UFC 174 took place on June 14, 2014 in Vancouver, Canada. Kiichi Kunimoto choked out Daniel Sarafian in short order.
Kunimoto came into the fight with a lot to prove to the UFC fans who hadn’t seen him perform outside of Japan. After a disappointing finish by illegal elbows to the back of the head in his Singapore UFC debut, Kunimoto got the chance to shine in Canada. He looked calm and collected while pressuring Sarafin, and once the opportunity came for a finish, we wasted no time slapping on a very quick and tight rear naked choke. Kunimoto improved his record to 18-5-2-1 and asked for a spot on the Japan card in September.
Play by play:
Round one. Kunimoto comes out with a few kicks to start the action. Sarafian hunts and gets a left hook that lands. Kunimoto comes back with a punch and kick to clinch against the cage. Kunimoto looking for a trip, and finally works it down. Kunimoto makes it to half guard and Sarafian keeps attacking the head. In a scramble, Sarafian gives up his back and tries to stand. Kunimoto takes up, pulls him backwards, and locks on a choke.
Kunimoto says, “I trust myself to fight in the UFC and I hope I can fight in UFC Japan in September”.