Steve Kennedy’s UFC debut didn’t go to plan today, submitting to a rear-naked choke from German native Peter Sobotta in the opening frame at UFC Fight Night Berlin: Jedrzejczyk vs Penne.
Going into his promotional debut, the deck was stacked against the Perth based welterweight, who accepted the short-notice bout on less than two weeks notice for what was a main card encounter with the hometown favorite.
Kennedy (22-7 MMA, 0-1 UFC) was caught early with a right hook to the chin before getting taken the ground. The Aussie did well to sweep Sobotta (15-4-1 MMA, 2-3 UFC) and look for a double-leg takedown, however was turned and forced back down to the ground. From there, the German moved to Kennedy’s back before sinking in the rear-naked choke. Kennedy did well to defend it at first but was soon forced to tap out. The end came for the Aussie at 2:57.
With the loss, ‘The Steamrolla’s’ seven-fight win streak comes to a sudden end, and loses for the first time since falling to Jesse Taylor by rear-naked choke way back in 2012 at Bragging Rights 4. Sobotta extends his unbeaten run to seven with the result, with six of those victories now coming via first-round rear-naked choke submissions.
UFC Fight Night Berlin took place at the O2 World Arena in Berlin, Germany, and was headlined by a women’s strawweight title fight between reigning champion Joanna Jedrzejczyk and title challenger Jessica Penne. The main event saw Jedrzejczyk dominate Penne on the feet to defend the title for the first time with a TKO in the third round.