GOIANIA, Brazil - Brazilian slugger Vitor Belfort became the first man to ever knock out Dan Henderson, and he may have earned himself a shot at the UFC's light heavyweight title in the process.
Belfort (24-10) needed just 77 seconds to down Henderson in the headlining bout of Saturday's "UFC Fight Night: Belfort vs. Henderson" event at Goiania Arena in Goiania, Brazil. The fight served as a rematch of the pair's 2006 meeting, which Henderson won by decision.
Belfort opened patiently, staying at distance to avoid Henderson's powerful right hand. Henderson was equally calm to start, but when he did finally load up on a strike, Belfort slipped the effort and countered with a left uppercut that sent his opponent crashing to the floor. To his credit, Henderson climbed back to his feet, but Belfort was there to deliver a crushing high kick that again sent his opponent to the floor, where referee Dan Miragliotta stepped in to call off the fight.
Rather than take his time on the mic to call for a title shot, Belfort chose instead to thank his support system.
"Without the support of everyone in my camp, the Blackzilians, and without the support of my wife and kids, I have to thank them," Belfort said.
Still, UFC President Dana White said in the build-up to the fight an impressive win would likely mean a shot at the winner of December's middleweight title fight between champ Chris Weidman and former title holder Anderson Silva.