Admittedly, James Te Huna was a good punch away from having his lights completely shut off by Ryan Jimmo last night (Feb. 16, 2013) at UFC on FUEL TV 7, which took place at Wembley Arena in London, England.
The granite-chinned, hard-punching Polynesian absorbed a clean kick from "Big Deal" in the first round of their Light Heavyweight scrap, turning off power to his knees and collapsing him in a heap in the center of the Octagon floor. Jimmo, who was still fresh and likely overdosing on adrenaline, dove in for the finish, swarming with punches and elbows that just missed their direct targets.
Indeed, Te Huna -- who was operating on semi-conscious auto pilot -- managed to avoid a clean shot, tie-up Jimmo's flailing limbs and hang onto to see the second and third rounds.
"To be honest, I can’t remember how I got my on my back," Te Huna admitted in his UFC on FUEL TV post-fight interview. "I asked my coach how I ended up on my back I thought it was a takedown and he said it wasn’t a takedown. He threw a head kick at me and I ended up on my back so I was that close to being finished."
Genetics, skill and a whole lot of luck most likely went into surviving that kind of scare. It was pretty clear from the replay that Te Huna was -- for all intents and purposes -- was not all "there." Nonetheless, he made it out of the round and then roared back to win the final two, extending his win streak to four inside the Octagon.
"Just putting in a lot of hours and hard work in the gym," Te Huna said about overcaming the knockdown in the first round: "I’ve been in that position before and been hurt and come out and try to stay on top and stay dominant. Eventually he started wearing down a bit and gassing a bit and that’s when I took advantage."
Te Huna would go onto earn a unanimous decision, which means that he now has five wins in six attempts under the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) banner. His lone loss during that span was to top 205-pound division contender, Alexander Gustafsson at UFC 127 back in Feb. 2011.
And it's the kind of high-caliber fight he'd like to now revisit that he has a few more wins under his belt.
"I definitely want a Top 10 guy, no one in particular," he said. "I don't want to name [any names]. Whoever the UFC gives me, I'll be happy."
Got any bright ideas?