Cain Velasquez continued to prove why he is the most dominant heavyweight in recent memory by destroying Antonio "Bigfoot" Silva at UFC 160 on Saturday night.
While Velasquez was a prohibitive favorite, few imagined his walk to the Octagon would last longer than his actual rematch with Silva, who was coming off wins over Alistair Overeem and Travis Browne.
It took only 81 seconds for Velasquez to land a simple one-two combination that sent Silva napping along with any preconceived notions of a possible upset.
"I don't think about it as defend the title, get the title. I want to win every fight against the best guys, and this just comes along with it," Velasquez told Joe Rogan in his post-fight interview, after successfully defending the UFC heavyweight title for the first time in his career.
Velasquez capitalized on an ill-advised kick from Silva and took the fight to the ground in their first bout over a year ago.
Silva, who was pummeled into a bloody mess, was determined to avoid getting taken down in the rematch. He found out the hard way that Velasquez is no one-trick pony, as fending off an early takedown only opened up a world of other troubles.
Velasquez's blistering speed and world-class boxing was too much for Silva, who seemed light years behind in his reaction time. After dropping Silva with a cross, Velasquez pounced on his fallen foe with multiple, unanswered ground strikes, which forced the referee to call a halt to the action.
The ref stoppage was marred by a little controversy, as Silva complained about the fight being stopped too soon.
After the fight, a plethora of UFC stars hopped on Twitter to give their take on the stoppage.
Would big foot be asleep after another 2 or 3 punches? Maybe so, but I think in a title fight, the ref stopped it kinda early.— Vinny Magalhaes (@VinnyMMA) May 26, 2013
Nothing wrong with the stoppage. Can't take damage like that without improving position or defending yourself. That said- I wanted more.— Kyle Kingsbury (@Kingsbu) May 26, 2013
Good stoppage 11 unanswered strikes! @cainmma— Jamie Varner (@jamievarner) May 26, 2013
What a bad stoppage it's a title fight c'mon— Michael Johnson (@FollowTheMenace) May 26, 2013
Instead of 25 minutes of ground and pound and out positioning… we got 81 seconds of ass whopping. Awesome fight. #UFC160— Joe Lauzon (@JoeLauzon) May 26, 2013
While the stoppage can be debated, it's tough to argue against Velasquez's dominance given the fact that he's stopped Silva twice in the first round.
MMA Fighting's Mike Chiappetta quotes a stat that is sure to quell anyone protesting the stoppage.
In two fights against Cain Velasquez, Antonio Silva has landed a total of five strikes. Ouch. #UFC160— Mike Chiappetta MMA (@MikeChiappetta) May 26, 2013
Despite this being Velasquez's first defense, it's tough seeing anyone in the division dethroning him at this point.
Junior Dos Santos remains his biggest rival in the division, and a rubber match between the two heavyweight stars seems imminent. While the matchup is intriguing, it won't be easy erasing the 25-minute thrashing Velasquez gave Dos Santos back in December 2012.
Generally, heavyweights don't hold onto the UFC title for long, but former contender Kenny Florian doesn't see Velasquez losing anytime soon.
Was the stoppage too soon? Does Dos Santos have what it takes to defeat Velasquez and win back the heavyweight title?
Sound off in the comment section below.