Rising lightweight Gregor Gillespie put the 155-pound division on notice on Friday in the UFC Fight Night 131 co-main event. "The Gift" remained unbeaten by defeating Vinc Pichel by submission in the second round.
The former NCAA Division 1 All-American wrestler and 2007 national champion relentlessly pressured Pichel. He secured an early takedown in the opening round but Pichel wasn't easy to keep grounded. Gillespie took Pichel down three times in the first round. He mounted Pichel at one point but Pichel scrambled back to his feet only to be taken down again.
In the second frame, Gillespie stuck to what he does best and put Pichel on his back. He advanced to the mount position but this time Pichel couldn't get back standing. Gillespie applied an arm-triangle choke and tightened it down until Pichel was forced to tap out. It was the first time in Pichel's nine-year career that he was finished by a submission.
"Vinc was a really tough opponent. He was harder to take down than I thought. He was very, very tough off the bottom. He's one of the few guys - I'm actually I'm not sure. There's maybe one other guy that's gotten off the bottom with me. A lot of credit to him for that," said Gillespie of Pichel following the fight.
"I was saying to my coach when I jumped on the fence at the end, 'that's what persistence is about.' I try to tell the guys that I help out that persistence is everything. You miss one; fine. You miss five, you miss ten, whatever. You get the nineteenth one and then you end up in the position that you want to be in. It's all about staying active and persistent," said Gillespie after the win. "Like water to a rock, water will go through that rock eventually."
With the win, Gillespie extended his unbeaten streak to twelve consecutive fights. He's knocking on the door of the top 15 rankings but didn't call out anyone after the fight.
"We'll get back in the gym and we'll figure out where to go from there."