Once upon a time Katsunori Kikuno was a Kyokushin Karate stud and lightweight champ in the Japanese promotion DEEP. Tonight, however, at UFC Fight Night 75, he was a punching bag for TUF 14 winner Diego Brandao, who utterly crushed him in a mere 28 seconds.
The Brazilian was on a two-fight losing streak not too long ago, dropping to Dustin Poirier and Conor McGregor and showing all of us that though he’d won a reality TV show, he had a ceiling to his potential, and it didn’t extend into the world of championship fights. But he did well against Jimy Hettes recently, and Kikuno was his opportunity to gain even more momentum in the featherweight division.
He sure made the most of it.
From a stunning overhand right to a swarm of unerring fists, Brandao had the referee stepping in just as Kikuno slumped face-first into the cage.
Hopefully this means either an exit from the Octagon for Kikuno or a drastic step down in competition. For Brandao it probably means a step up – possibly against another upper echelon fighter.