It didn't take long for UFC light heavyweight Ovince St. Preux to make history in Uberlandia, Brazil on Saturday night on Fox Sports 1. The former University of Tennessee linebacker stopped Mauricio Rua in just 34 seconds into the first round, notching the biggest win of his mixed martial arts career and claiming an additional $50,000 with a Performance of the Night bonus.
St. Preux was filling in on short notice for an injured Jimi Manuwa. In fact, 'OSP' was set to face Francimar Barrosa in the co-main event only after Feijao Cavalcante withdraw from his originally scheduled bout due to injury.
The bout didn't last long. As Shogun moved forward, St. Preux moved to his left, knocking Shogun down with a left hook in the process. A few more follow-up shots was all referee Mario Yamasaki needed to see before stopping the contest.
Leandro Silva also claimed a Performance of the Night bonus and $50,000 with his first-round submission of Charlie Brenneman. While 'The Spaniard' had his moments with single-leg takedowns and top passing, it was Silva who used superior grappling to reverse position, take Brenneman's back and sink the choke before the American could ever really fight it off. The tap came at 4:15 of the first round.
Claiming Fight of the Night honors were Thomas Almeida and Tim Gorman. The preliminary card fighters turned in a noteworthy fight, albeit for different reasons from each other. While Gorman was strong with pressure early, taking down Almeida and finding a way to his back, the Brazilian top prospect managed to stand and separate. From there, it was almost all one-way traffic as Almeida battered Gorman for nearly three full rounds. The American had moments of pumping a stiff jab and hung in until the end, demonstrating incredible durability, but never found an answer for the combination striking of Almeida.
The judges awarded the unanimous decision victory to Almeida with scores of 30-27, 30-27, 29-28.