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UFC on FOX 1 live blog: Junior dos Santos knocks out Cain Velasquez

Ben Henderson beats Clay Guida by decision to earn lightweight title shot in co-main event

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Associated Press

Junior dos Santos, top right, of Brazil, takes down Cain Velasquez as an official moves in to stop the fight in the UFC mixed martial arts heavyweight title bout in Anaheim, Calif., Saturday, Nov. 12, 2011.

Updated Saturday, Nov. 12, 2011 | 6:57 p.m.

Velasquez vs. dos Santos

Junior dos Santos, of Brazil, gets the title belt after defeating Cain Velasquez in the UFC mixed martial arts heavyweight title bout, Saturday, Nov. 12, 2011, in Anaheim, Calif. Launch slideshow »

Note: Full results from the preliminary card are available at the bottom of the page.

ANAHEIM, Calif. — A minute of action was all that came out of months of build-up for the UFC's network television debut.

Junior dos Santos knocked out UFC heavyweight champion Cain Velasquez at 1:04 of the first round Saturday at the Honda Center to take the belt back to his native Brazil. Dos Santos (14-1 MMA, 8-0 UFC) caught Velasquez (9-1 MMA, 7-1 UFC) with a right hand that sent him to the floor. A few strikes later, the fight was over.

"He messed up my equilibrium," Velasquez said in his post-fight octagon interview. "It was a good shot. He's got good power."

Velasquez fought back tears after the defeat. It was a shocking and sudden end to the first UFC on FOX card. As a championship bout, it was scheduled for five rounds or a possible 25 minutes.

Dos Santos let his tears stream. He realized all his dreams and did it how he wanted — with his boxing. Velasquez rushed in on dos Santos once and appeared to be looking for a takedown attempt, but the fight was spent entirely on the feet.

"I have no words to say what I'm feeling," dos Santos said. "It's amazing."

Dos Santos will now face the winner of the UFC 141 main event between Brock Lesnar and Alistair Overeem in his first title defense. Velasquez promised to get the heavyweight belt back after the loss, and it's not hard to see him in a rematch with dos Santos sometime in the future.

They are both in their primes and had easily disposed of everyone in their paths before meeting each other.

Check back to lasvegassun.com later for full coverage of the event.

Cain Velasquez vs. Junior dos Santos

First Round The lengthy pre-fight buzz has concluded and the bout starts with Velasquez throwing a leg kick. Dos Santos looking to work his hook early and Velasquez rushes in for a takedown attempt. Dos Santos dodges it with ease it and, so far, it's all kickboxing. Dos Santos rocks Velasquez with a right hand, Velasquez falls to the ground, and it's all over that fast. The first main event on network television lasts less than a minute. Dos Santos knocks out Velasquez at 1:04 of the first round.

Clay Guida vs. Ben Henderson

Third Round Both guys are fired up and prompting noise from the crowd. It couldn't get much louder. They have a boxing exchange that Henderson wins with a left hook. Henderson also bothers Guida with a leg kick. Guida works his jab as an answer, but isn't landing anything significant. After Guida throws a left hook, Henderson ties him up against the cage. Guida shoots back across the octagon for a takedown that doesn't work. Henderson now has Guida against the cage and can't get him down. But he does hit him with a knee. Guida working the body. Henderson working the knees. Henderson gets Guida down after catching a kick. Two minutes to go and Guida is desperately trying to wiggle his way out. No progress yet and Henderson uses the shifting to apply a body triangle. He's got Guida's back and trying for the choke. But Guida is out and takes Henderson down himself. A total reversal of fortune. The crowd erupts as Guida tries to choke out Henderson. But Henderson looks fine and is jabbing Guida's body. Henderson is out and slamming punches on Guida at the end. Henderson takes another close round 10-9 and wins 29-28 on the Las Vegas Sun scorecard. Henderson wins a unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28).

Second Round These guys are living up to the promise of non-stop action. They exchange strikes before Guida finally gets Henderson down, but he pops right back up. Henderson gets a takedown of his own. Guida isn't letting him do anything with it and gets to his knees. Guida gets up momentarily but Henderson catches him with a knee. They are tied up against the cage. Guida now throws a knee to Henderson, who is pushing Guida against the cage. Guida catches Henderson with an impact jab after more knees are exchanged. Guida gets Henderson down again. And again, Henderson is right back up. Guida is in position now, though. "The Carpenter" is working his knees with two minutes to go. They break free with 1:30 remaining. Guida hits Henderson with a spinning back fist, but falls to the ground. Henderson is now looking for a takedown that's unsuccessful thus far. Guida has a guillotine that looks close to finishing but "Bendo" bends out. Now Henderson has transitioned and has Guida's back. Bad position for Guida, but he'll survive. Great round, but a slight lean to Guida. All tied up 19-19 going into the third.

First Round Guida is going with his typical style, bouncing around and keeping his distance. He charges in and hits Henderson first, but slips when he rushes back in. They are up against the cage swinging away at each other with no regard for safety. Henderson drops Guida, who shoots for the takedown. He doesn't get it. Henderson's wrestling is outstanding and he's spent most of the last minute keeping Guida from getting him down. Guida is pressing Henderson against the fence and not offering much offense. The takedown simply isn't there. Henderson reverses positions and blasts Guida's stomach with a knee. Guida throws some dirty boxing punches with two minutes remaining and breaks out of the clinch. Guida's face is red and he's not moving as fast as normally. Henderson, surprisingly, looks in better shape. Guida goes for a flying knee but takes a shot from Henderson. Guida returns the favor and drops Henderson to a knee and briefly looks for guillotine choke. The round ends with Henderson throwing a knee and following it with two high kicks. Henderson is up 10-9 after one round.

