UBERLANDIA, Brazil -- Caio Magalhaes is quietly moving up the ladder in the middleweight division.
Matched up against Trevor Smith at UFC Fight Night 56 in Uberlandia, Brazil, on Nov. 8, the Nova Uniao fighter scored his fourth straight victory with a 31-second knockout, but it didn’t come without controversy.
Magalhaes hurt Smith early in the fight, but the final punch that dropped his opponent was cleared at the back of his head. He followed with more attacks on the ground before the referee stopped the bout.
"I didn’t notice that," Magalhaes said of the punch to the back of the head. "His coach talked to me after the fight, said I punched the back of his head, but I didn’t notice it. The referee should have stepped in if he saw something, but he was already out from the punch and knee I landed.
Magalhaes has a solution in case Smith tries to appeal the knockout loss to the Brazilian MMA Athletic Commission (CABMMA).
"We can go back in there and fight again if he wants to," he said with a laugh. "When I made weight and stared at him, I thought ‘Man, I’m going to break this guy tomorrow.’"
"I wasn’t expecting to win that fast, but I wanted to go in there and finish him," Magalhaes continued. "I wanted to finish him before the third round because he tends to grow during the bout and has a good wrestling, so I wanted to make no mistakes."
At 4-0 in the UFC since losing to Buddy Roberts in his promotional debut, "Hellboy" finally feels like a professional athlete.
"I got in the UFC with a 5-0 record and lost my debut. After that, I became a professional fighter," he said. "I’m a jiu-jitsu black belt and know I can knock people out. My opponents have to worry about my striking as well now, not only my jiu-jitsu."