Brazilians danced like it was Carnival time as a slew of its home grown fighters including Anderson “Spyder” Silva trounced the opposition on Ultimate Fighting Championship inaugural appearance.
Rio de Janiero hosted UFC 134 and saw the number one mixed martial arts fighter in the world Silva blow by Japan’s Yushin Okami (26-6) like a hurricane before 14,000 people in the arena and an estimated 40 million watching on television.
Anderson (31-4) brought the house down.
The long limbed fighter avenged an earlier loss to Okami and emphatically proved with a second round knockout that things have changed. Silva had no problems assessing the Japanese fighter’s tactics and no problems taking advantage of his shortcomings, especially standing up.
Punch for punch and kick for kick there may not be another MMA fighter above 185 pounds that can match Anderson’s speed, technique, accuracy and destructiveness. Okami quickly discovered these realities.
Silva allowed Okami to grab him in a clinch in the first round, but before it ended the Brazilian fighter tagged him with kicks and punches that signaled warning signs. Those warning signs turned into danger sirens.
Round two saw Silva erupt in the Octagon with a series of blows and kicks that dumbfounded Okami. Down he went and Silva backed up to allow the Japanese fighter another opportunity. It didn’t matter; Silva slammed a right hook and down went Okami. The champion erupted with two dozen blows forcing the referee to halt the fight at 2:04 of the round.
Silva sambaed around the ring.
Mauricio “Shogun” Rua (20-5) avenged his earlier defeat to Forrest Griffin (18-7) with an array of blows that lay wasted to Griffin’s defense and ended with a knockout. Once more a Brazilian was dancing in the end. The loss to 2007 was a long time ago but Rua was bent on proving it an aberration. Consider the mission a success.
Antonio Noguiera KO’s Schaub
Youth was served a fist in the mouth as Nogueira (33-6-1) knocked out Brendan Schaub (8-2) at 3:09 of round one of a heavyweight bout. Nogueira proved that he remains a force at heavyweight.
More than a year ago Nogueira lost to current UFC heavyweight champion Cain Velasquez, but told UFC president Dana White that he was absolutely healthy and ready to roll. Yes he is.
Rousimar Palhares, a poster boy for muscle-bound fighters, beat Dan Miller (13-6) after three rounds but thought he had an early knockout.
Palhares (22-3) landed a kick to Miller’s chin that wobbled him and a punch deposited him on his rump. Palhares jumped on top flailing several blows then suddenly stopped the carnage and jumped on top of the Octagon fence to celebrate. Referee Herb Dean walked over to the muscular Brazilian to embarrassingly inform the fighter that he never signaled the fight was over. Back he went but in his anxiousness he ran into right hand and down he went.
The next round was all Brazil as Palhares took down Miller and pummeled him like whip cream. The fight was nearly stopped but was allowed to continue. The third and last round saw both fighters exhausted and unable to punch or kick. They circled each other for five minutes with a jab here and there until the final buzzer. Palhares was scored with winner 29-27, 30-27 and 30-25 in the middleweight bout.
Another poster boy for muscle-bound Brazilians was Thiago Tavares who was able to win by technical knockout over Spencer Fisher in a lightweight match. In a slow moving match Tavares used his muscles to take down Fisher and pummel him until the lightweight fight was stopped at 2:51 of round two.
KO of Night
Brazilians Erick Silva (13-1) landed an overhand right on Luis Ramos (19-7) chin and the fight was over just like that in 40 seconds.
Who will win the Sergey Kovalev vs Andre Ward fight?