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Thomas Gifford okay, compares UFC Tampa beating by Mike Davis to ‘how Jesus took a lashing and got nailed to the cross’

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While their trip to Tampa was mostly a pretty excellent night for the UFC and fans alike, it did carry one notable down note. Near the end of the ESPN+ prelims card, Mike Davis stepped up on short notice for a lightweight fight against Thomas Gifford. What ensued was one of the most lopsided drubbings in UFC history.

It’s not a story told by numbers alone. Statistically, Davis outlanded Gifford 139-88 in significant strikes. A clear win, but on a night where Cub Swanson put up near identical numbers – Joanna Jedrzejczyk out-landed Michelle Waterson 180-58 – it’s hardly an outlandish victory on paper. But, it was the nature of the offense both being delivered and returned. While Gifford landed sporadic slapping hooks and body kicks, Davis plugged him repeatedly with massive, powerful combinations to the head and body—knocking him down twice, with 67 power shots delivered in the first round alone.

By the time Gifford was face down, unconscious on the canvas late in round three, most viewers felt the fight should have been stopped minutes ago, if not before the last round entirely. Former champion Michael Bisping, along with commentary members Brendan Fitzgerald and Trevor Wittman, were unreserved in the blame they placed on Gifford’s corner and on the referee for allowing a fighter to undergo the amount of punishment Gifford did on his way to a KO loss.

However, after the bout, Gifford took to Twitter, both to ease fears that he may have suffered serious brain trauma in the bout, and to make it clear that he felt that the only person to blame for the way his fight went was himself.

“No ones getting fired it’s no ones fault but my own,” Gifford wrote in response to a fan. “I was prepared in shape and had a game plan that I didn’t execute no one to blame but myself.”

In reaction to further questions about the lack of stoppage, as well as some respect for the heart and toughness Gifford displayed on his way to the severe beating he suffered, the ‘Team Relentless’ fighter from Hot Springs Arkansas revealed that he took some biblical inspiration in suffering through the worst loss of his career.

The loss drops Gifford’s record to 0-2 in the Octagon, 17-8 overall. No word on how quickly fans can expect him to return to action.




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