Silva KOs Belfort, Griffin and Jones Win at UFC 126

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UFC Middleweight Championship Main Event
Anderson Silva (28-4) KO 1 Vitor Belfort (19-9)
Time of Stoppage: 3:25 RD 1

There is, arguably, nothing in life that I would want less than to catch a front kick to the face from Anderson Sliva.  Unfortunately, Belfort was not able to avoid my worst nightmare as he was rendered senseless by a picture perfect front kick to the chin by Silva.  With all due respect to Geroges St-Pierre, Anderson Silva is the greatest fighter in the sport of MMA right now.  Granted, his counter-attack style of fighting can be excruciating to watch at times, the fact remains that he is as explosive a fighter as there ever has been.  Of course, it’s telling that Silva did absolutely nothing for the first two minutes of the fight until Belfort connected with a straight left hand.  While we can’t expect every champion to smash through opponents the way Cain Velasquez does, but no other fighter is as complete a mixed martial arts fighter as Silva.  He will go down as an all-time great and his performance against Belfort will undoubtedly make it into his career highlight reel. 

UFC Light Heavyweight Co-Main Event
Forrest Griffin (18-6) UD 3 Rich Franklin (28-6-1 NC)
Scores: 29-28, 29-28, 29-28

Say what you will about the relevancy of a Franklin-Griffin showdown taking place in 2011, but there are times when faithful employees are rewarded with financial perks.  This looked to be the case for Franklin and Griffin who have helped turn the UFC into the promotional juggernaut that it is today.  While one cannot dismiss either fighter as over the hill yet, but the fact is that we are reaching the twilight of both fighters’ respective careers.  Still, these are two savvy veterans who know how to bring the heat.  Unfortunately, there was plenty of ring rust between the two fighters to temper any hopes of sustained fireworks.  None the less, it was Griffin who appeared to be the fresher, more aggressive fighter throughout and his efforts earned him the victory.  I wouldn’t start blowing the horn for a Griffin title shot just yet, but should he continue his winning ways; his name may earn him a crack at his former title. 

UFC Light Heavyweight Fight
Jon Jones (12-1) SUB RD 2 (Guillotine) Ryan Bader (13-1)
Time of Submission: 4:20 RD 2

Despite the tremendous buzz that surrounds Jon Jones, this fight against Ryan Bader represented inarguably the sternest test in Jones’ young career.  Joe Rogan touched on a very salient point when he observed that there was some very visible nervous energy exhibited by Jones during the buildup to this fight.  However, these nerves seemed to subside once the opening bell rang.  While many felt that Bader’s wrestling and power would keep Jones honest, and to an extent it did, the fact of the matter is that Jones’ wrestling dominated Bader in the opening round.  Things quickly went further south for Bader in the second as Jones was able to slip in a guillotine toward the end of the round.  With the win, Jones will get a crack at the light heavyweight title against “Shogun” Rua. 

UFC Welterweight Fight
Jake Ellenberger (24-5) SD 3 RD Carlos Eduardo Rocha (9-1)
Scores:  30-27 Rocha, 29-28 Ellenberger, 29-28 Ellenberger

There is no denying that few fighters have the grappling acumen of Rocha.  Despite some solid wrestling displayed by Ellenberger, Rocha controlled the action using some of the most beautiful Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu you will ever see within the confines of the Octagon.  Granted, Rocha’s stand up is suspect at best, a flaw that was clearly evident as Ellenberger enjoyed continued moments of success whenever both fighters were on their feet.  Which is why it was so perplexing that Rocha opted to stay on his feet in the third round.  For a fighter’s who has a limited stand up arsenal of little more than some leg kicks, he would have been better served to fight for the takedown where his BJJ skills are exemplary.  As it stands, Rocha did not do enough while Ellenberger exhibited more aggression which in turn earned him the victory. 

UFC Bantamweight Fight
Miguel Angel Torres (38-3) UD 3 Antonio Banuelos (19-7)
Scores: 30-27, 30-27, 30-27

Since trekking north to Montreal, Miguel Torres has become a much more cerebral fighter.  No doubt, this is a result of having to toil against some of the best fighters in the world.  In a fight that had fireworks written all over it, Torres utilized a calculated and methodical attack to keep the much shorter Banuelos at bay.  Using his considerable reach advantage, Torres was able to take potshots at Banuelos with little or no concern for any reciprocal attack.  The end result was a not very exciting fight from two fighters who are renowned for bringing the excitement.  Still, with that being said, it’s hard to see Torres suffering another losing streak with his new approach to cerebral fighting.