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The first fight on the main card of UFC Fight Night 196 didn’t last very long.
Light heavyweights Nick Negumereanu and Ike Villanueva didn’t waste much time getting into the action at the UFC Apex in Las Vegas on Saturday.
In a fight that had early finish written all over it, the result certainly met the expectation. Negumereanu (11-1 MMA, 2-1 UFC) and Villanueva (18-13 MMA, 1-4 UFC) met in the center of the cage and slugged it out to see who would remain standing. Both offensive-minded fighters landed strikes, but it would be Negumereanu who got the better of the exchanges.
DON'T BLINK!!! 😳
— UFC (@ufc) October 23, 2021
Just over a minute into the action, Negumereanu dropped Villanueva and put the finishing touches on his opponent with follow-up hammerfists, which prompted the referee to call a stop to the bout as Villanueva covered up on the mat. The official stoppage time was 1:18 in the first round.
The stoppage was not without controversy, however, as a few of the punches that Negumereanu landed on the ground landed to the back of the head. Villanueva immediately complained to the referee about where the strikes landed, but there would be no change in the official result of the contest.
Negumereanu picks up his second victory of the calendar year, following his split decision victory over Aleksa Camur in June.
Nick Negumereanu def. Ike Villanueva via TKO (punches) – Round 1, 1:18
Tabatha Ricci def. Maria Oliveira via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
Jamie Pickett def. Laureano Staropoli via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28)
Jai Herbert def. Khama Worthy via TKO (strikes) – Round 1, 2:47
Jeff Molina def. Daniel da Silva via TKO (strikes) – Round 2, 0:46
Randa Markos def. Livinha Souza via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28)
Jonathan Martinez def. Zviad Lazishvili via unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28, 29-28)