Santos wilts Smith with liver kick, punches for 2nd-round TKO
Thiago Santos has done his moniker justice yet again.
"Marreta" (Portuguese for sledgehammer) wilted Anthony Smith with a blistering kick to the body before swarming with punches for a second-round TKO in their middleweight bout at Saturday's UFC Fight Night 125 in Belem, Brazil.
The stoppage extended Santos' streak to four, tied him with former champion Anderson Silva for the most knockouts in UFC middleweight history at eight, and gave him the gumption to call for a long-elusive top-five dance partner during his postfight interview.
In a downright bonkers first round, Santos appeared to have Smith dead to rights - rocking him with a spinning hook kick and a high kick to the dome - only for Smith to score a takedown off the Brazilian's subsequent rush and end up in full mount. Santos soon swept Smith to end up in top position, from which he bludgeoned his foe's body with punches, and when the pair made it back to the feet, the Brazilian made Smith rue a reckless entry with a hellacious right hand that sent him crashing to the canvas.
Smith valiantly made it to the round-ending horn, but Santos ensured he wouldn't see the third, clubbing him with the kick to the liver that spawned the stoppage at the 1:03 mark of Round 2.
The 29-year-old's first loss to come by way of strikes in more than six years snapped a three-fight win streak - all by stoppage. He's now gone 4-2 since rejoining the UFC in early 2016.