Australian Shannon Ross has been honored by UFC president Dana White for his heroics in a competitive streak.
Ross was heavily favored in his bout with Brazilian Vinicius Salvador, the more experienced Gold Coast mechanic.
The 33-year-old, who is competing in the biggest fight of his career on Wednesday, fought hard after being surprised by two first-round knockouts.
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Refusing to give up, Ross stayed in the fight on the back of quick defense and accurate attacks.
Ross baffled pundits, especially after the first gaffe, when they asked how the Australian managed to get back on his feet.
Ross was awarded a special award for his efforts as Dana White gave him a standing ovation at the end of the race.
After the first round, analyst Laura Sanko said: “Vinicius Salvador took that flying kick to the liver, I’m surprised Shannon Ross was still standing after that.”
“To go after the hooks after that. For him (Rose) to be able to fight up and stay in this fight is amazing.”
“Salvador then connects with a perfectly placed right hook but man how tough is Ross!”
The second round was all Ross until it wasn’t.
One punch can change everything in combat sports and that’s what happened when Salvador dropped the Australian for the third and final time to end things.
Ross was dominating the second round with some clinical strikes, and had the Brazilian in contact with the cage with just over a minute left in the round.
But despite the incoming flurry of punches, a seemingly comfortable Salvador landed a right hook to Ross’ chin, sending him stumbling backwards.
A right hook then ends the fight, with Ross slumped against the cage wall.
White can be seen saying “Oh f**** God” as Salvador opens the final scene on the Australian.
White then entered the ring after the fight to congratulate both fighters, which, according to the commentators, is not common in the UFC.
“It’s not often that we see Dana step into the Octagon to congratulate the fighters,” said commentator Dan Healy.
Ross’ road to Dana White’s competitive streak is an incredible story of sacrifice and dedication.
The 33-year-old had to tell his wife that he would spend $20,000 on his family when the outbreak hit after the war in Abu Dhabi.
Hotel quarantine costs, we were good for that. We decided we’d be happy to wear that for my job,” Ross said.
But was it going to cost me $15,000 to learn to fly home for three months? Yes, that call started with ‘Hey babe… aah… I just lost some money.