt and Sandoval’s blow with the knee, that it almost looked like an accident – two cars accelerating towards each other at the same time, each driver not knowing what the other had in mind. Not so, Sandoval said after the biggest victory of his MMA career.
“I knew he was gonna shoot on me,” the Albuquerque fighter said. “I was actually setting him up for a head kick, and then he dropped, so I switched the head kick to a knee. He walked right into it, just like I expected.”
For Fickett, it was a night (and an early morning) of the unexpected. After the stoppage, the Arizona fighter remained on the ground for several minutes. He was examined in the ring, then fitted for a neck brace and transported out of the casino’s Bosque Event Center on a stretcher.
This wraps up a run that has seen Drew lose eight of his last 10 fights, with this loss being the fifth in a row. I’m starting to worry that the heroic comeback I was waiting for isn’t going to be happening.
(hat tip to Jordan Breen for the tweet)