Gabriel Benitez completely put an exclamation point on his UFC Vegas 16 performance with a devastating knee blow to the body that put Justin Gaines away in the opening round.
With a pair of losses in his last two appearances. Benitez came his fight with something to prove as well as a tribute to boxing coach Francesco Carvajal, who passed away earlier this year. The Ultimate Fighter: A Latin American veteran sure delivered when he finished Jaynes with a body shot that ended the fight at just 4:06 in the opening round.
“I feel great today,” Benitez said during an emotional interview after the fight. “I know it was my night. I feel sad, it’s my first battle.” [since] My boxing coach is gone. missing him. If he’s here with me, maybe this guy hasn’t touched me.
“I am happy that you won. Let’s see if I won the bonus.”
The fighters were ready and willing to exchange heavy shots once the action started as Benitez fired some powerful kicks and Gaines faced a lot of pressure and fast boxing combos.
While Jaynes was moving forward and throwing multiple punches in succession, Benitez was effective with a variety of kicks to the legs and body as well as the big, timely blow that found home on his opponent’s chin.
With time, it was clear that Benitez was the most versatile striker and that is exactly what led to the end when he threw the knee that hit Guinness in the middle. The moment the knee landed, Jaynes collapsed to the ground with Benitez pursuing with punches until the referee stopped the fight.
Blighted by injuries and time throughout his UFC career, Benitez looked his best with this latest win as he moved up to 6-4 overall inside the octagon.