There was hype surrounding the Grudge Training Center/Tri-Star prospect Brandon Thatch heading into his UFC debut at UFC Fight Night 27. If there was ever a way to fulfill expectations, Thatch did that, brutally stopping Justin Edwards with strikes in the first round. The end came at just 1:23 into the frame.
Almost as soon as the bell rang, Edwards and Thatch attacked one another, but it was Thatch who would quickly and decisively score the most meaningful blow. A head kick thrown by Thatch landed almost as a knee to the face to the level-lowering Edwards, which sent the The Ultimate Fighter 13 veteran crashing to the mat.
From there the end was written. Edwards tried to roll over and climb back to his feet all the while winging punches when he could, but Thatch gave him no room to breathe. Pressured against the fence, Edwards absorbed knee after knee with intermittent punches and kicks at close range.
A final knee to the face sent Edwards back down where he turtled-up and stopped moving, thereby forcing the referee stoppage.
'Rukus' Thatch moves to 10-1 in his MMA career while Edwards slides to 8-3.