Junior dos Santos can still deliver fierce blows, and Tai Tuivasa learned that the hard way, as the former UFC heavyweight champion captured a second-round TKO victory in the main event of UFC Fight Night 142 in Adelaide, Australia, on Saturday night (Sunday in Australia).
Brett Okamoto @bokamotoESPN
Junior dos Santos scores a huge win on the road. Finishes Tai Tuivasa via TKO in the second round. Tuivasa had the momentum, but got caught by a couple good punches and made mistakes trying to make up for it. Walked into more shots. JDS ends up in mount, finishes the fight.
Dos Santos improved to 20-5 lifetime with the defeat, and he secured his first win via knockout since he downed Mark Hunt in their clash at UFC 160 in May 2013.
"I have knockout power and I can knock anyone out!" dos Santos said, according to ESPN.com's Brett Okamoto.
The 34-year-old has now won two fights in a row and three of his last four overall dating back to April 2016. Tuivasa, meanwhile, suffered his first professional loss and dropped to 8-1 with the defeat.
UFC News @UFCNews
With his TKO win @ #UFCAdelaide @Junior_Cigano moved up some big time lists: MOST WINS, @UFC HEAVYWEIGHT 16 - Andrei Arlovski 16 - Frank Mir 14 - Junior Dos Santos MOST KNOCKOUTS, UFC HEAVYWEIGHT 10 - Derrick Lewis 10 - Cain Velasquez 09 - Junior Dos Santos 09 - Andrei Arlovski https://t.co/NO7gWz2kpB
Here's a look at the rest of the evening's results, including a spotlight on a couple of notable newcomers.
Junior dos Santos def. Tai Tuivasa via second-round TKO (2:30)
Shogun Rua def. Tyson Pedro via third-round TKO (:43)
Justin Willis def. Mark Hunt via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
Tony Martin def. Jake Matthews via first-round submission (1:19)
Sodiq Yusuff def. Suman Mokhtarian via first-round TKO (2:14)
Jim Crute def. Paul Craig via third-round submission (4:51)
Alexey Kunchenko def. Yushin Okami via unanimous decision (30-26, 30-26, 30-27)
Wilson Reis def. Ben Nguyen via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
Keita Nakamura def. Salim Touahri via split decision (30-27, 28-29, 29-28)
Kai Kara-France def. Elias Garcia via unanimous decision (30-25, 30-25, 30-26)
Christos Giagos def. Mizuto Hirota via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-27, 30-28)
Damir Ismagulov def. Alex Gorgees via unanimous decision (30-25, 30-26, 30-26)
Jim Crute Enters Record Books with Late Stoppage
Jim Crute made his UFC debut on Saturday night, and he did so in style.
Already in possession of an 8-0 lifetime record, Crute nudged his way up to 9-0 as he defeated Paul Craig thanks to a third-round submission that was the fourth-latest in modern light heavyweight history, according to the UFC:
"I'm here to stay," Crute said after his maiden win with the promotion, via Sherdog. "The UFC is my home."
Now the owner of six stoppages (three via submission and three knockouts) in nine career fights, Crute has to be on the light heavyweight radar when the calendar flips over to 2019.
Yusuff Makes Power-Packed Statement
Speaking of debuts, Sodiq Yusuff announced his presence with authority as he laid into Suman Mokhtarian with a flurry of vicious punches and grabbed a swift first-round victory via TKO.
"Sooner or later it was going to get worse and worse," Yusuff said of the early stoppage, via MMA Fighting. "The referee has to look out for our safety."
The 25-year-old still has a ways to go if he wants to entrench himself as a contender in UFC's star-studded featherweight division. However, he certainly made all the right moves in Adelaide.
As a result, he should be poised to start his ascent behind explosive tactical skills that can strike fear into some of the class' more dynamic fighters.