Built up as one of the biggest pay-per-views of 2022 thus far, UFC 275 looked like a strong event on paper and delivered the goods in execution.
Not only did UFC 275 treat us to a stone-cold classic title bout in its headliner, but it was also filled with explosive moments up and down the card.
In fact, the quality of some of the fights we saw last night is likely to mean that they’ll end up amongst the most memorable of the year, a big achievement given how good 2022 has been thus far.
Here are the five most explosive moments from UFC 275: Glover Teixeira vs. Jiri Prochazka.
#5. Jake Matthews produces his best UFC performance to deal with Andre Fialho
Prior to last night’s event, the last time we saw Jake Matthews in the octagon was in March 2021. The Australian lost to Sean Brady in that fight in a largely one-sided affair, snapping a three-fight win streak. It seemed to confirm something that fans had feared for a while. Namely, that ‘The Celtic Kid’ would never quite reach his potential.
At UFC 275, though, Matthews returned to take on the streaking Andre Fialho, who delivered two brutal knockouts in the space of a few weeks in 2022. If anything, this fight looked set up for the Portuguese to pick up a big win over a more experienced veteran.
Instead, though, it was Matthews who surprised everyone by looking better than he’d ever done before, particularly on the feet.
He took the fight to Fialho in the first round with a much improved boxing game, and while he did get tagged in the final seconds of the stanza, it didn’t take him long to get back to business in the second.
‘The Celtic Kid’ hit the Portuguese with a perfectly-timed left hook and then continued to pour it on, catching Fialho with a series of clean punches while never getting overly wild in an attempt to finish. Finally, he backed the Portuguese into the fence, and dropped him with a big combination for the stoppage.
This was an explosive performance from Matthews and it should put him back on the map, particularly given how dangerous Fialho has looked previously. Given he’s still only 27 years old, with this kind of improvement he could well be a fighter to keep an eye on again.
#4. Hayisaer Maheshate debuts in the UFC with a real bang
The first Chinese fighter to graduate from Dana White’s Contender Series, lightweight Hayisaer Maheshate came into his fight with Steve Garcia on the back of six straight wins, but on such a packed card, his UFC debut was largely flying under the radar.
After his explosive finish last night, though, it’s unlikely that Maheshate will be under the radar for much longer at all.
He needed just over a minute to take out Garcia in brutal fashion, and it came as no surprise to see him handed a $50k bonus for his efforts.
Early on, it looked like Garcia might have been on his way to a win when he landed a shot that hurt the Chinese fighter – but Maheshate quickly turned the tables by dropping his opponent with a counter.
Garcia was able to get to his feet, but from there, he got far too wild in his attempt to hurt his opponent – and ended up literally walking into a short, brutal right hand that folded him, sending him crashing to the ground face-first and unconscious.
This was a truly excellent UFC debut for the Chinese fighter, and based on the power he displayed in his hands here, he’ll be well worth watching closely going forward.
#3. Jack Della Maddalena makes it 2-0 with an excellent stoppage of Ramazan Emeev
UFC 275’s main card opener saw Australian welterweight prospect Jack Della Maddalena take on Russian veteran Ramazan Emeev, and coming in, the hope seemed to be that Maddalena would deliver a big knockout similar to the one he produced in his octagon debut.
However, while the Australian pulled it off, it didn’t come without a tricky fight beforehand. Emeev was able to take Maddalena down in the early going, and when he looked to have locked up a tight anaconda choke, the fight looked all but over.
It seemed only a matter of time before Maddalena tapped out, but incredibly, he managed to rip his neck free of the danger and escape back to his feet.
From there, Emeev looked tired – and Maddalena capitalised with a series of brutal punches in combinations that dropped the Russian, before pouncing to finish him off on the canvas.
This was an excellent showing from Maddalena, who demonstrated toughness, heart and excellent submission defense, as well as his usual explosive power. He’s a prospect to watch going forward, for sure.
#2. Glover Teixeira and Jiri Prochazka treat the crowd to a classic war
UFC 275’s light heavyweight title headliner between Glover Teixeira and Jiri Prochazka always sounded like a potentially great fight on paper thanks to the aggression and finishing skills of both men. To say they didn’t disappoint would be an understatement.
In the end, these two fighters put on an all-time classic war, and while Prochazka ended up coming out on top – claiming UFC gold in the process – there’s every chance that the promotion might look to sign an instant rematch given how good the fight was.
Literally from the opening round, the two light-heavyweights went back-and-forth, with both men landing some huge shots both on the feet and on the ground.
While many fans expected Teixeira to have a big advantage on the ground, Prochazka quickly proved that he could also thrive down there, while in contrast, the Brazilian also showed that he could hurt ‘Denisa’ with his power punches on the feet.
By the end of the fourth round, it felt like either man could still find a way to win if they could push hard enough. In the end, it was Prochazka who seemed to have a little more in the tank – and that allowed him to latch onto a surprising rear-naked choke to coax a tap from the champion.
Overall, there was more explosive action in this fight than any title fight in recent memory, and both men were deservedly handed a $50k bonus for the Fight of the Night award.
#1. Weili Zhang ends Joanna Jedrzejczyk’s UFC run with a violent knockout
While the fight wasn’t as good as their original meeting – and to be fair, it was never likely to be – the most explosive moment of UFC 275 came in the rematch between Weili Zhang and Joanna Jedrzejczyk.
Where their first bout saw both women take a ludicrous amount of damage across five rounds, with neither being able to find the killer blow, that wasn’t the case here.
This time, Zhang – who looked one step ahead of the former champion throughout – caught Jedrzejczyk in the second round with a perfect spinning backfist, sending her face-first to the canvas and switching her lights off in an instant.
The shot basically came out of nowhere, and will undoubtedly be remembered as one of 2022’s best finishes when all is said and done – particularly as after the fight, Jedrzejczyk decided to announce her retirement from MMA.
Will this explosive finish propel Zhang back towards the UFC strawweight title? It definitely seems possible. Dana White already stated that the winner of this bout would face champion Carla Esparza next – and ‘Magnum’ appears to match up well with ‘The Cookie Monster’.
Overall, though, this was not only the best finish of her octagon career thus far, it was easily the most explosive moment of last night’s show, too.