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If first impressions last a lifetime, Siyar Bahadurzada's Octagon debut was about as perfect as they come.
Bahadurzada announced his arrival to the UFC's welterweight division in thunderous fashion at UFC on FUEL 2, knocking Paulo Thiago out cold with a short counter right to the jaw just 42 seconds into the bout's opening round.
The first Afghan-born fighter in UFC history, Bahadurzada pocketed $50,000 for his spectacular ‘Knockout of the Night' performance.
"I love those kinds of fights because I come to fight," the 27-year-old blissfully declared. "Fans want to see a fight, and I want to give them a fight."
Elsewhere on the night, embattled bantamweights Brad Pickett and Damacio Page took home ‘Fight of the Night' honors for their wildly entertaining, back-and-forth main card brawl. After mauling Page for much of the second frame, Pickett found a home for a dizzying left-right combination that paved the way for the fight-ending rear-naked choke.
"I come from a standup background as you can tell from my nickname 'One Punch,'" Pickett explained. "But I always seem to manage to get submissions."
British welterweight John Maguire was the final man to pick up a bonus check, as the former UCMMA champ effortlessly countered a kimura attempt from DaMarques Johnson to secure a textbook armbar and coax a tap. Maguire earned ‘Submission of Night' honors for the second-round victory.
"The kimura is normally my favorite move so I know the counter," he happily proclaimed. "I was waiting until he overcommited, which he did. He made a mistake and I capitalized on it."
UFC on FUEL 2 took place at the Ericsson Globe Arena in Stockholm, Sweden.
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