Cain Velasquez stops Antonio Silva in Las Vegas; ‘Bigfoot’ protests loss

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Cain Velasquez successfully defends the UFC heavyweight title at UFC 160 in Las Vegas. Photo credit: UFC Facebook page.

LAS VEGAS — Cain Velasquez made quick work of Antonio “Bigfoot” Silva, earning a technical knockout of the Brazilian in the first round of their UFC 160 main event at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas on Saturday evening.

Velasquez timed a one-two combination that dropped Silva, and the champion continued his assault with ground-and-pound strikes, finishing the fight at the 1:21 mark of the opening.

“The feel was the same,” Velasquez said at the post-fight press conference, comparing the defense of the title to winning it in his previous outing. “Just to go out there and win.”

The win for the champ locks up a fight with former title holder Junior dos Santos, the fighter Velasquez lost the belt to at the first UFC on Fox event in November 2011.

UFC President Dana White said it’s a “no-brainer,” and a third fight between Cain Velasquez and Junior dos Santos will happen next. The UFC executive did not, however, give a timeline for when the fight will happen.

In defeat, Silva protested the loss, explaining that he was hit with numerous illegal strikes, adding that the fight was stopped prematurely.

“The fight was stopped too early,” Silva said following the TKO. “It’s clear that I took several illegal blows to the back of my neck.”

In reaction, Velasquez said his punches were all Legal. He added that the referee told him anything to the back of the ear was a legal strike, which is where Velasquez felt he hit his opponent.

“The ref came in and told me that anything to the back of the ear was all good,” said the defending champion.

With the win, Velasquez improves his record to 12-1 and has won three in a row. Silva drops his tally to 18-5 and ends his winning streak at two.

Junior dos Santos lands a head kick on Mark Hunt at UFC 160. Photo credit: UFC/Getty Images

“Cigano” throws spinning heel kick, knocks out Mark Hunt

Junior dos Santos earned another shot at the heavyweight title, knocking out Mark Hunt in the third round of their co-main event at UFC 160.

The former heavyweight champion landed several punches on Hunt, a renowned striker, but it was a spinning heal kick late in the fight that secured the win for dos Santos at 4:18 of the final round.

“He’s very dangerous,” dos Santos said in his post-fight interview with Joe Rogan. “I have to respect him.”

The former UFC champ showed he still has the power in his hands, landing a heavy punch on Hunt that sent him down. Hunt recovered, but dos Santos landed more strikes as the round went on. The opening round finished with dos Santos earning the frame.

“Cigano” continued to use punches to score points in the second round, this time utilizing the jab more. Hunt, however, landed a flurry that shook dos Santos, backing him against the cage. The fight went to the ground when dos Santos took Hunt down, landing strikes from half guard and side control. The two stood up just before the time of the round expired.

The third round showed Hunt beginning to slow down and dos Santos capitalized. Landing more strikes as the round went on, dos Santos threw a spinning heal kick that knocked his opponent out cold, sealing the win for the former champ and a shot at the heavyweight title.

“I want that so bad,” dos Santos said of earning a chance at the title again. “I believe I will be the champion again, and I’ll do my best to get there.”

With the win, dos Santos gets back on the winning track after losing to Cain Velasquez at UFC 155.

Teixeira continues climb up the ranks, stops Te Huna in first round

Glover Teixeira stopped James Te Huna with a first0round with a submission at the UFC 160 Pay-Per-View.

Teixeira locked on a guillotine after pulling guard, finishing his opponent at the 2:38 mark of the opening frame.

Teixeira said in his post-fight interview with Joe Rogan that he couldn’t believe the feeling from earning the win, and admitted that being congratulated by former heavyweight boxing champion Mike Tyson for the win was euphoric.

With the UFC 160 victory, Teixeira wins his fourth in a row in the Octagon and 19th overall. Te Huna loses his first fight in his last five outings.

Grant stops Maynard in the first round

T.J. Grant came closer to meeting UFC lightweight champion Benson Henderson, getting the first-round technical knockout over Gray Maynard in their main card fight.

Grant caught the former No. 1 contender with a right hand that shook Maynard, backing him against the cage. The victor continued to land strikes until the referee stepped in to put a stop to the action.

“I practiced that for like the last eight weeks,” Grant said following the win. “I knew what he was going to do.”

Dana White said that the winner of this fight would face Henderson for the title, and now it appears that Grant is the new No. 1 contender to the lightweight crown.

Cerrone punishes Noons in three-round decision

Donald Cerrone went the distance with former Strikeforce contender K.J. Noons, earning a unanimous-decision win to open up the UFC 160 Pay-Per-View.

Cerrone put on a striking clinic early, establishing an edge in the stand-up in the first round.

Throughout rounds two and three, Cerrone continued his aggressive striking, cutting Noons open and earning the unanimous nod with scores of 30-27, 30-27 and 30-26.

Preliminary Bouts (FX):

  • Mike Pyle def. Rick Story by split decision (28-29, 29-28, 29-28)
  • Dennis Bermudez def. Max Holloway by split decision (28-29, 29-28, 29-28)
  • Robert Whittaker def. Colton Smith via TKO (punches, ground & pound) at 0:41, Round 3
  • Khabib Nurmagomedov def. Abel Trujillo (30-27 x3)

Preliminary Bouts (Facebook):

  • Stephen Thompson def. Nah-Shon Burrell by unanimous decision (29-28, 30-27, 29-28)
  • George Roop def. Brian Bowles via TKO (punches) at 1:43, Round 2
  • Jeremy Stephens def. Estevan Payan via unanimous decision (30-26 x2, 30-27)

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