Olivier Aubin-Mercier (8-2) dominated in the grappling department over the course of three rounds and submitted Thibault Gouti (11-2) by rear-naked choke at UFC Fight Night 89 earlier tonight (Sat. June 18, 2016) inside TD Place Arena in Ottawa, Canada.
The official time of the stoppage came at 2:28 of the third round.
Aubin-Mercier wasted no time going in on a single-leg takedown to start off the fight, but he was unsuccessful in landing it. After a few exchanges, "The Quebec Kid" landed a round kick to the body of Gouti and secured a double-leg takedown to get the fight to the mat.
The Frenchman tried to make it back to his feet, but gave up his back in the process. Gouti escaped in a scramble and ended up on top of Aubin-Mercier and landed several big strikes. Aubin-Mercier was able to return to his feet, but Gouti landed several more big punches in the waning seconds of the round.
In the second, Gouti avoided two early takedown attempts, but Aubin-Mercier would succeed on his third try. Gouti flirted briefly with a guillotine choke, but he let go once the fight hit the canvas. Aubin-Mercier postured up alongside the fence and slammed down some short elbows while cradling the back of Gouti's head and maintained control for the remainder of the round.
It was rinse and repeat for the Tristar-trained fighter, as he once again scored a takedown in the opening seconds of the final frame. From there, Aubin-Mercier took the back of Gouti, secured control via body-triangle, and began hunting a rear-naked choke submission.
The end came soon after as Aubin-Mercier locked in the choke, forcing a quick tap by Gouti.
Solid win for 27-year-old Montreal native, who dominated the fight with timely takedowns and superior grappling. The rear-naked choke victory was the fifth of his career using that method. He returns to the win column after dropping a unanimous decision in his last fight to Carlos Diego Ferreira.
Tough loss for Gouti, 29, who has now lost his first two fights in the Octagon.
For complete UFC Fight NIght 89 "MacDonald vs. Thompson" results, including play-by-play updates, click here.