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WEC 52: Erik Koch TKOs Francisco Rivera

Erik Koch used a brutal kick to the head in the first round to knock out the overmatched Francisco Rivera in a devastating stoppage at WEC 52.

Koch's left shin landed squarely on Rivera's chin to knock him to the canvas, and Koch pounced and landed a couple of punches on the ground while Rivera did nothing more than cover up before referee Steve Mazagatti stepped in to stop the fight. The entire fight lasted just 96 seconds.

"That was perfect," Koch said afterward. "Hopefully I get a bonus for this. I thought it was a pretty good knockout."

For Koch, who improved his record to 11-1, it was an emphatic statement that he's ready for big fights in the UFC's featherweight division in 2011. Koch was originally slated to face Josh Grispi on this card until Grispi was chosen to take on Jose Aldo for the UFC featherweight title at UFC 125, and now Koch has to be a contender to take on the Grispi-Aldo winner.

Rivera, who had racked up a record of 5-0 while fighting for smaller promotions, took the fight on short notice but wasn't ready for this level of competition and likely won't move on to the UFC.

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