In the main event of UFC 180 to determine in the interim UFC heavyweight champion in Mexico City, Mexico, it was the Spanish-speaking Brazilian Fabricio Werdum who would walk away with the gold. He stopped Mark Hunt in the second round via TKO.
The two fighters opened cautiously, but a wide right hand cracked Werdum and dropped him. Wanting nothing to do with his ground game, Hunt let him up. Werdum reached for the low single, but could get nothing. A punch hurts Werdum and Hunt uses an underhook to throw Werdum to the mat, but now Werdum has him locked him in his guard.
Hunt landed a few short punches as Werdum attempted wrist control, neither able to land much in the way of anything overly effective. Eventually, Hunt stacks Werdum and slips out, allowing the two to stand and go back to trading. Towards the end of the frame, Werdum had a bit more success and pocket presence, but ate an uppercut before the bell.
Werdum started round two bouncing on his feet and he needed to as Hunt was throwing monstrous shots, one of which put the Brazilian back on his rear end for just a moment. Werdum failed on a spinning hook kick, but Hunt didn't follow him to the ground when he fell. Werdum also tried to clinch in close quarters, but Hunt immediately wiggled free.
The Brazilian attempted another low single, but Hunt was easily able to evade. After they reset, however, everything changed in an instant. Werdum faked as if he was moving low, only to jump and score a brutal knee that sent Hunt barely conscious, crashing to the mat.
Werdum pounced on Hunt, pouring on a series of punches and hammerfists. Most snuck through and Hunt was doing nothing to protect himself, forcing referee Herb Dean to stop the fight.
The TKO end came officially at 2:27 in round number two, making Werdum the interim heavyweight champion of the UFC.
"I'm very happy here. I've been two months here because of training, for the altitude. This belt for my daughters and my wife and family," Werdum said post-fight to UFC commentator Joe Rogan.
"I haven't seen my family long time. He punched me very hard, but I've been waiting for this moment," he explained.
When asked to discuss how he landed the knee, Werdum explained, "I just fake first and then I drop the knee."
Asked about existing UFC heavyweight champion Cain Velasquez, who Werdum was supposed to face before he withdrew from this bout due to injury, Werdum had one request.
"I want this fight here or in Brazil," he said.
As for Hunt, he wasn't overly expressive, congratulating Werdum on the win and only offering a small piece of analysis.
"It's the ones you don't see, and I didn't see that one. Ha," he told Rogan.