Jonas Bilharinho and Canaan Kawaihae were cruising to a decision in a mostly uninspired bout in the second bout of Dana White’s Contender Series. Then Bilharinho pulled off an incredible spinning hook kick to send Kawaihae plummeting to the canvas in the first round.
The out-of-nowhere move halted the bout at the 4:00 mark of the third round, sending a jolt through the crowd at UFC APEX in Las Vegas. Even more crazy was the fact that the knockout followed a never-before-seen double groin strike that had both competitors doubled over in pain.
You can see the finish above.
That Bilharinho pulled off the highlight-reel finish – the first knockout of its kind in DWCS history – with striking was the least surprising thing. The featherweight seemed content to snipe at Kawaihae on his feet – and admire his work – with single shots. A left straight and right check hook complimented solid head movement that, while impressive, wasn’t particularly emphatic. Kawaihae tried his best to smother his opponent whenever his punches and kicks didn’t find their target, which was frequently. But when Bilharinho found his sprawl, the bout went stale.
Errant knees in the clinch had Kawaihae in worse shape after Bilharinho tried the same move and went south, and the bout resumed its cruising pace. Until it didn’t.
Bilharinho, whose career record is 9-1-1, ups his current winning streak to two and is a shoo-in for a UFC contract, while Kawaihae sees a two-fight streak snapped.