Antonio "Big Foot" Silva patiently fought Alistair Overeem at UFC 156, and then pulled off the biggest upset of the young year with a knockout win in the third round.
The first round was more clinch-filled than expected, but Overeem definitely got his licks in. He used leg kicks and punches as well as fantastic movement to hold off Silva. Overeem also landed 13 body shots in the first round.
Overeem went a different route in the second round, taking down Silva early in the round. After Overeem controlled and beat up Silva for much of the round, they were stood up and they finally started throwing at each other. Both fighters got in knees and punches until they were stopped by the round ending. As they headed to their separate corners, Overeem threw a look at Silva that seemed to say, "Bring it."
Silva complied. In the third round, Silva became aggressive and Overeem stood right in front of him. "Big Foot" landed a bevy of punches that first wobbled Overeem, and then sent him to the ground. Silva had to be pulled back by referee Herb Dean. The fight was stopped 25 seconds into the final round.
“After I knocked him out I was yelling at him ‘Let’s go! I want more… come fight!" Silva said through a translator after the bout.
This was Overeem's first fight since beating Brock Lesnar late in 2011. Overeem was given a title shot after the win, but lost his opportunity after pre-fight tests caused him to be suspended in Nevada. He was hoping for a title shot immediately upon his suspension, but had to beat Silva first. That title shot is not likely now.
Before knocking out Overeem, Silva had experienced an up and down past few fights. He beat MMA legend Fedor Emelianenko, then lost to Daniel Cormier in the Strikeforce heavyweight Grand Prix, and to Cain Velasquez at UFC 146. After that, he scored a first-round TKO over Travis Browne.
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