Vitor Belfort (Photo: mmafighting.com)
UFC 46: Super Natural – Las Vegas, Nev. – Mandalay Bay Events Center – Jan. 31, 2004
UFC crowned two new champions on the night before the Super Bowl at UFC 46.
Vitor “The Phenom” Belfort won the light heavyweight title from Randy Couture, ending an amazing run by the 40-year-old champion.
In the opening minute, Couture’s eyelid was cut by the seam of Belfort’s glove. The doctor stopped the fight at the 54-second mark, and Belfort was the new champion.
BJ Penn captured the UFC welterweight title from Matt Hughes, whose 13-fight win streak came to an end. Penn won with a rear naked choke at 4:37.
Penn had been unable to win the lightweight title on two occasions, but he ended Hughes’ quest for a record-breaking sixth title defense.
Frank Mir knocked out Wes Sims with a knee and a series of punches in Round 2. This was a rematch from UFC 43, where Sims was disqualified for a knee to a grounded opponent.
Also on the pay-per-view, Renato Verissimo beat Carlos Newton by unanimous decision; and Lee Murray used a triangle armbar to make Jorge Rivera submit.
Georges St. Pierre debuted in a preliminary bout. The future welterweight king scored a unanimous decision victory over Karo Parisyan.
The other prelim fights also ended in unanimous decisions, as Josh “The Punk” Thomson beat Hermes Franca; and Matt Serra beat Jeff Curran.