Moments after putting on a show for his British fan base, UFC light heavyweight Jimi Manuwa called for an immediate title shot -- or a boxing fight against David Haye.
Manuwa (17-2) made quick work of Corey Anderson at UFC Fight Night on Saturday at London's 02 Arena, as he floored Anderson with a single left hook just 3:05 into the fight. The 205-pound bout headlined the event.
It was the 15th career knockout for the 37-year-old Manuwa, and 10 of them have occurred in the first round. For Manuwa, that kind of power deserves a shot at either UFC gold or a former heavyweight champion boxer.
Cormier (18-1) is scheduled to defend his title against Johnson (22-5) at UFC 210 next month in Buffalo.
Regardless of whether Saturday's performance nets Manuwa one of the fights he wants, it sure was pretty.
Manuwa cautiously stalked Anderson around the perimeter of the fence, all the while showing complete respect to the American wrestler's takedown abilities. He stuffed several Anderson shots and refused to overcommit on a winging punch that might open him up to being taken down.
As the first round crept past the halfway mark, it almost appeared as if Manuwa was showing too much respect, as he had barely fired off a punch. Then, in an instant, the left hand landed, and Anderson crumpled to the floor.
Manuwa is now 3-1 in his past four fights. He does have a previous loss to Johnson: a second-round knockout in 2015. Anderson (9-3) suffered his second career knockout loss.
Welterweight Nelson shines after long layoff
The finish came 46 seconds into the frame, as Nelson rocked Jouban with a right hand and a kick to the top of the head. As Jouban fell forward, Nelson jumped onto a guillotine choke that immediately produced a tap.
It marked the seventh win of Nelson's UFC career. Six of those wins have come by submission.
"My style just works this way," Nelson said. "I try to read the openings and take my time with it. I want to finish fights. I don't want to win on points. Sometimes, I have to take some time to figure him out, but then I for finish. You have to have a few things you can go for. You can't just rely on one thing."
Jouban, who trains out of southern California, had some success circling away from Nelson and peppering him with leg kicks. But he was taken down and quickly mounted in the opening round before being finished early in the second.
An SBG Ireland teammate of lightweight champion Conor McGregor, Nelson is on a two-fight win streak.
Vera spoils Pickett's curtain call with head kick knockout
The official stoppage came at the 3:50 mark, when Vera (9-3-1) dropped Pickett (25-14) with a left head kick. Pickett started to sit up, but Vera followed with punches, and although Pickett got to his feet moments later, it was a justifiable stoppage by referee Grant Waterman.
A London native, Pickett, 38, thanked the hometown crowd following the defeat. He looked sharp in the first two rounds but couldn't match Vera's offensive output late in the fight.
"I'm so thankful to the UFC for giving me this platform to show my skills," Pickett said. "All the fans, I f---ing love you.
"To be honest, tonight sums it up for me. I believe I was winning clearly and got caught. I would rather go out stiff and dead, but the referee has got a job to do. I left it all in there."
Pickett used his wrestling to dictate the fight early and scored a knockdown in the opening round with a left hook. Vera, who took the fight on short notice, looked a little hesitant in the beginning, but once he started opening up in the final five minutes, his size and speed advantages loomed large.
The fight took place at a 140-pound catchweight, because Vera accepted on short notice. For Pickett, he closes the door on a career that began in 2004 and includes a 2010 victory over Demetrious Johnson.
British prospect Allen gets big win on home soil
The 23-year-old England native won several key scrambles in the victory and nearly secured a rear-naked choke at the end of the bout. Amirkhani, 28, pressed the action with his wrestling but struggled to get into the positions he wanted. Both fighters looked tired near the end of the second round, as the bout was essentially a nonstop series of high-paced scrambles.
It was the first split decision win of Allen's career and arguably his greatest career win. Amirkhani of Finland drops to 3-1 in the UFC.
Duffy finishes up UFC contract with resounding decision victory
Duffy, 29, surrendered a takedown in the opening minutes, but he reversed position and cut Madadi badly over the forehead with a clean elbow. In the second round, he lit Madadi up with the jab and right hand before turning to the body late.
Madadi, originally from Iran, answered with a handful of left hands and one more takedown but was otherwise outclassed.
Currently fighting out of Tristar MMA, Duffy, who holds a submission win over lightweight champion Conor McGregor from 2010, intends to test free agency. He finishes up his old UFC contract with a record of 3-1 in the Octagon.