Kelvin Gastelum silenced a raucous crowd in Brazil with a devastating first-round knockout that put away former champion Vitor Belfort in the UFC Fight Night main event on Saturday night.
While Belfort showed flashes of his fast hands in a few early exchanges, it was Gastelum's patience that allowed him to find his range before unleashing several combinations that landed with surgical precision.
Time and time again, Gastelum cracked Belfort with his punches until the Brazilian legend finally fell to the mat for the second time in the opening round and that was more than enough for the referee to call a stop to the contest.
With the win, Gastelum moves to 4-0 as a middleweight in the UFC while picking up his second straight knockout victory after finishing Tim Kennedy in the same manner this past December.
Heading into the event, Gastlelum was a heavy favorite according to fantasy players, with 77 percent picking him to get the win and another 75 percent predicting he would finish Belfort by knockout. Gastelum certainly proved those players correct with a rousing performance to cap off the night in Brazil.
Mauricio "Shogun" Rua was another big favorite on the card, with 67 percent picking him to beat Gian Villante in a light heavyweight showdown. While Rua had to survive an early scare from Villante, he powered home an impressive third-round TKO, which was exactly what 57 percent of fantasy players predicted him to do.
The train of favorites kept rolling when Edson Barboza earned a spectacular second-round knockout over Beneil Dariush with a highlight reel flying knee to notch his third victory in a row. Barboza was selected by a whopping 83 percent of fantasy players while he continues his climb up the lightweight division rankings.
Ray Borg picked up arguably the biggest win of his UFC career on Saturday night after a back and forth battle with Jussier Formiga. Borg was picked by 60 percent of fantasy players, but he had to endure a very tough fight from Formiga to eke out the decision victory.
The only upset on the main card came during the opening bout, as Alex Oliveira submitted Tim Means with an impressive rear naked choke. Oliveira was only selected by 40 percent of players, but he came through with flying colors thanks to his big win over Means.
On the prelim portion of the card, highly touted prospect Kevin Lee kept his recent momentum going while putting an end to Francisco Trinaldo's win streak with a submission victory in the second round. Lee was selected by 56 percent of fantasy players going into the night despite Trinaldo having the higher ranking in the lightweight division.
Lee was just the first favorite to get a win on the prelims, but he was quickly followed by Sergio Moraes, who was picked in a lopsided manner by 80 percent of players to defeat Davi Ramos, while Joe Soto also got a win over Rani Yahya, with 61 percent picking him going into the night.
While the upsets were few and far between on the card, Canadian prospect Jeremy Kennedy had the biggest of the night after he picked up a win over veteran competitor Rony Jason. Kennedy was only selected by 35 percent of fantasy players, but he stepped into enemy territory and got a huge win over Jason in Brazil.
Newcomer Paulo Borrachinha was a favorite in his opening bout against Garreth McLellan, with 51 percent picking him to get the win, but he also earned players an extra 40 points because this was his first fight in the UFC. Borrachinha put on a stellar performance and even earned a bonus for his win over McLellan.
All told, eight favorites got wins at UFC Fight Night in Fortaleza, with only two upsets on the card. The women's bantamweight bout between Bethe Correia and Marion Reneau ended in a draw while the welterweight bout between Michel Prazeres and Josh Burkman was actually split down the middle at 50 percent each according to fantasy players before the fighters stepped into the Octagon. But Prazeres did get the victory with a north-south choke for the players who opted to go with him on Saturday night.