The lightweights kicked off the main card of today's (Sat., July 19, 2014) UFC Fight Night 46: "McGregor vs. Brandao" event at The O2 in Dublin, Ireland, as Norman Parke, undefeated inside the Octagon, welcomed back Naoyuki Kotani, who came in having won his last 13 fights.
The latter streak is over.
Kotani's game plan was clear early. His punches weren't about doing damage so much as a setting him up for a takedown, one he struggled to attain. Parke, however, wasn't able to take advantage of the extra opportunities afforded him on the feet thanks to his improved takedown defense.
Then, late in the opening frame, Parke got back control and used it to land blast away with hard ground-n-pound, giving him the clear edge headed into the second.
It looked like a mismatch from there. Kotani was clearly outmatched standing but his wrestling, the aspect he planned on relying on, was wildly ineffective. In fact, Parke proved superior there as well.
At one point, Parke had Kotani laid up near the fence. With Kotani simply covering his head to protect himself, Parke fired away shot after shot after shot after shot. The defense was intelligent enough that the referee likely could have let it continue but it was clear Kotani wanted out.
So it was stopped.
For complete UFC Fight Night 46 results and blow-by-blow coverage of all the night's action click here.