Two former NCAA Division I All-American wrestlers each spent less than one round in the Octagon thanks to TKOs, with very different outcomes as Cain Velasquez retained his heavyweight title, while Gray Maynard lost his match at UFC 160 at MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas Saturday night.
In the main event, former Arizona State wrestler Velasquez scored a technical knockout (TKO) over Antonio “Bigfoot” Silva at 1:21 of the first round, retaining his Ultimate Fighting Championships heavyweight crown.
In its description of the battle of the big men, the mixed martial arts website Sherdog.com wrote, “’Bigfoot’ denied a pair of takedown attempts from the two-time NCAA All-American wrestler, but he had no answer for Velasquez’s speed and technique on the feet.”
According to USA Today, “Velasquez dropped the challenger with a short right early on in the first round and then wasted no time basting him with a torrent of follow-up punches as Silva struggled to regain his bearings. When Silva didn’t respond in time, referee Mario Yamasaki moved in to wave it off…”
It was a rematch of the first Velasquez-Silva bout one day shy of exactly one year ago, where the former Sun Devil mat star scored a TKO at 3:36 of the first round.
Velasquez, who was a 2002 NJCAA (National Junior College Athletic Association) champ at Iowa Central Community College, and two-time Pac-10 heavyweight champ and All-American at Arizona State (2005, 2006), is now 12-1 in his professional MMA career, and 10-1 in the UFC. Silva falls to 18-5, and 2-2 in UFC.
Things did not go as well for Maynard, a three-time NCAA All-American for Michigan State at 157 pounds (2001-2003). At UFC 160, the former Spartan co-captain suffered a TKO loss at 2:07 of the first round at the hands of Canadian T.J. Grant.
“The two lightweights traded heavy artillery from the start,” wrote Sherdog.com. Grant chopped down the 33-year-old with a straight right hand, followed him to the mat, and let loose with unfettered punches.”
Maynard is now 11-2-1 overall in MMA (9-2-1 in UFC), while Grant builds his record to 21-5, (8-3 in UFC).
Want to know more? Check out Sherdog.com’s detailed play-by-play for all matches at UFC 160.
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