Kiwi flies flag for Maori in spectacular win
He proudly fought under the Tino rangatiratanga flag and opened his post-fight victory interview in te reo
Ma¯ori – both firsts for the
‘‘I’ve really begun rediscovering my heritage and I had shunned it for years,’’ Young said later.
‘‘I was caught up in trying to be a white person but now being in touch with my Ma¯ ori side has made me connect my training to our warrior heritage.’’
It was a relentless display of pressure from Young, who landed 104 significant strikes to just 57 from Dy.
He rocked his opponent in the first round and scored a takedown.
Dy did find some openings on his feet but Young took his best shots and continued to come forward.
With less than 30 seconds left in round two, Young caught Dy by surprise with a vicious elbow and proceeded to unleash a flurry of strikes before the referee stepped in.
The result improved his overall MMA record to 12-4 and was the perfect response to his decision loss to Alexander Volkanovski in Sydney.
‘‘I’ve just got to open my ears more when I fight and listen to my coaches,’’ said Young, who fights out of Auckland’s City Kickboxing gym.
"It was nice to get back to my winning ways, it felt how like it used to be. Taking that fight on eight days’ notice was different than I’m used to.’’
In the main event, welterweight veteran Donald Cerrone suffered a unanimous decision defeat to Leon Edwards while light-heavyweight Ovince Saint Preux recorded a first-round submission to beat Australian Tyson Pedro. The US Open is set to become the first grand slam tennis tournament to update their seeding policy to take into account players returning post-pregnancy.
United States Tennis Association president Katrina Adams indicated in an interview with The New York Times that the ball was rolling on altering the rules for the Flushing Meadows event, which starts on August 27.
‘‘It’s the right thing to do for these mothers that are coming back,’’ Adams said, adding that players returning to the court after giving birth should not be ‘‘penalised’’.
WTA rules do not protect the rankings of female athletes who missed playing time due to an injury or maternity leave, but grand slam events can change their seeding rules without the WTA’S approval.
‘‘We have the right and the opportunity to seed the players according to what we feel is justified,’’ Adams said.
The news comes just weeks after the French Open came under fire for how it handled the ranking of Serena Williams.
The world No 1 was unseeded at Roland Garros due to her absence to give birth to daughter Alexis Olympia Ohanian last September. The 23-time major champion didn’t play professionally for over a year, causing her WTA ranking to drop to No 183.
Williams reached the fourth round before pulling out with a pectoral muscle injury, but she shouldn’t face quite the same uphill battle at Wimbledon in a fortnight.
The officials of the grasscourt event take other factors into consideration and have leeway to grant Williams a seeded place.