It didn't get started until five minutes before 4 a.m. locally in Uberlandia, Brazil, but it lasted just 34 seconds in the end.
Ovince St. Preux -- standing in for the injured Jimi Manuwa on short notice -- finished former light heavyweight champion Mauricio Rua quickly after landing a short left hook in the main event at UFC Fight Night 56, stunning the crowd in Brazil. After "Shogun" slipped on the canvas in an early exchange on the fence he absorbed a left hand that dropped him where he stood. St. Preux swooped in and -- after a series of quick punches -- finished the job seconds later to bring the Brazilian crowd into silence.
"I knew he had me against the cage, I kind of wanted to bait him in," St. Preux told Jon Anik in the post-fight interview. "The minute he threw that overhand, that's when I knew I was open and it landed. The minute it landed I knew I could finish him right there."
With the victory, St. Preux makes it 4-1 in the UFC and moves to 17-6. He puts his loss to Ryan Bader at UFC Fight Night 47 in Bangor, Maine behind him, and drops Rua to 22-10. The 32-year old Rua has now lost four of five fights overall in the UFC. Though St. Preux said he wouldn't engage in a brawl with Rua, he managed to put the Brazilian legend away with a well-timed counter left. It was the only finish on a main card dominated by distance fights.
With the flyweight bout between Ian McCall and John Lineker cancelled, in the makeshift co-main event The Ultimate Fighter Brazil 3 winner Warlley Alves came out storming against Alan Jouban. Though he couldn't get the finish -- and though he faded down the stretch -- Alves did enough in the judge's eyes to defeat the Louisiana native away via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28).
With the victory, Alves keeps his professional record perfect at 8-0.
The middleweight bout between England's Leon Edwards (8-1) and Claudio da Silva (10-1) took a lot of twists and turns. After a tightly contested first round, Edwards was in control of things through most of the second until Silva turned the tables on him late, threatening to submit the Briton through the last minute. Silva took the momentum into the third, taking Edwards down early and working from varying dominant positions on the ground. Even though Silva reversed things with a minute to go in the round, the judges saw the fight in favor of Silva via a split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28).
Meanwhile in a welterweight bout, Dhiego Lima (10-2) dominated Jorge de Oliveira (7-1) through three rounds to score his first victory in the UFC. Lima took Oliveira down repeated, and used his ground and pound to win on the scorecards (30-27, 30,27, 30-27).
In the opening bout on the main card, Nina Ansaroff, fighting in her UFC debut, dropped a unanimous decision against Juliana Lima (29-28, 29-28, 29-28). Though Lima was able to control the early action, she seemed to take her foot off the gas down the stretch, which prompted a few boos from the Uberlandia crowd.