Brad Riddell defeats Jamie Mullarkey in early Fight of the Night contender at UFC 243

When Brad Riddell was signed for the UFC, Mullarkey wasted no time in calling the accomplished striker out, wanting to lay claim to his piece of the lightweight division. Both made their debuts earlier today at UFC 243 in Melbourne and Riddell took home a dominant decision against a tough Jamie Mullarkey in what is an early Fight of the Night contender.

Riddell’s striking was on point early, landing pin-point combinations and heavy leg kicks. Mid-way through the round, Mullarkey went for the takedown which was defended by Riddell. The two clinched against the cage. When the gap appeared, Riddell escaped back to the centre of the Octagon. A left hand from Mullarkey opened up a cut over Riddell’s left eye but the City Kickboxing trained fighter finished strong, landing combinations late in the round that got the Australian’s attention.

Mullarkey had more success with a takedown in the second round, timing a perfect takedown but the 25-year-old could not keep Riddell on the ground. Mullarkey again got the fight to the ground, catching one of Riddell’s kicks. The fight remained on the ground momentarily before Riddell powered his way out. The cut on Riddell’s face was starting open up as blood spattered on the canvas. Riddell countered Mullarkey’s takedown and ended up taking the back where he tried to lock up the choke. Ross Pearson trained Mullarkey escaped and ended up inside the guard of his opponent as the round ended.

A nice level change from Riddell allowed the decorated striker to put his opponent on the ground. The 28-year-old landed some ground-and-pound before allowing Mullarkey to stand back to his feet. Riddell upped the tempo, landing some heavy strikes that staggered Mullarkey. Twenty-five-year-old Mullarkey shocked the crowd as he landed a crisp left that wobbled Riddell. Mullarkey shot in for the takedown where he secured Riddell’s back but was unable to lock up the choke. Riddell started to unload on Mullarkey who was doing just enough to not have the referee stop the contest.

The decision came in dominant in Riddell’s favour with judges scoring it 29-27. 30-26 and 30-26.

“Thank you, Melbourne. This is the best debut I could have had. Best crowd I could have been in front of,” Riddell told the crowd in his post-fight speech.

“He is [Mullarkey] pretty tough. He has a lot of MMA experience. It definitely wasn’t my best performance. I look forward to a quick turn around and fighting again soon.”

Riddell moves his pro record to 7-1 while Mullarkey drops to 12-3.

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Started Martial Arts training after watching Mr Miyagi and Daniel-son in Karate Kid back in 1987. By the time MMA arrived many years later, I was hooked. Coverage of local MMA was via scarce posts on forums like the Underground and Sherdog. I embarked on covering the sport in 2002 and since then have written thousands of articles for both print and online media, before branching out and starting Fight News Australia in 2010. Outside the site, I dream of riding in an F1 car.