Cain Velasquez took out Antonio Silva early and brutally. | Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC/Getty Images
This time Cain Velasquez needed less than a minute and a half.
Velasquez (12-1, 10-1 UFC) stopped Antonio Silva with a crisp counter right hand and follow-up ground-and-pound, as the American Kickboxing Academy ace retained the Ultimate Fighting Championship heavyweight crown in the UFC 160 headliner on Saturday at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas. Referee Mario Yamasaki intervened on the fallen Silva’s behalf 1:21 into round one.
“Bigfoot” denied a pair of takedown attempts from the two-time NCAA All-American wrestler, but he had no answer for Velasquez’s speed and technique on the feet. The champion countered an ill-advised right uppercut from Silva (18-5, 2-2 UFC) with a left jab and straight right, dropping the monstrous challenger to a knee. Velasquez then swarmed with punches for the finish.
“I don’t think about it as defending the title,” he said. “I want to win every fight against the best guys. [The belt] just comes along with it, and I was blessed tonight. My game plan was [to move] a lot while looking for takedowns and punches but to never stand in front of him.”
Dos Santos Scores Dramatic KO on Hunt
In the co-main event, former heavyweight champion Junior dos Santos knocked out 2001 K-1 World Grand Prix winner Mark Hunt with a sensational spinning hook kick and a follow-up standing-to-ground punch 4:18 into the third round. The 28-year-old Team Nogueira representative has rattled off 11 wins in 12 appearances.
Dos Santos (16-2, 10-1 UFC) leveled the 39-year-old kiwi with a ringing overhand right in the first round, paired a series of jabs with a takedown in the second and staggered Hunt (9-8, 4-2 UFC) with a left hook in the third.
He survived more than one encounter with Hunt’s ruthless left hook, the same punch that left Dutchman Stefan Struve with a broken jaw in March.
The kick came out of nowhere and sent Hunt careening to the canvas. Dos Santos then drove his right hand straight down into his fallen counterpart’s face, briefly separating him from consciousness. With that, Hunt’s four-fight winning streak was over.
Teixeira Guillotine Submits Te Huna
Glover Teixeira submitted James Te Huna with a first-round guillotine choke in a featured light heavyweight battle. Te Huna (16-6, 5-2 UFC), who replaced injured “The Ultimate Fighter” Season 8 winner Ryan Bader, conceded defeat 2:38 into round one, his four-fight winning streak a thing of the past.
Teixeira (21-2, 4-0 UFC) struck for a takedown inside the first minute and softened his opponent with ground-and-pound. As Te Huna attempted to return to his feet, the Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt snatched an arm-in guillotine, jumped to guard and coaxed the tapout.
Teixeira has won 19 consecutive fights, finishing 14 of them in the first round.
Grant Finishes Maynard, Lands Title Shot
Surging Canadian T.J. Grant put away the American Kickboxing Academy’s Gray Maynard with a violent first-round striking volley in a high-stakes title eliminator at 155 pounds. Maynard (11-2-1, 9-2-1 UFC) succumbed to the blows 2:07 into round one.
The two lightweights traded heavy artillery from the start. Grant (21-5, 8-3 UFC) chopped down the 33-year-old with a straight right hand, followed him to the mat and let loose with unfettered punches.
They found their mark, along with a brutal knee to the chin, and Maynard ultimately wilted under the punishment, giving Grant the most significant win of his career.
The victory, Grant’s fifth in a row, likely thrusts the 29-year-old into a forthcoming title bout against lightweight champion Benson Henderson.
Cerrone Batters, Downs Noons
Well-timed takedowns, savage ground-and-pound and a multi-pronged standup attack carried Jackson’s Mixed Martial Arts standout Donald Cerrone to a unanimous verdict over former EliteXC champion K.J. Noons in a lightweight showcase.
All three cageside judges scored it for Cerrone (20-5, 7-2 UFC): 30-27, 30-27 and 30-26.
Noons (11-7, 0-1 UFC) was simply outgunned. Cerrone chipped away with kicks to the inside and outside of the 30-year-old’s legs, all while mixing in takedowns when the situation called for them.
The “Cowboy” unleashed his elbows in the second round, carving up Noons and slowly sapping his resolve. By round three, he was a mangled shell of his former self, bleeding from cuts near both eyes.
Cerrone has won three of his last four bouts.
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