Kiwi featherweight Shane Young earned his first UFC win with a vicious TKO against Filipino Rolando Dy in Singapore on Saturday night.
A pair of slicing elbows late in the second round signalled the start of the ending for his opponent, "Sugar" proceeding to unleash with precision punches to force the referee to step in and stop the fight.
As promised, Young then proceeded to address the crowd in Te reo Māori, having earlier made his entrance to the Octagon proudly flying a hybrid Tino rangatiratanga and New Zealand flag behind him.
He went on to explain the relevance of his empassioned whaikōrero to the 12,000 in attendance at the Singapore Indoor Stadium and the massive global television audience.
"I told everyone where I'm from, where my ancestors are from and why I'm standing here," Young told UFC announcer Dan Hardy.
"I said greetings to you all becasue we're an inclusive culture and I just want to promote people knowing who they are.
"From this day forth it's going to be my life and I just want to represent my people."
The 24-year-old spoke earlier in the week about the impact his recent reconnection with his Māori ancestry and the renewed sense of strength he'd found in it.
"Recently, I’ve really begun rediscovering my heritage, and I had shunned it for years. I was caught up in trying to be a white person, but now being in touch with my Māori
side has made me connect my training to our warrior heritage."
It was a clinical all-round performance by the City Kickboxing product who overwhelmed Dy with his sheer volume of strikes, utilising a variety of angles and some slick head movement to gradually wear him down before the kill shots came.
"I've just got to open my ears more when I fight and listen to my coaches," Young said afterwards. "It was nice to get back to my winning ways. It felt how like it used to be."
It was a timely victory for Young after being limited in his UFC debut back in November when he filled in as a late injury on just eight-days notice in Sydney.
Young now moves to a professional record of 12-4 with two fights remaining on his current UFC contract.