Olivier Aubin-Mercier got the better of Thibault Gouti tonight at UFC Fight Night 89, eventually finishing him in the third round via a rear-naked choke submission.
Aubin-Mercier takes the center of the Octagon to start. He goes in on a single leg, but has to settle for pressing Gouti up against the cage.
Gouti moves away and lands a right hand. Strikes in return from Aubin-Mercier. Head kick attempt from the Canadian. Now another big kick. Gouti with a solid jab.
Body kick for Aubin-Mercier and then rushes in for a takedown against the cage. He has to work, but does land it.
Aubin-Mercier working from half guard, pressing his opponent’s head awkwardly up against the cage. He takes his time, lands a few punches and then when he spots an opportunity, spins around and tries to take his opponents back. He’s partially successful, and then in a scramble Gouti gets to his knees.
Another scramble and Aubin-Mercier ends up losing position and is now on his back. Gouti lands some good punches and Aubin-Mercier looks in trouble for a moment, but he survives and is able to get back upright.
Both men trade solid strikes in the closing stages of the round on the feet, with Gouti pressing forward on the offensive with a nice flurry before the bell.
Aubin-Mercier with a nice body kick and then a takedown attempt, but Gouti defends it. Nice knee to the head from Aubin-Mercier. he tries to work for the takedown again, but it’s stuffed.
Another clinch opportunity for Aubin-Mercier and he lands some punches in close. They separate and then Aubin-Mercier wheels in for the takedown, but doesn’t get it.
Aubin-Mercier lands a punch that bothers Gouti a little and he has to adjust his mouthpiece.
Aubin-Mercier with some good work here, starting to gain confidence as he lands a few hard strikes. Gouti then responds with a hard strike of his own.
In close Gouti thinking about a guillotine, but Aubin-Mercier produces a very nice takedown. He’s back to working on top from full guard with a couple of minutes to go in the round.
Not too much urgency from Aubin-Mercier, just enough offense to keep the referee at bay. nice elbow strike. Minute to go. Another elbow gets through, then one more for good measure. Aubin-Mercier just happy to end the round on top.
Jab for Aubin-Mercier. He’s in on a single-leg now and drives his opponent to the cage. He lets go of it and from the clinch is able to pull Gouti to the mat.
The Canadian manages to get to Gouti’s back nicely and it looks like it’s going to be a tough round for him. Gouti with the body triangle locked in. He softens him up with a few punches, but he’s really looking for the opportunity to sink in the choke.
Three minutes to go. Gouti rolls and for a moment is on his knees, but that just allows Aubin-Mercier to find the space to apply the rear-naked choke and it produces an almost instant tap with 2.28mins of the second round gone.