LAS VEGAS -- Antonio Silva warned Alistair Overeem to show him respect, and then he went out and earned it
In one of the most violent heavyweight knockouts in recent memory, "Bigfoot" crushed Overeem and his championship dreams with a knockout at 25 seconds of round three.
"Fight and win inside the cage, not outside," he said. "He talked a lot of s--- but I believe in myself."
It was an emotionally charged win for the giant, who afterward stood over the downed Overeem and screamed at him, forcing referee Herb Dean to pull him away. Later, after Overeem was helped to his feet, Silva put the bad blood away to check on his opponent.
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Overeem had controlled the first two rounds with his faster hands and some strong wrestling, doing some damage with his ground and pound. But Silva wouldn't go away, and as he ran out to the center of the cage for round three, he showed he still had some energy reserves. He clipped Overeem with an uppercut that sent him reeling backwards, and then he teed off.
Another uppercut dazed Overeem, and Silva fired off a series of right hands, many of which found their mark. It appeared that Overeem was out on his feet two or three punches before Dean stopped him. As Silva connected for the last time, Overeem crumpled to the floor.
The win puts a huge wrench in the UFC heavyweight championship picture, as Overeem had been promised a title shot with a win, but no such promise was made for Silva, and there doesn't seem to be any clear-cut contender otherwise.
Silva also snapped Overeem's 11-fight win streak, raising his own record to 18-4 with his second straight knockout finish.