PFL 2 2022: Brendan Loughnane Gets by Ryoji Kudo, Accidental Headbutt Leads to Technical Decision

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Brendan Loughnane, PFL 2Brendan Loughnane, PFL 2 astatine the Esports Stadium Arlington successful Arlington, Texas, Thursday, April 28, 2022. (Cooper Neill / PFL)

Brendan Loughnane’s 2021 PFL play was chopped abbreviated erstwhile helium ran into eventual champ Movlid Khaybulaev. With the Dagestani combatant retired for the 2022 tourney owed to injury, however, the featherweight part was wide unfastened — and Loughnane kicked disconnected his twelvemonth astatine PFL 2 other Ryoji Kudo connected Thursday.

It was a rocky commencement successful the aboriginal going, with the lesser-known Kudo proving helium was nary pushover.

Not precisely good known to the casual MMA audience, Kudo showed immoderate coagulated assortment successful his kicks, attacking the extracurricular limb of Loughnane 1 moment, past going upstairs with the aforesaid limb a infinitesimal later. Loughnane fired a fig of debased kicks of his own, but helium was caught and dropped by a Kudo close manus astir 2 minutes in! Kudo instantly went aft the finish, getting connected apical and dropping crushed n’ lb from wrong Loughnane’s guard. The British combatant would recover, escaping backmost to his feet; he’d onshore a spinning backmost footwear moments later, but Kudo would occurrence different crisp close hand, the aforesaid onslaught that dropped Loughnane earlier successful the round.

Ryoji Kudo DROPS Brendan aboriginal successful the 1st round!#2022PFL2 LIVE connected ESPN2 & ESPN+

— PFL (@PFLMMA) April 29, 2022

While Loughnane survived the round, determination was nary question arsenic to who had won it.

Loughnane made a play for a takedown aboriginal successful the 2nd round, but Kudo easy fought that off. A stiff jab by Loughnane would connect, but Kudo was firing combinations to Loughnane’s azygous strikes. Another effort by Loughnane to clinch up by the obstruction and find a takedown failed. Loughnane was connected his bicycle aboriginal successful the round, staying retired of scope portion Ryoji Kudo chased his opponent. Another clinch by Loughnane led to immoderate knees landing, but Loughnane could not get the combat down. Instead, Kudo connected with different close manus disconnected the break.

The deficiency of striking from Brendan Loughnane done 2 rounds was puzzling to accidental the least. Heading into the third, helium rather perchance successful request of a finish, though the 2nd framework had been reasonably close. Kudo, a ONE Warriors Series and Shooto veteran, meanwhile, was proving to beryllium a precise crippled opponent.

Kudo took a large plaything and missed to unfastened the last round. This time, it was the Japanese combatant looking for a takedown, but Loughnane stuffed the effort with ease. Next, Loughnane changed levels, past did a spot of concatenation wrestling, going from a double-leg effort to a assemblage lock, past staying connected Kudo arsenic they went to the fence. Kudo concisely went down, was rapidly backmost to his feet, but Loughnane stayed connected him — wherever was that Brendan Loughnane done the opening 2 rounds? Kudo would interruption free, but backmost astatine center, Loughnane ducked nether a punch and landed another, ever-so-brief takedown. Again, Loughnane stayed connected his opponent, keeping a assemblage fastener successful spot until Kudo yet turned and got his backmost connected the fence.

An accidental clash of heads past opened up a chopped connected Kudo, which brought successful the doctor. With the humor flowing freely, the bout was waved off, sending it to the judges. With the 3rd circular successful his backmost pouch and Kudo intelligibly winning the first, it came down to circular 2 — and the judges saw it for Loughnane.

Official Result: Brendan Loughnane def. Ryoji Kudo by method determination (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)