Welterweight Martin (The Hitman) Kampmann rallied in the third round to submit Thiago (Pitbull) Alves on a televised UFC card Friday.
Alves (24-8) seemed headed to a win thanks to his superior striking. But the fight turned with time running out after an Alves takedown. Falling backwards, Kampmann latched onto Alves' neck and rolled into mount, forcing Alves to tap out to a guillotine at four minutes 12 seconds of the third round.
"I squeezed it because I knew that was my window," said Kampmann. "And I didn't want to miss it."
Kampmann said he wouldn't mind a shot at interim champion Carlos Condit, who lost to the Las Vegas-based Dane when they met the first time.
Kampmann (19-5) hurt Alves with a front kick early in the first round but Alves survived and had him down later in the round. Alves achieved mount position but failed to do damage and Kampmann escaped as the round ended.
Kampmann, cut under his left eye, had trouble getting his offence going against Alves in the second round. Alves, a Brazilian who now calls Florida home, landed the heavier shots.
Kampmann kept looking for takedowns but had little success. Still Alves was leaking blood from his nose as the fight wore down.
"Thiago caught me with some good shots, I'll be honest," Kampmann said.
"He's a beast," he added.
On the undercard at the Allphones Arena, veteran Australian Anthony (The Hippo) Perosh spoiled Canadian light-heavyweight Nick (The Quiet Assassin) Penner's UFC debut, pounding out a first-round TKO.
Like last week's UFC 144 card in Tokyo, the Sydney show started in the morning local time so it could be viewed in prime time back in North America. The undercard kicked off at 9:30 a.m. Saturday in Australia.
In the UFC's first foray into the 125-pound flyweight division, Demetrious (Mighty Mouse) Johnson scored what was originally announced as a 29-28, 29-28, 28-29 split decision over fellow American Ian (Uncle Creepy) McCall.
The crowd didn't like the decision and McCall left the cage immediately after it was announced.
It was later revealed that the scores were miscalculated and the bout was actually a majority draw: 29-28 for Johnson, 29-29 and 28-28. Johnson (14-2-1) and McCall (11-2-1) are now expected to fight again to determine who will meet American Joseph Benavidez for the UFC inaugural flyweight title.
Benavidez (16-2) floored Japan's Yasuhiro Urushitani (19-5-6) with a right to the chin, forcing the referee to step in 11 seconds into the second round.
It was a tough night for the lone Canadian on the card.
Referee John Sharp stepped in at 4:59 of the first round as Perosh, a black belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu who showed he has other skills in the cage, was punching away at a defenceless Penner (12-2) from the mount position
Penner, a 31-year-old native of Blumenort, Man., who fights out of Edmonton, had won eight straight going into the fight. His only other loss was in April 2008
A southpaw, Penner looked to take advantage on his feet early on against the submission fighter. But the Canadian was cut under the left eye and was taken down 90 seconds in.
He kept his cool and quickly got back up. Still Perosh (13-6) kept attacking and landed a good knee before taking Penner down and working into a position to finish the fight.
Perosh, a 39-year-old who has moved from heavyweight to light-heavyweight, has now won seven of his last nine.
"I cut him with a right cross and I knew had him from there," said Perosh.
Middleweight Constantinos Philippou (10-2 with one no contest) won a unanimous 29-28 decision over fellow American Court (The Crusher) McGee (13-2), winner of Season 11 of "The Ultimate Fighter."
Light-heavyweight James Te Huna (16-5) overwhelmed American Aaron Rosa (17-5). Te Huna, born in New Zealand but fighting out of Australia, stopped the former heavyweight at 2:08 of the first round.
Earlier, featherweight (Super) Steven Siler survived a tough third round to earn a 29-28 decision over Cole Miller.
Siler (20-9) had beaten Miller's little brother Micah on Season 14 of "The Ultimate Fighter" and there was clearly bad blood between the two — at least from Miller's side — at the weigh-in the day before the fight.
For the six-foot-one Miller (18-6), who did not seem happy at the judges verdict, it was his first fight at 145 pounds since 2006.
"Hopefully not another Miller," said Siler when asked what was next for him.
Featherweight Daniel (The Pit) Pineda (17-7) looked impressive in submitting fellow American Mackens Semerzier (8-4 with one no contest).
Pineda, an injury replacement who had fought six weeks ago, floored Semerzier with a left hook and then slickly transitioned into a triangle and then an armbar that forced his opponent to tap at 2:05 of the first round.
Pineda, now 2-0 in the UFC, has finished all 17 of his wins — never needing to go to the judges.
"Pineda is nasty!!" tweeted UFC president Dana White.
Welterweight T.J. Waldburger (15-6) proved to be just as prickly, muscling fellow American Jake Hecht (11-3) to the ground and then locking in an armbar to win just 55 seconds into the first round.
"He gave me an arm and I took it," said the Texan.
American middleweight Andrew Craig, another late injury replacement, came on as the fight progressed to win his UFC debut in a decision over Australian Kyle Noke.
Craig (7-0) won a unanimous 29-28 decision over Noke (19-6-1), a graduate of Season 11 of "The Ultimate Fighter."
American heavyweight Shawn Jordan (12-3) stopped England's Oli Thompson (9-3) at 1:07 of the second round.