Sunday, June 08, 2008


LONDON: Thiago "Pitbull" Alves stopped former welterweight champion Matt Hughes 62 seconds into the second round, stunning him with a flying knee and then finishing him with a right to the head for a TKO win at UFC 85 on Saturday.

Alves, a 24-year-old Brazilian who used to earn money as a ballroom dance partner for older women, improved his record to 21-4. Hughes, 34, a fighting farmer from Hillsboro, Ill., who has lost three of his last four mixed martial arts fights, fell to 43-7.

"Please give me a title shot," Alves urged UFC president Dana White after the fight.

In the co-main event at the Millennium Dome, England's Michael "The Count" Bisping stopped middleweight Canadian Jason "Dooms" Day by TKO at 3:42 of the first round.

Day (17-6) never got going, was taken down twice and paid the price the second time with Bisping (17-1) firing punches until the referee stepped in.

In a preliminary fight, Martin (The Hitman) Kampmann stopped veteran Jorge (El Conquistador) Rivera with an early guillotine choke hold to celebrate his return to action from knee surgery.

The Danish middleweight, who is now based out of Las Vegas, took Rivera down early and worked him from above. The guillotine hold forced Rivera (15-7) to surrender at 2:44 of the first round. Kampmann (13-1) had endured two knee operations since his last fight at UFC 68 in March 2007.

The card was plagued with problems from the start. The main event was originally to have featured former light-heavyweight champion Chuck (The Iceman) Liddell against Mauricio (Shogun) Rua, but the Brazilian was shelved because of knee surgery. Rashad Evans was brought in as a replacement, but then Liddell tore a hamstring.

Evans was eventually pitted against James (The Sandman) Irvin, but Irvin broke a foot. In all, eight fighters fell off the card, including Chris (The Crippler) Leben, whose preparation was disrupted by jail time arising from a parole violation.
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