On Saturday, May 25, the UFC held UFC 160 from the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas.

The night’s main event featured a rematch in the heavyweight division as Cain Velasquez battled Antonio “Bigfoot” Silva for a second time. Velasquez stopped the Brazilian by first-round TKO at UFC 146 last May, but this time the division’s championship belt was on the line. Following the win over Silva, Velasquez battered Junior dos Santos for five rounds to recapture the title, while Silva has dispatched of Travis Browne and Alistair Overeem to earn his shot at the champion.

In the co-main event, dos Santos took on a resurgent Mark Hunt for the No. 1 contender’s spot in the division. Another No. 1 contender spot was up for grabs in the 155-pound division as Gray Maynard faced T.J. Grant. Rounding out the pay-per-view main card was a light heavyweight clash between Glover Teixeira and James Te Huna, as well as a lightweight war between Donald Cerrone and K.J. Noons.

The 12-fight event kicked off at 6:30 p.m. ET with three bouts streaming on the promotion’s YouTube and Facebook pages. Four additional bouts followed on FX at 8 p.m. ET, with the five-fight pay-per-view main card starting at 10 p.m. ET.

Velasquez stops ‘Bigfoot’ to retain heavyweight title

UFC heavyweight champion Cain Velasquez wasted little time dispatching of Antonio “Bigfoot” Silva for a second time to retain his belt.

Silva shrugged off two early takedown attempts from the champion, but Velasquez’s speed advantage was apparent right from the opening bell. The champion delivered a big right hand as Silva moved forward, dropping the big Brazilian to the mat. Velasquez swarmed and rained shots from Silva’s back. Referee Mario Yamasaki had no choice but to intervene as Silva did not fight back.

“The big thing was to keep moving and never stay in front of him,” Velasquez said of his opponent.

Dos Santos knocks out Hunt with wheel kick

Former UFC heavyweight champion Junior dos Santos bounced back from losing his belt with a highlight-reel knockout win over New Zealand’s Mark Hunt. Dos Santos put an exclamation point on his performance with a third-round wheel kick.

Both fighters were tentative to start, as they found their range. Hunt scored with his lead hand, opening a small cut on the face of dos Santos. Midway through the round, dos Santos connected with a massive overhand right that sent Hunt to the canvas. Hunt recovered and the pair returned to trading.

Round two began with both fighters searching for their strengths. Dos Santos sought his overhand right, while Hunt looked for his counter left hook. Each fighter scored on the feet, with Hunt pressuring dos Santos against the fence and scoring with a combination. Dos Santos answered with a takedown late in the frame and finished the round in side control.

Hunt knew he was down in the final round, pushing forward throughout. Dos Santos kept the “Super Samoan” at bay with his jab. A pair of left hooks from Dos Santos had Hunt on rubber legs in the final minute and the former champion unleashed a wheel kick that clipped Hunt on the top of the head. Hunt crashed to the mat and dos Santos finished him with a follow-up right hand.

“I believe I can be the champion again,” dos Santos declared in victory.

Teixeira chokes Te Huna

Light heavyweight Glover Teixeira continued his ascension up the 205-pound ladder with a first-round submission over New Zealand’s James Te Huna.

After a brief feeling out process that saw both fighters land on the feet, Teixeira scored with a takedown. The Brazilian passed to side control and then side control, but Te Huna was able to return to his feet. However, that was short-lived as Teixeira latched onto the neck of Te Huna and slapped on a fight-finishing guillotine at the midway point of the opening stanza.

“My job is to come in here and finish fights,” said Teixeira in his post-fight interview.

Grant stops Maynard

Canadian T.J. Grant wrapped up a title shot with a first-round stoppage of former title challenger Gray Maynard.

Maynard opened the fight as the aggressor, scoring repeatedly with his right hand. Grant weathered the storm and fired back. A right hand from Grant dropped Maynard and he smelled blood. Grant delivered a barrage of knees and punches along the fence, putting Maynard out and forcing the referee to waive off the fight.

“I want to be the champ,” said Grant. “Let’s do it!”

Cerrone batters Noons

Lightweight Donald Cerrone gave former Strikeforce fighter K.J. Noons a rude welcome to the Octagon with a lopsided decision win. Cerrone’s Muay Thai and takedowns were simply too much for Noons’ boxing.

