In the main event of UFC 160 from the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nev., UFC heavyweight champion Cain Velasquez (12-1) defeated No. 1 contender Antonio "Bigfoot" Silva (18-5) via first-round TKO to retain his title.
After a brief feeling-out period, Velasquez landed a fluid one-two combo that sent Silva to the canvas. After a flurry of follow-up punches, referee Mario Yamasaki came in to end the fight just one minute and 21 seconds into the first round.
This marks the second time that Velasquez beat Silva, winning the first meeting at UFC 146 in a bloody battle that was mercifully stopped by the referee before it got too out of control.
Once again on Saturday, the UFC heavyweight champion asserted his dominance on his opponent and pulled out the hard-fought victory.
When Velasquez originally lost the heavyweight title to dos Santos in November of 2011, the fight sent shockwaves across the sport of MMA.
This was supposed to be one of the best all-around fighters to ever grace the Octagon, but a first-round knockout loss for Velasquez was an embarrassing moment.
That kind of disappointment led to a refocused champion, and as dos Santos found out at UFC 155 and Silva found out Saturday night, Velasquez is back to his old form and looking to dominate the heavyweight division once again.
Velasquez’s successful title retention is a great sign of the work the champion has put in to get to this level, but the UFC heavyweight division is arguably the toughest in the sport.
There will be no chance to rest for Velasquez when everyone is chasing the strap he’s wearing.
The battle between Junior dos Santos and Mark Hunt produced a clear No. 1 contender—the co-main event was won by dos Santos—but the division goes beyond that.
With Alistair Overeem still lurking and Roy Nelson looking for his big break, Velasquez must get back to the drawing board ASAP.
A win over Silva is great, but it’s already time to move on for the champion.
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