Andre Soukhamthath welcomed Jonathan Martinez to the UFC on Saturday night by dropping him early with a big counter right. He dropped him again late in the opening round of their UFC Moncton bantamweight bout for good measure.
That first-round performance turned out to be enough to spell the difference in their main-card fight, as Martinez, who accepted the bout on three weeks’ notice, got his head back into the game and gave a solid accounting of himself.
But it wasn’t quite enough to sway the decision, as Soukhamthath took the bout via unanimous decision at Avenir Centre in New Brunswick, on a pair of 29-28s and an odd 30-26.
“When I thought I was finishing him he either covered up or was recovering,” Soukhamthath said. “I told him I was proud of him, he’s a young kid and took it on short notice.”
Soukhamthath indeed appeared to be close to the finish when he dropped Martinez late in the second round, but the Texas native changed things in his favor in the second, as he started landing frequently in a round which went all over the cage, featuring several big shots in Thai clinches. Eventually Martinez ended up in top position on the mat, where he put his stamp on the round.
Things were back and forth in a wild third round, as well. But Soukhamthath managed to land a double along the fence for a takedown with 90 seconds left, then ended the fight with a standing arm-triangle choke as time ran out.
Soukhamthath improved to 13-6 with his second win in his past three bouts, while Martinez dropped to 9-2.