WATCH: Daniel Rodriguez TKOs Preston Parsons in UFC Vegas 31 debut

Credit: Chris Unger/Handout Photo via USA TODAY Sports

Although there were some rocky moments early, Daniel Rodriguez gave short-notice replacement Preston Parsons a rude welcome to the Ultimate Fighting Championship.

Daniel Rodriguez hands Preston Parsons a first-round TKO defeat

UFC newcomer Parsons, 26, entered the UFC Apex as a short-notice replacement for Abubakar Nurmagomedov, and early on it looked like he might be a problem for “D-Rod.” As he landed several solid strikes and combinations on a fighter known for his savvy striking. Things were looking good for the youngster until they weren’t anymore.

Midway through the opening round, Rodriguez, 34, connected on a punch that made “Pressure” react as if he were poked in the eye. With the referee not seeing any foul play, the action continued and Rodriguez saw the opportunity to pounce. He started working over his opponent and damaging the Octagon first-timer. Parson’s tried for a takedown to no avail.

Then with a little over a minute left, the onslaught became too much, and an uppercut doubled Parsons over. Rodriguez jumped all over him with ground-and-pound and forced the end of the fight with a 1:14 left. Scoring a destructive first-round technical knockout victory.

The “W” moves the Californian to 5-1 in the UFC and gives him a second straight win. Three of his wins have been finishes in the first two rounds.

For Parsons, it was a difficult end to his UFC debut, after having some good moments in the early goings. However, he will surely get a second opportunity to get his first win in the promotion.

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