MELBOURNE, Australia – James Moontasri had to survive the kind of grinding pace Anton Zafir wanted to fight in the early stages of their bout at UFC 193. But once he was able to fight at a striker’s distance, Moontasri showed some flash, throwing a pair of spinning strikes to stop Zafir in the opening round.
The welterweight bout was part of the preliminary card of today’s UFC 193 event at Etihad Stadium in Melbourne, Australia. It streamed on UFC Fight Pass ahead of additional prelims on FOX Sports 1 and a main card on pay-per-view.
Moontasri (9-3 MMA, 2-2 UFC) opened up Round 1 by bouncing on the balls of his feet and testing out his range with pawing jabs and leg kicks, but it was Zafir (7-2 MMA, 0-1 UFC) who landed the first hard punch of the fight. That left hand opened up the takedown for Zafir, who put Moontasri on his back and immediately moved to half guard.
Though Zafir was able to land some solid, short punches, Moontasri slid to the cage and used it to get back to his feet. Zafir kept him pinned to the cage for another minute.
Once Moontasri got back to distance, however, he threw a perfect spinning back kick, followed by a spinning back fist that dropped Zafir to the canvas and brought the fight to a halt at the 4:36 mark of Round 1.
The victory helped Moontasri rebound from a UFC Fight Night 71 submission loss to Kevin Lee.
The loss snapped a five-fight winning streak for Zafir.