Heavyweight contender Cain Velasquez passed the toughest test of his young career with ease on Saturday in the main event of UFC 110, remaing undefeated with a first-round knockout of former UFC and PRIDE champion Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira at the Acer Arena in Sydney, Australia.
After dominating from the onset with a mixture of accurate striking, Velasquez downed Nogueira with a right as they approached the midway point of the opening frame then finished him off with a series of unanswered punches on the ground that forced the referee to intervene.
Velasquez improves to 8-0 with the victory, including six-straight UFC wins, and remains in line for an eventual title shot that could come as early as July against champion Brock Lesnar, pending the outcome of a March interim title showdown between Frank Mir and Shane Carwin. Nogueira falls to 32-6-1.
In the UFC 110 co-main event, Wanderlei Silva nearly finished Michael Bisping in his anticipated middleweight debut, but instead settled for a narrow unanimous decision over The Ultimate Fighter 3 winner.
Bisping earned the first round with a series of takedowns, but Silva turned things around in the second, first stuffing the takedowns then finally connecting with punches before nearly securing the finish with a late guillotine attempt. In the third, Silva continued to land combinations then appeared on his way to a last-second TKOafter downing Bisping in the closing seconds, but he was unable to finish with ground and pound before the final bell sounded.
Despite a back-and-forth battle and narrow second round, the judges unanimously awarded Silva the victory (29-28, 29-28, 29-28) to the visible disagreement of Bisping.
In other main card action, Australian George Sotiropoulos continued his climb up the lightweight ladder by outpointing former challenger Joe Stevenson with superior grappling to earn a unanimous decision, while TUF 8 winner Ryan Bader scored a third-round knockout of Keith Jardine and Mirko “Cro Cop” Filipovic slashed his was to a second-round TKO of late-replacement Anthony Perosh.
On the UFC 110 preliminary card, Krzysztof Soszyski gashed Stephan Bonnar with an accident headbutt in the third, but was awarded a TKO victory, Chris Lytle quickly submitted Brian Foster with an opening-round kneebar, CB Dollaway took a unanimous decision over Goran Reljic, and James Te Huna debuted in his home country with a third-round TKO of Igor Pokrajac.
The complete UFC 110 results were:
- Cain Velasquez def. Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira via KO (punches) – Round 2, 2:20
- Wanderlei Silva def. Michael Bisping via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
- George Sotiropoulos def. Joe Stevenson via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
- Ryan Bader def. Keith Jardine via KO (punch) – Round 3, 2:10
- Mirko “Cro Cop” Filipovic def. Anthony Perosh via TKO (cut) – Round 2, 5:00
- Krzysztof Soszynski def. Stephan Bonnar via TKO (cut) – Round 3, 1:04
- Chris Lytle def. Brian Foster via submission (kneebar) – Round 1, 1:41
- CB Dollaway def. Goran Reljic via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
- James Te Huna def. Igor Pokrajac via TKO (strikes) – Round 3, 3:26
Pictured: Cain Velasquez