UFC 90: Post Event Analysis

The best pound-for-pound fighter in the world got perhaps his best challenge of his career, didn’t look his best and still got the TKO victory to defend his title for the fourth time.

In a match that saw Anderson Silva dancing around, trying to keep Cote off-balance and create angles for himself for the majority of the first two rounds, Silva was still able to out point Patrick Cote in each round. Despite staying relatively inactive, waiting for his opponent to make a mistake, Silva used effective striking via kicks and punches to stay the aggressor in the fight.

Cote, for his part, was able to hang with the dominant Middleweight Champion. A brutal knee to the head, a right right down the pipe that snapped his head back and even a hook all unphased the tough Canadian who has yet to even be dropped in a fight let alone knocked out. Perhaps it was this ability that allowed Cote to take the fight into the third round, a marker that had yet to be reached by a Silva opponent in the UFC.

But 39 seconds into the undiscovered territory, Cote hopping forward to throw a right hand blew out his left knee and was thus unable to continue despite his protestations to referee Herb Dean. It was a disappointing conclusion to a fight that appeared to be nowhere near its finish.

After the fight, the Chicago crowd was understandably a bit unhappy with the result and both fighters apologized. However, there was nothing to be done and Silva again strode out of the Octagon with the belt around his waist.

Alves kicks down door to title shot

Utilizing a great sprawl and takedown defense against a phenomenal wrestler in Josh Koscheck, not to mention the brutal leg kicks that he’s renowned for, Thiago Alves beat up a game Koscheck for a three round unanimous decision victory.

Koscheck showed his toughness and heart throughout the fight as he took leg kick after brutal leg kick to his lead left leg and was knocked down numerous times with a short uppercut, knee and straight right among others from “the Pitbull.” Replacing Diego Sanchez who suffered a rib cartilage injury just two weeks prior to the fight, Koscheck continually shook out the cobwebs when it appeared Alves had him put away.

With the win, Alves has now won his past seven fights including big wins over three of the top seven Welterweight contenders in Karo Parisyan, former champion Matt Hughes and now Koscheck. That distinguished streak definitely puts him in No. 1 contender status and he should be in line for a title shot against the winner of Georges “Rush” St.-Pierre and B.J. Penn as they battle for the Welterweight Championship on Super Bowl Weekend, January 31st at UFC 94.

Dos Santos shocks Werdum with KO of the Night

Junior Dos Santos the Brazilian fighter out of the same camp with the Nogueiras and Silva and Machida and company, made his UFC debut Saturday night at the Allstate Arena and did he ever make a debut.

Just over a minute into the first round, Dos Santos wound up with a big right uppercut at the same time as Fabricio Werdum lowered his head. The result was an uppercut that crumpled the Chuto Box fighter, ending his night in severe disappointment. Meanwhile Dos Santos celebrated in the fashion of Gabriel Gonzaga after he put away Mirko Cro Cop in similar devastating fashion last year.

Werdum was the heavy favorite, expected to cruise on route to the win and a subsequent title shot after the HW tournament concluded. In fact, he had complained multiple times to the press about not being included in the aforementioned tournament. Then he comes into the fight significantly heavier than he has been in any fight in his career. Weighing in at 256 lbs on the day prior to the fight, Werdum looked bigger but out of shape. As UFC color commentator Joe Rogan pointed out during the bout, perhaps it was a weight gain to position himself better against the ever-growing heavyweights in the division like Lesnar, Carwin, Mir and Gonzaga. All of which regularly push the 265 limit if not cut to get under it.

Regardless, Werdum looked out of shape and out of focus in a fight that he should’ve won rather easily. Obviously this knocks Werdum right back down to where he started while proving that Dos Santos is an emerging heavyweight talent, right alongside Carwin and Velasquez.

Sherk wins battle with Griffin

In a fight that showcased two incredibly similar fighters, Sean Sherk emerged victorious over Tyson Griffin in the Fight of the Night.

Sean Sherk utilized some early takedowns in which he was able to gain the back of Griffin to take the first two rounds which ultimately proved the difference on the judges scorecards. Both fighters, basically a mirror image of each other with Sherk 11 years the elder, displayed some great wrestling — which they are known for — and the diverse striking that makes them two of the top five lightweights in the UFC.

Sherk’s win should settle him just below the lightweights Kenny Florian and Joe Stevenson who are set to do battle in just three weeks. A fight against the loser of that contest or perhaps a match with Frankie Edgar would be good for Sherk’s next step.

Leites, Franca and Fisher all emerge with victories

Thales Leites looked ever-so impressive in a rear naked choke victory over the dangerous Drew McFedries in just over a minute. Spencer Fisher earned the submission of the night in his victory over Shannon Gugerty with a triangle choke in the third round. Meanwhile Hermes Franca finally found himself in the winner’s circle with a win over his former BJJ instructor Aurelio.

Leites, my boy, just keeps going about his business quietly in the Middleweight Division and with just one loss on his record should be getting closer and closer to a title shot. A matchup against the also emerging Michael Bisping should happen but with Bisping lined up to coach the next season of TUF against perceivably the winner of Dan Henderson/Rich Franklin fight in January perhaps Leites could find himself fighting the winner of Nate Quarry and Damien Maia who are set to do battle in three weeks as well.

Another great night of fights and another UFC PPV in the books as Chicago received its first taste of MMA action and its 15,000 eye-witnesses will be thirsty for more. The UFC returns to action on November 15 in the MGM Grand Garden Arena with UFC 91: Couture vs. Lesnar. Can’t wait for those three weeks to pass!

UFC 90 QUICK RESULTS:

Anderson Silva defeats Patrick Cote via technical knockout (knee injury) in round three
Thiago Alves defeats Josh Koscheck via unanimous decision
Gray Maynard defeats Rich Clementi via unanimous decision
Junior Dos Santos defeats Fabricio Werdum via technical knockout (strikes) in round one
Sean Sherk defeats Tyson Griffin via unanimous decision
Thales Leites defeats Drew McFedries via Submission (Rear Naked Choke) Round 1

Spencer Fisher defeats Shannon Gugerty via Submission (Triangle Choke) Round 3
Dan Miller defeats Matt Horwich via Unanimous Decision
Hermes Franca defeats Marcus Aurelio via Unanimous Decision
Pete Sell defeats Josh Burkman via Unanimous Decision

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