Expat Whanganui fighter Israel Adesanya (13-0) continued his rapid rise up the ranks of the UFC with a dominant unanimous decision victory over Hawaii's Brad Tavares (17-5) in the main event of the The Ultimate Fighter 27 finale show in Las Vegas on Saturday afternoon, NZ time.
Adesanya took the UFC veteran apart over five rounds, snapping his four fight winning streak, and likely moving himself up the rankings as Tavares was 8th in the middleweight division.
He landed a series of stinging kicks and jabs, out-striking his opponent 119-40.
Adesanya hoped his latest performance justified the hype.
"All the punters, all the experts, said 'Is it too soon? He's only had two fights in the UFC'.
"[Tavares] was a tough dude, Ray Sefo was in his corner, he's a legend of the game from New Zealand.
"Those Islanders, they got tough heads, and I've been wearing out people for a long time," said Adesanya.
"My first main event, it's only my third [UFC] fight.
"I'm just getting warmed up. I've got some things up my sleeve, give me some time."