LAS VEGAS (AP) — Cain Velasquez knocked down Antonio "Bigfoot" Silva with a combination and finished him on the ground 1:21 into the first round Saturday night, briskly defending his heavyweight title at UFC 160.
Former heavyweight champion Junior Dos Santos also stopped Mark Hunt on a spinning kick to the head with 42 seconds left in the third round at the MGM Grand Garden Arena, likely setting up a third fight between Dos Santos and Velasquez in the near future.
Velasquez (12-1) made his first successful title defense in style, rocking the underdog Silva in the opening minute before connecting with a right hand to Silva's chin and mercilessly punishing him on the ground.
"I want the best fights against the best guys, and this just comes with it," Velasquez said, indicating the championship belt around his waist.
Dos Santos (16-2) is hungry for another title shot after dispatching the New Zealand-born, Australia-based Hunt with a risky, acrobatic kick in the final minute of a fight he appeared to be winning.
"I want that so bad," Dos Santos said. "Because, man, I really believe I can be the champion again, and I'll do my best to get there."
Earlier on the card, Brazilian light heavyweight Glover Teixeira needed only 2:38 to submit New Zealand's James Te Huna with a guillotine choke for his 19th consecutive win, and Canada's T.J. Grant earned a likely lightweight title shot with a dynamic first-round stoppage of Gray Maynard.
Silva (18-5) earned this unlikely title shot with two upset victories in the past year since his first fight with Velasquez, who battered him in a bloody first-round stoppage victory a year ago in the same arena.
Velasquez's win was another impressive performance by the former wrestler who won the heavyweight title with a first-round knockout of Brock Lesnar in October 2010, becoming the first Mexican-American to hold a major heavyweight belt in boxing or MMA.
But Velasquez lost the belt 13 months later to Dos Santos, getting stopped 64 seconds into his first title defense.