UFC Vegas 59: Bryan Battle Announces Welterweight Arrival with Crushing Head Kick on Takashi Sato

Takashi Sato and Bryan Battle, UFC Vegas 59
LAS VEGAS, NEVADA - AUGUST 06: (R-L) Bryan Battle kicks Takashi Sato of Japan in a welterweight fight during the UFC Fight Night event at UFC APEX on August 06, 2022 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC)

Despite winning The Ultimate Fighter 29 at middleweight, as well as his first UFC fight, TUF champ Bryan Battle dropped to welterweight for his fight with Takashi Sato at UFC Vegas 59.

As Battle had explained it to Cageside Press ahead of the fight, with more resources to invest in himself than ever before, the new weight class just sort of found him. Japan’s Sato, meanwhile, was looking to snap a two-fight skid in the match-up.

Sato held center early as the action got underway, with Battle firing a few sharp kicks. A sign of things to come. Moments later, Battle fired a picture-perfect head kick, connecting clean with Sato’s chin. The Japanese fighter’s hands were just a little too low, and he paid for it, going stiff as a board and crashing to the canvas.

Battle jumped on to finish things off, but that was wholly unnecessary. The ref quickly made the save, giving Battle a highlight reel knockout that will be up there for KO of the year most likely.

Consider Bryan Battle’s move to welterweight a success, and the finish a front-runner for Performance of the Night.

Official Result: Bryan Battle def. Takashi Sato by knockout (head kick), Round 1, 0:44