After six years away, Daniel Pineda made quite an impact in his return to the UFC.
The veteran featherweight absolutely punished Herbert Burns on the ground from the first round into the second before trapping the Brazilian in a crucifix where he landed a series of brutal elbows until the fight was finally stopped. The end came at 4:37 into the second round.
It was a long road back to the octagon for Pineda after he left the promotion following two straight losses but he looked better than ever in his return.
“Keep counting me out,” Pineda said. “Keep betting against me. It feels good, everybody was doubting. I cut 27 pounds in two weeks.
“He was good. He busted my eye right off the bat. I’m getting older but I’m getting better.”
Pineda was on the attack as soon as he was released from the corner, blasting Burns with an opening overhand right. Burns countered with a takedown but Pinada was quick to escape and after working his way back to the feet, he put the Brazilian down on the ground.
On top, Pineda was relentless with his strikes as he battered Burns with punches and elbows without ever giving his opponent a moment to catch his breath.
While it was a strong start for Pineda, Burns countered as soon as the second round got underway as he dragged the fight back to the ground except this time he wasn’t defending from the bottom. Burns was patient as he waited for the opening to advance his position but it was also apparent that his gas tank was starting to run dry.
As soon as Burns started to slow down, Pineda made him pay.
After exploding off the bottom to reverse positions, Pineda began hammering away at Burns yet again with a hard-hitting ground and pound attack. Pineda eventually trapped an arm to move into the crucifix position where he began raining down elbow strikes and Burns just had no way to escape.
After a brutal series of elbows landed with Burns drowning in quicksand, the referee had no choice but the stop the fight as Pineda celebrated his first UFC win since 2013.
Known as an all-action fighter, Pineda kept his perfect finishing record intact with 27 wins and all of them coming by knockout or submission following his TKO against Burns on Saturday night.