Rony Jason didn't walk into the UFC with a reputation as a big puncher. He has a tattoo that says "Jiu-jitsu" across his back, and that art is his bread-and-butter. But thrown into the lion's den with knockout artist Sam Sicilia at UFC 153, and Jason rose to the occasion.
The Ultimate Fighter: Brazil winner won a ferocious war of attrition, finally knocking Sicilia out at 4:16 of round two.
The stoppage set off a wild celebration at the HSBC Arena in Rio.
"Sam Sicilia, this is Brazil," he said. "Now you know who Rony is."
Even though Sicilia is more renowned as a dangerous striker, it was Jason who landed more cleanly and more often, wobbling Sicilia in the opening seconds of the fight as the two set the tone from the beginning.
Each man had his moments, but most of them came in wild exchanges where it seemed that both men decided to forgo any defense.
The final sequence was a perfect illustration of that. The two exchanged, and Sicilia seemed to be getting the upper hand with body punches, but then he went to throw a knee, and Jason caught it, drilled him with an elbow and took the fight to the ground. From there, he landed some hellacious strikes including hammerfists that forced the referee to call a halt to the action.
Overall, it was the seventh straight win for Jason, who is now 12-3. Sicilia saw a personal seven-fight victory streak snapped, as he dropped to 11-2.