UFC middleweight champion Anderson Silva had lost a lot of his luster coming into Saturday nights UFC 101 matchup with former light heavyweight champ Forrest Griffin. He was undefeated in his previous nine UFC contests, but his last three victories had been far from impressive. Even Dana White criticized his recent effort and finally conceded that St. Pierre might, indeed, be the best all around fighter in the game.
That all changed at UFC 101. Silva was simply dominant as he overwhelmed the naturally larger Griffin, knocking his opponent down three times before finishing the fight with a spectacular–yet almost effortless–straight right hand. The TKO victory was The Spiders most impressive showing since his submission triumph over Dan Henderson at UFC 82. Ironically, Hendo–off his own devastating KO victory over Michael Bisping at UFC 100–will likely be Silva’s next challenger for his middleweight title.
The live crowd in Philadelphia clearly favored the likable Griffin and gave him a huge ovation as he bounced to the ring to his trademark walk-in song Shipping Up To Boston by the Dropkick Murphys. Silva, meanwhile, received a smattering of boos as he confidently strode to the ring to the sound of Aint No Sunshine by rapper DMX. Silva displayed much more humility toward the fans than he has in his recent outings, bowing in all four directions after the entered the cage.
He displayed none of that courtesy toward Griffin once the fight began and was simply the wrecking machine that UFC fans had grown accustomed before his recent run of lackluster performances. Forrest came right at Silva, assuming that his natural size advantage would equate to a strength advantage as well.
The resolute Griffin quickly bounced to his feet, this time flashing a high kick which Silva easily countered for another knockdown. This one clearly hurt Griffin, though he once again made it back to his feet quickly and landed a combination of his own. This was his best”and last”offense of the fight. Silva quickly floored Griffin with a left hand that left little doubt to the eventual outcome of the contest. The double tough Griffin made it to his feet again, and tried to land a leg kick”which Patrick Cote had used with some success in their fight.
Silva, backing up, countered it perfectly and landed an almost effortless straight right that sent Griffin down for good. The referee didnt even bother to count as he waved his arms over the prone fighter as Silva celebrated his win. Griffin quickly exited the cage and, reportedly, the arena. Postfight reports suggested that he wanted to get immediate medical attention for a dislocated jaw suffered on the penultimate knockdown.
Silva, apparently making an effort to be more fan friendly, did his postfight interview in English with a Portuguese interpreter standing at the ready. Hed been criticized in the past (somewhat unfairly) for not making more of an effort to engage the fans, and conducting his interview in English was likely intended to help change that image. His message was simple: I want to fight against the best. Whoever the best is at the time, I want to fight them. Though Silva didnt really affirm that hed be campaigning more at the heavier weight, that was the implicit message of his comment.
Ross Everett is a respected freelance writer experienced in travel, casino gambling and Uk marriage visa sports handicapping. He is a consulting handicapper for Anatta Sports where he is responsible for providing daily Uk marriage visa free sports picks. In his spare time he enjoys fine dining, fencing and scuba diving. He lives in Southern Nevada with four dogs and a pet coyote.
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