THE LG Arena in Birmingham was treated to an audacious comeback from lightweight star Terry Etim this evening, at UFC138.
The Liverpudlian mixed martial artist took just 17 seconds to cap his return from injury with a victory.
Etim connected with a spinning kick and some sharp punches before locking in a brutal guillotine to force a submission from Edward Faaloloto.
The performance was greeted by rapturous cheering from the packed, partisan arena, who roared their approval from the moment Etim entered the Octagon until he sauntered out of it victorious.
In the evening’s main event charismatic American middleweight Chris Leben received a vociferous reception from a crowd that cheered his every move.
And he didn’t take a backward step in round one, throwing loaded punches with evil intent, and walking through some bombs from opponent Mark Munoz.
Munoz took his man down in round two and had success with ground and pound, but redheaded Leben returned to his feet to delight his suporters.
The punches had taken their toll, leaving a nasty gash above Leben’s left eye and forcing referee Marc Goddard to call the doctor in, but the fight was allowed to continue.
More punishment from Munoz followed, and to the crowd’s dismay the fight was waved off in between rounds, handing the Filipino star a TKO victory.
Earlier, Brad Pickett bravely stood in front of Brazilian Renan Barao and traded leather, but was caught with a flying knee, a flurry of punches and choked out on the floor.
John Maguire made his UFC debut against Justin Edwards and had to weather an early storm against the American, after getting knocked down.
The Cambridge man showed his prowess on the mat with some dominant grappling and submission attempts, suitably impressing the judges for a decision win.
There was disappointment for local boy Vaughn Lee who oened the card with a slit decision loss to San Fransisco’s Chris Cariaso.
Bantamweight fighter Lee started well and got the best of round one with takedowns and clinchwork, but Cariaso took over later.
The crowd were on their feet early in round one of Che Mills’ UFC debut, as he knocked out TUF star Chris Cope inside a minute.
The Gloucester welterweight landed two brutal knees and followed up with ground and pounded to claim an impressive victory.
Thiago Alves made light work of debutant Papy Abedi, whose willingess to stand with the Muay Thai specialist was his downfall.
Alves knocked his man down, followed him to the mat and secured his first submission victory of his UFC career with a rear naked choke.
Michihiro Omigawa took punishment from Jason Young in round one of their lightweight bout, including a head kick, but dominated on the ground for most of the remainder and got the nod from the judges.
Sunderland giant Phil De Fries had a five inch reach advantage over fellow Brit Rob Broughton in their heavyweight contest, but he chose to keep the fight on the ground and outgrappled his opponent for a decision win.
Cyrille Diabate looked sharp in round one of his lightheavyweight bout with Anthony Perosh, but fell victim to the Australian jiujitsu black belt’s grappling skill in the second round, tapping to a rear naked choke.
SLIDESHOW: Click the play button to see all the action and press conference pictures.