In a fight card loaded with the big boys – all five fights on the main card featured heavyweight bouts – reigning UFC heavyweight champion Junior Dos Santos defended his title in style, emerging with a second-round TKO win over challenger Frank Mir in the main event of UFC 146 in Las Vegas, Nevada. Dos Santos battered the submission specialist Mir in the stand-up and earned a stoppage at the 3:04 mark of Round Two.
Mir, who was riding a three-fight winning streak heading into his title shot, was stuffed on an early takedown attempt and never seemed to get going after that. The champion pounded Mir with body shots, and even had Mir hurt late in the first round, though Dos Santos wasn’t able to finish.
He delivered more of the same in the second round, connecting with big right hands that dropped Mir to the canvas. Dos Santos would later inadvertently poke Mir in the eye, but referee Herb Dean did not call for a stop and allowed the fight to continue. A squinting Mir would try to recover, effectively throwing some leg kicks, but would again go down after the champ landed with a right.
Dos Santos would end the fight as he battered a grounded Mir until Dean stepped in for the stoppage.
In the co-main event of the evening, former champ Cain Velasquez re-established himself in the thick of the title picture after a brutal first-round victory over Antonio “Bigfoot” Silva.
Velasquez, in his first fight since losing the heavyweight title to Dos Santos last November, absolutely destroyed the former Strikeforce fighter in one of the bloodier UFC fights in recent memory.
Velasquez brought the fight to the ground very early in the fight and unleashed some heavy ground and pound. The former champ then opened Silva up with a big elbow, with the doctor having to check the cut before letting the fight resume. Velasquez continued to rain down punishment from the top until referee Josh Rosenthal called the fight at 3:36 in the opening round.
Velasquez was initially scheduled to face Mir in the card, with Dos Santos taking on former Strikeforce star Alistair Overeem, who was coming off a first-round destruction of Brock Lesnar at UFC 141. But a failed drug test led to Overeem’s removal from the card, and Mir moving up to face Dos Santos.
With the dominant performance in this card, Velasquez may have put himself in line for a rematch with the reigning champ Dos Santos. In their November meeting at UFC on Fox, Dos Santos caught Velasquez early in the first round to win the title with a first-round knockout.
Previously unbeaten Filipino-American heavyweight Shane Del Rosario made his UFC debut but lost by TKO to Stipe Miocic in the second round of their main card fight.
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