The opening round saw Noons open with leg kicks. That sparked Cerrone to return fire with kicks and knees. As the round progressed, Cerrone connected with more frequency and Noons appeared to get frustrated. A massive head kick from Cerrone earned “Cowboy” the round.

Cerrone opened round two with a takedown and looked for a choke. Noons escaped and returned to the feet. Cerrone’s strikes continued to land and Noons’ frustration continued. Noons looked for a flying knee but Cerrone caught it and planted him on his back. From there, Cerrone rained elbows and punches until the round closed.

It was one-way traffic in round three as Cerrone again planted Noons on his back. Cerrone continued his ground assault, opening up multiple cuts on the face of Noons. The bloodied and battered Noons would survive to the bell, but there was no question who won the bout.

Preliminary Card Summary

Veteran Mike Pyle earned his fourth straight win with a split decision win over Rick Story. The first round saw Story take it to Pyle, nearly ending the fight with a massive left hand and flurry. Pyle survived and although he spent most of round two on his back, his submission attempts earned him the round. The final frame was all Pyle, as he bloodied Story and walked away as the victor.

A back-and-forth battle between Max Holloway and Dennis Bermudez ended with Bermudez taking home a contested decision win. Holloway’s height and reach advantage were the story of the opening two rounds as the Hawaiian kept Bermudez from getting inside and using his wrestling. A spinning back kick from Holloway had Bermudez hurt briefly, but the TUF alum battled back to finish the fight strong. Two of the judges felt Bermudez did enough to earn the victory.

In a battle of Ultimate Fighter winners, TUF Smashes winner Robert Whittaker stopped TUF 16 champ Colton Smith with a third-round TKO. The pair traded from the opening bell, with each scoring with heavy shots. Smith took the first frame with a massive overhand right that dropped Whittaker, but the Australian fighter returned the favor in round two. In the final frame, Whittaker overwhelmed Smith with a lead left hook that forced the referee to intervene.

Two-time sambo world champion Khabib Nurmagomedov put on a grappling and takedown clinic against Abel Trujillo en route to clear-cut decision win. Nurmagomedov ragdolled Trujillo with double-digit takedowns throughout the contest and nearly finished the fight with a triangle choke in the first round.

Welterweight Stephen Thompson got back in the win column with a grueling decision win over Strikeforce veteran Nah-Shon Burrell. A large portion of the fight was spent along the cage with the fighters trading knees from inside. Both fighters tired as the fight progressed, but Thompson did enough to convince the judges to give him the win.

Towering, 6-foot-1 bantamweight George Roop survived a first-round scare against Brian Bowles to score a TKO in round two. Bowles rocked Roop late in the opening frame and looked for guillotine choke, but Roop survived. Roop returned the favor in round two, dropping Bowles and swarming for the TKO finish.

Jeremy Stephens made a successful debut at featherweight, battering Strikeforce veteran Estevan Payan in a three-round bloodbath. Stephens opened up a massive cut on Payan’s forehead in round one with an elbow. Stephens mixed in takedowns and solid striking to cruise to the decision win.

FULL RESULTS
Cain Velasquez def. Antonio “Bigfoot” Silva by TKO (punches). Round 1, 1:21 – for heavyweight title
Junior dos Santos def. Mark Hunt by knockout (wheel kick and punches). Round 3, 4:18
Glover Teixeira def. James Te Huna by submission (guillotine choke). Round 1, 2:38
T.J. Grant def. Gray Maynard by TKO (strikes). Round 1, 2:07
Donald Cerrone def. K.J. Noons by unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-26)
Mike Pyle def. Rick Story by split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)
Dennis Bermudez def. Max Holloway by split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)
Robert Whittaker def. Colton Smith by TKO (punches). Round 3, 0:41
Khabib Nurmagomedov def. Abel Trujillo by unanimous decision (30-27 x3)
Stephen Thompson def. Nah-Shon Burrell by unanimous decision (29-28, 30-27, 29-28)
George Roop def. Brian Bowles by TKO (punches). Round 2, 1:43
Jeremy Stephens def. Estevan Payan by unanimous decision (30-26, 30-26, 30-27)

Photo: Cain Velasquez (Dave Mandel/Sherdog)