Dustin Jacoby’s long road back to the UFC finally paid off Saturday when he got his first win inside the octagon at UFC on ESPN+ 39.
After going 0-2 with the promotion in 2011-2012, Jacoby (12-5 MMA, 1-2 UFC) was cut from the roster. It set up a scattered run in MMA, as well as a move over to kickboxing, where he worked well. He needed to win a fight on Dana White’s Contender Series to get back, but it finally happened.
Jacoby wasn’t content with simply returning to the big stage, though. He delivered, completely destroying Justin Ledet (9-4 MMA, 3-4 UFC) in a one-sided light heavyweight fight, which took place at UFC Apex in Las Vegas and streamed on ESPN+.
After some leg kicks ruined Ledet’s ability to stay upright, Jacoby pounced on his foe and landed a brutal pair of right hands that ended the fight by TKO at the 2:38 mark of Round 1.
Watch the highlight of the finish below (via Twitter):
GUESS WHO’S BACK @TheHanyakdj sets up the TKO with BRUTAL leg kicks![ Action continues on #ESPNPlus ] pic.twitter.com/fzgk5Mb9ki
— UFC (@ufc) October 31, 2020
It took nine years to the weekend from the time Jacoby first stepped foot in the octagon (Oct. 29, 2011) to become a UFC winner. Naturally, he was filled with emotion afterward.
“I’m one of the best strikers in the world, and I’m so happy,” Jacoby said during his post-fight interview with Michael Bisping. “Nine years: It was a long road back.”