MARTIAL ARTS: Some newfound confidence propelled Sunshine Coast fighter Kyle Noke to an astonishing and somewhat brutal victory over Poland's Peter Sobotta in Melbourne yesterday.
Competing on one of the sport's biggest stages, the former bodyguard drew gasps from the crowd, and an agonising moan from his rival, with a well-timed front snap kick at UFC 193 at Etihad Stadium.
Sobotta dropped to the ground clutching his midriff and Noke pounced with a flurry of punches to end the welterweight contest after just two minutes.
"MY (coach Mike) Winkeljohn is always telling me to let my front kicks go and you know tonight I just did," Noke said.
"I looked for that liver on that front side and just blasted it."
The result ended 28-year-old's Sobotta's seven-fight winning streak and took him to a record of 15 wins, 5 losses and 1 draw in Mixed Martial Arts and 2-4 in the Ultimate Fighting Championship.
Meanwhile, it lifted 35-year-old Noke's record to 22-7-1 in MMA and 6-3 in the UFC.
Noke is an experienced campaigner who made his MMA debut in 2002 but yesterday's victory was particularly special.
"I finally started believing in myself more than anything else," he said.
"But it was (also) the hard work. We trained for that. I've been training every day.
"I've pushed myself to the limit every day training with (Greg) Jackson and Wink and at the BMF Ranch (in New Mexico) with all the guys out there as well."
Noke fought in front of a building crowd, which was set to be a UFC record of more than 55,000 for the feature bout between Ronda Rousey and Holly Holm.
Rousey was sensationally beaten in round two.
The fights were also televised to a massive audience, including via Fox Sports in Australia.
Noke told the Daily last week he was looking forward to returning to the Sunshine Coast following his bout.