Photo by Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC
While the crowd was behind local favorite Mike Grundy, it was Amirkhani who stopped an early takedown attempt with a guillotine choke then quickly transitioned into an anaconda choke. Grundy twisted, turned, and tried to roll away from the submission, but Amirkhani’s vice-like grip only tightened until he coaxed the Manchester native to sleep.
The end came at just 57 seconds into the first round.
“We both had big pressure,” Amirkhani acknowledged after his win. “He had two losses in a row, I had three. We were fighting for our jobs, but I just wanted it more. I want to fight as soon as there is a challenge to fight.”
There was certainly a big spotlight on Amirkhani following his recent struggles, but he made the most of the opportunity while also stepping into hostile territory.
It was an emotional night for Grundy with his parents seated cageside, and he looked to get the action started quickly with the takedown attempt. Unfortunately, he left his head up when he turned to his wrestling, and that left the opening for Amirkhani to latch onto the submission.
While he never tapped out, Grundy eventually went unconscious from the anaconda choke.
Once considered a future contender at featherweight, Amirkhani moved his record to 17-7 overall and 7-5 in the UFC.