The first round of their featherweight fight at Long Beach Arena was an all-standup affair. Stepanyan appeared to be turning the fight in his favor when he cracked Richman with a huge left to the jaw.
But Richman responded with a huge left to the jaw, which dropped Stepanyan to the mat. One big double hammer first later, and referee Herb Dean had seen enough. Richman was the winner of the Bellator 106 main-card opener in 4:05.
"This win felt amazing, man," said Richman. "He hit me with one of those shots like whoa, alright. I ain't going down like that. I waited for my chance and I came back swinging."
With seventh career knockout, Richman improved to 16-3 and has one three of his past four fights. Stepanyan, a Reign MMA product by way of Russia is 13-7 and has dropped four of his past five.