When it came to defending his title at UFC 160, Cain Velasquez was more than able.
The American Kickboxing Academy standout maintained his spot atop the heavyweight division by replicating his May 2012 beatdown of Antonio Silva. In fact, Velasquez outdid himself, stopping “Bigfoot” on punches two minutes earlier than in their first meeting. The outcome was predictable, but necessary, along with the night’s co-main event, which set up Velasquez’s next defense: a rubber match with ex-champ Junior dos Santos. “Cigano” stopped the Cinderella run of Mark Hunt with a spectacular third-round knockout, sending Hunt out of the top 10 in favor of fellow power puncher Roy Nelson.
One week prior, Vitor Belfort used a similarly impressive spinning kick to clobber Luke Rockhold, greatly increasing Belfort’s chances of another middleweight title shot after this summer’s Anderson Silva-Chris Weidman showdown. Silva’s former tormentor, Chael Sonnen, exits the rankings after announcing his intention to remain at 205 pounds following his shot at champ Jon Jones.
At lightweight, T.J. Grant secured a title shot of his own with a stirring knockout of Gray Maynard on May 25. Grant, who will face Benson Henderson later in the year, leaps into the rankings at No. 4, sending Maynard to No. 6 and bumping Jim Miller from the top 10.
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