Fighters from around the globe dream of the day they’ll step into the UFC octagon for the first time. For one athlete, Saturday’s UFC Fight Night 186 event marked that special moment in their career.

Check out this week’s rookie report to see what kind of first impression they made on the sport’s biggest stage from the UFC Apex in Las Vegas.

Ronnie Lawrence

Division: Bantamweight
Result: Ronnie Lawrence def. Vince Cachero via TKO (punches) – Round 3, 2:37
Record: 7-1 MMA, 1-0 UFC
Grade: B

After an impressive display on the Contender Series, Ronnie Lawrence returned to the UFC Apex and delivered a performance full of promise, even though he wasn’t hugely enthused about his own display.

Early on against Vince Cachero, Lawrence showcased plenty of movement and was happy to step into the pocket and exchange, but occasionally found himself getting clipped after completing his combinations. His striking perhaps didn’t carry the same snap and sharpness we saw from him in his Contender Series win over Jose Johnson, but was still very much the superior striker in the cage.

In terms of his striking handiwork, Lawrence showcased a wide variety of techniques as he mixed straight punches with muay Thai knees from the clinch and a few well-placed calf kicks.

Happy to wrestle and scramble on the mat, Lawrence was successful in landing multiple takedowns as he showed his willingness to take the fight wherever made sense during the flow of the action. He needed to be on his guard when on the mat, however, and exhibited calmness and patience to avoid a couple of submission attempts from Cachero during the course of the fight.

After looking the better man through Rounds 1 and 2, Lawrence turned up the intensity in Round 3 and opened up with a flying knee attempt, followed by a spinning back-kick and calf kick, before picking up his man and slamming him to the mat. He initially worked his way to Cachero’s back, then moved to half guard and battered his man with ground and pound to force the finish and cap off an impressive debut display with a TKO finish.

Perhaps the most interesting aspect of his performance came during the post-fight interviews, where he revealed that he was far from impressed with his showing, despite his inside-the-distance victory.

He may not have done enough to fully meet his own high standards but, after claiming a TKO finish on his UFC debut against a tricky opponent, Lawrence has plenty of reasons to be cheerful as he steps into one of the UFC’s most talent-stacked weight classes as an exciting new addition.

Post-fight interview: Ronnie Lawrence

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In pictures: UFC Fight Night 186

In pictures: UFC Fight Night 186 official scorecards