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UFC 231 results: Thiago Santos knocks out Jimi Manuwa in second round

Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

Thiago Santos’ move up to 205 pounds continues to pay dividends.

The American Top Team product by way of Brazil was successful as a middleweight, but had to cut tremendous amounts of weight to get there.

He doesn’t have to do that at light heavyweight, and it shows in energetic fights with knockout power.

Veteran Jimi Manuwa became Santos’ latest victim on Saturday night, as Santos finished him at the 42-second mark of the second round in a wild brawl at Scotiabank Arena in Toronto.

“That was the strategy,” Santos (20-6) said through an interpreter. “I came out to show I could hit hard and it came to pass.”

Santos announced his bad intention early as he dropped Manuwa twice with wicked shots. But the durable Manuwa, for his part, managed to clear the cobwebs in the clinch, and the battle was on. Both guys landed ferocious shots over the span of the first five minutes. And while Santos got the better end of things, Manuwa did more than enough the keep the outcome in suspense.

Until the second round, that is. Manuwa attempted a trip in the clinch, didn’t get it, and Santos went for the finish on the break, landing big shots until a huge roundhouse to the temple dropped Manuwa to the mat and ended the fight.

Santos has now won three in a row and seven of eight. Ten of his 12 UFC wins are by knockout, Manuwa (17-5) has dropped three straight. Four of his five career losses are by KO.

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