LAS VEGAS—Alberta welterweight Sheldon Westcott overwhelmed Edgar Garcia on Saturday night, winning by first-round TKO on the UFC 195 undercard.
The 31-year-old from St. Albert grabbed hold of Garcia early, taking him to the ground 45 seconds into the fight. He then worked his way into back mount position and swung away, throwing 50-plus unanswered punches until referee Chris Tognoni finally stepped in at three minutes 12 seconds.
FightMetric had the Canadian connecting on 60 of 115 strikes including 33 significant strikes. Garcia landed just one strike.
“That felt amazing,” Westcott said afterwards. “My whole family and the rest of my team that wasn’t cornering me tonight were here watching.”
“Everyone knows I have a fast start style and I have eight finishes inside of the first couple minutes. I don’t want to say this is what I expected because I’ve had a couple poor performances recently but I was hoping I’d find my new self out there.”
In winning the opening bout on the card at the MGM Grand Garden Arena, Westcott (10-3-1) posted the UFC’s first victory of 2016.
It was also the first UFC win for Westcott, a finalist on “The Ultimate Fighter Nations” reality TV show. He celebrated by jumping atop and then standing on the Octagon fence.
He lost a unanimous 29-28 decision to Poland’s Pawel Pawlak on April 11 in Krakow, Poland.
Welterweight champion (Ruthless) Robbie Lawler defended his 170-pound title against Carlos (The Natural Born Killer) Condit in the main event Saturday.
Westcott and Garcia (14-5-0) were originally slated to meet Dec. 10 on a televised Fight Night card in Las Vegas but the bout was pushed back to January when highly touted newcomer (Super) Sage Northcutt was added to the December lineup.
Westcott prepared for Garcia in Albuquerque, N.M., with renowned trainer Greg Jackson.
“The guys at Jackson’s really made me feel like a part of the family and I learned a lot,” he said. “Their way of doing things was very opposite what I had been doing before so it was a huge shake-up in my comfort level. I think that’s very important in this game and I’m glad to be evolving and getting better.”
Garcia was left wondering what had gone wrong,
“I’m surprised he took me down and I wasn’t able to get back to my feet,” said the Mexican-born American-based fighter. “In training we practised a bunch of different ways to get back up if I got taken down. Sheldon got me in a position that I just couldn’t get back up. Congratulations to him, he was the better fighter tonight.”