Nick Denis On KO Of The Night Performance: “The First Elbow Sealed The Deal”
By Kelsey Mowatt
After Nick Denis told Full Contact Fighter in December that he “wasn’t too concerned” about what Joseph Sandoval would bring to the table at their UFC on FX match-up last weekend, the bantamweight wasted little time before going right after his opponent. Denis went on to knockout Sandoval with a series of standing elbows in just 22 seconds, making the Sengoku veteran’s Octagon debut a rather violent but memorable event.
“Never,” said Denis (11-2) while discussing his first UFC performance. “I am not greedy, so I would definitely say that was the best I could ask for.”
“The very first punch I threw, despite it not really landing at all, I knew he felt my power and I could quickly tell that he was not happy about it,” Denis added. “As for the elbow, yeah the first elbow sealed the deal. I threw the second and others after it knowing it was just a matter of time.”
A quick survey of the Ottawa fighter’s record reveals that Denis has recorded several stoppages via strikes during his career, however, he concedes that the fight ending elbows were not part of the original game plan.
“No I was not working it at all recently,” said Denis, who is now 4-1 in his last five fights, with his only loss during that stretch coming against Yuji Hoshino at Sengoku 12 in March, 2010. “It was simply there for the taking. I saw an opening and took it.”
While the bout took place on the preliminary card, the UFC and FX elected to replay the highlight reel fight again during the main card broadcast, adding further impact to the Canadian fighter’s Octagon debut.
“I was waiting all evening hoping and waiting for it to be shown on the main card broadcast. It was only 22 seconds, so my thoughts were ‘how could they possibly not have 22 seconds to spare’,” Denis noted. “Definitely thrilled when they played it.”
The night’s accolades didn’t end there for the 28 year-old-fighter, however, as Denis was also awarded the “Knockout of the Night” award and a bonus check for $45,000.
“I was at the Cheesecake Factory with all my friends and family eating,” said Denis, when asked to recall his reaction upon finding out that he had received the award. “One of my friends said he just heard from Twitter that I won the KO bonus cash. I screamed, everyone screamed. We all made high fives, then I heard someone say the word ‘kidding’ and I quickly got serious and angry, asking ‘tell me you weren’t just kidding?”’ But he wasn’t, so I went back to being happy.”
“As for plans; well, I’m going to buy a Vitamix blender,” Denis furthered. “And I think a musical instrument of some sort. Other than that, nothing really.”
Last Friday’s bout came approximately three months after Denis knocked out Bellator vet Nick Mamalis, while competing for Wreck MMA in October.
“Great question,” said Denis, when asked when he would like to fight next. “I wouldn’t mind taking a couple weeks off to just train leisurely. I think during those two weeks I will think more about it and decide what I want.”
Photo via Sengoku