2 fighters that stood out at UFC Vegas 88, 1 who failed to deliver

The UFC Vegas 88 fight card included four fighters who earned performance bonuses, but there were also some duds.

UFC Fight Night: Levy v Davis
UFC Fight Night: Levy v Davis / Handout/GettyImages
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WORST: Kennedy Nzechukwu failed to deliver at UFC Vegas 88

As pessimistic as it sounds, there are several candidates for the biggest letdown of UFC Vegas 88. However, one fighter stands out from the rest.

Without argument, Kennedy Nzechukwu was a massive disappointment on March 16 as the biggest favorite on the card by a large margin. Even with lightweight veteran Thiago Moises taking on a regional-level fighter on short notice, Nzechukwu was a much bigger betting favorite at near -1000 at closing. But with the high bar set for his expectations at UFC Vegas 88, Nzechukwu not only failed to deliver but could not pick up a win against 40-year-old Ovince Saint Preux.

Though Saint Preux is a long-time veteran of the division, Nzechukwu was widely expected to pick up a knockout win in what seemed to be a tune-up matchup on paper. Nzechukwu was coming off a loss, a first-round knockout at that, but against the then-no. 14 ranked Dustin Jacoby after winning three straight by finish.

Saint Preux was considered a sizeable step down in competition for a fighter who just competed for a top 15 ranking, having lost three of his last four including his last outing a first-round knockout loss in just 49 seconds. His lone win in that time frame was a split decision nod over 41-year-old Mauricio "Shogun" Rua.

Giving his coach Sayif Saud fits in his corner, Nzechukwu took a surprisingly cautious approach through two rounds with the scorecards up in the air. In round three, Nzechukwu would get caught with a lead uppercut from Saint Preux that would drop him and give Saint Preux the win from two of the three judges.


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