MMA: Velasquez wins by knockout over Nogueira
SYDNEY — Unbeaten Texan Cain Velasquez knocked out veteran Antonio Rodrigo "Minotauro" Nogueira of Brazil at 2:20 of the first round Sunday to claim the featured heavyweight bout at the MMA's UFC 110.
The 27-year-old Velasquez unleashed a flurry of punches at Nogueira to knock the Brazilian down, then began another set of combinations to his head before the referee stopped the fight.
Velasquez improved to 8-0 in the UFC and has beaten all but one of his opponents inside the distance. Former UFC heavyweight champion Nogueira dropped to 32-6-1.
"The plan was push the pace whenever we could, and then when the takedown was there, take it," Velasquez said. "I tried to stay focused, and when I got in a good position, I beat him to the punch."
Nogueira said he was disappointed with himself, but was outclassed.
"He had the fast hands tonight," he said. "He's a very good up-and-coming guy, one of the best fighters in the heavyweight division."
Earlier, veteran Brazilian Wanderlei Silva knocked down England's Michael Bisping in the final 10 seconds and went on to claim a unanimous decision.
Before a crowd of nearly 20,000 at Acer Arena in UFC's first foray into Australia, Silva, nicknamed "The Axe Murderer," staged a late flurry to claim the fight.
Silva, with a record of 33-10-1, won the PRIDE world championship in Japan for five years in a row. Bisping, of England, 19-3, was the UFC's winner in its third season.
Silva recently had nose surgery which enables him to breathe better.
"Everybody has bad moments, but if you work hard the good moments will come," Silva said.
Bisping apologized to his fans for the late lapse.
"I grew up in the sport watching him fight," Bisping said of Silva. "I have a lot of respect for the guy. I think the reason he got the decision was the knockdown at the end. Sorry England. Sorry Australia."
Earlier, Australian George Sotiropoulos thrilled the crowd when he beat Joe "Daddy" Stevenson in a unanimous decision. Ryan "Darth" Bader won his fourth consecutive fight, beating light heavyweight Keith Jardine by knockout at 2:10 of the third round.
It was the fifth loss in his last seven MMA fights for Jardine, from Butte, Montana.
Bader, from Reno, Nev., finished Jardine off with a flying knee and big left hook.
"I tried to stick to my game plan, stand up and let him do his stuff," Bader said. "I've been working on my boxing, and it paid off."
In other bouts, Mirko Cro Cop won by technical knockout over Anthony Perosh, a stoppage due to a cut at 5 minutes of the first round of the heavyweight fight. Krzysztof Soszynski beat Stephan Bonnar, also by technical knockout due to a cut at 1:04 of the third round.
Chris Lytle beat Brian Foster by submission (leg lock) at 1:41 in the first round by kneebar and C.B. Dollaway beat Goran Reljic by unanimous decision.
The Sydney show sold out within four hours in December, despite the card not having been announced. UFC president Dana White told local media last week that Australia could become an annual stop on the UFC tour.
The only venue to sell out faster, according to the UFC, was UFC 83 in Montreal in April 2008, when 21,390 attended the Bell Centre.