Hendricks landed a huge left hand to Fitch's jaw that had Fitch falling straight backward, with his head bouncing off the canvas. Hendricks pounced and landed one more huge punch on the ground before referee Steve Mazzagatti stepped in to stop the fight.
It was a stunning upset victory voer Hendricks, who improves to 12-1 and earns by far the biggest win of his MMA career.
"I have a left hand," Hendricks said. "Everybody's been counting me out. I knew if I hit him with it I could lay him out."
Fitch, who falls to 23-4-1, had never been finished in the UFC and hadn't been finished in any promotion since 2002. Fitch has long been regarded as the No. 2 welterweight in the world behind Georges St. Pierre, but now there's a new kid on the block: Hendricks, who improves to 12-1, is for real.