Jared Cannonier continued his rise through the middleweight ranks in the UFC on Saturday at UFC Fight Night 160, defeating Jack Hermansson in the main event in Copenhagen, Denmark.
With 12 seconds elapsed in the second round, Cannonier caught Hermansson with a short right uppercut. Hermansson stumbled backward and fell to the mat. Cannonier immediately pounced and unloaded with a ground-and-pound.
Hermansson did his best to keep his hands up and block the blows but couldn't mount a counteroffensive. The referee called the fight at the 27-second mark.
Cannonier made his middleweight debut at UFC 230 last November, beating David Branch in two rounds. He followed up with a win over Anderson Silva at UFC 237 in May.
The 35-year-old entered Saturday as the ninth-best middleweight in UFC's official rankings, with Hermansson four spots ahead in fifth. He remains ascendant in the division after such a decisive win.
Here's a look at how the rest of the main card shook out.
- Jared Cannonier def. Jack Hermansson via TKO (Round 2, 0:27)
- Mark Madsen def. Danilo Belluardo via TKO (Round 1, 1:12)
- Gilbert Burns def. Gunnar Nelson via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
- Ion Cutelaba def. Khalil Rountree via TKO (Round 1, 2:35)
- Ovince Saint Preux def. Michal Oleksiejczuk via submission (Round 2, 2:46)
- Nicolas Dalby def. Alex Oliveira via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
- John Phillips def. Alen Amedovski via KO (Round 1, 0:17)
- Makhmud Muradov def. Alessio Di Chirico via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
- Ismail Naurdiev def. Siyar Bahadurzada via unanimous decision (30-26, 30-25, 30-25)
- Giga Chikadze def. Brandon Davis via split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)
- Lina Lansberg def. Macy Chiasson via unanimous decision (29-27, 29-27, 29-28)
- Marc Diakiese def. Lando Vannata via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-26)
- Jack Shore def. Nohelin Hernandez via submission (Round 3, 2:51)
Mark Madsen vs. Danilo Belluardo
Mark Madsen needed just 72 seconds in his UFC debut to pick up a victory.
While Royal Arena fell silent after Cannonier's win, the Copenhagen fans at least bore witness to a dominant showing from Madsen as he made quick work of Danilo Belluardo.
Belluardo was on the defensive almost right from the opening bell. Madsen got him on the mat and looked to end the fight with a guillotine choke.
Although Belluardo fought off that attempt, he left himself exposed for Madsen to throw multiple elbows. That was the beginning of the end for the Italian.
Madsen couldn't have made a bigger impression on UFC fans.
Gunnar Nelson vs. Gilbert Burns
Gilbert Burns didn't have any plans for Saturday as of two weeks ago. Despite his lack of preparation time, Burns narrowly edged out Gunnar Nelson.
The 33-year-old Brazilian was filling in for an injured Thiago Alves, with UFC officials confirming the switch to ESPN's Marc Raimondi on Sept. 17.
Burns made a concerted effort to target Nelson's legs. According to UFC.com, 14 of his 30 signature strikes connected below Nelson's waist. He also hit the Iceland native with a flying knee, with Nelson somehow staying on his feet.
Although neither fighter enjoyed a sustained period on top, Burns was the better of the two. He had the right strategy to attack Nelson and never allowed his opponent to build any momentum.
Ion Cutelaba vs. Khalil Rountree
Ion Cutelaba rebounded from his loss to Glover Teixeira by beating Khalil Rountree.
Rountree started well, connecting with a right hand and body kick to open the fight. Cutelaba absorbed the blows and took him down to the mat, though. Rountree got back to his feet, only for Cutelaba to secure another takedown.
Although Rountree evaded further danger, he enjoyed only a brief respite.
Cutelaba swept out his left leg and began laying in a series of elbows. The onslaught from The Hulk continued until the referee had no choice but to call the fight.
Beyond just the result, Cutelaba's performance was exactly what he needed coming off the defeat to Teixeira in April.
Ovince Saint Preux vs. Michal Oleksiejczuk
Ovince Saint Preux's defending was on point as he countered Michal Oleksiejczuk's aggressive style to submit the Polish light heavyweight in the second round.
Oleksiejczuk was in the lead after the first round, having landed a few solid shots on Saint Preux. By the end, he finished with a 37-14 edge in signature strikes, according to UFC.com, illustrating the difference in the fighters' respective approaches.
In the second round, Saint Preux got his opening. He took Oleksiejczuk down to the mat and locked in the Von Flue choke, which has become his signature submission. From there, it was academic.
Alex Oliveira vs. Nicolas Dalby
In his return to the UFC, Nicolas Dalby overmatched Alex Oliveira en route to a unanimous-decision win.
Dalby controlled most of the bout, as evidenced by more than doubling Oliveira's strike total (64 to 31), per UFC.com. The fact Oliveira's corner implored him to go on the offensive heading into the third round showed how much work he had ahead of himself in the final five minutes.
"It's taken a huge amount of work [to get back]," Dalby said of the result in his post-fight interview, per MMAjunkie's Mike Bohn. "I mean it when I say it that I appreciate the support from each and every one of you out there. I feel like I could've done a better performance, but that doesn't matter because I did what I did inside the cage."
Dalby didn't waste time turning focus toward his next possible opponent. He said he wanted to meet Mike Perry next in the Octagon.