Scott Holtzman decided he was trying to be too powerful on the feet during his Octagon debut Saturday night at UFC Fight Night 73.

So, the man known as “Hot Sauce” flexed his ground skills, locking up a rear-naked choke in the third round on Anthony Christodoulou.

Holtzman (8-0), who was unbeaten as an amateur before turning pro, gave the Nashville crowd a reason to cheer early on. He was a standout athlete at the University of Tennessee prior to embarking on a career in MMA.

“This is a dream,” he said. “No doubt about it. I was trying to breath but I was in the moment. This is another level for sure.”

With the crowd support behind him, Holtzman picked Christodoulou apart. He had no trouble landing his strikes, connecting on 109 of 181 and earning the lone takedown.

“I can’t lie, I was going for the bonus,” Holtzman said. “There were Octagon jitters. I was throwing so hard, I was knocking myself down.

“I decided to put the whole game on him. I am good everywhere, so (I brought it to the ground) and decided to try my hand down there.”