UFC on Fuel TV 2: Where Does Siyar Bahadurzada's UFC Debut Rank
It's hard to debut more impressively than Siyar Bahadurzada did Saturday night, scoring a 0:42 knockout over tough-as-nails Paulo Thiago.
Why, that's the most impressive a newcomer has looked since, well, Paulo Thiago.
There are several threads linking the promotional debuts of Bahadurzada and Thiago together. Both guys arrived in the UFC with prospect status, but little fanfare. Both guys were in their late 20s. Both guys were given a difficult opponent in their first match. Both won by first round knockout.
But that is not to say that Bahadurzada and Thiago are the only fighters to have debuted in the UFC with quick finishes. Charles Oliveira for instance, debuted with a 0:41 second submission win over Darren Elkins, besting Bahadurzada's finishing time by a mere second.
Anthony Johnson debuted by turning out the lights on Chad Reiner in only 13 seconds, making the pace set by Oliveira seem leisurely.
Certainly, Bahadurzada's debut is not one of a kind, nor is it the only parallel the debut of the opponent he stopped. However, its connection to Thiago's first fight under the UFC banner is without a doubt the most useful precedent in situating the newcomer's performance in the grand scheme of things.
After all, Paulo Thiago is not Darren Elkins, and he is certainly not Chad Reiner.
What really sets Bahadurzada's win apart from the many other quick starters the UFC has seen come through its doors, is that Thiago is not a guy that gets finished. In fact, he had never been stopped prior to Saturday night, and he has fought some impressive strikers before.
Thiago had battled Mike Swick, Josh Koscheck and Martin Kampmann and stayed conscious throughout.
When you consider the short cross that Bahadurzada clipped him with, it really speaks volumes about the power of "The Great."
The cross Bahadurzada threw looked like it had less on it than the uppercut Thiago stopped Koscheck with.
Trying to perfectly situate Bahadurzada's debut is a subjective and ultimately impossible task, but suffice it to say, he impressed.
When Thiago finished Koscheck, the MMA world was abuzz over the new Brazilian that knocked out a top fighter who had previously worn the distinction of having never been knocked out.
It seems Thiago, the man who surprised us all at one point, has brought us full circle. The only real difference this time around is that the hot new thing is not from Brazil, but Afghanistan.
But, you get the point.
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