For the first five minutes of their welterweight fight Saturday night, Emil Meek and Jordan Mein both looked like they had something to prove.
Meek was making his UFC debut after a knockout of Rousimar Palhares which went viral. Mein was returning from a two-year-long retirement.
So the duo went back and forth in a thrilling first round in the PPV opener of UFC 206 in Toronto’s Air Canada Centre on Saturday night, matching strike for strike and scramble for scramble.
Then the fighter nicknamed “Valhalla” took over. The Norwegian Meek buckled down the rest of the way, dominating the final two rounds for a unanimous decision victory.
The judges’ scores were 29-28 across the board.
“My rib is cracked, but this is freaking awesome,” said Meek, who was ordered to trim his beard Friday by the busybody Ontario Athletic Commission. “I’ve been waiting for this all my life.”
After the rollicking opener, Meek scored an early takedown in the second and worked him over for the remainder of the round. Twice he got arm-triangle chokes, but was unable to secure the submission.
The third was more of the same, minus the submission attempts.
With the win Meek (9-2-1, 1 NC) won his fourth straight fight. Mein (29-11), of Lethbridge, Alberta, has dropped two in a row and three of five.