Saturday, Feb. 20, 2010 | 11:18 p.m.
Cain Velasquez is often referred to as a humble fighter.
It was easy to see why in the moments after UFC 110 in Sydney, Australia, where Velasquez made quick work of Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira with an early knockout in the main event heavyweight bout. Velasquez immediately complimented Nogueira.
“I’d just like to thank Nogueira,” Velasquez said while still in the octagon on the Pay Per View. “I look up to him.”
But make no mistake: Saturday’s fight ended with Nogueira looking up to Velasquez.
A little more than two minutes into the fight, Velasquez landed a combination of three powerful punches to take Nogueira to the ground. Velasquez then dove on top of Nogueira and struck about 10 more times before the referee called the fight.
No one expected it to be this easy for Velasquez, who improved to 6-0 in the UFC with the victory.
“I tried to stay focused and when I got position, I wanted to beat him to the punch,” Velasquez said. “That was it.”
That strategy worked to perfection. When Velasquez struck with the first of his three punches in a row, Nogueira also connected with Velasquez’s jaw.
But it was a split-second too late. Velasquez’s punch landed first, which sent Nogueira stumbling back.
In the two minutes and 20 seconds that the fight lasted, it was obvious that Nogueira had no answer for Velasquez’s quickness.
“Of course, I’m disappointed with the fight,” Nogueira said. “He had the fast hands tonight. He deserved to win.”
The Nogueira-Velasquez fight was billed as an up-and-comer taking on a legend. Score one for the new school.
To a lesser extent, the same theme was present for the co-main event light heavyweight bout between Wanderlei Silva and Michael Bisping.
With 43 career MMA fights, Silva is considered a legend. Bisping burst onto the scene four years ago after winning season three of the Ultimate Fighter.
In the co-main event fight, however, the legend prevailed. Silva won a unanimous decision — all three judges scored it 29-28 — against Bisping.
Silva wept after the victory and spoke of how important it was after dropping five of his last six fights.
“I had bad moments,” Silva said. “Everyone has bad moments. But everyone should believe in hard work.”
The fight was almost dead even heading into the final 30 seconds. That’s when Silva took control.
Silva rushed Bisping and dropped him to the ground with a strong right to the jaw.
“I feel like he got the decision with the knockdown right there at the end,” Bisping said.
No decision was needed for Velasquez. He was simply dominant.
If there were any doubts coming into the fight whether Velasquez was one of the best in the world, they were quickly erased. Nogueira said this was the fight that catapulted Velasquez to the top.
“He was an upcoming guy,” Nogueira said. “He is one of the best fighters in the heavyweight division.”
UFC 110 undercard results: George Sotiropoulos defeated Joe Stevenson by unanimous decision. Ryan Bader knocked out Keith Jardine in the third round. Mirko Cro Cop beat Anthony Perosh by TKO in the first round. Krzysztof Soszynski beat Stephan Bonnar by TKO in the third round. Chris Lytle submitted Brian Foster in the first round. CB Dollaway won by unanimous decision against Goran Reljic. James Te Huna earned a TKO in the third round against Igor Pokrajac.