Jamahal Hill delivered a spectacular statement of intent as he starched fellow light heavyweight contender Johnny Walker in the main event of UFC Fight Night 201 in Las Vegas.

The two hard-hitting 205-pounders topped the fight card at the UFC Apex in Sin City, and the MMA world watched on the edge of their seats as they started to trade shots early in the first round.

Walker appeared to have more success early on, but Hill was gauging the distance and, after he had calibrated his striking range, he struck with spectacular effect.

A huge punch sent Walker falling backward, almost in slow-motion, as the Brazilian crashed to the canvas. Hill closed in and connected with a big follow-up shot to make absolutely sure, but the result was already assured as referee Jason Herzon dived in to stop the fight.

Hill’s victory will likely propel him into the upper echelon of the UFC’s light heavyweight division, which is currently ruled by Brazilian veteran Glover Teixeira. And if he continues with performances like that, it surely won’t be long before he’s fighting for championship gold.

In the 195-pound catchweight co-main event, Kyle Daukaus showcased his submission skills as he finished Jamie Pickett, then anointed himself with a new nickname.

Daukaus finished Pickett with a D’Arce choke to score the fifth finish of his career using that technique, then told UFC analyst Paul Felder that he now wants to be known as “The D’Arce Knight.”

Heavyweight Parker Porter had to deal with a tough final round, but was left celebrating after his grueling three-rounder with Alan Baudot went to the judges’ scorecards.

Porter took the unanimous decision on all three cards, with each one awarding him the fight 29-28 to give him three wins in a row in the UFC heavyweight division.

It was a big night for UFC lightweight Jim Miller, who drew level with Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone at the top of the UFC’s all-time wins list after scoring the 23rd victory of his UFC career.

In his 39th fight as a UFC fighter, Miller finished highly-rated UFC debutant Nikolas Motta via second0round TKO to continue his evergreen career and improve his career record to 34-16, before stating his continued hope that he will reach an incredible milestone by becoming the only fighter to compete on UFC 100, UFC 200 and UFC 300.

“If there’s time on the clock, I’m gonna keep going,” he said after his victory.

“My goal has been to just fight as hard as I can fight, for as long as I can, and when I’m ready (to retire) I’ll know, and you guys will know and I’ll be excited making that last walk to the octagon. It’s not going to be next time!

“I’ve got UFC 300 in my visor, you know, so that’s where I’m going. I’d like to fight in front of a big crowd next fight, for 40”

The main card kicked off with an explosive middleweight matchup that defied the odds by going all the way to the judges’ scorecards.

When it did, it was Joaquin Buckley whose hand was raised after his bout with fellow big-hitter Abdul Razak Alhassan split the judges. The first scorecard awarded the bout to Alhassan, but the other two saw Buckley have the edge as “Newmansa” took the victory 28-29, 29-28, 29-28.

The night also saw an octagon veteran bid farewell, with featherweight Chas Skelly revealing his win over Mark Striegl would likely be his last appearance inside the UFC octagon.

Skelly finished Striegl with ground strikes in the second round after a strong showing to take his career record to 19-3, with eight of those wins coming under the UFC banner.

UFC Fight Night 201: Official Results

Main Card

  • Jamahal Hill def. Johnny Walker via knockout (punch) – Round 1, 2:55
  • Kyle Daukaus def. Jamie Pickett via submission (D’Arce choke) – Round 1, 4:59
  • Parker Porter def. Alan Baudot via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
  • Jim Miller def. Nikolas Motta via TKO (punches) – Round 2, 1:58
  • Joaquin Buckley def. Abdul Razak Alhassan via split decision (28-29, 29-28, 29-28)

Preliminary Card

  • David Onama def. Gabriel Benitez via knockout (punches) – Round 1, 4:24
  • Stephanie Egger def. Jessica-Rose Clark via submission (armbar) – Round 1, 3:44
  • Chas Skelly def. Mark Striegl via TKO (ground strikes) – Round 2, 2:01
  • Gloria de Paula def. Diana Belbita via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
  • Chad Anheliger def. Jesse Strader via TKO (punches) – Round 3, 3:33
  • Jonathan Pearce vs. Christian Rodriguez via unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28, 29-28)
  • Mario Bautista def. Jay Perrin via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-26)