As a counter to Louis Smolka grabbing onto the Muay Thai clinch to throw knees, Morales came back up over the top with a brutal right hand that blasted his opponent and sent the former flyweight crashing face first down to the canvas. Morales followed with a couple more shots on the ground but it was clear the fight was already over with referee Chris Tognoni rushing in to stop the contest.
The end came at just 2:02 in the opening round.
“It felt good,” Morales said about his win. “That was my first knockout in the UFC. I’d like to get back in here real soon.
“I’d like to get on that London card. If Nathaniel Wood’s looking for an opponent, I’m happy to dance.”
The bantamweights were both aggressive from the start with Morales looking to dig to the body on repeated occasions while Smolka was head hunting with his strikes.
An early exchange saw Morales throw three or four shots in a row to the midsection with Smolka then launching a left hand that nearly landed flush on the chin.
In a twist of fate, Morales then did the exact same thing to Smolka in return except his right hand connected with maximum impact and it earned him the knockout victory.
Morales moves to 3-2 in his past five appearances and he’s now earned his first two-fight win streak since joining the UFC roster in 2018.
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