TORONTO – Mitch Gagnon and Dustin Kimura stood and traded with each other, but when Gagnon wanted to go to the ground, he did so with authority.
The Canadian latched onto Kimura’s neck in the first round, then jumped guard with a tight guillotine that choked the Hawaiian unconscious.
The bantamweight bout was part of today’s UFC 165 event at Toronto’s Air Canada Centre. It aired on FOX Sports 1 following additional prelims on Facebook and ahead of the main card on pay-per-view.
Kimura and Gagnon showed no fear of standing and banging early, and a couple Gagnon shots got through and bloodied the Hawaiian’s nose. But Kimura then got inside and landed some big shots to the body and head as Gagnon covered up.
Midway through the round, a big left hand to the body had Gagnon bent over grabbing for his midsection – but he used that to take Kimura down. He defended a heel hook there, then got on top briefly before Kimura got back to his feet.
The two traded more to the body, but Gagnon dove, latched onto Kimura’s neck and jumped guard with a guillotine choke. He got it, and though it appeared Kimura was trying to pop his head out, referee Yves Lavigne stepped in with Kimura already unconscious at the 4:05 mark of the first.
“I was working on a few options with Dustin,” Gagnon said. “I was waiting for the tap, but it never came and he stopped moving, then I got pulled off. It’s the perfect way to come back. I felt even more relaxed in this fight. I feel like things are coming together and getting better and better.”
“It was a good fight, back and forth from start to finish,” Kimura said. “It was exactly how I thought it was going to be. I just made a mistake and he jumped on it and took me down. I wasn’t going to tap, it was kind of tight and I just went to sleep.”
Gagnon (10-2 MMA, 2-1 UFC) won for the second straight time, and second straight time in Toronto, after dropping his UFC debut against Bryan Caraway in July 2012. Kimura (10-1 MMA, 1-1 UFC) lost for the first time in his pro career.
Up-to-the-minute UFC 165 results include:
For complete coverage of UFC 165, stay tuned to the UFC Events section of the site.
John Morgan, Ben Fowlkes and Mike Bohn contributed to this report on-site in Toronto.