Cain Velasquez dominated Brock Lesnar and scored a first-round knockout of the champion to claim the heavyweight title in the main event of Saturday’s UFC 121 at the Honda Center in Anaheim, California.
Velasquez weathered a furious opening minute from the champion before delivering a dominant performance capped off by a flurry of punches that stopped the fight at 4:01 of the opening round.
Lesnar rushed Velasquez at the opening bell and managed to get the challenger down twice, but Velasquez popped back to his feet and never looked back after seizing control in a wild exchange, dropping Lesnar once before downing him again and putting him away with ground and pound.
Velasquez remains unbeaten and improves to 9-0 with the win, while Lesnar, bloodied and beaten in his first knockout loss, falls to 5-2.
In the UFC 121 co-headliner, former Strikeforce champ Jakes Shields was victorious in his UFC debut, but made few fans in the process, controlling Martin Kampmann for much of the 15-minute fight while surviving a pair of knees and several submissions to score a split decision win and possibly a shot at the welterweight title.
The UFC 121 main card also saw Diego Sanchez return to form by outpointing Paulo Thiago in a back-and-forth battle, Matt Hamill outlasted Tito Ortiz to earn a unanimous decision win, and Brendan Schaub topped Gabriel Gonzaga.
The complete UFC 121 results were:
- Cain Velasquez def. Brock Lesnar via TKO (punches) – Round 1, 4:01 to become new UFC heavyweight champion
- Jake Shields def. Martin Kampmann via split decision (28-29, 30-27, 29-28)
- Diego Sanchez def. Paulo Thiago via unanimous decision (30-26, 29-28, 29-28)
- Matt Hamill def. Tito Ortiz via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 30-27)
- Brendan Schaub def. Gabriel Gonzaga via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
- Court McGee def. Ryan Jensen via submission (arm triangle) – Round 3, 1:21
- Tom Lawlor def. Patrick Cote via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
- Daniel Roberts def. Mike Guymon via submission (anaconda choke) – Round 1, 1:13
- Sam Stout def. Paul Taylor via split decision (29-28, 28-29, 30-27)
- Chris Camozzi def. Dongi Yang via split decision (28-29, 29-28, 29-28)
- Jon Madsen def. Gilbert Yvel via TKO (punches) – Round 1, 1:48