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August 28, 2011

At UFC 134, Silva proved he’s the best ever

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UFC middleweight champion Anderson “The Spider” Silva fought in front of his countrymen for the first time since coming to the UFC on Saturday night, and he was greeted by a standing ovation from Brazilian fans at the HSBC Arena in Rio de Janeiro.

Silva's (31-4-0) opponent at UFC 134, Yushin Okami (26-6-0), was the last fighter to beat him more than 5 1/2 years ago by disqualification from a illegal kick.

As Silva walked to the cage it brought back memories of watching Muhammad Ali and Mike Tyson fights. It’s an indescribable feeling you get when the best fighter in the world is about to display his skills.

Silva is unequivocally the best pound-for-pound fighter in the world and the most dominating MMA fighter ever, which he proved again Saturday with a second-round TKO to retain his UFC middleweight title for the ninth time.

As the referee issued the final instructions before the start, both fighters refused to touch gloves.

In the first round, Silva struck first with a leg kick, and his switched from orthodox to southpaw stances. Okami was able to get Silva against the cage, but he could not land any significant punches. Silva landed a left head kick just before the horn. It was the most damaging blow of the fight at that pont.

In the second round, Silva started out fast with a straight right jab to the chin of Okami, knocking him on his back. Silva motioned for Okami to stand up and with his hands at his sides Silva played with Okami before he knocked him down again with another right jab. This time the champion followed Okami to the canvas and held the head down of the challenger with his left hand and repeatedly punched him with the right hand.

Referee Herb Dean stepped in and stopped the bout at 2:04 of the second round.

Silva's traditional walkout song send a message to Okami before the fight even begin, he walked out to the octagon to DMX's version of Bill Withers song, “Ain’t No Sunshine”. Okami who is from Japan -- the land of the rising sun -- got to experience the lyrics of the song first hand: “Ain’t no sunshine when it’s on, only darkness every day.”

In the co-main event Brazilian Mauricio “Shogun” Rua (20-5-0) defeated American Forrest Griffin (18-7-0) in a rematch of former light heavyweight champions. 

Rua finished Griffin in the first round by knockout. He hit Griffin with a right hand hook, and Griffin had a delayed reaction to the punch before falling to the canvas. Rua jumped on Griffin and hit him with four consecutive hammer fists before the referee stepped in and stopped the bout at 1:53 of the first round.

Brazilian fans had waited 13 years for the UFC to return to their country. It was the most exciting UFC crowd I have every seen. 

 

The full undercard results:


Yves Jabouin won by split decision over Ian Loveland.

 

Yuri Alcantara won by unanimous decision over Felipe Arantes.

 

Erick Silva won by TKO (Punches) over Luis Ramos at 0:40 of the first round.

 

Raphael Assuncao won by unanimous decision over Johnny Eduardo.

 

Paulo Thiago won by unanimous decision over David Mitchell.

 

Rousimar Palhares won by unanimous decision over Dan Miller.

 

Thiago Tavares won by TKO (Punches) over Spencer Fisher at 2:51 of the second round.

 

Stanislav Nedkov won by TKO (Punches) over Luiz Cane at 4:20 of the first round.

 

Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira won by KO (Punches) over Brendan Schaub at 3:09 of the first round.

 

Edson Barboza won by split decision over Ross Pearson.

 

Posted by Kevin Richardson at 12:14 AM | | Comments (2)
        

August 14, 2011

Jimy 'The Kid' Hettes showed he is the man

Making his Ultimate Fighting Championship debut, Pennsylvania's own Jimy “The Kid” Hettes (9 wins, 0 losses) walked out to the octagon doing his familiar bounce side-to-side, as his signature song from Ini Kamoze's “Out in the Street They Call it Murder” blasted in the background

 

His opponent was The Ultimate Fighter alum Alex "Bruce Leroy” Caceres (5 wins, 4 losses) at UFC on Versus 5 at Milwaukee's Bradley Center. Caceres danced to the octagon to James Brown's “Super Bad”, with a pick sticking out of his Afro.

 

Caceres was originally scheduled to fight Leonard Garcia, but Garcia sustained an injury and Hettes was called to replace him.

 

The first round got started with Caceres throwing Hettes down after a brief exchange. Both fighters then went to the ground and Hettes attempted several leg locks and heel hooks, but Caceres was able to escape each time.

 

The fight then took on a no-gi Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu tournament, with both fighters attempting submissions after submissions. It was clear that Hettes was dictating the pace of the fight.

