Derek Brunson silenced the crowd at Ginasio do Ibirapuera with a first-round knockout of hometown hero Lyoto Machida in the main event of UFC Sao Paulo. It was the sixth first-round knockout of Brunson's UFC career and will likely move him up from his No. 7 ranking in the middleweight division.
Machida, who was fighting for the first time in over two years, used his trademark karate style to land some counter punches. But Brunson found a home for his left hook, dropped Machida and landed a few shots on the ground before the referee stopped the fight at 2:30 of the opening round. It was Machida's third straight loss.
An impressive win over a former light heavyweight champion will likely earn Brunson a top contenders' fight in the near future. In his post-fight interview, which can be seen above, he called out former middleweight champion Luke Rockhold.
In the co-main event Colby Covington defeated Sao Paulo-native Demian Maia, earning a unanimous decision. Covington had made some disparaging remarks about Brazil leading up to the fight, which may have caused Maia to fight emotionally. Instead of utilizing his world-class grappling, Maia engaged in a striking battle, which drained his energy. Covington easily stuffed Maia's takedowns and out-struck Maia to earn the win. In his post-fight interview, the No. 7-ranked Covington again disrespected Brazil and called for a title fight against UFC welterweight champion Tyronn Woodley.
Full results from the event can be found below:
- Derek Brunson def. Lyoto Machida via KO (punches) at 2:30 of Round 1
- Colby Covington def. Demian Maia via unanimous decision (29-27, 30-27, 30-26)
- Pedro Munhoz def. Rob Font via submission (guillotine) at 4:03 of Round 1
- Francisco Trinaldo def. Jim Miller via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
- Thiago Santos def. Jack Hermansson via TKO (punches) at 4:59 of Round 1
- John Lineker def. Marlon Vera via unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28, 29-28)
- Vicente Luque def. Niko Price via submission (d'arce choke) at 4:08 of Round 2
- Antonio Carlos Junior def. Jack Marshman via submission (rear-naked choke) at 4:30 of Round 1
- Jared Gordon def. Hacran Dias via unanimous decision (29-26, 29-27, 30-26)
- Elizeu Zaleski dos Santos def. Max Griffin via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-27, 29-28)
- Deiveson Figueiredo def. Jarred Brooks via split decision (27-30, 29-28, 29-28)
- Marcelo Golm def. Christian Colombo via submission (rear-naked choke) at 2:08 of Round 2