Coming off a disappointing no contest in his previous outing, Motta had something to prove on Saturday night. He backed that up by trading strike for strike with the 6-foot-3 Nolan, who set foot in the octagon with an undefeated record and four finishes in a row, including his appearance on the promotion’s Contender Series.
None of that mattered mattered much to Motta, as he countered Nolan at every turn until blasting the Australian with a perfectly timed counter right hand that dropped him to the canvas in a heap. Motta followed Nolan to the ground, where he continued hammering away with shots until the referee had no choice but the stop the contest.
The end came at just 1:03 in the opening round.
“I knew that would be a very hard fight,” Motta said afterward. “Tom Nolan, he’s a killer. I saw him in the elevator today and I said, ‘Yeah, that for sure isn’t going to be a boring fight.’ I know I have a lot of power and I work with some of the best. It feels great.”
Nolan has a reputation for fierce offensive firepower and he came out guns blazing from the first exchange. Motta did the same, and that could have been a recipe for disaster against a longer, taller opponent like Nolan.
Instead, Motta cracked Nolan with some nasty kicks early before unleashing the combination that put his opponent down and out in rapid-fire fashion.
It was a very impressive showing from Motta, as he gets back in the win column and simultaneously hands Nolan the first loss of his career.