Tony Martin looked excellent in his welterweight debut at UFC Atlantic City, using his length to silence Keita Nakamura on the feet.
Tony Martin comes into UFC Atlantic City looking to get back in the win column after his three-fight win streak came to an end against Canadian stud Olivier Aubin-Mercier. Martin has had some excellent performances in the Octagon, but has a tendency to lose against a certain level of competition, coming up short against Rashid Magomedov, Beneil Dariush, and Leandro Santos.
Keita Nakamura is a very tough welterweight who excels on the mat. Nakamura is 3-2 in the UFC in his latest stint with submission wins over Kyle Noke and Li Jingliang, and most recently took home a split decision against Alex Morono. Nakamura has a wealth of MMA experience, owning a 30-6-2 record before stepping foot in the Octagon for the first time.
Both fighters went for head kicks that were avoided to start the fight. Keita Nakamura landed a pair of left straights then went to the body. Martin fired back with a head kick and a combination that landed.
Nakamura was staggered by a follow-up punch from Martin, but got his wits about him quickly. Martin’s jab was on the money in the early goings. A one-one-two combination rocked Nakamura, but the Japanese fighter landed a takedown to stop the momentum of Martin. Martin held him in a headlock until time expired.
Martin continued to establish his range early on, landing a consistent jab and an infrequent leg kick. The one-two of Martin was money in the second round. Nakamura continued to eat straight punches from Martin while attempting to lead the exchanges.
Nakamura was cracked by a right straight and Martin pursued with head kicks, but Nakamura was able to take Martin down again to end the round.
Nakamura took Martin down early in the third, but Martin countered with a kimura effort and nearly swept Nakamura. Nakamura was able to keep top position and Martin stood up instead.
The right hand of Martin was landing at a great clip, and Nakamura continued to eat counters. Nakamura got his late takedown, but Martin swept him with the kimura and attempted to finish as time expired.
Tony Martin’s welterweight debut was as flawless as it gets, as he took home a decisive victory over the longtime veteran Nakamura.
Tony Martin def. Keita Nakamura by Unanimous Decision (30-27 x3)