The Hawaiian's tenth-straight win topped the bill at UFC 206 which was packed with breathtaking fights and tectonic knockouts: Donald Cerrone's destruction of Brown, Swanson's outgunning of Choi and Vannata's spinning kick to name a few.
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Lando Vannata put John Makdessi to the sword in devastating fashion to steal the headlines in the preliminary section of the card through a surefire knockout of the year contender. The blue-chip prospect executed a fatal spinning back kick to floor the veteran with no further action needed, following up a strong showing in his debut back in the summer.
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"Valhalla" Emil Meek opened his UFC account in thrilling, energetic fashion as the Norwegian saw off home favourite Jordan Mein at the bottom of the main card. It was a brawl early on as they slugged it out on the feet, with the Canadian glancing a substantial elbow, while The Viking Brawler got some work done and made his opponent aware of the power. A brief takedown stint was unsuccessful from Mein, but Meek excelled in that department and really withered his counterpart, even gesturing to the crowd when he was the victim of an armbar attempt.
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OH MY LORD WHAT A ROUND!!! @CubSwanson rocks Choi but then @Koreansuperboy7 rocks Swanson!!!! #UFC206 pic.twitter.com/4hJPgWDSqz— UFC Canada (@UFC_CA) December 11, 2016
In the evening's co-main event, Donald Cerrone superbly flattened Matt Brown in the third frame after a hard-fought battle. Cowboy started the fight by peppering the strikes, and landing flush with head kicks to leave The Immortal sporting cuts, but there was a slight momentum shift when Brown's kick attempt was denied, but he went down to the ground and locked in a triangle choke instead. After it almost was transitioned to an armbar, Cerrone was able to wriggle out, although by then his opponent had found some rhythm to finish strong with a thunderous right hand. That same instrument would come to work in the second, when a hook planted the former title challenger, but he got up to startle his counterpart with a high kick. Some elbows, more kicks and more wild strikes left a bloodied Brown and a Cerrone smelling the blood, despite the fight remaining well balanced. Having shunned the handshakes before and intensely staring down Cowboy at every opportunity, Brown finally touched gloves to start the third round, before going for the takedown. That wouldn't last, and nor would the fight, because when things were back up on the feet, Cerrone nailed a crushing head kick which put Brown out for good. Four out of four for him at 170 lbs, a force to be reckoned with.
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— TheMMAMatrix (@TSM_MMA) December 11, 2016
OH MY! Donald Cerrone puts Matt Brown TO SLEEP with this thunderous head kick! pic.twitter.com/lCcO1iMklJ #UFC206
Then, to close out all that drama, Max Holloway tore through Anthony Pettis in the main event. Showtime was shutdown, but the featherweight division was "Blessed".
Anthony Pettis refused to touch gloves in the close-up before the fight, but he'd soon be feeling leather on his chin at the hands of some swift counter strikes from the Hawaiian. Before that, though, he was having some success with the kicks, targeting the open body with a spinning back kick to the torso and a combo of switch kicks. He would be sporting a cut on his right eye though with the right hands over the top and some hooks, and in the final seconds of the opening round Holloway was able to deny the takedown attempt.
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