Rafael dos Anjos made light work of Donald Cerrone in Orlando, Florida on Saturday to retain his UFC lightweight title.
The Brazilian secured a technical knockout (TKO) win in just 66 seconds, to make his first defence of the title he won from Anthony Pettis in March.
“I’m so happy. I just proved that I came to this division to stay. It’s just the beginning of my career,” he said in his post-fight interview.
“Donald Cerrone is a great opponent. He won eight fights straight and it’s not easy to do this in the lightweight division, but I have the best team.”
Dos Anjos began imposing his will as soon as the opening ring bell sounded; walking down Cerrone, who looked to keep distance.
The champion hurt Cowboy with a knee to the body and followed up with a liver kick which did damage despite being partially blocked.
Smelling blood; Dos Anjos opened up with a barrage of punches and Cerrone fell to the ground while trying to escape. The Brazilian followed his opponent to the canvas and forced Herb Dean to intervene with more strikes.
The stoppage gave Dos Anjos his second win over Cerrone, after a unanimous decision in August 2013. It was also his fifth win in a row and his tenth in 11 fights since May 2012.
Recently crowned featherweight champion Conor McGregor has spoken of his desire to fight for the lightweight title and become the first man to hold two UFC belts simultaneously.
However, the champion warned that, while he would happily take the fight, it would be a bad decision for the Irishman.
“Hey Mr. McGregor, if you want to come to the lightweight division; this is my division,” he said.
“It’s better to stay in the featherweight division. I would fight you in Brazil, I will go to Ireland to face you there, whatever you want. I’m here to stay.”
Meanwhile, hulking heavyweight Alistair Overeem sealed a TKO win over Junior dos Santos to notch up his third consecutive win, and his fifth in four fights, to make a major statement in the final bout o his contract with the UFC and put himself in contention for a title shot if he does re-sign.
Nate Diaz made a triumphant return to the octagon with a unanimous decision win over Michael Johnson, one year and six days after suffering a loss to Dos Anjos in his last bout.
Rafael dos Anjos def. Donald Cerrone TKO
Alistair Overeem def. Junior dos Santos TKO
Nate Diaz def. Michael Johnson Decision (unanimous)
Karolina Kowalkiewicz def. Randa Markos Decision (unanimous)
Charles Oliveira def. Myles Jury Submission (guillotine choke)
Nate Marquardt def. C.B. Dollaway KO (punch)
Valentina Shevchenko def. Sarah Kaufman Decision (split)
Tamdan McCrory def. Josh Samman Submission (triangle choke)
Nik Lentz def. Danny Castillo Decision (split) (28-29, 29-28, 30-27)
Cole Miller vs. Jim Alers No Contest (accidental eye poke)