SBG Ireland’s Charlie Ward made an unsuccessful UFC debut at the SSE Arena in Belfast on Saturday night, as he was stopped in a brief but exhilarating slugfest by the heavy-handed Abdul Razak Alhassan.
Upon Marc Goddard’s instruction to commence, the two men sauntered out into the middle of the octagon and touched gloves, giving no forewarning of the blistering action that was about to unfold.
A mere fifteen seconds in, however, Alhassan dropped Ward with a short right-hand and chaos ensued. Alhassan went looking for the finish, but Ward chose to fire back amidst the onslaught. As Conor McGregor shouted encouragement at his teammate from cageside, both men exchanged wild, vicious shots. Ward was soon dropped again though – another right-hand doing the damage. Amazingly, he bounced back to his feet, but Alhassan was all over him. One more right-hand – a thunderous shot that landed bang on the chin – dropped Ward face-first into the fence and Goddard waved the bout off at 53 seconds of the first round.
With the win, Alhassan moved to 7-0 with all seven wins coming by way of KO/TKO. The 31-year-old has yet to be extended beyond 86 seconds as a professional.