October 29, 2011
LAS VEGAS - Hands be damned. Bart Palaszewski thought he may have broken his hands, but when he had the chance to pound out Tyson Griffin, he went for broke.
Palaszewski scored a vicious knockout of Griffin at the 2:45 mark of the first round at the Mandalay Bay Events Center. The former WEC fighter was a plus-260 underdog.
"It was an emotional fight for me. It took 10 years to get here and it was a long road. Now that I'm here, I'm here to stay. My strength hasn't gone done, but my speed has gone up. I saw him stumble and I saw my opportunity so I took a deep breath and went after him," said Palaszewski.
Griffin is now 1-1 back down at featherweight. With a close loss to Sean Sherk at UFC 90 back in 2008, the 27-year-old climbed near the top of the mountain at lightweight. Since then, his career has been derailed by weight issues, injuries and bad knockouts. Tonight, he experienced another low.
Griffin and Palaszewski circled for the first few minutes. Palaszewski was effective with the jab and a few front kicks. Griffin tried to counter with the overhand right.
With 2:30 left, Palaszewski (36-14) landed a left hook that changed the fight and backed it up with another left that sent Griffin bouncing to his knees. A shaken Griffin jumped up and Palaszewski hopped on him. He unloaded 18 straight punches. Several right hands softened him up before another right got Griffin to drop his hands. Palaszewski landed a three-punch combo that included two hard lefts. Griffin went down and was out of it.
Griffin (15-6, 8-6 UFC) has now lost 4-of-5. He returned to featherweight in June with a fight at UFC on Versus 5. He won a decision that night against Manny Gamburyan.
For this one, he didn't do himself any favors by missing weight by four pounds yesterday. He was fined 25 percent of his purse.
The Palaszewski knockout is the only candidate right now for the Knockout of the Night bonus. At most of the previous UFC pay-per-views, the awards have been $75,000. This was Palaszewski's first win in the UFC. Fighting for the WEC, Zuffa's smaller promotion, he posted a 4-3 record.
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