Though he was the rare fighter to be released following a successful UFC debut, Maiquel Falcao was back in action in Brazil this past weekend, winning a brutal TKO victory over Julio Cesar Bilik in just 27 seconds.
Of course, one of the main contributing factors to the brutal nature of the fight was the referee's extremely relaxed attitude toward stopping the bout once Bilik had ceased to intelligently defend himself. As you can see from the above video, after getting dropped by a punch at the 18-second mark, Bilik spent the next 13 seconds as an unresponsive punching bag for Falcao's strikes before the ref had finally seen enough.
While that's unfortunate for Bilik, who dropped to 10-7, the win was Falcao's first since being cut from the UFC over legal issues stemming from a 2002 incident in his hometown, and with it the "Big Rig" improved his overall record to 27-3.
Many fans may remember Falcao as the Brazilian striker who nearly submitted Gerald Harris in his Octagon debut at UFC 123, and may well have finished the fight with a rear naked choke in the first round, if only the horn to end the opening frame hadn't sounded a full seven seconds early. Falcao initially courted controversy by continuing to hold the choke after the horn, but subsequent video review showed that he had indeed been cheated out of ample time to finish the fight by an egregious time-keeper error.
Falcao would go on to win the bout via decision, despite an unimpressive and inactive final round, and Harris, who had just lost his first UFC bout, was later cut from the organization. Falcao would follow suit a few months later, when lingering legal issues prompted the UFC to drop him from the roster and nix his hopes of competing on the 'UFC Rio' card at the end of August.
Falcao's camp seemed initially confident that the old charges against their fighter would be dropped soon and he'd be back in action soon, and this quick win has to be an encouraging sign for them.
It remains to be seen what the UFC will require of him before agreeing to bring him back on the roster, or how many more journeyman opponents he'll have to beat on for far too long in the smaller circuit before getting back to the big show.