Las Vegas – Cain Velasquez is making a comeback.
The San Jose-trained mixed martial arts fighter stopped Antonio "Bigfoot" Silva late in the first round after administering a bloody beating that both thrilled and horrified fans at the MGM Grand Garden at UFC 146 on Saturday night.
It was the first bout for Velasquez since he lost his Ultimate Fighting Championship heavyweight title Nov. 12 when he was floored in a shocking first-round knockout by challenger Junior dos Santos -- who defended that title later Saturday.
Velasquez (10-1) finished Silva at 3:36 of the first round, but only after pulverizing the 6-foot-4 Brazilian with a relentless series of blows after an early takedown. Silva (16-4) was cut on his face early in the beating, sending streams of blood down his face and onto the canvas, eventually coating both fighters' torsos.
"I knew he was going to be a tough guy to finish, and he posed certain threats," Velasquez said. "But I'm happy I was able to go in there and perform. I took my time and waited to get good position to turn it on and finish the fight."
The fight was stopped once to allow Silva's corner to clear the blood from his eyes, but Velasquez promptly resumed the beating until the fight was stopped. The former Arizona State wrestler was ferociously impressive in his first bout since losing the belt to Dos Santos in the UFC's first prime-time Fox show.
"What you've done in the past, you've got to get over that," Velasquez said. "This is a step in the right direction."
The 32-year-old Silva appeared to be outmatched in his UFC debut after a lengthy MMA career highlighted by his dominant Strikeforce victory over Fedor Emelianenko in February 2011.
Based on reporting by the Associated Press.