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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Sunday, February 21, 2010

Velasquez stops Nogueira in UFC 110

Advertiser News Services

Unbeaten Texan Cain Velasquez knocked out veteran Antonio Rodrigo "Minotauro" Nogueira of Brazil at 2:20 of the first round today in Sydney, Australia, 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 fell 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 (33-10-1) knocked down England's Michael Bisping (19-3) 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.

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.

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 Detroit Tigers and outfielder Johnny Damon have reached a preliminary agreement on an $8 million, one-year contract.

A person familiar with the negotiations told The Associated Press last night that the contract is subject to a physical, which will be some time next week. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because the deal hasn't been announced.

The 36-year-old Damon hit .282 with 24 homers and 82 RBIs last season, helping the New York Yankees win the World Series. He likely will bat leadoff for the Tigers, filling the void left when Detroit dealt Curtis Granderson to the Yankees.



The stage is set for a thrilling finish today in the Bassmaster Classic at Birmingham, Ala.

Jeff Kriet has a two-day total of 32 pounds, 1 ounce and a 2-ounce lead over two-time Classic champion Kevin VanDam, who has a 1-ounce advantage over third-place Todd Faircloth. According to all three pros, it's anyone's Classic, which pays $500,000 to the winner.

Kriet, of Ardmore, Okla., began the day in third place and moved past first-day leader VanDam, of Kalamazoo, Mich., with the biggest bag of the day at 15-10. VanDam had a haul of 12-7 for a two-day total of 31-15.

Faircloth of Jasper, Texas, also dropped a spot to third with 13-12 for 31-14 overall.

Only the top 25 advanced to the third day.


The Chicago Cubs beat Ryan Theriot in salary arbitration, and the shortstop will be paid $2.6 million this season instead of his request for a raise from $500,000 to $3.4 million. ... Middleweight champion Kelly Pavlik (36-1, 32 KOs) will defend his WBO and WBC belts against junior middleweight champion Sergio Martinez (44-2-2) at Atlantic City's Boardwalk Hall on April 17.