Marcos Rogerio de Lima picked up the biggest win of his career in a showcase fight as the co-main event at UFC Vegas 42 on Saturday.
The Brazilian wobbled Ben Rothwell with a punch during an early exchange in the opening round and then he just rushed forward with a relentless barrage of strikes. While Rothwell tried to survive by showing incredible toughness, de Lima was not going to be denied as he just kept throwing punches until the veteran heavyweight buckled under the pressure of the damage he was absorbing.
Referee Herb Dean jumped in to stop the fight, hesitated momentarily and then finally called an end to the contest at 32 seconds into the opening round.
“I knew it was a tough fight,” de Lima said about his win. “All respect to Ben. I knew my speed, I knew I could strike. I knew they were going in, I knew this was going to happen. I don’t think anyone has ever done that to Ben.”
There was no feeling out process for the heavyweights as Rothwell was looking to set up his own punches but he didn’t really get a chance to throw much of anything after de Lima was just relentless with his offensive onslaught.
A perfectly placed right hand put Rothwell on wobbly legs and de Lima seized on the opening to continue battering him with punches until the fight came to an end.
The win moves de Lima to 3-1 in his past four fights as he becomes the first fighter since Cain Velasquez in 2009 to finish Rothwell with strikes.