It has been a fruitless morning for Brisbane fighters at UFC 221 in Perth, with both flyweight Ben Nguyen and featherweight Damien Brown losing their fights.
It was a particularly bad morning for Nguyen, who was choked unconscious in the third round by Brazillian jiu jitsu ace Jussier Formiga.
In a back-and-forth affair, Formiga likely won the first two rounds, landing a takedown in each round and spending almost a full two minutes in full mount in the first round.
In the third round Nguyen started to have some success on the feet, landing a couple of good shots including a sharp uppercut.
Nguyen sent up a left high kick and at the same time Formiga spun, landing a massive spinning backfist that dropped the Queensland fighter.
Formiga, one of the best Brazilian Jiu Jitsu players in the UFC, instantly jumped on his back and began landing heavy punches before locking in a rear-naked choke.
Nguyen attempted to defend the choke, but was put to sleep by Formiga’s powerful squeeze one minute and 43 seconds into the third round.
Formiga improved his record to 20-5 and the 32-year-old, ranked fourth in the division, is now knocking on the door of a title shot.
He had said prior to the fight that the result largely depended on what version of his opponent, Dong Hyun Kim, showed up.
Instead, it seemed like a different version of Brown showed up, at least for the first two rounds.
Brown was unable to close the distance and unleash his trademark flurries, allowing Kim to pick him apart with a sharp jab and leg kicks.
He was able to get shots off in the third but was largely swinging at air as Kim remained elusive.
Remarkably, despite many commentators thinking he had lost all three rounds, Brown lost a split decision, with one judge awarding him the fight 28-29, while two judges gave the fight to Kim, 29-28.
Brown has now lost three in a row at lightweight and his future with the UFC is far from secure.