Glover Teixeira unleashed a right-left combination at the 2:55 mark of the first round and knocked out Ryan Bader to improve to 22-2 on Wednesday in UFC Fight Night 28 at Minas Gerais, Brazil.
With the TKO victory, Teixeira is now in position to get a shot at UFC's light heavyweight title against the winner of the Jon Jones-Alexander Gustafsson bout, which takes place Sept. 21 in Toronto.
"It doesn't matter who has the belt, whether it's Jon Jones or Alexander Gustafsson. That belt is mine," Teixeira said after winning his 20th consecutive fight.
Moments before putting Bader on the canvas, Teixeira clearly was staggered by a Bader left hook. Bader, a former NCAA wrestler, saw a wobbly Teixeira and unloaded on the heavy favorite, who was fighting in his hometown for the first time.
Teixeira regained his composure and caught Bader with the winning combination to remain perfect at 5-0 in the UFC.
"To tell you the truth, I wasn't happy with this fight," said Teixeira, who entered the bout ranked sixth among light heavyweights by ESPN.com. "He knocked me down. One of my problems was that I had too much self-confidence, but this was a wake-up call."
Bader fell to 15-4 overall and 8-4 in the UFC.
In the other co-main event, Ronaldo "Jacare" Souza knocked out fellow middleweight contender Yushin Okami in the first round with a powerful overhand right.