Squeeze or Bite? How ‘The Tarantula’ ran through ‘The Doctor’ at UFC 266
UFC 266 was a night to remember for all.
In the span of just a few hours, the MMA community witnessed the return of Nick Diaz, a classic between Volkanovski and Ortega and a 15-second flattening. For these reasons, numerous performances have flown well under the radar.
Jalin Turner entered September 25 victorious in his last two, finishing both Josh Culibao and Brok Weaver in impressive fashion. Despite this, the 6 foot 3 inch lightweight hadn’t competed for almost a year and found himself headlining the early prelims portion of the pay-per-view card. Undoubtedly in his biggest exposure to date, Turner was eager to leave his print on spectators.
His opponent, Uros Medic, entered the contest undefeated with seven career wins, known for his heavy striking and ability to leather his foe with all eight limbs. Wild, tough and somewhat flashy, he was one many considered as a prospect. Within five minutes, Turner would shift the narrative.
Early in the fight, the feeling out process showed that neither man were willing to deviate from the gameplan. Medic circled around the cage feinting and attacking the lower leg in order to rip away the natural length advantage. Turner was attempting to find his timing and range, pressuring and cutting off the cage when necessary. Two calf kicks had him close the distance quick as he wasn’t content eating them; Medic clocked onto this.
Kicking was a smart tactic used by Uros to diffuse Turner’s attempt at pressuring and shifting into punching range, yet after attempting a head kick, he found himself facing the ceiling.
Turner controlled the opposition well succeeding his takedown, remaining heavy and offering little to no space for Medic to sweep or hatch an escape. When he did capitalize on an opening, “The Tarantula” continued controlling through a handcuff and clasping his hands together at the waist; Medic visibly struggled with this weighted pressure.
When he eventually found his footing again, the trouble in paradise continued. Uros went to his trusted companion, the low kick, however Turner had adapted well.
After feeling a kick to the calf, Jalin went to his snappy front kick in order to force the “The Doctor” to retreat. It did just that, drawing the guard down and leaving an obvious opening in the process. From here, Turner’s counter to the calf strike, a straight down the barrel, found home, pushing Medic as far back as he had been. Another front kick prompted him to cover up and receive a harsh thumping.
This kickstarted the beginning of the end for the formerly undefeated fighter, who, although landing a big counter when hurt, was unable to disperse his adversaries onslaught.
Turner exercises his lead hand beautifully in the clip above, dishing punishment all round with a body-head combination. He ruthlessly hunts for the finish by swarming Medic; note how when he collapses to the mat, Turner uses his right hand to hook Medic’s leg and place him in the sitting position; this enables the raining down of ground and pound.
What came after was the submission—a rear naked choke to officially end the encounter. Just like that, Jalin Turner had extended his win streak to three.
Improving with each walk to the cage, its safe to say that the future of the 26-year-old is full of entertainment. With fast paced action and a penchant for finishes, a number of notable matchups are on the horizon, and his destruction of Uros Medic at UFC 266 proves that we may be seeing them sooner rather than later.