 

Hettes was in the guard when Caceres tried a gogoplata and Hettes escaped by spinning into a reverse triangle.

 

UFC color commentator Joe Rogan said, “This is hard to commentate because these guys don’t stop for a second.”

 

The round ended with Hettes helping Caceres to his feet.

 

TUF alum Kris McCray was working in the corner of Hettes. He told him to, “Stop going for that heel hook, it’s not going to finish it and stay off your back.”

Hettes started the second round with a beautifully executed judo hip toss. He then tried to transition to a D'arce choke, but Caceres was able to escape.

 

Hettes went from one submission to another, attempting to end the fight.

 

At 3:12 of Round 2, Hettes mounted Caceres and ended the fight with a rear-naked choke.

 

At the start of the fight Rogan said, “This is a spectacular opportunity and the doors is open, let’s see if Jimy Hettes can storm through the gates.”

 

He not only stormed the gates; he has the keys to a bright future in the UFC.
Posted by Kevin Richardson at 8:44 PM | | Comments (0)
        

August 7, 2011

Rashad Evans dominated Tito Ortiz at UFC 133

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(Photo by Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)

 

Former light heavyweight champion Rashad “Suga” Evans was all business when he walked to the cage at UFC 133 “Evans vs. Ortiz 2” at the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia.

Evans (16-1-1, 11-1-1 UFC) entered the cage on all fours, similar to what his former training partner Jon Jones does when he enters. Evans seemed to be truly focused for this fight from the opening bell. His opponent, Tito Ortiz (16-9-1, 15-9-1 UFC), paced back-and-forth, as if he was a caged animal.

Both fighters had good exchanges in the opening round. The first round ended with Ortiz on his back taking several punches from Evans.

In the second round Ortiz had a guillotine choke on Evans, but he escaped. Ortiz looked tired and Evans took advantage of him by raining down elbows while holding Ortiz in a mounted crucifix.  

Ortiz was able to get up, but was pinned against the fence. Evans kneed Ortiz in the chest and followed with several punches before the referee stopped the bout at 4:48 of the second round. This was the dominant performance Evans needed after a boring fight with Quinton "Rampage" Jackson at UFC 114.

After the fight Evans let Jones and Jackson know, “I got my first performance in, and I want to get at Jon Jones,” he said. “I want my belt back. Whether he has it or Rampage has it, I’m getting my belt back.”

By taking this non-championship fight, Evans had a lot more to lose than Ortiz. Winning this fight ensures him that he would be taking on the winner of the Jones vs. Jackson fight. But as we have seen, nothing is guaranteed in UFC.

In the co-main event, middleweight Vitor Belfort (20-9, 9-5 UFC) had a devastating knockout of Yoshihiro Akiyama (13-4, 2 NC, 1-3 UFC) at 1:52 of the first round. The former light heavyweight champion, Belfort is now fighting at 185-pounds. He overpowered his Japanese opponent. Akiyama tried to do a front kick similar to Anderson Silva when he knocked out Belfort. The kick fell short and Belfort knocked him to the canvas with several punches and a hammer fist. Referee Mario Yamasaki stopped the bout as Akiyama was on the canvas motionless.

Full undercard results:

Brian Ebersole won by TKO (elbows) over Dennis Hallman at 4:28 of the first round. 

Constantinos Philippou won by split decision over Jorge Rivera.

Rory MacDonald won by TKO (punches) over Mike Pyle at 3:54 of the first round.

Alexander Gustafsson won by TKO (Punches & Elbows) over Matt Hamill at 3:41 of the second round. 

Chad Mendes won by unanimous decision over Rani Yahya. 

Ivan Menjivar won by unanimous decision over Nick Pace.

Johny Hendricks won by split decision over Mike Pierce.

Mike Thomas Brown won by unanimous decision over Nam Phan.

Rafael Natal won by unanimous decision over Paul Bradley.  

Posted by Kevin Richardson at 9:32 AM | | Comments (4)
        
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Kevin Richardson has been a fan of mixed martial arts competition ever since UFC 3, when 600-pound sumo wrestler Emmanuel Yarborough was beaten by Keith Hackney. Kevin will cover the world of MMA — in Baltimore, nationally and internationally. He plans to take readers into the locker rooms and MMA schools, where they'll hear from local fighters and trainers. If you have a news tip or suggestions for the blog, please e-mail him.

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