Silva-GSP bout one step closer

Anderson Silva raises his arms after his devastating head kick finished off Vitor Belfort. (Photo...

Anderson Silva raises his arms after his devastating head kick finished off Vitor Belfort. (Photo by Jed Jacobsohn/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)

NEIL SPRINGER, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 8:29 AM ET

One half of the equation is now complete.

For years, mixed-martial-arts fans have been waiting for the day welterweight champion Georges (Rush) St-Pierre stepped into the octagon with middleweight kingpin Anderson (The Spider) Silva. Following Silva's (28-4) brutal knockout of dangerous striker Vitor (The Phenom) Belfort, that dream match has taken one big step to becoming a reality.

Silva went toe-to-toe with Belfort (19-9) in the main event of UFC 126 in Las Vegas Saturday night. After a long feeling-out process, Belfort got things going with a two-punch combo. Silva began to awaken and, moments later, dropped the former light-heavyweight champion with a nasty front kick to the jaw. Two more punches on the ground and it was academic.

Silva credited actor and martial artist Steven Seagal for teaching him the technique.

“The last time I did my training camp here, I was training at Black House with Steven Seagal, and he helped me a lot with that kick,” Silva said at the post-fight press conference through his translator and manager, Ed Soares. “He perfected it. I did that kick for a long time, and he actually helped me perfect it.”

Now Silva has to wait to see how his future plays out.

For the super-fight to happen, St-Pierre (21-2) must defeat challenger Jake Shields at UFC 129 in Toronto on April 30. Should the welterweight champion notch another win in his belt, he's expected to relinquish his title and permanently move to the middleweight division.

Where the fight would be held is anybody's guess. However, UFC president Dana White has long said he's been looking for a bout big enough to hold at Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Texas, which can house over 100,000 fans.

JONES EARNS TITLE SHOT

The UFC keeps setting them up and Jon (Bones) Jones keeps knocking them down.

Jones (12-1) not only solidified himself as the hottest young prospect in MMA with a dominant submission win over Ryan (Darth) Bader, the 23-year-old Greg Jackson fighter is now a mere six weeks away from challenging Mauricio (Shogun) Rua for the light-heavyweight championship at UFC 128.

Jones made Bader (12-1) look average at best Saturday night.

Utilizing his uncanny reach and strength, Jones was able to pick Bader apart on the feet and stuff the NCAA Division I wrestler's takedown attempts. Soon after, Jones had Bader on the mat and was punishing him with elbows while looking to sink in a D'Arce choke. Bader barely survived the first round, but wasn't able to hold on much longer as Jones put him away with a guillotine choke with less than a minute remaining in the second round.

Following the fight, interviewer Joe Rogan informed Jones he'd be fighting for the title.

“I feel so great,” an emotional Jones said. “I'm going for a world title, baby! Let's do it!”

Jones' teammate (Sugar) Rashad Evans was originally set to challenge Rua (19-4) on the card, but suffered a sprained ligament in his knee. Though the injury won't require surgery, Evans (15-1-1) will be forced to rest it for eight weeks.

FIGHT NIGHT BONUSES

For his destruction of Belfort, Silva won Knockout of the Night, while Jones' guillotine choke snagged him Submission of the Night.

A fun, back-and-forth undercard bout between former WEC lightweight title contender Donald (Cowboy) Cerrone and Paul (Tellys) Kelly was awarded Fight of the Night. Cerrone (14-3, 1 NC) put Kelly (11-4) away with a rear-naked choke in the second round.

All four fighters took home $75,000 in bonus money.

FULL UFC 126 RESULTS

Anderson Silva def. Vitor Belfort via first-round KO (head kick and punches)

Forrest Griffin def. Rich Franklin via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)

Jon Jones def. Ryan Bader via second-round submission (guillotine choke)

Jake Ellenberger def. Carlos Eduardo Rocha via split-decision (27-30, 29-28, 29-28)

Miguel Torres def. Antonio Banuelos via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)

Donald Cerrone def. Paul Kelly via second-round submission (rear-naked choke)

Chad Mendes def. Michihiro Omigawa via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)

Demetrious Johnson def. Norifumi Yamamoto via unanimous decision (29-28, 30-27, 30-27)

Paul Taylor def. Gabe Ruediger via second-round KO (head kick and punches)

Kyle Kingsbury def. Ricardo Romero via first-round TKO (punches)

Mike Pierce def. Kenny Robertson via second-round TKO (punches)


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