Despite an early cut at the hands of "The Butcher," Staff Sgt. Colton Smith notched a victory Saturday night in his first mixed martial arts bout since his release from the UFC.

Smith dominated Evan "The Butcher" Cutts in the main event of Rock's Xtreme Fight Night XII in Harker Heights, Texas, earning a unanimous decision after three rounds. Smith hadn't had his hand raised at the end of a fight since his December 2012 victory in the finals of "The Ultimate Fighter" reality show tournament, losing his next three UFC bouts before being released by the promotion over the summer.

"I look forward to continually ... progress as a Martial Artist with the continued tutelage of [Sgt. 1st Class] Tim Kennedy and SFC Tim Farris," Smith said in a social-media message to Army Times on Monday. "Each and every fight I dedicate to our men and women in uniform both abroad and domestically. I'm glad I could put on a show in the Main Event for my fellow Soldiers."

Cutts entered the fight at 5-1, according to Sherdog, and like Smith had been featured in an MMA reality show, competing under the Bellator banner in 2013. Unlike Smith, he fell in the tournament's quarterfinal round.

Smith (4-4) returns to the cage March 20 at Titan Fighting Championship 33 in Mobile, Alabama, in another welterweight (170-pound) bout against unbeaten Belal Muhammad. The card, a portion of which will be broadcast on CBS Sports Network, is part of Mobile Aerofest.

"My message I like to push out to the military is we need to constantly sharpen our combat edge," Smith told Army Times. "Through MMA I am able to test the skills I teach daily in the Modern Army Combatives Program and show that it is a principle War Fighting Skill that every Soldier needs."

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