Spurred on by a close fight and an emotional cornerman, Grant Dawson seized opportunity in the last seconds of his meeting with Leonardo Santos and pulled off the finish with just one tick on the clock at UFC Vegas 22.
Dawson unleashed a flurry of hammerfists that sent Santos’ mouthpiece flying and knocked the Brazilian out at the 4:59 mark of the third round.
Check out the finish below:
According to official scorecards released after the fight, Dawson was up on all three judges’ scorecards leading into the third round.
But the fight was close enough that Dawson’s corner, UFC vet and coach James Krause, minced no words as he told his fighter to give up on takedowns and seek the knockout, a sure way to bypass any possible shenanigans from those scoring outside the cage.
Dawson didn’t quite listen to his coach, securing top position after a couple of takedown tries failed. Punches up top didn’t do any huge damage, but they put Dawson in a place where he could be confident that he would secure the round. But after standing up, he noticed Santos’ lack of defense and let his fists fly. After the second shot, it was clear the Brazilian had taken the brunt of their force, and the subsequent punches left no doubt.
Afterward, Dawson called out veteran Clay Guida.
In his first bout at lightweight after struggles at the scale, Dawson extends his octagon winning streak to five. Including regional wins, he’s won his past eight, while Santos suffers his first loss since 2009; the octagon vet had gone 7-0-1 in the UFC.