Brendan Loughnane put in an eye-catching performance to defeat MMA rival Ago Huskic in his final PFL 5 bout.
It’s not uncommon for an MMA fighter to come to the bell “on one leg,” but Loughane, 32, really dug deep in Atlanta on Friday when he prevailed despite only using a eye for most of the fight. And what’s more, the Manchester man has taken a unanimous decision to ensure he qualifies for the playoffs.
His left eye was badly swollen midway through the first round after Huskic landed a hard right. In fact, Loughnane had to be evaluated by a doctor before being allowed to go again for the second round.
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To the great surprise of the public, he nevertheless had the best of the second round against the Bosnian-American. And in the third, despite the obvious impact on his vision, Loughane’s energy levels appeared much higher as he finished strong.
Not only did he land the cleanest punches on his opponent, but he also seemed to have things under control on the ground. And the judges clearly agreed with this notion as they awarded scores of 29-28, 29-28 and 30-27.
Despite the win, Loughane was far from satisfied afterwards: “I have to be better but I will be better, it’s just not good enough. I’m a perfectionist and I should stop guys like that. I don’t just didn’t pull the trigger,” he said in his post-fight interview.
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“He was extremely goofy, what the fuck was this guy doing? If you get into a technical match with me, I’ll get him, but this guy hadn’t read the script. He was just throwing shit out of nowhere I don’t want to bring him down, but I feel like I lowered myself to his level tonight. I lowered my level and raised his.
Fans were still impressed, with @kennedysande posting on Instagram, “Slow start! But I did the job as an absolute warrior. Wrestling is coming in leaps and bounds.” @cl9udx added: “One eye and he always wins, that’s what real fighters do!!!!”
Either way, Loughnane took three points for the win to book their place in the competition’s playoffs in August. And for the first time in four years, he will now perform at home after the PFL opted to hold its final events in London and Cardiff.