Parke takes first UFC finish, calls out Diego Sanchez

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‘Stormin’’ Norman Parke turned the O2 into a nightclub with his trance inspired entrance and proved he was every bit a match for Japanese submission specialist Naoyuki Kotani in the grappling department.

Stopping his opponent’s takedown attempts on two occasions before the end of the first minute, Parke started to feel Kotani out on the feet.

Parke showed he wasn’t afraid of the clinch by pinning the Japanese fighter up against the cage halfway through the first, despite Kotani having a propensity to enter into unorthodox submissions in that range.

If the Next Generation Northern Ireland man had any doubt that the Dublin crowd would not get behind him, a chant of ‘Let’s go Norman’, surely put his unease to bed.

Parke scored a takedown in the last 30 seconds of the first, got his seatbelt, and dropped elbows on his prone opponent before the bell brought a close to the action.

The Rodney Moore opened up the second round with a left hook and Kotani reacted by diving on the Anrtim man’s leg. With Kotani laying on the canvas after his unsuccessful shot, Parke waved him back to his feet, uninterested in sitting into his opponent’s guard.

Scoring another takedown, Parke quickly transitioned to side control where he again dropped short elbows on Kotani. Moving into half guard, Parke got a slight scare from as Kotani attacked a leg.

However, diving back on his opponent, Parke pushed the pace with solid ground and pound from half guard top and with Kotani unable to defend himself, the bout stopped granting the Ulsterman his first UFC finish

Parke wasted no time calling out Diego Sanchez after he re-entered the Octagon having scaled the fence in celebration.

The Dublin crowd roared its approval as Parke barked “Deigo Sanchez, where you at punk?”

@PetesyCarroll

Peter Carroll is Severe MMA's lead feature writer. He has been featured in many top publications and some rubbish ones too. He also writes for the Irish Daily Mirror and Vice's Fightland.