Thiago Santos didn’t seem phased by the weight or home-Octagon advantage that Ronny Markes held Sunday night at UFC Fight Night 38.

Behind a devastating liver kick, Santos earned his initial UFC victory and stunned the Natal, Brazil crowd by finishing Markes.

“At first, I did not notice how hurt he was,” Santos said. “He held on to my leg and I smelled blood.

“I went for the finish.”

Santos (9-2) was coming off a loss to Cezar Ferreira in his UFC debut. The win evened his overall record to 2-2 in his last four fights.

“We are both Brazilians and we fought our hearts out,” he said.

Markes, who came in well over the middleweight limit at 190 pounds, had won three of his first four fights with the UFC.