By Thomas Gerbasi
SYDNEY, February 21 – The next generation has arrived. If there were any doubts that Cain Velasquez was the real deal, the unbeaten phenom answered them emphatically Sunday afternoon as he scored a spectacular first round knockout of future Hall of Famer Antonio Rodrigo ‘Minotauro’ Nogueira in the UFC 110 main event at the sold out Acer Arena, host to the UFC's first event in Australia. Velasquez post-fight interview
“He had fast hands tonight,” said the 33-year old Nogueira, a former PRIDE and interim UFC heavyweight champion. “He’s one of the best fighters in the heavyweight division.” Velasquez at post-fight press conference
Velasquez was on target with his leg kicks early, drawing oohs and aahs from the crowd. He then moved his attack upstairs, getting Nogueira’s attention with quick shots to the face. Nogueira’s facial expression didn’t change as he kept moving forward, hoping to find the opening he needed to get his offensive attack going. UFC 110 replay
Velasquez was sharp though, and as the crowd got quiet, he landed with a thudding left-right-left combination to the head that dropped Nogueira hard to the mat. A ferocious barrage of ground strikes followed and forced referee Herb Dean to halt the bout at the 2:20 mark.
“We were planning to push the pace wherever we could and keep him off-balance the whole time,” said Velasquez, 27. “I just tried to keep focused, and when I got in position, to beat him to the punch.”
With the win, Velasquez improves to 8-0; Nogueira falls to 32-6-1 with 1 NC.