Former Sun Devils shine in UFC 146

Cain Velasquez expressed frustration after losing his UFC Heavyweight title belt to Junior Dos Santos last November, but he was eager to get his career back on track.

On Saturday night, the former ASU wrestler redeemed himself and took his frustration out on Antonio “Big Foot” Silva.

By controlling every single aspect of the fight, Velasquez (10-1) defeated Silva (16-4) in a first-round technical knockout at UFC 146 in the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas.

“Every time you go in (to the octagon) it’s a new challenge,” Velasquez said. “I knew (Silva) was going to be a tough guy to finish and he posed certain threats, but I’m happy I was able to go in there and perform.”

In the opening seconds of the bout Silva charged with a kick, but Velasquez caught his foot and took him down. Velasquez instantly punched him with ground-and-pound attacks until referee Josh Rosenthal stopped the fight.

“I took my time and waited to get good position to turn it on and finish the fight,” Velasquez said. “I had to get really good posture and sit up in order to get power and land those hard shots. I knew if I kept the speed up the ref would step in and stop it.”

Silva was practically immobile under Velasquez’s control, and bled so much his vision was impaired.

“I couldn’t see anything after I got cut,” Silva said. “I was trying to survive in there and get through the round and get wiped off and have the cut fixed, so that I could go out there and perform in the second (round).”

C.B. Dollaway, also a former Sun Devil, came away with a win of his own when he defeated Jason “Mayhem” Miller by unanimous decision during the UFC 146 preliminaries.

The former ASU wrestler relied on his wrestling specialty to win the bout, controlling the fight on the ground. Miller (34-10) began each round by taking critical headshots at Dollaway (13-6).

“I knew I had to get in and get the take down,” Dollaway said. “I got caught a couple of times, but I’ve been hit and hurt before. You have to find a way to recover and get the win and I was able to.”

Former ASU football player Kyle Kingsbury was the only Sun Devil to lose. Kingsbury fell to Glover Teixeira in a first-round submission during the second fight of the night.

Kingsbury (11-4) had little leverage in the short fight. Teixeira (18-2) out boxed Kingsbury and sent him to the ground with a right uppercut. He then tied Kingsbury up and eventually forced him to tap out.

“Glover caught me with a good one and I was on the defensive from there on out,” Kingsbury said. “He was faster than I expected.”

 

Reach the reporter at jnacion@asu.edu