Former Eternal strawweight champion ‘King’ Casey O’Neill impressed in her UFC debut earlier today, stopping her much more experienced opponent Shana Dobson in the second round.
The bout was part of the preliminary portion of the UFC Fight Night: Blaydes vs Lewis card which took place at the UFC APEX in Las Vegas, USA.
O’Neill didn’t exactly start slowly but it took a round for the 23-year-old to well and truly get the UFC nerves out of her system and didn’t look back as she took down her American opponent and secured the ground-and-pound stoppage.
‘I feel good. You can’t hope for anything more than a finish in your UFC debut. I definitely got off to a slow start so I was a little bit worried in that first round but then in between rounds, I was like “Nah, same job, different uniform”, just get the nerves out of the way and go for it.’
O’Neill did just that, not wasting much time to getting the fight to the ground where the Scottish-born fighter dominated. O’Neill stayed heavy on top, took the back before transitioned to mount, and then repeated by going to back and ending up in mount where the strikes started to take their toll on Dobson who had nowhere to move.
The referee halted the fight, 3:41 into the second round.
‘I knew that stand-up we were going to be pretty even and that my ground was going to be superior so we knew that the easiest way to get the win would be to take her down and finish her there.
‘Once I got that first one, in the first round, I knew – I could feel her hips on the ground weren’t as strong as mine so second round Eddie (O’Neill corner person) was like, “go to the ground and finish her there”.
First day on the job ✅— Casey Oneill (@kingcaseymma) February 21, 2021
Seriously overwhelmed with it all currently, I see all the messages and support ! Big post to come but for now I’ll enjoy the best night of my life 🏴🇦🇺👑 pic.twitter.com/1L6W3f9YeO
According to the UFC stats, O’Neill landed 31 of her 49 significant strikes on the ground, compared to Dobson’s 16 total significant strikes. Having trained at local gyms on the Gold Coast as well as Tiger Muay Thai, O’Neill last year relocated from the Gold Coast to Las Vegas where she currently trains out Extreme Couture.
O’Neill proved that she was well and truly ready to mix it in the UFC and with the win moved her pro record to an unblemished 6-0.
Wow. Casey O’Neill finishes Shana Dobson via second-round TKO. Great win by the prospect. #UFCVegas19— Adam Martin (@MMAdamMartin) February 20, 2021
Solid win for Casey O’Neill. Did a good job controlling from top and was relentless.— Aaron Bronsteter (@aaronbronsteter) February 20, 2021
Great new blood in the division— Belal Muhammad (@bullyb170) February 20, 2021
Like I said several times in the past 48 hours, Casey O’Neill is an animal. That was some debut by the 23-year-old. #UFCVegas19— Mike Heck (@MikeHeck_JR) February 20, 2021