Takashi Sato placed himself back on the winning track in some style. The Japanese welterweight needed less than a minute to stop promotional newcomer Jason Witt at UFC on ESPN 12 in Las Vegas.

Competing inside UFC Apex facility on Saturday night (local time) the former Welterweight King Of Pancrase stopped Witt in 48 seconds. Original opponent Ramiz Brahimaj pulled out after one of his cornermen tested positive for coronavirus or Covid-19.

Witt was making his UFC debut and came forward energetically, landing a couple of strikes before a stunning left straight from Sato sent him crashing to the canvas. He tried to spring back up and desperately went for a single-leg takedown attempt, but the Japanese fighter managed to pull his right leg out with ease.

Seeing his opponent’s two hands on the mat Sato attacked with a left uppercut and a follow-up right hook that completely dazed Witt. He followed up with a barrage of left hands, compelling the referee to step in and call a halt to the contest.

Great training

With this impressive victory Sato improves his professional record to 16-3. His 48-second demolition of Witt was the tenth first-round finish of his mixed martial arts career.

“I feel good,” Sato said in his post-fight interview.

“I had great training with the best coach and the best team at Sanford MMA. I’m happy to win and prove it.”

On the other hand, Witt dropped to 17-6. The American accepted the fight offer just two days ago, getting his medical clearance mere hours before the bout.

Rizin veteran

Meanwhile, Rizin and Road FC veteran Jinh Yu Frey fell short in her maiden octagon appearance, bowing to fellow debutant Kay Hansen by way of third-round submission.

Frey controlled the action on the feet during the first round, but Hansen took the match to the ground in the succeeding frames of the women’s strawweight encounter.

Hansen initially caught Frey with a triangle choke, but she incredibly shifted the hold and fastened an armbar to force the tap at the 2:26 mark of the third round.

UFC on ESPN 12, Las Vegas, June 27th
Dustin Poirier def. Dan Hooker via Unanimous Decision
Mike Perry def. Mickey Gall via Unanimous Decision
Maurice Greene def. Gian Villante via Submission (Arm triangle choke) at 3:44 of Round 3
Brendan Allen def. Kyle Daukaus via Unanimous Decision
Takashi Sato def. Jason Witt via TKO (Punches at 0:48 of Round 1
Julian Erosa def. Sean Woodson via Submission (D’arce choke) at 2:44 of Round 3
Khama Worthy def. Luis Pena via Submission (Guillotine) at 2:53 of Round 3
Tanner Boser def. Philipe Lins via KO (Punch) at 2:41 of Round 1
Kay Hansen def. Jinh Yu Frey via Submission (Armbar) at 2:26 of Round 3
Youssef Zalal def. Jordan Griffin via Unanimous Decision