SAN DIEGO -- UFC heavyweight Frank Mir delivered a one-punch knockout on Wednesday that even "Iron Mike" could appreciate.
With former boxing champion Mike Tyson sitting front row, Mir (18-9) obliterated Todd Duffee with a counter left hand at 1:13 of the first round. The heavyweight fight headlined UFC Fight Night at Valley View Casino Center.
The finish came after 73 seconds of complete warfare, as both Mir and Duffee (9-3) went at each other in essentially one wild exchange. Mir, a former UFC champion, admitted it was more of a firefight than he's used to.
"I went out there to stun him in what he does best, which is throw leather," Mir said. "I fought emotional, and I usually don't do that. I just bit on my mouthpiece and swung. When someone is coming at you like a bull, you can't back off. You have to come forward."
Duffee, 29, specifically asked for Mir after knocking out Anthony Hamilton in the first round in December. The two trained together briefly during 2010 while sharing coaches in Las Vegas.
Fighting out of American Top Team, Duffee met Mir's aggression head on, which might have led to his demise, as he got caught badly reaching with a right haymaker in the final sequence. The counter left knocked Duffee out cold, although Mir managed to sneak in two final punches before referee John McCarthy could step in.
In addition to the counter left, which landed several times for Mir, the knee up the middle was his best weapon. He caught Duffee with two knees to the chin, after ducking out of the way of his right hand. Just moments before the final punch, Duffee actually appeared to stagger Mir slightly with a right hand in the pocket.
Mir thanked his wife and coaches immediately after the win. The 36-year-old holds the most wins ever in the UFC heavyweight division with 16 but has recently undergone a bit of a transformation. He started working with a new boxing coach in 2014 and has racked up back-to-back first-round knockouts since. He knocked out Antonio 'Bigfoot' Silva in less than two minutes in February.
"I expected to be more technical tonight," Mir said. "I've been sparring with really good guys, former champions. (UFC heavyweight) Travis Browne came out and was helping me a little bit. I was a little less technical tonight but I showcased a different aspect. Now, people have to wonder. I can fight hard with a young bull, but I can still be the matador."
It's the third time in Duffee's career he's been knocked out. Only two of his 12 career fights have made it out of the first round. It is Mir's fifth career win by knockout.
Attendance for the UFC Fight Night event was 5,471, with a gate of $412,000.
Ferguson manhandles Thomson over three rounds
Tony Ferguson continues to wreak havoc on the UFC's lightweight division, as he routed Josh Thomson in a unanimous decision to extend his win streak to six.
Ferguson (19-3) overpowered the former Strikeforce champion, dropping Thomson in the second round with a clean right elbow and nearly submitting him on multiple occasions. Judges scored the bout for Ferguson via scores of 30-27, 30-27 and 30-26.
A finish never quite came for the 31-year-old Ferguson, but it was not for lack of effort. According to cageside stats, Ferguson racked up 123 strikes landed, the highest total of any fight in his UFC career.
Thomson (20-8) tripped Ferguson to the ground early in the fight but couldn't pounce quick enough to keep him there. He landed a few kicks to the legs, but an unimpressed Ferguson calmly continued to walk forward and return fire. He targeted Thomson's lead leg with kicks and grazed a knee off his chin after feinting a double-leg shot.
Early in the second round, Ferguson connected with a beautiful elbow that dropped Thomson near the fence. The 36-year-old veteran went into survival mode basically the rest of the round, scrambling out of one bad position after another, all the while eating punches and elbows to the side of the head. Later in the round, after Thomson worked back to his feet, Ferguson opened a deep cut on his hairline with another inside elbow.
Thomson refused to go away quietly and came into the final round aggressive. Ferguson's defense proved to be as good as offense, though, as he slipped Thomson's punches and defended an early takedown attempt. With less than two minutes remaining, Thomson landed a hard spinning backfist out of nowhere, but Ferguson ate it fine.
A former winner of "The Ultimate Fighter" reality series in 2011, Ferguson is now 9-1. His only loss came via unanimous decision to Michael Johnson in May 2012. Thomson falls to 0-3 in his past three fights. He suffered back-to-back split-decision losses to Ben Henderson and Bobby Green in 2014.
Holm looks better in second UFC appearance
Making her sophomore UFC appearance, former world boxing champion Holly Holm looked far more at home than she did in her debut by dominating Marion Reneau for a unanimous decision.
Holm (9-0), who signed with the UFC under much fanfare last summer, tore through Reneau with a variety of strikes and nearly earned a TKO finish in the final round. Official judges' scores read 30-27, 30-26, 29-28.
The win improves Holm's UFC bantamweight record to 2-0. She defeated Raquel Pennington via split decision at UFC 184 in February in a debut she was visibly tense for.
"I feel like I showed a little more than my last fight, but I still need to show more," Holm said. "I always want a finish when I get in there. I'll keep working hard for you guys."
"Working hard" did not appear to be an issue for Holm, as she threw an insanely high 184 total strikes in the three-round fight. Holm landed 70 total strikes, compared to 32 for Reneau.
The sheer volume of Holm's attack, coupled with her size advantage, shut Marion (6-2) down at times. She struggled to close distance on Holm and lost mobility as the fight progressed due to leg kicks.
