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UFC Fight Night 107 results: Jimi Manuwa flattens Corey Anderson with walkoff, one-punch knockout

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MMA: UFC 204-Saint Preux vs Manuwa Per Haljestam-USA TODAY Sports

If Jimi Manuwa wanted to make a statement at UFC Fight Night 107, he couldn’t have done a better job. The hard-hitting Brit tore through Corey Anderson on Saturday night in London, England, starching Anderson with a monstrous left hook just 3:05 into the opening round of a tilt between two top-ranked light heavyweight contenders.

The performance ignited the British fans in London’s O2 Arena and led Manuwa to call for the next shot at the UFC light heavyweight title.

“I want the winner out of DC and ‘Rumble.’ It’s time for a title shot now,” Manuwa declared. “I want the winner out of DC and ‘Rumble’ Johnson.”

Manuwa (17-2) entered the contest as the No. 4-ranked light heavyweight in the UFC’s media-generated rankings, and it didn’t take long for the 37-year-old to show why. Manuwa hung back and waited for his opportunity throughout the opening exchanges of the fight, and when he saw it, he capitalized, sending Anderson (9-3) toppling to the canvas in a heap as “Poster Boy” strolled away to admire his handiwork.

The dramatic victory propelled Manuwa to a 6-2 record inside the UFC, with five of those wins ending in KO/TKO stoppages, including the highlight-reel knockout Manuwa scored over Ovince Saint Preux last October at UFC 204. And taking a page out of Conor McGregor’s playbook, Manuwa also seized his moment to call out British boxer David Haye for a cross-sport collision.

“David Haye, let’s do this,” Manuwa said. “Boxing. Dana White, (boxing promoter) Eddie Hearn, let’s make it happen.”

In the night’s co-main event, top-10 ranked welterweight Gunnar Nelson (16-2-1) left no doubt in his duel against Alan Jouban (15-5), stopping the hard-charging Jouban with a gorgeous finishing sequence that culminated in a picture-perfect guillotine choke just 46 seconds into the second round.

Nelson controlled the action from the start, taking Jouban down early and spending much of the opening stanza smothering Jouban from the mount position. Jouban responded by coming out for the second round aggressive with his strikes, but Nelson just calmly hung back, then crushed his foe with blistering straight right that put Jouban on shaky legs. Sensing the end, Nelson swarmed with a head kick, then snapped Jouban down to the mat and sunk in the fight-ending submission.

With the win, Nelson moved to 7-2 in his Octagon career and likely set himself up for a big fight next in the UFC welterweight division.

“I want to finish my fights, I don’t want to win by points,” Nelson said. “Sometimes I have to take some time, figure him out, and then go for the finish.

“I’m just interested in what I’m doing and I’m just going to go back and improve, work on my movements and the things that I learned from this fight, and take it from there.”

The final chapter of Brad Pickett’s MMA career looked like it would close with a happy ending — up until the moment it didn’t. After winning the first two rounds on two judges’ scorecards against late-replacement Marlon Vera, Pickett (25-14) suffered a devastating head kick knockout with 70 seconds remaining in the final frame. Pickett briefly protested the stoppage, but it was ultimately a good call by referee Grant Waterman.

The moment overshadowed a throwback performance that otherwise would have been good enough for the 38-year-old Pickett to leave the sport on a high note. “One Punch” dropped Vera (9-3-1) with a hard left hook in the opening round, then controlled the second on the heels of a monster slam following by hard elbows from top position. But Vera stayed with his gameplan, pressing forward with long, rangy kicks to the head and body, and it finally paid off with the first knockout of the Ecuadorian’s young UFC career.

Afterward, in an emotional scene, Vera paid tribute to Pickett, a 14-year veteran who competed for the majority of his career as one of the best bantamweight fighters in the world. Then, under a cascade of rapturous applause, Pickett took the mic and thanked his fans in London for their support throughout the years.

“I’m so thankful for UFC giving me this platform to show my skills, and all the fans, man, I just f*cking love you,” the retiring Pickett said through tears.

“I left it all in here tonight. You guys mean the world to me. Win, loss, or draw tonight, I’m just blessed with the UFC, Dana White, Sean Shelby, Reed Harris, thank you so much. Now it’s time to spend some time with family. I just have to thank all my coaches, they mean the world to me. And I always say, you guys are fans, but you’re not fans to me. You’re my friends. I love you guys.”

Elsewhere on the card, Arnold Allen (12-1) won a hard-fought split decision over Makwan Amirkhani (13-2) to emerge victorious in a battle of top-shelf featherweight prospects.

Allen, a 25-year-old Brit who is undefeated over three UFC contests, defended a litany of takedowns and submission attempts from “Mr. Finland” and fired back with his own mat offense in a fight that featured a seemingly endless buffet of wild scrambles. Allen scored with good ground-and-pound in each of the opening two rounds, peppering his foe with a variety of elbows and punches to the head and body, while also defending a series of D’arce choke attempts from Amirkhani.

Allen landed the biggest shot of the fight early in the third frame, cracking Amirkhani with a ferocious counter left. Amirkhani ultimately recovered to gain top position and settle into half guard, however a bad referee standup by Neil Hall allowed Allen to re-take his feet. Allen then went to work, tripping Amirkhani to the floor, scrambling to his back, and working for a rear-naked choke as time expired.

In the end, two judges saw it 30-27 for Allen, while the lone dissenter scored it 29-28 for Amirkhani, giving the hometown British featherweight his biggest UFC win yet.

As for standout action from the night’s undercard, Irish lightweight Joseph Duffy (17-2) closed out the final fight of his UFC contract by turning Reza Madadi (14-5) into a bloody mess en route to a lopsided decision win, blue-chip lightweight prospect Marc Diakiese (12-0) scored a ridiculous, highlight-reel, one-punch knockout over Teemu Packalen (8-2) in just 30 seconds to extend his unbeaten UFC record to 3-0, and one-time TUF finalist Brad Scott (11-4) captured an emotional split decision over Scott Askham (14-4) — a win which Scott admitted afterward changed his feelings about a potential retirement.

Complete UFC Fight Night 107 results can be seen here.