Derek Brunson silenced Brazil on Saturday night.
In front of a raucous crowd in Sao Paolo, Brunson flattened former champion Lyoto Machida with a vicious first-round knockout to cap off an action packed UFC Fight Night card in the main event.
With the win, Brunson has now accounted for first-round knockouts in each of his last six victories inside the Octagon.
As the fight got underway, Brunson showed patience while finding his range against a notorious counter striker in Machida, who has eaten up past opponents who jump into his lightning quick punches when getting a little reckless.
Brunson was pushing forward with his strikes but not over extending himself while looking for a home for his powerful left hand, which has put more than a few middleweights to sleep during his career.
It was during an exchange where he forced Machida to engage in a flurry of punches where Brunson finally found a home for a thunderous right hand that wobbled the Brazilian and sent him tumbling to the mat.
— FOX Sports: UFC (@UFCONFOX) October 29, 2017
Brunson quickly followed up with a barrage of left hands on the ground that knocked Machida unconscious as the referee rushed in to stop the carnage at 2:30 into the opening round.
Brunson has now won his last two fights in a row with an overall record of 7-2 during his past nine bouts with his only losses coming to current interim middleweight champion Robert Whittaker as well as former 185-pound king Anderson Silva in a very close decision.
Following his latest win, Brunson was pressed for a specific name by UFC light heavyweight champion Daniel Cormier for who he wanted to fight next and he quickly turned his attention to a former champion, who is fresh off a victory over David Branch earlier this year.
“You’ve got a pretty good teammate over there, Luke Rockhold, what’s up baby? Where you at?” Brunson shouted. “Let’s run this!”
— UFC (@ufc) October 29, 2017
Rockhold hasn’t booked his next fight yet so perhaps a showdown with Brunson later this year or in early 2018 could be just the matchup the middleweight division is looking for right now.
As for Machida, it’s a disappointing end for the former UFC champion after 18 months away while he was serving a suspension after admitting use of a banned substance. Machida has now lost three fights in a row including two by knockout while his overall record at middleweight drops to 3-4.