This looked like an exciting fight on paper and it was even more so in reality as Thiago Santos and Jimi Manuwa delivered an action-packed thriller at UFC 231 tonight that saw both fighters rocked before Santos finally emerged with an early second round knockout victory.
Body kick for Santos and then drops Manuwa with a clipping right hand. Manuwa trying to stand and gets dropped again. They scramble on the mat and Manuwa manages to get upright and clinches to clear his head against the cage.
They break apart and Santos lands again, buckling Manuwa’s legs. Manuwa getting hurt every time Santos tags him now, but he manages to get back into the clinch again and gets more recovery time.
Manuwa takes his time and then finally tees off with some punches of his own and seems to hurt Santos. Manuwa starting to turn the screw a little here, but then Santos works some big kicks upstairs and lands a takedown.
Manuwa back upright in the clinch. There’s more punches exchanges and Manuwa is showing he’s still a threat here, as is Santos.
Santos clinching against the cage and lands a couple of big knees to the body. Now he’s working knees to the thigh. He lands good elbow upstairs and then breaks away.
Santos with a wheel kick as he goes back on the attack. They trade punches and clinch up. Santos gets clocked by a left hook and is rocked, trying to move quickly away to give himself to get his bearing again, then tries a weak spinning kick to keep his opponent at bay.
Manuwa gets him to the mat and thinks about a choke, but then settles on top as an absolutely insane round draws to a close.
Crisp jab for Santos. Head kicks exchanged and then another from Manuwa. Into the clinch they go. Manuwa with a punch and then a harder one from Santos. They are both swinging for the fences, but for now it’s Manuwa whose coming off second best.
Crazy action here. They are both winging hooks, but then Santos connects with a huge uppercut and then a devastating left hook behind it that crumbles Manuwa to the canvas, going down face first to end the fight by KO at 0.41mins of Rd2.
Absolutely amazing action here and a potential fight of the year candidate.