Don’t tell Gerald Meerschaert he can’t stand with a top level striker.
Facing noted knockout artist Bruno Silva at UFC San Diego on Saturday, Meerschaert connected with a stunning left hook in the third round that dropped his opponent to the canvas in a heap. After nearly finishing with strikes, Meerschaert went back to his best weapon as he snatched a guillotine choke that eventually forced Silva to tap out, which ended the fight at 1:39 in the third round.
The victory was Meerschaert’s 27th career finish by submission.
“Bruno’s a tough guy,” Meerschaert said. “He did a real good job ducking at first. I’m a submission guy but I can crack. He was still there so I had to get that neck.”
Despite facing a prominent grappler, Silva was the one marching forward with little fear of the takedown as he pursued Meerschaert around the octagon at the start of the fight. Meerschaert was able to stay out of trouble and circle away from the power shots until Silva got a little too close, which allowed him to bring the fight down to the canvas.
Meerschaert was heavy on top before finally posturing up and raining down blows on Silva, who was largely just stuck underneath him playing defense.
On the restart in the second round, Silva was still swinging with big, wild shots as he looked for the knockout but the inability to set up his shots allowed Meerschaert to move out of the way before he got caught with much of anything. Meanwhile, Meerschaert was concentrating on a well-timed series of kicks to the body before eventually going back up top to the head.
Knowing he was likely down on the scorecards, Silva got a little more active with time ticking away on the clock but that strategy backfired as he left himself open to his opponent’s counters. With Silva standing directly in front of him, Meerschaert unleashed the left hook that put the Brazilian down until he latched onto the guillotine for the submission.
The win puts Meerschaert back on track following a decision loss in his last outing and he was more than ready to respond to another middleweight who has been asking for a fight against him.
“I know somebody’s been calling my name,” Meerschaert said. “Andre Petroski, if you still want some, come get some, son.”