SAN JOSE, Calif. -- In his short career as a mixed martial artist, Baldwin's Chris Weidman has always left the cage with his hand raised in victory. Saturday night at UFC 139 was no different.
Weidman, one of the more promising middleweights in the UFC, continued beating up the people put in front of him with a first-round submission of middleweight Tom Lawlor at the HP Pavilion.
Weidman took control 40 seconds into the fight when he took down Lawlor after he missed a kick. "I got underneath him and drove right through him," said Weidman (7-0, 3-0 UFC).
Controlling a man on the ground is the strength of Weidman, a two-time All-American wrestler at Hofstra and Nassau CC. Weidman had to contend with Lawlor's guillotine choke skills, and was wise enough not to get baited by Lawlor's hand on his chin. He remained composed and worked to get Lawlor (7-4) in a compromising position.
Once Weidman was able to pass through that defense, he got a hold of Lawlor's neck and started squeezing. Using his feet to push off the cage and gain more leverage in the choke hold -- the way his Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu coaches Matt Serra and John Danaher taught him -- Weidman squeezed as long as it took to put Lawlor to sleep and earn the submission victory in just 128 seconds.
"I started squeezing and then relaxed a bit and he was totally gone," said Weidman, 28, who was seen trying to tell the referee that the opponent inside of his D'Arce choke was out. "You visualize it over and over, but when it happens, it's surreal. The way I sat in on it, I could tell he was pretty much out right away."
SI's Pace loses. Staten Island's Nick Pace lost by unanimous decision to former WEC bantamweight champion Miguel Angel Torres, who controlled the fight from the start.
Pace (6-3) missed weight on Friday, the second time he's done that in the UFC, coming in at 141 pounds for a 135-pound bout and was docked 20 percent of his fight purse.