Longtime fighter Njokuani (21-7 MMA, 1-0 UFC) finally got his shot at the big stage Saturday at the UFC Apex in Las Vegas. After being awarded a UFC contract on Dana White’s Contender Series, he maximized the platform of his official octagon debut with a 16-second starching of Barriault (13-5 MMA, 2-4 UFC) in their middleweight bout.
Moments after the fight began, Njokuani hit Barriault with a left jab followed by a right cross that immediately led to a knockdown. He followed up with a swarming flurry against the fence, and the referee had no choice but to stop it.
Check out the replay of the stoppage below (via Twitter):
Njokuani’s win marked the second fastest debut performance in UFC history. Only Terrance McKinney and his seven-second knockout has him beat, but it’s good company to be in.
Having been a professional since 2007, Njokuani has gone through the ranks of various promotions. He said he’s finally where he belongs, though, and is ready to rise to the top at 185 pounds.
“I’m coming for the top,” Njokuani said in his post-fight interview with Michael Bisping. “I’m trying to take that belt, you feel me?”