Piotr Hallman chokes out veteran Yves Edwards in the third round

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Piotr Hallman just picked up the biggest victory of his career.

The unheralded Polish lightweight was able to find veteran Yves Edwards’ back and submit him with a rear-naked choke at 2:31 of the third round Saturday at UFC Fight Night here at Tingley Coliseum. In a close fight that came down to the final round, Hallman was able to gut it out.

The bout was relatively uneventful outside of a trade-off of eye pokes. Hallman hit Edwards with two, one in each of the first couple of rounds. Edwards reciprocated with one on Hallman in the second.

That might have lit a fire under Hallman, because it was his fight from then on. He took Edwards down and landed some ground and pound with Edwards turtled. Edwards ended up with a cut on his right eye heading into the third.

It was more of the same in the final round. Edwards still had a chance after a close first round, but Hallman grinded him out and eventually choked him out. Both men looked tired at the end, a sure result of fighting at altitude in Albuquerque.

Hallman (15-2) has now won two of three in the UFC. At 26 years old, he seems like a lightweight to watch in the future. Beating Edwards is no joke. The American Top Team product has been a pro MMA fighter since 1997 and this was his 65th career bout.

Edwards (42-21-1, 1 NC) has now lost three of four and that lone non-defeat should have been, but Yancy Medeiros tested positive for marijuana after knocking Edwards out. At 37, it’ll be interesting to see where "Thugjitsu Master" goes from here.