As we prepare to return to Australia for the super-fight between Islam Makhachev and Alex Volkanovski, we flash back to the first time the UFC landed down under.
UFC 110: Nogueira vs. Velasquez
February 21, 2010
If there were any doubts that Cain Velasquez was the real deal, the unbeaten phenom answered them emphatically in the UFC’s first event in Australia as he scored a spectacular first round knockout of future Hall of Famer Antonio Rodrigo ‘Minotauro’ Nogueira in the UFC 110 main event at Acer Arena.
Velasquez was sharp from the start, and after getting into a nice rhythm, he landed with a thudding left-right-left combination to the head that dropped Nogueira hard to the mat. A ferocious barrage of ground strikes followed and forced referee Herb Dean to halt the bout at the 2:20 mark.
With losses in three of his last four fights, PRIDE legend Wanderlei Silva felt the pressure heading into his UFC 110 co-main event against Michael Bisping, but with flashes of his ferocious brilliance late in rounds two and three, he was able to eke out a close, but unanimous, decision over ‘The Count’ at Acer Arena.
Scores were 29-28 across the board for Silva.
Bisping walked right at Silva to start the bout, and after some tentative standup, he surprised ‘The Axe Murderer’ at the one-minute mark with a takedown. Silva got right back to his feet and began his own stalking of ‘The Count’. Bisping again scored with a takedown midway through the round but was unable to keep his foe on the mat.
Bisping continued to stand in the pocket with Silva in round two, eventually getting a takedown with under two minutes left. Once standing, Silva was still throwing sporadic bombs, but he wasn’t landing enough to put Bisping down or to hurt him. Strangely enough though, the end almost came in the final seconds when Silva responded to a Bisping takedown attempt with a tight guillotine choke that was interrupted only by the bell.
Silva opened up the final round with leg kicks, adding in the occasional punch upstairs. Bisping was standing in front of Silva, but not being active enough. With the crowd chanting his name, Silva moved forward, looking to land a big right hand, and just as the bout was ready to conclude, he finally hit paydirt with the right, dropping Bisping. A final left did even more damage, but then the bell intervened, sending the bout to the judges.
If George Sotiropoulos was awed by the idea of being the leading man for Australia on the first UFC event Down Under, he didn’t show it once the bell rang, as he scored the most impressive victory of his career, a shutout three round decision win over longtime lightweight contender Joe Stevenson.
For 12 minutes, unbeaten Ryan Bader had a tough time figuring out the riddle of perennial light heavyweight contender Keith Jardine, but in the next ten seconds, the former Arizona State standout found the opening he needed, and he made the most of it, stopping ‘The Dean of Mean’ in the third round.
Sydney’s own Anthony Perosh showed the heart of a lion when he agreed to fight on the UFC 110 card on just days’ notice, but veteran heavyweight contender Mirko Cro Cop was too much for him, stopping him in two rounds.
Known for his striking prowess, welterweight vet Chris ‘Lights Out’ Lytle went to Plan B at UFC 110, submitting Brian Foster with a first round kneebar.
A clash of heads ended the entertaining light heavyweight bout between Krzysztof Soszynski and Stephan Bonnar early, with the final verdict being a third round TKO win for Soszynski after a cut on Bonnar’s forehead was judged to be too severe for him to continue.
Former Ultimate Fighter finalist CB Dollaway continued to show the progression of his fight game as he spoiled Goran Reljic’s middleweight debut and his perfect record, scoring a unanimous decision victory.
The opener felt more like a main event, and rightfully so, as Australia-based New Zealander James Te Huna gave the local fans what they wanted as he halted Igor Pokrajac in the third round of their light heavyweight bout.
Fight of the Night – Sotiropoulos W3 Stevenson
Knockout of the Night – Velasquez KO1 Nogueira
Submission of the Night – Lytle Wsub1 Foster
Debuts – James Te Huna