After a back-and-forth striking fight for seven minutes, Lainesse (7-0) got the TKO of Cutts (12-5) at the 2:17 mark of Round 1 in the CFFC 98 headliner courtesy of a plethora of body shots.
Referee Gasper Oliver stopped the fight before Cutts dropped to the ground or folded due to the body shots, which caused the now ex-champion to protest in the immediate aftermath.
Nevertheless, Lainesse was awarded the belt to take back home to Canada after the main event bout, which took place at 2300 Arena in Philadelphia and streamed on UFC Fight Pass.
Lainesse started the fight with an incredibly high striking output coming from both the hands and feet. Cutts stayed out on the outside and picked his counter shots to damage the face of his opponent. Lainesse began to bleed around the left eye late in the round, and it was revealed post-fight that he’d sustained that cut initially in training camp.
It wasn’t a huge worry for Lainesse apparently, though, because in the second round he came out on fire. He hurt Cutts with a big uppercut after minutes of striking exchanges, and put him in major trouble. Cutts retreated toward the cage while covering his head, so Lainesse teed off to the body.
As Lainesse backed up against the cage, the referee decided he’d seen enough and waved it off.
“I feel amazing,” Lainesse said in his post-fight interview with CM Punk. “The first time in my career I was scared in the locker room. I feel a lot of fear, a lot of stress. A lot of things happened in my life in the last two or three months, but I’m always pushing and I pus myself, my body and my mind. I never stop dreaming, I never stop working and believing.
Renfro puts out Lilly in 69 seconds
A jab started the final sequence, then Renfro quickly finished the job at the 1:39 mark of Round 1.
Check out the finish (via Twitter):
After the win, a jubilant and confident Renfro, 24, sent a message about his aspirations in MMA.
“UFC, what’s up baby? I’m the future of the sport right here,” Renfro said. “The future of combat sports right here, right now. …. UFC be coming soon. We taking over. You already know.”
Complete CFFC 98 results included:
Yohan Lainesse def. Evan Cutts via TKO (punches) – Round 2, 2:17
Solomon Renfro def. Lee Henry Lilly via knockout (punches) – Round 1, 1:39