Kenny Florian's featherweight debut got off to a shaky start. He looked slightly lethargic in the first round of his UFC 131 fight with Diego Nunes, and Nunes even dropped him in the final seconds of the round.
From there, Florian seemed to get comfortable and took over the fight as Nunes faded, winning a unanimous decision Saturday at Rogers Arena in Vancouver.
The first round was relatively uneventful until the finish. Both men got a takedown but could do little with it. Nunes worked his usual spinning fists and kicks but took the round when he dropped Florian with a left hand in the final seconds, stunning everybody.
The second round saw Florian work for a takedown but unable to get it. It was Nunes who got the floor to the ground. He stood up and eventually referee John McCarthy stood Florian up. Florian would get a takedown with a little less than 90 seconds left and work some moderate ground-and-pound as the round ended.
Florian got a takedown and looked content to ride out the fight but Nunes was able to get back to his feet with around two minutes to go. Nunes would make a valiant effort and tag Florian with some shots, dropping him to a knee in a wild sequence to end the fight. Could that sway some judges?
The scorecards read 29-28, 29-28 and 30-27 all for Kenny Florian.
Florian had been inactive since dropping a decision to Gray Maynard at UFC 118. That fight helped him make the decision to move to featherweight. He improves to 14-5.
Nunes was a winner of three straight heading into the bout, last beating Mike Brown by split decision in January. He falls to 16-2 for his career.