Brian Ebersole got a late opportunity and the veteran took advantage of it at UFC 127 in Sydney.
Ebersole, a late injury replacement for Carlos Condit because of his Australian residence, scored a unanimous decision upset of Chris Lytle at Acer Arena.
The fight was Sunday afternoon in Australia and Saturday evening in North America.
Ebersole (47-14-1, 1 NC) is American, but he has been living and training in Australia the last four years. He has won eight in a row and 12 of his last 13 fights after the judges gave him the nod by scores of 30-27 and 29-28 twice.
Lytle (30-18-5) had his four-fight winning streak halted and was left with a grotesque cut above his left eye.
Ebersole showed some flair inside the Octagon, opening the fight with a cartwheel kick, but it was his chest hair, shaved into an arrow pointing to his chin, that drew looks and laughs. Once the fight started, Ebersole’s defense was no laughing matter, as his ability to get out of Lytle’s seemingly endless guillotine choke attempts were the key point of the fight.
Ebersole delivered punishment with shoulder punches, and he also caught Lytle with an elbow a number of times to open up the cut. In the second round, Ebersole dominated, and nearly finished Lytle with a knee to the chin. Lytle buckled to the canvas and Ebersole tried to lock in a choke from the front, but the Indianapolis firefighter managed to stay alive in the fight. Lytle could even be seen looking at the clock as he attempted to survive the round.
“Overwhelmed with emotion,” Ebersole said. “I brought a lot of emotion from the people in my life into the ring tonight. I thought I was going to be able to sink that choke, but being up against the cage made it hard. He’s not a guy who loses (his wits). He was there with me the whole time.”
Lytle recovered to compete in the third round, but could never lock in the guillotine and allowed Ebersole the positional advantage.