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Mir stops Nogueira to earn UFC heavyweight title shot

LAS VEGAS — Former champion Frank Mir stopped Antonio Nogueira at 1:54 of the second round Saturday night in UFC 92, earning a title shot against newly crowned heavyweight champion Brock Lesnar.

Both Mir and Nogueira were coaches on the latest season of The Ultimate Fighter reality television show.The two stood toe-to-toe for the first round with Mir landing numerous shots, flooring Nogueira twice.

Mir continued to apply pressure in the second round and landed a left that sent Nogueira to the mat. Mir immediately pounced on his downed opponent. He landed a flurry of punches and the referee jumped in and stopped the fight.

“I’ve never been more afraid in my life than when I walked into the ring,” Mir said, relieved. “I didn’t even think I could beat Nogueira.”

In the co-main event, former light heavyweight champion Quinton “Rampage” Jackson knocked out Wanderlei Silva in the first round.

Silva had knocked out Jackson in both the two previous meetings. Jackson got his revenge, rocking Silva with a left hook and at 3:21 of the first.

“This is really sweet,” Jackson said. “I’ve been waiting for this for a long time, Rampage is back.”

Cheick Kongo used a devastating ground and pound, stopping Mostapha Al Turk by TKO at 4:37 of the first round and C.B. Dollaway stopped Mike Massenzio by TKO at 3:01 of the first round.

In the preliminary bouts, Yushin Okami defeated Dean Lister by unanimous decision and Antoni Hardonk stopped Mike Wessel by TKO in the second round.

Matt Hamill knocked out Reese Andy in the second round. Brad Blackburn earned a unanimous decision over Ryo Chonan and Pat Berry defeated Dan Evensen by TKO in the first round.