Twice in the fight, Reneau resorted to pulling guard to get away from Holm's offense. Holm followed her to the floor once in the third round, briefly -- standing up out of a triangle attempt and throwing kicks to Reneau's legs.
The third round was easily Holm's best, as her confidence grew and she opened up with combinations and power shots. Kicks to the body seemed to take nearly everything out of Reneau and she actually turned and momentarily ran away from Holm in the final 10 seconds.
Fighting out Jackson-Winkeljohn MMA in Albuquerque, New Mexico, Holm finished 6 of 7 fights outside the UFC. Her last knockout came against Juliana Werner in April 2014. Reneau suffers her first loss since 2012.
Gamburyan navigates way past Jorgensen
Through two appearances, Manny Gamburyan appears to have found his stride at 135 pounds.
Gamburyan (15-8) moved to 2-0 as a UFC bantamweight, outpointing Scott Jorgensen in a three-round unanimous decision. All three judges scored the contest for Gamburyan 30-27.
Based out of southern California, Gamburyan admitted after the fight he had considered pulling out due to a hip injury.
"I planned to knock him out, but I couldn't do it," Gamburyan said. "Jorgensen is a tough guy. Coming into this camp, I'm going to be honest, my hip was out. I thought I was going to have to pull out. It was really bad."
The hip injury had little effect on Gamburyan's performance, as he neutralized the wrestling of Jorgensen and landed the harder punches on the feet. Each fighter struggled to out-grapple the other, but it was Gamburyan who capitalized anytime the two were locked in a clinch, landing hard punches off the break and dropping Jorgensen at one point with a right hand.
According to cageside stats, Gamburyan only out-landed Jorgensen in total strikes 65 to 56, but there was no question his were the harder shots. After dropping Jorgensen with the right hand in the first round, he threatened to finish the fight with follow-up punches. In the second round, Gamburyan dropped for a guillotine choke in the midst of a scramble but couldn't quite lock it up.
"It was kind of slippery," Gamburyan said. "I had a guillotine. It was pretty deep, but he's a scrappy guy. He's a veteran."
Jorgensen (15-11) entered the UFC in 2010 on a 5-1 streak but has struggled through 11 fights in the Octagon. He is 4-7 overall, including a 1-3 mark during a yearlong run at flyweight.
Lee walks over Moontasri
Kevin Lee walked around the cage following his submission win over James Moontasri, repeating the word "easy" to the San Diego crowd. Sure did seem that way.
Lee (11-1) dominated Moontasri in their lightweight bout, beating him to the punch on the feet before taking him down and securing a rear-naked choke in the first round. The official time of the stoppage was 2:56.
A former NCAA Division II wrestler, Lee looked exceptionally crisp on his feet, popping Moontasri (8-3) with the jab and a lightning-fast overhand right. When he did commit to a takedown midway through the first, Moontasri didn't stand a chance and Lee moved immediately to his back following a slam.
"I wanted to strike with him to show I can strike -- I'm not just a wrestler," Lee said. "When I did get the takedown, I saw the opening. I had [the choke] tight. He was fighting me in some positions, but once I get that squeeze on, it's all over. This is my fourth win in a row. Maybe now I'll start getting the respect I deserve."
Now 4-1 in the UFC, Lee had offered to move up in the card and fight Al Iaquinta in the co-main event, but the promotion opted to go in a different direction. Iaquinta had previously been scheduled to fight Bobby Green and Gilbert Melendez, but both fights fell through. Iaquinta (12-3-1) beat Lee in a February 2014 meeting via unanimous decision.
The 22-year-old Lee earns his first finish since November 2013. It is the fifth submission of his career. Moontasri drops to 1-2 in the Octagon.
Jouban battles back against Dwyer
Welterweight Alan Jouban battled back from an early knockdown and point deduction in the first round to claim a unanimous decision over Matt Dwyer.
Referee Herb Dean docked Jouban (12-3) a point in the opening frame for landing an illegal knee. The penalty came shortly after Dwyer (8-3) dropped Jouban with a stiff right hand.
Nevertheless, Jouban did enough to still win the opening round. He continued to pressure Dwyer on the feet in the second and third, eventually running away with unanimous 29-27 scores.
"Matt Dwyer was the first guy on a list of guys that needed a fight," Jouban said. "He had eight knockouts. I had eight knockouts. I wanted to put on a good show, and we opened the main card with a good show."
Dwyer handled Jouban's pressure well early. Although he was put on the defensive throughout the bout, he fired back with dangerous counterpunches from the perimeter and appeared to hurt Jouban on several occasions.
Jouban just would not be denied, however, constantly pressing forward and repeatedly finding a home for his left body kick. After cracking Dwyer with the kick numerous times in the first half of the fight, he elevated one to the head in the second round that briefly dropped Dwyer. After Dwyer popped back to his feet, Jouban uncorked several combinations at the end of the round, including a cartwheel kick that landed flush.
The final round continued to go Jouban's way, as he picked away at Dwyer with body kicks and uppercuts. He scored a big takedown with just over a minute left in the fight. According to cageside stats Jouban out-landed Dwyer in total strikes 93 to 60.
The 32-year-old Jouban is now 3-1 in the UFC. Dwyer, 25, falls to 1-2.