Paulo Thiago has stepped into the cage with some of the best welterweights on the planet, including four current top 10 opponents, even beating one of them.
He'd never been stopped before despite his crazy strength of schedule, only ever losing a trio of decisions to some top names in the UFC.
So needless to say, he was expecting to at least last more than a minute yesterday (April 14, 2012) when he stepped into the Octagon against Afghani-Dutch transplant Siyar Bahadurzada on the main card of UFC on Fuel TV 2 in Stockholm, Sweden.
So what in the world did Bahadurzada do to end Thiago's night so early? And where do both welterweights go from here?
Follow me after the jump for our Siyar Bahadurzada vs. Paulo Thiago UFC on Fuel TV 2 post-fight review and analysis:
Bahadurzada was more of an wild and aggressive striker while Thiago was more of a counter puncher, but that's not what happened when the fight started yesterday.
Instead, Bahadurzada claimed the center of the cage early and kept feinting at Thiago, practically begging him to come at him. Finally, perhaps after getting flustered from 30 seconds of nothing happening, Thiago uncharacteristically lunged forward with a looping right hand.
Cool as a cucumber, Bahadurzada winged a left hand over the top while stepping backwards which missed but he followed it with a right uppercut which caught Thiago on the way in and cracked him directly on the chin. The combination of Thiago's forward movement with the perfect strike on the button sent Thiago to the ground where he faceplanted completely unconscious just 42 seconds into the match.
For Paulo Thiago, we didn't get to see much from him, but he strayed from what he does best in the stand-up. He got impatient and decided to initiate some offense and it cost him dearly. He likely was significantly better than Bahadurzada on the ground and would have been able to counter the former Golden Glory fighter well if he had just waited longer, but his eagerness to throw a big strike backfired.
For Siyar Bahadurzada, damn was that a nice debut! He didn't get to show much of his skills as he only connected with the one punch, but stopping a guy who had never been stopped despite such a difficult strength of schedule is nothing to scoff at. Paulo Thiago is a terrific talent and he absolutely crushed him with just one strike. That's some serious power.
I'd like to see him continue to develop although he's going to get thrown in against a top 20 talent most likely in his next fight. Perhaps someone along the lines of the upcoming Pascal Krauss - John Hathaway winner, the Matt Brown - Stephen Thompson winner or maybe even the Mike Pierce - Carlos Eduardo Rocha winner.
Regardless of who he faced, I want to see more of "The Killer" inside the Octagon.
So what did you think, Maniacs?
Were you as stunned by the ease of Bahadurzada's victory as I was? Or did you expect the powerful Afghani fighter to make a big splash in his debut?