Josh Samman’s been through a lot over the past year.

He’s overcome injuries and the loss of his girlfriend to a car accident, giving his friends and family a reason to celebrate Saturday night with a highlight-reel knockout of Eddie Gordon at UFC 181.

Samman (11-2) connected with a high-left kick, flooring the former Ultimate Fighter winner and earning his second UFC victory.

“There were so many moments of doubt since the last time I was in the cage, but once I got to Las Vegas, I knew in my mind – in my heart – I believed I would win,” he said. “(Saturday) was easy compared to what my family has been through.

“This one is for you.”

The first was a battle between the two, as Gordon used his wrestling to control Samman. The Florida-native waited, though, for the right opportunity to strike.

“It went exactly how I envisioned,” he said. “I told everybody in my camp that I was gonna get him with the left high kick.”

Samman had not fought since last year, when he scored a second round finish vs. Kevin Casey. He is on a three-fight win streak and is now 8-1 in his last nine.

Gordon (7-2) dropped to 1-1 with the promotion, having defeated Dhiego Lima this past July to win the Season 19 middleweight title on TUF.