Worthy makes unlikely UFC debut on four day notice with first round KO at 241
Dana White’s Contender Series product Devonte Smith (10-1, 2-0 UFC) is on a six fight win streak overall as he was scheduled to face John Makdessi (16-6) in Anaheim at UFC 241. It was reported on July 30 that Makdessi had pulled out of the fight for undisclosed reasons. Reviewing Makdessi’s record it becomes apparent that this wasn’t an unfortunate circumstance, but an obvious pattern of cancelled bouts. Earlier this year in March he pulled out of a bout against Nasrat Haqparast and previous matches with Diego Farreira and Sage Northcutt.
Finally the UFC settled upon veteran Clay Collard (18-8) to fill in as short notice replacement, but during fight week he was forced to pull out due an undisclosed medical condition as well. The UFC was determined to keep Smith on the card, as they always make a point to showcase their developing prospects on big cards. Confident in their own developmental products, they set their careers up for exposure early by having them share their ‘holy shit’ moments on pay-per-view and shine right next to the sport’s biggest names. This serendipitous circumstance provided an opportunity for an unlikely UFC career to take off in Khama Worthy (14-6) who agreed to the main card bout with four days to prepare.
A former training partner of Devonte Smith, Worthy is building on his own five fight win streak as he aims to introduce himself to the world, kicking off the main card of Daniel Cormier vs Stipe Miocic 2. It’s a Hollywood beginning to his UFC career, and who could ask for much more, getting your big shot at the biggest of shows. Jason Herzog is the official for this Lightweight bout.
Worthy keeps his hands up for a very high guard as he launches front kicks. Smith does well to stick and move, as both fighters feel out their openings. As the striking finally opens up the momentum is stifled with an eye poke from Smith. No time was taken from Worthy as he quickly shakes off the squints.
Worthy’s timing is excellent as Smith finds himself vulnerable to the counter. Smith keeps his hands slightly lower than Worthy, as worthy is always striking with his hands coming from his cheeks. Smith attempts to step in with a right hook and a perfectly timed counter from Worthy drops Smith into the canvas. With blood in the water, Worthy finishes with brief ground and pound as Jason Herzog was already well on his way in for the first round stoppage. Worthy earns the TKO stoppage against his former training partner on only four day notice. Worthy’s short term gamble will surely pay off with a long term contract.