Tom Breese is back in full force.
After missing almost two years of action dealing with personal problems and a knee injury, Breese made a triumphant return to the Octagon on Sunday at UFC Liverpool, finishing veteran Dan Kelly with strikes in the opening round of the evening’s featured preliminary bout.
Breese looked like he hadn’t missed a beat, peppering Kelly with strikes throughout the encounter until he found an opening for a sharp uppercut that hurt Kelly badly. The Birmingham native immediately jumped on his wounded opponent and punched him out to get the TKO stoppage at the 3:33 mark of the first round.
It was the 10th finish for Breese, who improved to 4-1 in the UFC and 11-1 overall. He hadn’t fought since losing a split decision to Sean Strickland at UFC 199 on June 4, 2016.
On the other side, the 40-year-old Kelly (13-4) has now lost three straight fights.