Anderson Silva defeats Dan Henderson via submission (rear naked choke) in round two
Heath Herring defeats Cheick Kongo via split decision
Yushin Okami defeats Evan Tanner via TKO (Knee) Round 2
Chris Leben defeats Alessio Sakara via TKO (Strikes) in Round 1
Jon Fitch defeats Chris Wilson via unanimous decision
Andrei Arlovski defeats Jake O’Brien via technical (strikes) in round two
Luigi Fioravanti defeats Luke Cummo via unanimous decision
Josh Koscheck defeats Dustin Hazelett via technical knockout (strikes) in round two
Diego Sanchez defeats David Bielkheden via submission (verbal tapout because of strikes) in round one
Jorge Gurgel defeats John Halverson via unanimous decision
Thoughts on the night:
Starting with the main event…Well, that Anderson Silva guy is pretty good. I think I can go out on a limb there and say that. Naw, all kidding aside Anderson Silva proved once again just why he is pound-for-pound the most dominant fighter in the sport today. Yes, he lost the first round. Hendo managed to take him down with about two minutes to go in the round and worked inside his guard, landing some shots to the side of Silva’s head repeatedly. But it is a testament to Anderson’s ability that even in such a precarious position, he remained completely composed and the shots Hendo was landing to the side of his head didn’t even appear to affect Silva at all. I mean sure, they might have given him a headache but I doubt it did anything more than that.
Then the second round started and if there’s any round that belongs to any fighter right now, does round 2 belong to anyone but Silva?! I mean fuck, he owns that round. Silva came out and just worked his Muay Thai game. Got in an exchange with Hendo, landed a couple good shots but then he connected with a knee and that’s were it all went down hill for Hendo. The knee was followed by a couple more punches and bam, Hendo was on the ground in serious trouble. However, unlike say Nate Marquadt, Hendo wasn’t to be pounded out, that just wasn’t going to happen. So Silva compromised for the submission and ultimately took Hendo’s back and that was all she wrote, good night Hendo, hello Anderson Silva — the best MMA fighter in the World.
To wrap this up quickly because I got more to get to on the night and I don’t want this post to take up the entire pg..
- Silva is the epitome of a MMA fighter. The way that he has almost perfected the sport is reminiscent of Tiger Woods’ dominance on the PGA Tour right now.
- Do I think Silva should move up or down? Ultimately I can see Silva moving up to 205. I think he’d remain a small LHW and still pick apart that division in the same way. I think a fighter like GSP could move up to 185 and take him on in ’09 when the timing is right, but as much as I love GSP, Silva would dominate him.
- Silva should remain at 185 for time being and go through the motions. Okami should be next, probably early July. Then hopefully winner of Almeida/Marquadt in Sep./Oct. and then perhaps Patrick Cote or Rich Franklin III or even Thales Leites in early ’09. I think he should continue defending his strap and cement his legacy as the best fighter ever before moving up and cleaning out another division.
The next subject I’ll touch on is Cheick Kongo and Heath Herring’s fight. I thought overall this was a really solid fight. I disagree with the decision however. If you watched the fight, you will see that Kongo controlled 10 minutes of it while Herring just 5. Having said that, Kongo could’ve fought a better fight obviously. There’s a lot of people out there that disrespect Kongo’s game. Well, Saturday night he showed he has a pretty good takedown game. What he needs to do is learn how to impose punishment on the ground. He’s so powerful that he should really be able to just maul his opponent, gain the full mount and have it be over. I mean if Kongo gets you in full mount, you’re done. That’s it. So watching him just hold Herring down was completely frustrating. He’s either got to get aggressive down there or get off of him and get back up where he is at his best.
I like Kongo a lot. He’s an absolute beast that is going to overpower all heavyweights outside of the 285 lb monster that is Brock Lesnar. He’s still young and in constant improvement with Juanito Ibarra as his trainer. I see nothing but big things in his future if he improves his ground n’ pound game.
- Next up for Kongo? A match-up with Tim Sylvia is PERFECT. Sylvia wanted him before his loss to Nogueira and should get him now.
Other thoughts on the night:
- Fitch deserves the winner of Serra/St.-Pierre (*cough* St.-Pierre *cough*) immediately. I don’t care what Karo does against Alves April 2nd one iota.
- Koscheck looked very good against Dustin Hazelett who really looks good himself. Kos really took a lot of punishment and even withstood some submission attempts before getting the second round TKO, landing the HUGE head kick. I like Kos’ game and his future. He should fight Karo/Alves winner.
- Okami, as mentioned under Silva’s next opponent, is the #1 contender right now. Big KO on Tanner with that knee. The thing about Okami is he is very methodical. He’s a talented striker but doesn’t get aggressive looking to put his opponent away. He’s content with just scoring points with punches and then backing away. Right now he’s the best opponent for Silva but I see Silva dominating him just like he does everyone else.
- Leben vs. Sakara. That was a war. Pissed to see Sakara lose because I like his game and Leben just isn’t a good fighter, he’s not. But man, is he ever tough. Leben took at least 6 shots that rocked him and just wasn’t fazed. The whole time I was screaming for Sakara to hit him with a knee or two but he didn’t and ended up getting caught. Leben was the fighter most messed up after it was over (Sakara looked like he did before the fight started) and yet he won.
- Last, but certainly not least, my boy, the Pitbull won and is BACK!! I will a whole individual post on Arlovski, his fight with O’Brien and his future in a few days. I just want to see if any news comes out immediately afterwards. I really think that he stays in the UFC and he should be immediately matched up with Nog at UFC 85 in London. Co-main events of Nog vs. Arlovski for HW title and Liddell vs. Shogun would be AWESOME!