UFC middleweight Josh Samman (11-2) delivered a highlight reel knockout over Eddie Gordon (7-2) at UFC 181 at the Mandalay Bay Center in Las Vegas on Saturday night. Gordon, who won The Ultimate Fighter 19, got the better of his opponent in the first round, but Samman ended the fight when his head kick separated Gordon from his senses:

Check it out:


Samman, who was returning to the Octagon after a 13-month layoff because of the tragic death of his girlfriend, bagged the $50,000 Performance of the Night bonus for his effort. In the co-main event, Anthony Pettis (18-2) defended his UFC lightweight title defeating Gilbert Melendez (22-4) by second round submission. Pettis told Muscle & Fitness last week that he does not “go in there with the mindset that I have to make a statement, they usually just happen for me.”

Well, he certainly lived up to those words on Saturday night. Melendez fought extremely well in the first round, keeping Pettis against the cage, leaving no space for the champ to throw his trademark strikes and kicks. However, in the second round, Pettis set up the finish with a front kick and then displayed great hand speed to clip Melendez, take him to the ground and finish with a guillotine choke with 1:53 gone on the clock. After the fight, Pettis spoke to Joe Rogan:

In the other co-main event, Robbie Lawler (25-10, I NC) won a split decision over Johny Hendricks (16-3) to become the new UFC welterweight champion. The fight was on the line going into the final round, and Lawler landed some key blows in the final minute to seal the win. Check out the post-fight interview: