LAS VEGAS — American (Gifted) Gabe Green survived an early onslaught to stop Yohan (White Lion) Lainesse in the second round Saturday on a UFC Fight Night undercard, handling the Montreal welterweight his first loss in his UFC debut.
Lainesse earned his UFC contract in November on Dana White's Contender Series by stopping previously unbeaten English fighter Justin Burlinson with a crushing left hook to the chin.
But Green (11-3-0) absorbed some big shots from Lainesse (8-1-0) before cutting him down with a string of body shots.
"That's a tough dude, don't get me wrong," said Green. "He hits like a truck too but I saw he wanted out so I gave him his reason to get out of here."
All three judges scored the first round for Lainesse.
Green, coming off a win over Philip (The Fresh Prince) Rowe in February at UFC 258, improved to 2-1-0 in the UFC. He has won eight of his last nine bouts.
Saturday's main event pitted American Rob Font, ranked fifth among bantamweight contenders, against No. 8 Marlon (Chita) Vera of Ecuador.
Veteran American featherweight Darren (The Damage) Elkins won a unanimous 30-27 decision over Canadian Tristan (Boondock) Connelly on the main card.
At six foot one, Lainesse had a three-inch advantage in height and reach. But the 29-year-old Quebecer was a slight underdog going into the bout.
Lainesse came out looking to land kicks but landed a big right two minutes into the bout. And he took Green down with two minutes left in the round. As Green got back up, Lainesse looked for a choke but gave it up quickly.
Green finished the round strongly with Lainesse breathing hard.
Green kept coming in the second round, only to walk into an overhand right from Lainesse that sent him to the canvas a minute into the round. Green survived the knockdown but looked wary of the Canadian's power. The fight went to the ground with Lainesse looking for a choke.
Green got back up and started to score with strikes, dropping Lainesse with a body shot. Green kept punching until refree Herb Dean stepped in with 48 seconds remaining in the round.
After posting a 5-0-0 record as an amateur, Lainesse had his first MMA pro bout in August 2018.
Wanting to secure a regional title before turning his attention to the UFC, Lainesse switched to the Cage Fury Fighting Championships and won its welterweight championship belt last July in Philadelphia by dethroning Evan (The Butcher) Cutts by second-round TKO in his last outing before the DWCS win.
It marked the first time Cutts had been stopped in 17 pro fights.
Connelly turned heads in his UFC debut in September 2019 when, on five days notice, he moved up two weight classes and beat highly-touted Brazilian welterweight Michel Perreira by unanimous decision.
Connelly lost to Pat Sabatini by decision next time out at UFC 261 in April 2021. And he had his hands full with Elkins (28-10-0).
Elkins, who has the most fights in UFC featherweight history at 24, scored early with some rights to the head before taking Connelly down and looking for an arm-triangle.
Connelly scored with some kicks in the second round but could not keep Elkins at bay.
Elkins finished with a 75-66 edge in significant strikes and converted five of 10 takedown attempts against Connelly.
"He definitely hit me with some solid shots. I felt them," said Elkins, whose face lived up to his nickname.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published April 20, 2022
The Canadian Press