Dustin Poirier vs. Pablo Garza

Second Round Poirier is fresh and easily evades a spinning back fist from Garza. Garza shoots for a takedown, but Poirier shrugs it off and takes him down himself again. Poirier is raining punches. Although Garza is in no real danger, this fight is not going the way he envisioned. Poirier locks in a choke from the side and Garza taps out. That's it. Dustin Poirier defeats Pablo Garza via submission at 1:32 of the second round.

First Round Garza is bouncing around and keeping his distance with Poirier coming forward. Garza throws a couple leg strikes 40 seconds in, but nothing very notable. Poirier answers with a combination against the cage. With 3:30 remaining, Garza is finding some success by keeping his range but not earning many fans. Poirier catches one of his leg kicks and tosses him on the ground. He does the same after the two exchange two minutes in. Poirier's strength is a level above of Garza's. Garza has a reversal of fortune and takes down Poirier after catching a leg kick. After some changing of position, Poirier is back on his feet and Garza follows. Poirier is really working his hands and gets Garza to shoot for a half-hearted, double-leg takedown. Poirier is in top position on the ground with a minute to go. Poirier lands an elbow and a flurry of short punches. Garza can't get much working out of his guard. Poirier takes a 10-9 in round one.

Pre-fight

ANAHEIM, Calif. — Neither Cain Velasquez nor Junior dos Santos have ever lost a fight in the octagon.

That ends tonight at the Honda Center, as one of the two men will retreat to their dressing room with a 7-1 UFC record. The other will improve to 8-0 and establish himself as undoubtedly the top heavyweight mixed martial artist in the world.

Both will have the distinction of fighting in front of what’s expected to come in as the largest viewing audience in the history of MMA. UFC’s television deal with FOX kicks off tonight, as the network will go live at 6 before Velasquez and dos Santos enter the cage.

The pressure on Velasquez and dos Santos is enormous. UFC President Dana White believes millions of viewers will check out the sport for the first time and he’s planned accordingly by tweaking the promotion’s presentation with FOX.

Both Velasquez and dos Santos said they prepared like it was any other fight and haven’t let the magnitude of the event get to them. It’s probably the right mindset, but the success of this matchup looms large for the future of the UFC whether Velasquez and dos Santos realize it or not.

FOX decided to only air the one fight for the inaugural show, despite a co-main event loaded with title implications. The winner between Clay Guida and Ben Henderson will receive the next chance to dethrone UFC lightweight champion Frankie Edgar.

Numerous rumors and reports this week have linked the fight to UFC 144 in Japan.

Henderson has won both of his bouts in the octagon since the merger that landed him in the UFC from the WEC at the beginning of the year.

Guida is on a more impressive streak, winning four straight, but must prove one more time that he’s capable of being the No. 1 contender.

It’s a tough matchup for “The Carpenter”, whose greatest strength is his wrestling. But Henderson is even more decorated in the area, excelling as a wrestler in college at the NAIA level.

Neither of the two men in the fight before Guida vs. Henderson are wrestlers. Dustin Poirier and Pablo Garza look to extend win streaks of their own in an intriguing featherweight contest.

The winner projects to take a meaningful leap up the 145-pound ranks and likely break into the top 10.

Stay tuned to lasvegassun.com for live, round-by-round coverage of the final three bouts and look below for full results from the preliminary card.

Ricardo Lamas forced Cub Swanson to tap out at 2:16 of the second round due to a triangle choke. The featherweight fight was seven minutes of fury as both exchanged head kicks and submission attempts before Lamas finished.

DaMarques Johnson knocked out Clay Harvison at 1:34 of the first round in their welterweight bout. Johnson caught Harvison with an uppercut that sent him to the floor and effectively ended things before they really began.

The mystique surrounding Norifumi "Kid" Yamamoto has officially worn off. Yamamoto, hailed as a mythical Japanese bantamweight, lost his second consecutive fight since coming to the UFC by dropping a unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-26) to newcomer Darren Uyenoyama.

Robert Peralta's featherweight debut went as planned as he beat Mackens Semerzier via third round TKO at 1:54. Replays showed it was an accidental headbutt that dropped Semerzier in the third round, but Peralta was quick to jump in and finish him with strikes.

Alex "Bruce Leeroy" Caceres earned his first UFC victory by upsetting former WEC bantamweight champion Cole Escovedo. Caceres out-struck Escovedo and took all three rounds on all three judges' scorecards.

Mike Pierce and Paul Bradley squared off in a razor-close welterweight battle. The judges' scorecards illustrated the competitiveness, as Pierce escaped with a split decision victory (30-27, 29-28, 28-29) to beat Bradley for the second time of his career.

Aaron Rosa earned a majority decision (30-26, 30-26, 28-28) over Matt Lucas in a light heavyweight bout. Referee John McCarthy penalized Lucas a point for continually spitting out his mouthpiece.

Case Keefer can be reached at 948-2790 or [email protected]. Follow Case on Twitter at twitter.com/casekeefer.

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