Ivan Menjivar came in with the experience edge and it paid off as he weathered an early onslaught by John Albert to win by rear-naked-choke at 3:45 of the first round.
Albert wasted little time getting off on the feet to start the fight, stringing together multiple punch-kick combinations as he won the early exchanges with Menjivar. Menjivar managed to end up on top after a scramble took the fight to the ground, but had to avoid several submission attempts as Albert went for an omoplata first before transitioning to triangle and armbar attempts while on his back.
Menjivar showed off his tremendous submission defense as he stepped over the head of Albert and rained down hammerfists and short elbows causing Albert to abandon the submission attempts. After both fighters secured a foot and looked for heel hooks, it was Menjivar again that ended up on top following a scramble.
The fighters made their way back to their feet, but it was Albert that struck first again, landing a staggering high kick that backed Menjivar up against the cage. Sensing that Menjivar was hurt, Albert closed the distance and locked up a tight plum clinch before delivering several knees that dropped his opponent against the cage. Menjivar remained calm and regained his footing, but was dropped again by another flurry of knees.
Menjivar again made his way to his feet and ducked into Albert, getting caught in a standing guillotine in the process. Albert dropped to his back looking for the submission but it was Menjivar that poured on the punishment after breaking free, causing Albert to roll over into a turtled position.
From there, Menjivar quickly transitioned to the back of Albert, sinking in both hooks and flattening him out before going for the rear-naked-choke. Menjivar cinched the submission up and got the tap almost immediately.
With the victory, Menjivar extends his wins streak to three since returning to the UFC, improving to 24-8 overall.
Albert drops to 7-2 (1-1 UFC) with the loss.