LAS VEGAS -- The rematch was even quicker than the original.
Cain Velasquez needed 3:36 to bludgeon Antonio Silva the first time around, but in the sequel, he barely needed over a minute. Eighty-one seconds is all it took, as Velasquez notched the first title defense of his second heavyweight title reign.
The official result of the UFC 160 headliner was a technical knockout.
Velasquez came into the sport as a wrestler, but the finish highlighted his transformation into a complete mixed martial artist. As the two exchanged, it was Velasquez who landed first with a right cross on the chin. The punch dropped Silva to a knee, and the giant Brazilian looked to go low with a takedown, at least giving him a chance to recover. But as we know, grappling is Velasquez's game, and he quickly pivoted to take Silva's back.
From there, he threw a series of smashing right hands until referee Mario Yamasaki stopped it.
"Moving a lot," Velasquez said of the key to winning. "The thing is moving, looking for the punches but never staying in front of him."
Velasquez was a heavy favorite to win, nearing or exceeding 8-to-1 odds on some sports books.
Silva though had beaten the odds several times, most recently in his stirring comeback knockout over Alistair Overeem. In that fight, he'd shown some impressive durability, struggling over the first two rounds but coming back to win.
Velasquez, though, made sure there would be no comeback, starching him quickly and decisively for a second time. In two fights, Silva landed a total of only five strikes against him. The win should set up a trilogy fight between Velasquez and former champ Junior dos Santos, who KO'd Mark Hunt in the night's co-main event.
"He looked really good tonight," Velasquez said. "He's tough, he's always been tough."