reza-madadi-5.jpgSTOCKHOLM – Reza Madadi had to play the survival game late in the first round, and it paid off.

Madadi took a big head kick from Michael Johnson that was right on the button, and admitted later he was nearly finished. But he survived the frame, owned the second and in the third, choked Johnson out early for the comeback win.

The lightweight bout closed out the preliminary card of today’s UFC on FUEL TV 9 event at Ericsson Globe Arena in Stockholm. It streamed on Facebook ahead of a main card on FUEL TV.

Madadi landed a good right hand early and tried to get inside, but Johnson put a combination on him with an uppercut and three body shots before Madadi scooped in and got a trip takedown two minutes in. Johnson was able to turn things around, and reverse to get on top. The two scrambled on the ground with Madadi nearly sinking an omoplata.

As Madadi got back to his feet, though, Johnson absolutely rocked him with a perfectly timed kick to the head. Somehow, Madadi survived it and made it to the second round.

Johnson wanted to take advantage early in the second, but Madadi scored a takedown 40 seconds into the round and got to full mount. He landed heavy elbows and punches there. But Johnson scrambled out, and after Madadi spent a few seconds in side control, Johnson got back to his feet. He wasn’t there long, though, before Madadi ducked under and got another takedown. Madadi got to half guard and kept chipping away at Johnson on the ground.

Madadi quickly went after a takedown early in the third, and after Johnson defended it momentarily, Madadi had him right back where he wanted him. From there, he peppered in some ground and pound, then worked for a choke. Madadi trapped Johnson’s leg, cinched an arm-triangle, felt Johnson tap, then ran into the crowd to celebrate with the finish just over 90 seconds into the final round.

“He got me – not 100 percent, but 99,” Madadi said of the first-round head kick. “(The rest of the first round), I was totally gone. Michael Johnson has been in the game a long time. He’s a good opponent. My chance against him was very small, but I just wanted to be here and have a good time.”

Madadi (13-3 MMA, 2-1 UFC) returns to the win column after an October split-decision loss at UFC 153 and has won eight of his past nine fights. Johnson (12-8 MMA, 4-4 UFC) dropped his second straight fight after a three-fight win streak in 2012.

Up-to-the-minute UFC on FUEL TV 9 results include:

For complete coverage of UFC on FUEL TV 9, stay tuned to the UFC Events section of the site.

(Pictured: Reza Madadi)

John Morgan contributed to this report on-site in Stockholm.

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