But out of both powerful heavyweights, only one would get back on track.
And boy did Cain Velasquez come back with a vengeance, painting the canvas red in one of the most violent bouts in recent memory.
So how did the former heavyweight champion turn the Octagon into the set of a horror film? And what's next for both heavyweights?
Follow me after the jump for our Cain Velasquez vs. Antonio Silva UFC 146 post-fight review and analysis.
Immediately, Silva threw a leg kick which backfired as Velasquez grabbed his foot, threw a right hand and dumped him on the ground with authority. "Bigfoot" seemed to be okay on his back for that first minute, defending himself well, throwing some upkicks to keep the former champion honest and working for sweeps or submissions.
But then Velasquez landed an elbow, and boy did that completely change the course of the fight.
It was just a short elbow, but it connected directly on the bridge of the nose and Silva started spewing blood like a faucet. From here on out, this fight was not for the squeamish.
While still gushing blood, "Bigfoot" attempted a a heel hook which forced Velasquez to back off, but his eyes were completely covered and he was forced to get checked out by the doctor.
After ruling that the fight could continue, Velasquez went right back to work, aggressively attacking Silva with ground and pound, blasting him with elbows and avoiding any attempts at sweeps from the big Brazilian. After one last push and another display of heavy punches, the referee stepped in and put a stop to it.
For Antonio Silva, that decision to throw a leg kick to start the fight has to be weighing pretty heavily on him right now. He was never in this bout, only delaying his eventual destruction. All that work to gain speed and drop weight was for naught as he never gave himself an opportunity to even throw a single punch. On the ground, he was defending himself okay until that elbow caused some of the most horrific blood loss in a fight I've ever seen. I doubt anyone could have continued after that so he did what he could.
For Cain Velasquez, that wasn't just a victory, that was a dominant and emphatic statement. He looked at least five times better than he did when he lost his title to Junior dos Santos. The Cain we saw last night was a wrecking ball, the man who blitzed Brock Lesnar and Nogueira. He looked like the guy people thought could be a champion for a long time. That was a beautiful display of tenacity, ground and pound and awareness. Velasquez was a straight up beast.
It's all but certain that Velasquez will next earn a rematch against Junior dos Santos for the heavyweight title. There's no telling when or where it will be, but I'm extremely excited to see both men actually at 100 percent for this fight.
So what did you think, Maniacs?
Was this in your top five bloodiest fights of all time? How do you like Velasquez's chances if he does indeed secure a rematch against dos Santos?