UFC 244: 'Motown Phenom' Kevin Lee produces knockout of the year contender to finish Gregor Gillespie (VIDEO)
Lee and Gillespie both have solid collegiate wrestling backgrounds, but it was the undefeated Gillespie who many believed had the advantage on the ground. And Lee started out looking like a man keen to keep the fight standing as he deployed a low stance to defend potential takedowns.
It meant both men ended up standing and striking with each other, as they traded solid jabs and boxing combinations through the opening two minutes.
But it was Lee who made the big breakthrough with one of the most spectacular finishes of the year as he connected with a solid right hand, then a huge left high kick that connected flush to Gillespie's chin, knocking him out instantly.
It drew huge gasps from the Madison Square Garden crowd as Lee scored the 18th win of his MMA career in the most spectacular way possible.
"It feels great to get back into the win column," said Lee after his stunning win.
"Coming off two losses, it eats at you some days, so it’s been a lot. It’s been a lot to get to this point, years and years just to get to that kick. It feels f***ing good.
"I think that’s the cleanest knockout of my career. I think it’s something that he wasn’t expecting and that a lot of guys down at 155 weren’t expecting. I’m coming with a whole different type of power that these guys ain’t seen me throw before. I haven’t even shown half of my game yet. I’ve got a lot of fights in the UFC, but I seriously feel like I’m just starting.
"I was saying even before this fight, regardless of how it went, I feel that going up to Tristar (Gym in Montreal) made me a better fighter. It made me more focused, I’ve always had the talent and the skills, but it’s been hard for me to put everything together, and now I feel like I’ve found the perfect place and the perfect guide to do that. 155 is the place for me from here on out, I got a title to get. I started my career here, and this is where I’m going to shine."Also on rt.com UFC 244: Rising middleweight star Edmen Shahbazyan STUNS Brad Tavares with spectacular head-kick KO (VIDEO)