Joe Harding fights are becoming don’t miss events.

The explosive MMA talent, from Witham, made headlines around the world when he was knocked out with a head-kick mid-dance in the third round of a fight he was dominating against Johan Segas at BCMMA 18 last February.

The video of the KO went viral, and even prompted UFC president Dana White - the most powerful man in the MMA universe – to tweet about it, while hundreds rushed to condemn Harding’s cockiness and subsequent comeuppance online.

But few knew the real Harding, and he’s made of sterner stuff. The 26-year-old PE teacher – who offers boxing lessons to underprivileged kids in his own time – just rose above and planned his return.

That came at the weekend, when he stepped back into the cage at UWC MMA in Southend - and promptly stopped featherweight foe Kane Goldup in just 14.9 seconds, one of the fastest finishes in the history of MMA in this country.

He said: “It couldn’t have gone any better after what happened before. My coaches at BKK Fighters have been telling me how powerful my kicks were, so I came out, took the centre of the cage and threw a feeler kick to his leg and he winced.

“I knew that was nowhere near full power so I revved up the power on the second kick as he was switching stance and that caved him and I was able to finish him.”

The double-quick win takes Harding’s amateur record to an impressive 9-3, and the former BCMMA amateur lightweight champion said he never let the negative fallout from his highlight loss to Segas bother him.

“That was just haters,” he said. “This fight wasn’t for them, it was for myself and my team, the people who stuck by me.

East Anglian Daily Times: Joe Harding is one of the most explosive young talents in UK MMA. Picture: ADAM BRIGHTJoe Harding is one of the most explosive young talents in UK MMA. Picture: ADAM BRIGHT (Image: Adam Bright Photography)

“What happened was an eye-opener but I’m pretty thick skinned – I do fight in a cage after all – and it’s not what happens but how you bounce back that counts.

“Sometimes those clouds are a little blessing in disguise, because you couldn’t write a better comeback fight.”

Harding now plans to turn professional before the end of the year.

He said: “I know that I can be one of the best in the game. I’m a problem for people.”