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In one of the biggest upsets in UFC history, Antonio "Big Foot" Silva scored a devastating third round knockout over heavily favored Alistair Overeem in their heavyweight match up.
Overeem had shown very little respect for his Brazilian opponent leading up to the fight. In the pre-fight press conference, Overeem referred to Silva not as an opponent but as one big walking target. Overeem taunted Silva, saying, "I'm going to f*ck you up."
From the outset of Saturday's bout at the Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas, Nevada, Overeem seemed overconfident. He won the first two rounds, but held his hands low showing no respect for Silva's power.
In the round Silva turned the tide in his favor. He landed some big right hands, then pushed Overeem against the cage. He then landed two vicious uppercuts, followed by a barrage of punches as Overeem appeared to be unable to defend himself. Finally Overeem slumped to the canvas as referee Herb Dean jumped in to save him, stopping the fight at 25 seconds of the third round.
"They called that a TKO, but let me tell you something, that was a f*cking knockout," UFC president Dana White said at the post-fight news conference. "He was out."
"After I knocked him out, I was yelling at him, 'Let's go! I want more! Come fight!,' " Silva said. "It really bothered me that he hasn't respected me in interviews leading up to the fight. He talked a lot of trash, and I told him that I'd make him respect me tonight. I'm going to go home and rest with my family for two weeks and then go right back to training. I'm ready for whatever the UFC wants for me next. I worked a lot of right hands up against the fence. I'm ready for anyone. The UFC's a big show, and now that I'm here, I'm very happy."
With the win, Silva is now on a two-fight winning streak after losing to reigning UFC heavyweight champion Cain Velasquez back in May of last year.
Overeem drops his first bout after returning from the suspension he got last March. After beating Brock Lesnar in 2011, the Dutch fighter failed a drug test as his testosterone levels were measured to be way above the normal.
With the victory Silva now is in line for a possible rematch with Velasquez for the UFC Heavyweight title.
Here are the results of the UFC 156 fight card.
Jose Aldo def. Frankie Edgar
Aldo quickly established himself as the superior striker, landing crisp combinations, chopping away at Frankie's lead leg with some vicious low kicks. The Brazilian didn't have any problems stuffing Edgar's takedown attempts as well, and he immediately got back to his feet when Frankie finally put him on his back.
However, Frankie turned things around in the latter rounds, as Jose's cardio began to fade. He started landing clean shots, and he clearly won the last two rounds of the fight. Unfortunately for "The Answer" it wasn't enough, as the judges scored the fight 49-46, 49-46, and 48-47, all in favor of Aldo.
Antonio Rogerio Nogueira def. Rashad Evans
This wasn't the most entertaining fight in the world, as neither man established dominance throughout their 15-minute encounter. Evans didn't seem overly concerned with getting the fight to the ground at UFC 156, and a slow-paced boxing match broke out inside the Octagon. Nogueira seemed to get the better of the exchanges, and all three judges scored the fight 29-28 in his favor.
Antonio Silva def. Alistair Overeem
Overeem dominated the first two rounds of their UFC 156 encounter, winning the striking exchanges, getting some work done against the cage and on the ground. Behind on the scorecards, Silva turned things around during the third round, hurting Alistair with a huge right hook. He followed up with a salvo of vicious uppercuts and hooks against the cage. Overeem dropped to the canvas, forcing referee Herb Dean to stop the contest 25 seconds into the third round.
Demian Maia def. Jon Fitch
Maia made it clear he's a top contender in the Ultimate Fighting Championship's welterweight division, out-grinding Fitch at UFC 156. The Brazilian took Fitch down at will throughout their encounter, and he controlled the action from start to finish, threatening with multiple submissions along the way. All three judges scored the fight 30-27 in favor of Maia.
With his impressive performance against Fitch, Maia seems to be ready for a shot at the welterweight title. However, with Nick Diaz and Johny Hendricks already in line to face current champ Georges St. Pierre, he'll probably have to wait a while.
Joseph Benavidez def. Ian McCall
Benavidez took control early in their UFC 156 encounter, getting the better of the striking exchanges. McCall turned things around in the second round, reversing a takedown attempt by Benavidez, transitioning to mount then back-mount. From there, Ian landed some decent shots, stealing the second round.
Benavidez regained control in the final round, once again dominating the striking exchanges. All three judges scored the fight 29-28 in favor if Benavidez.
Evan Dunham def. Gleison Tibau (split decision)
Tyron Woodley def. Jay Hieron (KO, round one)
Bobby Green def. Jacob Volkmann (rear-naked choke, round three)
Isaac Vallie-Flagg def. Yves Edwards (split decision)
Dustin Kimura def. Chico Camus (rear-naked choke, round three)
Francisco Rivera def. Edwin Figueroa (TKO, round two)
Antonio Silva post-fight interview and knockout of Alistair Overeem
UFC 156: Post-fight Press Conference
Surprises at UFC 156
Bigfoot Silva Told Overeem To Get Up + Keep Fighting After He Knocked Him Out
Silva vs Overeem fight recap