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Antonio Silva Dominates Fedor Emelianenko

<! mediaid=3874454 Gregory Payan, AP: img hspace="4" border="1" align="right" vspace="4" alt="Antonio Silva punches Fedor Emelianenko on the ground." src="" />The MMA champion once viewed as invincible has now lost two in a row.

For the second consecutive time, Fedor Emelianenko has suffered a stunning upset loss, this time falling to Antonio Silva in the opening round of the Strikeforce heavyweight tournament.

Silva absolutely destroyed Fedor in the second round of the fight, staying on top of him for all five minutes and battering his face so badly that after the second round, Fedor's right eye was swollen shut and he simply couldn't continue. The doctor made the right decision to stop the fight, and the official ruling was that Silva won the fight by TKO after the second round.

For Silva, the former EliteXC heavyweight champion, it was by far the most significant victory of his MMA career. He'll next face the winner of the upcoming Fabricio Werdum-Alistair Overeem fight. For Fedor, the loss demonstrates that he's simply not an elite heavyweight anymore.

"All the people say, 'Fedor, Fedor, Fedor,'" Silva said after the fight. "I showed the world now."

As he so often does, Fedor opened the fight by swinging hard, looping punches, but Silva did a good job of avoiding those punches in the early going, and he even connected with a punch of his own when Fedor came to the inside. It was notable from the beginning that Fedor was significantly faster than Silva, just as it was obvious that Silva was significantly bigger.

Two minutes into the first round Silva landed a huge right hand that snapped Fedor's head back. That backed Fedor off, but when they locked it was Fedor who seemed more comfortable. Eventually Fedor got on top of Silva on the ground, and at one point Fedor was working on Silva's arm and appeared to be close to a submission before Silva scrambled back to his feet. They traded punches from there and then Silva took Fedor down, and the round ended with Silva on top. I scored the first round for Silva, 10-9.

Silva took Fedor down instantly at the start of the second round and put him flat on his back. Silva showed off some nifty jiu jitsu, moving to side control and then full mount. From there Silva simply dominated Fedor, raining down punch after punch after punch as Fedor could do little to defend himself. Silva also tried to submit Fedor with a head and arm choke, and Fedor somehow managed to survive. With 30 seconds to go in the round Silva went for a kneebar, and amazingly, Fedor actually pulled free from it and went for a foot lock of his own. Fedor survived the round, but not the fight: After the round, it was ruled that Fedor's eye was too badly damaged for him to continue and the fight was stopped.

After the fight, Fedor's face was a swollen mess, but he seemed calm and stoic, and he hinted at retirement.

"Thank you very much for your love and support," Fedor said. "Something went wrong from the very beginning. ... Maybe it's the time to leave. ... Maybe it's the last time, maybe it's high time. Thank God for everything. I've had a great sporting life. Maybe it's God's will."

Fedor was fighting for the first time since his shocking loss to Fabricio Werdum in June. That was the first legitimate loss of Fedor's MMA career (years earlier he had lost a fight because he was cut by an illegal elbow strike). Now he's lost twice in a row, and his career record is 31-3.

For Silva, who improves to 16-2, there are big things ahead. The next big thing is a fight with either Werdum or Overeem, which will establish who the top dog in Strikeforce is. One thing we now know for sure: It's not Fedor.

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