SUPER FIGHTS Retrospective: Remember the great 'zebras' of the first half of 2024

In unlikely turnarounds, five athletes recorded landmark triumphs in the first six months of the year

A. Smith (photo) is a former UFC light heavyweight title challenger. Photo: UFC/Disclosure

The first half of 2024 was marked by strong emotions for MMA lovers, who had the opportunity to follow fighters achieving unlikely outcomes and etching their names in the history of the sport. And, as a way of honoring them, the SUPER FIGHTS separated a retrospective with the main 'zebras' in the first six months in the world of mixed martial arts. Shall we go to the list?

5) Westin Wilson (3,65) x Jeka Saragih (1,27)

W. Wilson in victory over J. Saragih. Photo: Reproduction/X

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Scheduled to face a fighter known for his knockout power, Westin Wilson was preparing for the confrontation in the midst of a delicate phase in the organization. Overcome twice in a row on the fast track, the North American didn't let himself be carried away by the pressure and underdog status and managed to score a big victory over Jeka Saragih after using talent in jiu-jitsu and submitting his rival with a triangle.

4) Neil Magny (3,75) x Mike Mallot (1,28)

N. Magny in victory over M. Mallot. Photo: Reproduction/X

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Great veteran of the organization, Neil Magny is known for being the real litmus test for prospects entering the welterweight division (up to 77,1kg.). Experienced and accustomed to dealing with different styles, the fighter prevented Mike Mallot achieved his fourth consecutive UFC triumph by knocking out the Canadian against his home country. Without the energy to deal with the North American's power, the young promise succumbed and was defeated in the third round.

3) Nikolas Motta (3,75) x Tom Nolan (1,28)

Nikolas Motta (right) in victory over T. Nolan. Photo: Disclosure/UFC

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Embittered by a defeat and a fight afterward, Nikolas Motta was seen as a big obstacle for the young promise that was arriving in the lightweight division (up to 70,3kg.). Willing to win at any cost, the Brazilian lived up to his reputation as a knockout artist and managed to register yet another victim on his record in a masterful way. Just a minute into the fight, the Minas Gerais native applied a powerful cross and took the North American to the ground, forcing the referee to interrupt the confrontation.

2) Anthony Smith (5,00) x Vitor Petrino (1,20)

Athony Smith finishes Victor Petrino No. UFC 301. Photo: Reproduction/X @UFCNews

Gifts on the main card of UFC 301, based in the city of Rio de Janeiro, Anthony Smith e Victor Petrino They were the protagonists of a duel of generations and the 'Coração de Leão' ended up breaking the bank with the support of their great experience. Despite being in enemy territory, the veteran knew how to deal with the Brazilian's attacks and at the necessary moment applied a fatal guillotine, which forced the light heavyweight prospect to withdraw and say goodbye to his unbeaten career.

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1) Ovince St. Preux (5,80) x Kennedy Nzechukwu (1,15)

O. St Preux in victory over K. Nzechukwu. Photo: Reproduction/UFC

In yet another encounter between experience and youth, it was the veteran who came out on top. Former challenger for the light heavyweight belt, Ovince resisted all the strength and strategy brought by Kennedy and managed to achieve a narrow victory in the judges' split decision. In addition to the triumph, the fighter managed to end a negative streak, where he accumulated two consecutive setbacks and hadn't won in almost two years.

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