Rua came out quickly to start the fight, landing a few chopping leg kicks in the early going. But as Saint Preux (17-6) began to push forward, he landed a short left hook to the chin that landed on the button and sent Rua (22-10) crashing to the floor. Saint Preux quickly followed, jumping on top and punching away.
"He came in a little aggressive and threw a lot of looping punches, and when he did that, I stepped back and caught him clean on the chin," Saint Preux said.
Referee Mario Yamasaki gave Rua ample time to recover, but he was trapped on the floor, and the bout was waved off just 34 seconds after it began, with Saint Preux the winner by TKO. The result also earned him US$50,000 for one of the night's two "Performance of the Night" bonuses.
"I was really well-trained, and I always feel obligated to do my best," Rua said. "Fights in this division are like this, and he got the win. Now it's time to come back home and stay with my family."
In the night's co-feature, "The Ultimate Fighter: Brazil 3" winner Warlley Alves (8-0) kept his professional record unblemished, but it came as a result of a controversial decision win over Alan Jouban (10-3).
While Alves came out in his trademarked aggressive style, Jouban survived the early flurries to battle back and impose his own will over the final two rounds. Jouban flashed impressive combinations as he moved forward, while a tiring Alves settled for single shots, hoping to land a knockout blow. At the close of the fight, an exhausted Alves struggled to remain on his feet to hear the judges' decision, yet he was awarded the fight 29-28, with all three officials giving him the first two rounds.
"I want to apologize for not performing the way I would like to, but I'm not ashamed of it," Alves said after the win. "Next time I will give a show. Alan is a tough opponent and I would like to thank him for this fight."
Meanwhile, Jouban disagreed with the call.
"Obviously I don't agree with the result," Jouban said. "He got the first round, I got the second round, and I dominated in the third. He couldn't even stand up for the decision. I'm a little heartbroken."
In a welterweight matchup, Claudio Silva (11-1) earned a hard-fought split-decision win over UFC newcomer Leon Edwards (8-2).
While the matchup wasn't the most technical of affairs, Silva's takedowns proved the difference. He kept the flashy Edwards on his back for much of the night, and while his offence was minimal from the position, it was enough for him to take the fight by split decision.
In a welterweight contest, "The Ultimate Fighter 19" finalist Dhiego Lima (10-2) earned his first UFC win by dominating late-replacement opponent Jorge Oliveira (7-1).
Lima used his jab to set the pace early, but it was his superior wrestling that would ultimately earn him the fight. Scoring six takedowns in the three-round bout, Lima was in a dominant position for almost the entirety of the fight. Oliveira showed impressive durability by working out of several dangerous positions, but he was never really able to offer any form of counter-attack, and Lima was awarded the win, 30-27 on all three cards.
"My opponent was changed only a week before the fight, so if I wasn't so prepared for this, I would have lost this fight, since he had nothing to lose," . He got a knockdown in the first round and I had to change my strategy. If you can't win standing up, then you have win on the ground."
In the night's first main-card matchup, Brazilian strawweight Juliana Lima (7-2) earned her first UFC win with a unanimous-decision win over Nina Ansaroff (6-4).
While it wasn't the most exciting affair, Lima relied on a strong wrestling and clinch game to nullify the powerful striking of her opponent. The strategy worked, and though Lima slowed as the final round wore on, her work in the previous 10 minutes earned her the nod, 29-28 on all three judges' cards.
"She is a really tough opponent," Lima said after the win. "She surprised me in the jiu-jitsu, but my jiu-jitsu was sharp and ready for this fight."Suggest a correction