Three minutes and twenty five seconds of work was all that was needed for Anderson Silva to shock and awe the mixed martial arts world once again. The man who holds 14 consecutive victories during his career proved once again why his striking is the very best in the sport.
As usual, Silva’s fight began very slowly, with both fighters feeling each other out for a few moments. Vitor Belfort pushed the action first landing two clean leg kicks and a right-left combination. However, Silva responded with a front kick that cut the contender down where he stood. Two more solid shots and this fight was over before anyone really knew what happened.
With this win, Silva defended his title for the ninth time and continues to push his record. Many fans and experts were looking for Belfort to push Silva, in hopes that his standup abilities with are highly touted, could pressure the current champion. That was not to be the case and Silva demonstrated the pinpoint striking with power that fans loved to watch early during his UFC run.
Griffin Dominates With Size
In the co-main event, Forrest Griffin was able to out duel Rich Franklin on the way to a unanimous decision. From the very beginning it was apparent that Griffin’s size advantage would play a big part in how the fight would run. Griffin took the former Middleweight Champion down in the first round and worked him over for the entire period. He was able to do so again in the second period and even staggered his opponent while on the feet.
After being out of the Octagon for more than a year nursing a shoulder injury, Griffin was expected to show the signs of ring rust that bother so many returning fighters. However, he was able to dictate the fight and walk away with a decisive victory. All of the judges had the fight 29-28 for the former Light Heavyweight Champion.
Jones Continues To Rise
Jon Jones put on another show as he defeated the unbeaten Ryan Bader on Saturday. In doing so he earned a shot at the UFC Light Heavyweight title sooner than many people may have expected. He will now face champion Mauricio “Shogun” Rua at the March 19th event in Newark, New Jersey.
Jones took control of the fight from the very beginning, taking down the Ultimate Fighter season 8 winner and threatening him early with a north-south choke. Bader was able to fight his way out of the maneuver, and finally get back to his feet, but was unable to threaten Jones in any way. Bader’s takedown attempts were easily stuffed and the round ended with Jones scoring another takedown.
The second round was more of the same as Jones continued to dominate his opponent on the mat. Bader tried to switch up his game and pull guard, but that placed him in a very bad situation. Jones went right after his neck and was able to secure the choke at the 4:20 mark in the round.
After the fight it was announced that Jones is taking the place of his teammate, Rashad Evans, and will challenge for the belt in a short six-week turnaround.
Ellenberger Earns Split
Welterweight prospect Jake Ellenberger earned a split decision over Carlos Eduardo Rocha. Two judges scored the fight 29-28 for Ellenberger and third gave it 30-27 to Rocha.
In the first round, Ellenberger dropped his opponent with a stiff shot and took the fight to the ground; however he was no match for the Brazilian Jiu Jitsu specialist on the mats. Rocha was able to improve his position and take Ellenberger’s back and briefly threaten with a kimura.
For the next two rounds, Ellenberger kept the fight on the feet and used his jab and stiff shots to push his opponent around. Towards the end of each round he scored a takedown to improve his placement on the judges’ scorecards.
Torres Wins in Debut
Former WEC Bantamweight Champion Miguel Torres defeated Antonio Banuelos by unanimous decision in his debut for the UFC.
Torres stifled his opponent with a stiff jab followed up by leg kicks to both sides of Banuelos lead leg. Torres was able to do so for the entire 3 rounds thanks to a double-digit reach advantage over his opponent. Banuelos was never able to get within range to attack his Torres and that left him at an extreme advantage from the start. The final scorecards had each round going to Torres.
Full Card Review
Anderson Silva defeats Vitor Belfort by Knockout (Round 1 – 3:25)
Forrest Griffin defeats Rich Franklin by Unanimous Decision
Jon Jones defeats Ryan Bader by Guillotine Choke (Round 2 – 4:20)
Jake Ellenberger defeats Carols Rocha by Split Decision
Miguel Torres defeats Antonio Banuelos by Unanimous Decision
Donald Cerrone defeats Paul Kelly by Rear-Naked Choke (Round 2 – 3:48)
Chad Mendes defeats Michihiro Omigawa by Unanimous Decision
Demetrious Johnson defeats Norifumi Yamamoto by Unanimous Decision
Paul Taylor defeats Gabe Ruediger by Knockout (Round 2 – 1:42)
Kyle Kingsbury defeats Ricardo Romero by Knockout (Round 1 – 0:21)
Mike Pierce defeats Kenny Robertson by Knockout (Round 2 – 0:29)
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