Rashad Evans, a former Ultimate Fighting Championship light heavyweight champ, is not an easy man to knock out.
But Glover Teixeira made it look easy in the main event of UFC on Fox 19 on Saturday in Tampa, Florida.
Teixeira landed a left hook that dropped Evans to his knees, then a crushing right to put him to sleep at 1:48 of the first round. It was just the second time in 25 career fights that Evans has been stopped and the first time since a knockout against Lyoto Machida in a 2009 title bout.
“My focus is always to finish fights,” Teixeira said. “I am here to take care of business and always want things to end as quickly as possible. The fight could have easily gone to five rounds, but it didn’t.”
Teixeira, a former title challenger, has won three straight. After Saturday’s victory, he requested a fight against fellow contender Anthony Johnson, who was sitting cageside.
“I hope fans enjoyed the fight,” Teixeira said. “I am ready for whatever is next.”
Women’s strawweight Rose Namajunas avenged a 2013 loss and potentially earned a title shot with a unanimous decision over Tecia Torres.
Namajunas, who had lost a unanimous decision to Torres on an Invicta Fighting Championships card, has won three straight since losing to Carla Esparza in the finale of The Ultimate Fighter in a bout that determined the division’s first champion in the UFC.
Namajunas, who turns 24 in June, said it was the biggest win of her young career.
“I am speechless. This has been the toughest fight I have had,” she said. “There were a lot of times I felt like quitting and pulling out. I am really happy. I didn’t focus too much on the fact that I had fought her before; I wanted to leave it in the past. I have a lot of respect for her, and this for me means my early birthday present.”
She won 29-28 on all three cards, taking the second round on all three. The first and third were close, with Namajunas winning the first on one card and the third on the other two.
Unbeaten lightweight contender Khabib Nurmagomedov didn’t miss a beat in his return to action, as he pounded on newcomer Darrell Horcher until the referee mercifully stopped the fight at 3:38 of the second round.
Nurmagomedov hadn’t fought since a unanimous decision over current champion Rafael dos Anjos in April 2014 because of knee and rib injuries.
“All these two years, I feel like I’ve been in jail,” he said. “Now, I’m free, and you guys see how dangerous an eagle can be when he’s hungry.”
Nurmagomedov was to fight fellow contender Tony Ferguson in the main event, but Ferguson was forced to pull out two weeks ago because of a buildup of fluid in his lungs. He wants to fight Nurmagomedov upon his return this summer, but Nurmagomedov called out dos Anjos.
He suggested he challenge for the belt in the fall, assuming dos Anjos retains it against Eddie Alvarez in July.
“I feel very happy,” Nurmagomedov said. “I have a lot of respect for Darrell, especially after accepting this fight with such short notice. I am undefeated, and it feels great to be back, I feel free. I (made) weight, I entered the octagon and I (fought). I want to fight for the title next.”
Featherweight Cub Swanson kicked off the main card by ending a two-fight losing streak with a unanimous decision over Hacran Dias.
Swanson, fighting for the first time in almost a year, shook off early rust to knock down Dias three times in the final two rounds. Swanson had lost to contenders Frankie Edgar and Max Holloway last year.
On the preliminary card, Raquel Pennington won a split decision over former women’s bantamweight title challenger Bethe Correia.
Michael Chiesa, Michael Graves and Santiago Ponzinibbio recorded stoppage victories.
John Dodson was successful in his return to bantamweight, knocking out Manny Gamburyan in 47 seconds. Dodson went 5-2 at flyweight, with the losses against Demetrious Johnson in title fights.
Cezar Ferreira and Elizeu Zaleski dos Santos had knockout wins in nontelevised bouts.
Contact reporter Adam Hill at email@example.com or 702-224-5509. Follow him on Twitter: @adamhilllvrj