UFC 150: NIK LENTZ DOMINATES IN FEATHERWEIGHT DEBUTby Matt Erickson, MMAJunkie.com
DENVER – What Nik Lentz apparently needed was a 10-pound change of scenery.
After a three-fight skid – though one was overturned to a no contest – at lightweight, Lentz dropped to featherweight for the first time and dominated Eiji Mitsuoka on his way to a first-round TKO.
The featherweight bout opened up the preliminary card of Saturday’s UFC 150 event at Pepsi Center in Denver. The fight streamed on Facebook prior to prelims on FX and a main card on pay-per-view.
Lentz was a perfect four for four on his takedowns against Mitsuoka, who was making his return to the featherweight division after a stint at lightweight. Lentz used those takedowns to eventually take his opponent’s back. On the ground, Lentz clearly was the stronger fighter, and after securing a body triangle, Lentz was able to flatten Mitsuoka out.
From there, although the punches weren’t massive, it was clear Mitsuoka stood almost no chance of escaping Lentz’s dominant position. Referee Tim Mills stepped in at 3:45 of the first.
Lentz, who trained at American Top Team in South Florida and worked with famed nutritionist Mike Dolce, said he changed his entire life when he decided to drop from lightweight to featherweight.
“I changed everything,” Lentz said. “I literally got rid of all my coaches, I got Mike Dolce to get down to 145, I went to florida and stayed in the worst hotel ever for eight weeks. I threw my life away because I knew that at 145 pounds, I can be a champion.
“I’m not going anywhere. I’m going to keep winning and keep going down the road, whoever they put in front of me. This is what’s going to happen.”
Lentz (24-5-2 MMA, 6-2-1 UFC) won for the first time in four fights after losses to Evan Dunham and Mark Bocek at lightweight, plus a loss to Charles Oliveira that was overturned to a no contest due to an illegal knee. Mitsuoka (18-9-2 MMA, 0-2 UFC) drops his second straight after losing by TKO to Takanori Gomi in his UFC debut this past February in his native Japan.
Up-to-the-minute UFC 150 results include:
Nik Lentz def. Eiji Mitsuoka via TKO (strikes) – Round 1, 3:45