For the second time in as many fights, Jimi Manuwa dealt an impressive knockout to an opponent. This time the opponent was Corey Anderson and the event was UFC Fight Night 107 from the O2 Arena in London, England.
The 37-year-old defeated Anderson via first-round knockout. MMAjunkie tweeted out the official result for the main event:
#UFCLondon results: Jimi Manuwa def. Corey Anderson via knockout (punch) - Round 1, 3:05 https://t.co/EpN35BbuKz https://t.co/AsYrGLfc7F2017-3-18 23:01:44
The matchup between Anderson and Manuwa was a classic wrestler vs. striker affair on paper. Anderson attempted to impose his will on the fight early on, missing on a single-leg takedown and creating a scramble.
But Manuwa wanted no part of that. Instead, he went to work looking to land his powerful striking.
#Dizz © @TalkMMA
Here's the "One Hitter Quitter" knock out by @POSTERBOYJM #UFCLondon https://t.co/DgWzpfX0vL2017-3-18 23:03:54
Once he settled in, it didn't take long. Manuwa landed a crushing left hook that stymied Anderson and sent the London fans home happy.
MMA Fighting's Ariel Helwani described the ending and gave his thoughts on the overall card:
Ariel Helwani @arielhelwani
Vicious left hook KO by Manuwa. Of the walkoff variety. 205 starting to heat up again. Fun card on paper delivers!2017-3-18 23:04:09
Manuwa gave his own commentary on the knockout after the fight, per MMA Fighting:
Manuwa: Left hand is always the shot. One shot, one kill. We’re ready for everyone in the division C’mon.2017-3-18 23:04:01
He didn't stop there, though. Manuwa went on to call for a title shot against the winner of Daniel Cormier vs. Anthony Johnson and professional boxer David Haye:
Chamatkar Sandhu @SandhuMMA
Jimi Manuwa calls out the winner of Daniel Cormier vs. Anthony Johnson and then calls out David Haye in a boxing fight!2017-3-18 23:03:49
Those goals might be lofty for the No. 4-ranked light heavyweight, but this is a division that desperately needs some new names to join the usual suspects. This might just be the fight that launches him into that stratosphere.
The light heavyweight main event wasn't the only notable bout on this card, though. The Fight Pass main card featured the final fight for a featherweight prospect bout, the swan song for a British fan favorite and a memorable performance from Gunnar Nelson.
Here's a look at the complete results from the event as well as a closer look at each of the main card fights.
- Jimi Manuwa def. Corey Anderson, KO (Round 1, 3:05)
- Gunnar Nelson def. Alan Jouban, submission (Round 2, 0:46)
- Marlon Vera def. Brad Pickett, TKO (Round 3, 3:50)
- Arnold Allen def. Makwan Amirkhani, split decision (28-29, 30-27, 30-27)
- Joseph Duffy def. Reza Madadi, unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
- Francimar Barroso def. Darren Stewart, unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
- Timothy Johnson def. Daniel Omielanczuk, split decision (28-29, 30-27, 29-28)
- Leon Edwards def. Vicente Luque, unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
- Marc Diakiese def. Teemu Packalen, KO (Round 1, 0:30)
- Bradley Scott def. Scott Askham, split decision (28-29, 29-28, 29-28)
- Lina Lansberg def. Lucie Pudilova, unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
Gunnar Nelson vs. Alan Jouban
Unless your name is Demian Maia, you really don't want to be on the ground with Gunnar Nelson.
That's a simple fact of life and a lesson Alan Jouban learned the hard way in the co-main event from the O2 Arena.
The Icelandic welterweight dragged Jouban to the mat in the opening round where he put on a grappling clinic for the rest of the round. He plied his ground game, working his way to mount and clearly winning the round.
From there, Nelson went to work in the second round showcasing his striking. Nelson used his precise counterstriking to crack Jouban's jaw, sending him to the mat. This time, Nelson was quick to follow, slapping on a guillotine choke.
Brett Okamoto of ESPN described the finish:
Brett Okamoto @bokamotoESPN
Gunnar Nelson hurts Alan Jouban with a right hand, jumps on the guillotine and Jouban couldn't tap fast enough. Gunni's a scary finisher.2017-3-18 22:37:45
The UFC posted the highlight finish:
🇮🇸 @GunniNelson rocks Jouban & gets the submission win!! What a performance!! #UFCLondon #UFCFightPass https://t.co/cSuOSqk7rd2017-3-18 22:36:55
This is the kind of win that should continue Nelson's ascent up the welterweight rankings. He sits at No. 9 in the rankings, but after this win, it might be time for Nelson to take another high-profile fight.
Nelson has now won back-to-back fights since a unanimous-decision loss to Maia. As long as he doesn't draw the Brazilian again, he should have the grappling advantage over anyone else he fights next.
Brad Pickett vs. Marlon Vera
"One Punch" Brad Pickett was just over a minute from walking away from the sport of MMA with about as nice an ending as he could hope for. The English veteran was working Marlon "Chito" Vera through the first two rounds of the fight and appeared to be up on the cards.
That was until Vera unleashed a hellish head kick that landed flush and ruined the storybook ending:
OHHHHHH THAT'S IT! @ChitoVeraUFC spoils Pickett's finale and gets the head kick KO! #UFCLondon on @UFCFightPass NOW! https://t.co/f8XcslXu9Q2017-3-18 22:09:28
Pickett—who once beat UFC champion Demetrious Johnson and fought 18 times in WEC and UFC—showcased a little power in the opening round, dropping Vera with a sharp left hand:
OH @One_Punch rocks Vera here in round 1!! #UFCLondon https://t.co/bBFyZXB4lE2017-3-18 21:57:05
Pickett's striking stood out in the first round, but it was his grappling that won the second frame. One Punch earned a takedown early in the round and spent the majority of the five minutes working his ground-and-pound against Vera, who offered little resistance.
Josh Gross of the Guardian paid homage to Pickett. Although he never really elevated to contender status, he won four Fight of the Night bonuses throughout his career and was a true fan favorite.
Josh Gross @yay_yee
Brad Pickett leaves his hat in the cage. Best to him whatever he does. UK pioneer did much, including score a win over Demetrious Johnson.2017-3-18 22:18:15
Arnold Allen vs. Makwan Amirkhani
The featherweight bout between Arnold Allen and Makwan Amirkhani was supposed to be a close battle of prospects to kick off the card, and it didn't disappoint. The 23-year-old Allen and 28-year-old Amirkhani went at each other for three rounds taking turns being in control of the bout, but it was Suffolk native Allen who got the nod on two of the judges' cards.
Amirkhani had some moments in the ground game. The fight featured plenty of high-level grappling exchanges.
However, Allen was the one who held the advantage when the fight was on the feet. The UFC posted some highlights of Allen's powerful striking that helped him get the W:
BIG left lands for @ArnoldBFA!! #UFCLondon https://t.co/v1JGmUWNjY2017-3-18 21:31:24
Although Allen was technically the hometown fighter, he still took the time to address the doubt from the England crowd after the fight, per Ben Fowlkes of MMAjunkie:
Ben Fowlkes @benfowlkesMMA
Arnold Allen wins the decision, chastises the home crowd: "Stop saying I'm gonna lose on Facebook and Twitter."2017-3-18 21:38:07
This is a huge win for the young Allen. He continues his undefeated streak in the Octagon at 3-0 while also putting Amirkhani's own 3-0 start to a halt.
It's safe to say this isn't the last we'll see of Allen, as he's found a way to stand out in the loaded featherweight division.