Dublin: 18°C Monday 26 July 2021

Uncaged: straight-up kick does it for Anderson Silva

Brian Kirk has the UFC news in a choke hold and won’t let know til we have all the info.

Image: Julie Jacobson/AP/Press Association Images

MMA FANS WERE treated to a great spectrum of finishes as they witnessed KOs, submissions, and battles that went the distance at UFC 126 in Las Vegas last Saturday.

Anderson Silva retained his middleweight crown by knocking out Vitor Belfort while Forrest Griffin overcame Rich Franklin in a tense battle that went to the judges, and new Light Heavyweight sensation Jon Jones submitted previously unbeaten Ryan Bader on a night that lived up to all the pre-event hype as well as delivering a few surprises.

Anderson Silva proved he was back to his very best as he sensationally knocked out Vitor Belfort with an up-kick just three minutes and 25 seconds into the first round of their championship match-up.

In a move that typifies Silva’s unprecedented striking ability, ‘The Phenom’ was caught flat-footed by a straight up-kick that landed square on his jaw knocking him out.  Commentator and MMA expert Joe Rogan had claimed he’d never seen anyone get knocked out that way in any full-contact fights before. Belfort admitted after the fight that he thought Anderson was going to kick to his body and he was simply caught cold when it connected.

This win has cemented The Spider’s place at the top of the pound-for-pound fighters in the world and is his 13th straight victory in the UFC, as well as being a record eighth consecutive title defence. The potential super-fight with George St Pierre is one step closer too, with UFC president Dana White confirming if GSP beats Jake Shields, Silva Vs GSP will defiantly happen.

The Jon Jones Era?

In one of the most impressive performances of the night, Jon “Bones” Jones dominated previously undefeated Ryan Bader in the first then forced him to tap with a guillotine choke late in the second round of their much anticipated fight.

His quick rise to top contender in the light heavyweight division was confirmed in the ring after the fight when Joe Rogan informed him of an injury to Rashad Evans and the surprise offer of a title fight against current 205lb champ Mauricio ‘Shogun’ Rua. A shocked and elated Jones wasted no time in accepting and doesn’t have long to wait for his shot as the bout is pencilled in for UFC 128 on March 19th.

This news tops off a bad week for Jon Jones’ teammate “Suga” Rashad Evans. After blowing out his knee in a freak training accident ruling him out of his scheduled title shot, Evans has been left in a type of limbo. If, as he predicts, Jon Jones “smashes” Rua and takes the title, “Suga” has said he will not fight his training partner and may look to move up to heavyweight where he started his career.

Another option for him could have presented itself last week however. Rumours have emerged of an alleged altercation in a Las Vegas night club between Evans and his longtime foe Quinton “Rampage” Jackson that has led some to believe the rematch of these will most likely happen at UFC 130 in May, as Rampage’s current opponent Thiago Silva is out injured.

The light heavyweight fight between Forrest Griffin and Rich “Ace” Franklin was an intriguing bout that went all the way with all three judges scoring it 29-28 in favour of TUF season one winner Griffin.

Despite admitting he was very ring-rusty after 14 months out of action Griffin put in an accomplished performance, utilising his takedowns and later on in the final round, leg kicks, to see off the spirited performance of Franklin.  Forrest does seem to need to get another win under his belt to be considered a genuine contender and if the Rashad-Rampage bout gets the go ahead, he could possibly face the winner of that.

UFC fans had waited a long time to see WEC star Miguel Angel Torres enter the Octagon but his performance didn’t quite live up to his fearsome reputation as he strolled to a unanimous decision over Antonio Banuelos. Despite outclassing his opponent in all aspects and never really looking in any danger Torres seemed more intent on not losing, than trying to go all out to win.

It is however his first win in the organisation and while the newly formed Bantamweight division is still finding its feet, it must put him up there with some of the top contenders.

About the author:

Brian Kirk

Read next: