Gregor Gillespie (Photo/Jason Silva, USA Today Sports)The former Fighting Scot scored a unanimous decision over Brazil's Glaico Franca (29-27, 29-27, 29-27) in a three-round lightweight (155 pounds) preliminary bout.
"Former Ring of Combat champ Gregor Gillespie leaned heavily on his Division I wrestling skills, making 'TUF: Brazil 4' winner Glaico Franca miserable over three rounds," wrote MMAJunkie.com.
"Franca tried just about everything to keep upright, including elbows to the side of the head and repeated fence grabs. But in the end, Gillespie took home a unanimous decision."
From Sherdog.com's live play-by-play account of the bout, Gillespie managed to score at least a half-dozen takedowns on Glaico. It was only the second match in Gillespie's pro mixed martial arts career launched in January 2014 to go the distance; all others had ended in the first round.
With the successful Ultimate Fighting Championship debut, Gillespie is now 1-0 in UFC and 8-0 overall; Franca falls to 13-5 overall, and 1-2 in UFC.
Back in August when it was revealed that Gillespie would make his UFC debut at this event in Brazil's capital, his opponent was originally slated to be Joaquim Silva, who had a 9-1-0 record.
A native of Webster, N.Y., Gillespie was a four-time NCAA All-American at Edinboro, winning the 149-pound title at the 2007 NCAAs with a 3-1 overtime win over Josh Churella of the University of Michigan in the finals. He was also a three-time champ in both the EWL (Eastern Wrestling League) and PSAC (Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference).
Gillespie completed his mat career at Edinboro having compiled a 152-13 record, for an impressive .921 winning percentage. In his last season at the Pennsylvania-based school, Gillespie served as a coach and administrator for the Edinboro Scotsman Wrestling Club. He later served as an assistant coach at Hofstra University.