Roan Carneiro made a triumphant return to the Octagon at UFC 184. | Keith Mills/Sherdog.com
Roan Carneiro’s first UFC appearance since 2008 went about as well as it possibly could.
The 36-year-old American Top Team Atlanta representative made short work of Mark Munoz at UFC 184, submitting “The Filipino Wrecking Machine” with a rear-naked choke 1:40 into the opening frame at Staples Center in Los Angeles on Saturday night.
“Jucao” sprawled on a Munoz takedown early, then forced his opponent to surrender position in order to escape a guillotine attempt. From there, Carneiro was able to take Munoz’s back and put the Reign MMA representative to sleep to earn his sixth consecutive triumph.
Despite earning an emphatic win over a former resident of the middleweight division’s top 10, Carneiro said he plans on returning to 170 pounds for his next promotional appearance -- unless he receives an offer he cannot refuse.
“I can’t put into words how I feel; seven years I was out of the UFC. God blessed me tonight, and I showed the world what I can do,” Carneiro said. “I’m a 170-pounder, and I beat one of the top-15 185-pounders in the world. After this, I’ll probably move back down to welterweight, but if the UFC gives me a top-10 middleweight I’ll stay right here.”
Carneiro posted a 2-3 mark in the Octagon from 2007 to 2008, exiting the Las Vegas-based promotion following back-to-back losses to Kevin Burns and Ryo Chonan. He has been on a roll since then, winning eight of his last nine fights – including three victories in one night to capture the welterweight bracket at BattleGrounds MMA “O.N.E” this past October.