English welterweight John Hathaway made his return to competitive MMA action at Oktagon 36 in Frankfurt, and marked the occasion with a unanimous decision victory.

The former UFC welterweight, who has been away from the sport for eight years battling health issues that required major surgery, faced Brazil’s Andre Ricardo at the event in Frankfurt, Germany, where he dominated his opponent throughout the matchup to earn a unanimous decision from the three judges at cageside with scores of 30-26, 30-24, 30-26

Hathaway showcased his smothering wrestling game to control Ricardo throughout the bout as he looked to move himself into position to snatch a submission.

However, he found Ricard to be a tricky prospect to deal with, as the Brazilian stayed calm and composed under duress and did well to ensure the returning Briton was unable to lock up a fight-ending technique, though Hathaway came very close to scoring a TKO in the closing seconds of the second round with heavy-duty ground and pound that left his opponent with a broken nose and a battered face.

Hathaway dished out more of the same in the final round as he dominated his opponent from bell to bell in an outstanding return performance that saw him land 189 punches, of which 116 were significant.

After improving his record to 18-2, Hathaway stated his intention to return to the cage “as soon as possible” as he looks to reignite his MMA career.

Photo credit: @OktagonOfficial (Twitter)