Silva Delivers Front Kick From Hell, KOs Belfort At UFC 126
|Written by Michael Woods|
|Sunday, 06 February 2011 00:28|
Too many MMA fans had paid too much money to see too little action from Anderson Silva in the past. So they were ready to get their boo on after two boring minutes in the main event of UFC 126 at the Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas on Saturday night. Then Silva launched thunder from his hind leg, in the form of a front kick, which landed on Vitor Belfort's chin, and dropped the former Phenom to the floor. Two punches later, ref Mario Yamasaki interceded and halted the bout to save Belfort further punishment.
Looking for his eighth title defense, middleweight titlist Silva (27-4 entering; age 35; from Brazil; winner of 12 straight entering) weighed 185 pounds on Friday, while Belfort (19-8 entering; age 33; from Brazil; ex light heavy champ) was also 185.
Silva drew scattered cheers when he asked afterwords for all to respect Belfort, who he said he always looked up to. He also thanked a coach for showing him that front kick, which Belfort expected to land in his midsection. Belfort afterwards admitted he just got caught. "I will be back," he told Joe Rogan. "That's what UFC's about, we're here to fight."
Ultragraybeard Rich Franklin (age 36; ex middleweight champ) faced off with graybeard Forrest Griffin in a light heavyweight matchup. In the first round, Forrest worked some ground and pound. Franklin breathed deep and fended him off. He did well to escape the round without a cut, after Franklin was on top of him for a few minutes. Griffin looked more spent after the round than did Franklin. In round two, Griffin was light on his feet. His kicks, especially his inside leg kicks to the lefty's right leg, were bothersome. He tagged Franklin with a left hook with 1:30 to go in an all-Forrest round. For being away from the cage for 14 months, Griffin looked sharp as a Joan Rivers quip. In the third, Franklin didn't look fresh. That said, he was still looking to land a homer. Griffin impressed the judges with his takedowns, and there was no drama as we awaited the cards. Well, judges being what they are, there was the tiniest bit of drama...But all three saw it 29-28, for Griffin. After, the victor told Joe Rogan he felt rusty, and his camp wasn't stellar but overall he was happy with the outcome. Franklin never got untracked.