Josh Culibao finally got into the win column in the Ultimate Fighting Championship, notching a unanimous decision win (29-28×3) over China’s Sha Yilan, Sunday morning (Manila time) at the Apex Center in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Culibao, who was coming off a controversial split draw against Charles Jourdain back in October, was able to get his bearings going in the second round by connecting on stinging jabs and leg kicks to negate the grappling of Sha. The Fil-Aussie closed the round by scoring a takedown.
Again Culibao kept his distance to start the final round. Though Sha tried to be the aggressor, a beautiful right hand by Culibao stunned him. Culibao sprawled Sha’s takedown attempts while a ninja choke attempt to close out the round sealed the deal for the Igor MMA standout.
“I would have liked to get the finish, but I feel like it was a pretty clinical performance,” said Culibao.
“I was able to still look pretty, didn’t get hit too much…It’s a good feeling to finally get that W.”
Culibao rose to 1-1-1 in the UFC, 9-1-1 overall. Sha, who was making his UFC debut, dropped to 19-7.
Culibao called out fellow young gun Chase Hooper after the bout.
“I would like to fight two more times this year at least. September would be good and November would be good too,” said the Sydney-based fighter.
“The guy I would like to fight would be Chase Hooper. I’ve been calling that fight so Chase Hooper, stop ducking me, boy!”