In an exciting night of MMA loaded with first-round finishes, UFC and PRIDE Fighting Championships veteran Carlos “The Ronin” Newton made a successful return to action in his first bout since October 2007 by knocking out Canadian Tristar Gym product Nabil “The Thrill” Khatib at “Warrior-1: Inception” on Saturday at the Robert Guertin Arena in Gatineau, Quebec.

In the main event of a successful debut card for Quebec’s recently developed mixed martial arts organization, the first UFC welterweight champion dominated the 38-year-old Khatib from start to finish.

Newton used superior boxing skills to overwhelm his less-experienced opponent before taking him to the ground. Once on the mat, Newton trapped Khatib’s arm around his own neck and subsequently delivered a lethal dose of ground and pound en route to a knockout at the 3:12 mark of the opening stanza.

Newton rebounded from a three-fight losing streak to improve his record to 14-13, also earning his first win in his native Canada in over 13 years.

Khatib (8-5), meanwhile, dropped his third consecutive bout.

Post-fight, the Warrior MMA Fight Team product said he was comfortable cutting weight and feels good at welterweight. “Making 170 [pounds] this time was the easiest time I’ve had doing it,” said Newton.

Newton, who appeared to be in great shape and did not show any signs of ring rust after a hiatus spanning nearly two years, credited his trainers with getting him prepared for the contest. “I have two great trainers, Everton McEwan [and] Terry Riggs,” he said.

In the co-feature, Martin Grandmont recorded a come-from-behind knockout over previously unbeaten Mark Holst. The Team Bergeron member and veteran of the now-defunct TKO promotion in Quebec was staggered early by Holst, seemingly flustered by the Gatineau-native’s rapid hand movement.

But Holst, a pupil of Renzo Gracie’s Jiu-Jitsu Academy, fell victim to a punishing overhand right at 4:13 of round one. The surprising knockout improved Grandmont’s record to 8-4, while Holst dropped to 4-1.

In another intriguing match-up, late replacement Hosier Bruno shocked former World Wrestling Entertainment developmental talent and Canadian Football League product Glenn Kulka with a cataclysmic front kick/knee combination, which sent Kulka tumbling to the canvas at 1:17 of the opening frame.

The 45-year-old Kulka (2-1) was dealt his first professional MMA loss after winning his first two bouts in less than two minutes of total fighting time.

Bruno, meanwhile, improved his professional record to 2-0.

Bruno’s first career win came against Kulka’s originally scheduled opponent Bob Landry at the controversial Titans Fighting event on February 6 in Montreal. Though the event was billed as a unique “Strikebox-rules” card with modified kickboxing rules implemented, it was actually officiated under traditional MMA rules as Stephane Patry’s newest standup fighting concept never got sanctioning. As such, Bruno’s victory over Landry should count towards his MMA record.

Here are the full results from “W-1: Inception,” which took place on March 28:

-Carlos Newton def. Nabil Khatib via KO (ground and pound) at 3:12, R1
-Martin Grandmont def. Mark Holst via KO (overhand right) at 4:13, R1
-Craig Brown def. Dean Martins via Submission (rear-naked choke) at 4:04, R1
-Hosier Bruno def. Glenn Kulka via KO (knee) at 1:17, R1
-Remi Morvan def. Sean Quinn via Submission (guillotine choke) at 3:30, 41
-Mike Hong def. Mike Clark via Submission (rear-naked choke) at 4:29, R1
-Mustafa Khalil def. Daryle Pinter via Submission (armbar) at 0:56, R1
-Stephane Bernadel def. Fred Pilon via TKO (body kick) at 2:40, R2
-John Macphearson def. Denis Poirier via TKO (punches) at 3:53, R1
-Fred Belanger def. Ian Shirley via TKO (punches) at 2:24, R1
-Xavier Desroches def. Tim Chessel via Submission (armbar), R1