Rua finished his opponent in the first round of the affair, earning the win at 1:53 of the opening frame.
The two former light heavyweight champs looked to trade in the first round. Shogun seemed to get the better of the trades and landed a quick uppercut that shook Griffin. Rua smelled blood and closed the distance on his opponent. With “Shogun” in the pocket, Griffin dropped a level and his opponent transitioned to attacking from behind.
The fight went to the ground and Rua swarmed Griffin with punches, giving the Las Vegas fighter no choice but to cover up. From there, Rua penetrated with punches and hammer fists, knocking Griffin out a moment later.
“Shogun” kept a repeat of his and Griffin’s first meeting from happening by putting the pressure on early and making sure he did the right things in training camp.
“I trained hard every day for this fight,” Rua said following the win. “I’d like to thank my country for it.
“Thank you, Brazil!”
Rua gets back on the winning track after being dominated by Jon Jones and losing his light heavyweight title. The win surely puts “Shogun” back in the mix for talks about who should contend for the 205-pound strap after Jones defends the belt against “Rampage” Jackson next month at UFC 135.
Griffin drops his first fight since losing to Anderson Silva at UFC 101 in 2009. Including his loss of the light heavyweight title to Rashad Evans at UFC 92, Griffin is only 2-3 in his last five outings.