Antonio “Bigfoot” Silva halted a two-fight losing streak and handed Travis Browne his first professional loss in the process with a first-round knockout at UFC on FX 5 at Target Center in Minneapolis on Friday.
Silva stunned Browne with a right hand with 1:40 left in the opening round, a shot that crumpled the hobbled Browne. Silva followed with several left hands and then an elbow before referee Herb Dean stopped the fight.
“I trained too much for the first,” Silva said in the post-fight interview. “I came in refreshed.”
Browne appeared to injure his left leg trying to throw a punch midway through the first round. (UFC president Dana White said Browne injured his hamstring.) The injury to Browne limited his mobility. He had been undefeated in his first 14 professional fights.
Silva improved to 17-4 and his victory was his first in the UFC. His UFC debut against former heavyweight champ Cain Velasquez at UFC 146 in May lasted less than a round as Silva’s head was cut and blood gushed into his eyes before he lost via TKO.
“I want to fight Cain Velasquez again,” Silva said on Fuel TV. “The (last) fight was very fast. He cut my head. I need one more opportunity to fight him.”
In the co-main event, Jake Ellenberger earned a unanimous — all three judges scored the three-round bout 29-28 — over Jay Hieron, a decision that avenged a loss to Hieron in the now-defunct International Fight League in 2006.
"I was doing a lot of defense and counter training for this fight,” Ellenberger said. “Jay’s a well-rounded fighter. He is quick, athletic and dangerous. It was hard to come into this fight with a game plan for him. It’s back to training for me and finding ways to keep improving and making adjustments to my game. It does feel good though to get this win."
Ellenberger (28-6) inflicted a cut on Hieron’s face late in the second round in a fight that lacked many dangerous situations.
The fight marked the first time in seven years the journeyman 36-year-old Hieron (23-6) fought in the UFC.
The preliminary fights on Fuel TV lacked one bout: a lightweight fight between Yves Edwards and Jeremy Stephens. Stephens was arrested earlier Friday on a felony out-of-state warrant and remained in custody Friday night, according to the Hennepin County sheriff’s website.
“He has an assault charge that turned into a warrant from back in 2011 in Iowa,” White said on Fuel TV. “I started working (with) Iowa (authorities) to bail him out and (do) whatever it takes to get this thing done. I was 100% confident that he was going to get out today and he was going to fight. The problem is, they don’t like this kid in Iowa. They are really going to stick it to him in Des Moines, Iowa, when this kid shows up down there. They are going to extradite him.”
White said he initially thought he had a deal to post bail so Stephens could fight, but Iowa authorities changed the terms multiple times.