Frank Mir said he wasn't too old and just needed some time off. Maybe he was right.
The former UFC heavyweight champion knocked out Antonio "Bigfoot" Silva at 1:40 of the first round in the main event of UFC Fight Night 61 on Sunday in Porto Alegre, Brazil. Mir was the capper on a card that featured 10 of 11 underdogs winning.
Mir (17-9) had not fought since falling to Alistair Overeem at UFC 169 on Feb. 1, 2014. That was his fourth straight loss and many thought he should retire. Mir, 35, disagreed, saying he was just hurting and needed to rest his body.
"I was banged up and I'm facing top five guys four fights in a row, hindered and injured and not being 100 percent," Mir said afterward.
Mir came out in an orthodox stance -- he's typically a southpaw -- and landed a jab-left hook combination that sent Silva reeling. Mir, who credited boxing coach Angelo Reyes, finished on the ground with elbows.
The 14-year UFC veteran now has the most finishes (12) in UFC heavyweight history and the fourth most in any division.
Silva (18-6, 1 NC) is now winless in his last three fights, the last two coming by first-round knockout. "Bigfoot," who came off testosterone replacement therapy (TRT) last year, has not won since beating Overeem in February 2013.
Michael Johnson put on the best performance of his career in the co-main event against Edson Barboza. Johnson, returning after nearly a year away, outstruck the lethal striker, pushing the pace, chasing Barboza down and landing combinations. Barboza was never able to get into his rhythm and Johnson never slowed down en route to a unanimous decision (29-28, 30-27, 30-27) victory.
Afterward, Johnson (16-8) called out former UFC lightweight champion Benson Henderson. "The Menace" has now won four straight. His last fight was a unanimous decision over Melvin Guillard last March. The 28-year-old Blackzilians star was suspended by the UFC in April after being arrested following an alleged domestic dispute. Barboza (15-3) had won two in a row before this loss and was creeping up the lightweight ladder.
"He surprised me with the shots that he took," Johnson said. "That was the only thing I didn't expect. I was hoping to finish him, but I fought the No. 6 guy in the world, so I will take the decision. I am ready for my next competition. I want the guys at the top of the division. I am ready for a top-3 or top-4 opponent, and I want that title by the end of the year."
Sam Alvey absolutely stunned Cezar Ferreira with first-round knockout. "Smilin' Sam" landed a right hook-left hook combination that put "Mutante" out cold just 3:34 into the fight. Alvey (25-6) has now won two in a row by first-round knockout and is rapidly becoming a fan favorite helped by goofy interviews.
"My game plan was to get kicked a bunch in the beginning and then knock him out somewhere down the line," Alvey told Jon Anik after the win.
Ferreira (8-4), who trains out of the Blackzilians, has now lost two of his last three.
Frankie Saenz was the biggest underdog on the card and he defeated ranked bantamweight Iuri Alcantara via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 30-27). Santiago Ponzinibbio, another underdog, beat previously undefeated Sean Strickland (30-27, 30-27, 30-27) to open the main card.
Marion Reneau stunned ranked women's bantamweight Jessica Andrade with a first-round submission (triangle) in the feature fight of the prelims. Also on the FOX Sports 1 prelims, Matt Dwyer knocked out William Patolino with a superman punch, Mike de la Torre defeated Tiago Trator by first-round knockout and Douglas Silva de Andrade beat Cody Gibson by unanimous decision.