Anderson Silva left no doubt that he's the best pound for pound fighter on the planet, after knocking out Vitor Belfort in the first round of their title affair at UFC 126.
Cageside Seat's post fight throw down is back, and we're talking UFC 126: Silva vs. Belfort:
- People were seriously talking about SIlva's age catching up to him. Hopefully he kicked that idea right into front row along with Belfort's head. Citing awkward performances such as the Demian Maia fight as proof that Silva's slipping is reaching, and despite what Joe Rogan says, the perfect fighter to defeat Silva would be a great wrestler with good timing and decent submission defense. The beating Silva took from Chael Sonnen was hardly a sign of age catching up with him, it was a man who fought to Silva's weaknesses. I don't think Silva's close to seeing a decline in skill due to age, or otherwise. The champ is here.
- Vitor Belfort will kick himself for weeks over not just running out there and going for broke. He was too concerned with being countered, and in the end, was crushed not by counter punches, but Silva going on the offensive. He was able to find Silva's chin once, and the champion did not like it...should he have come out guns blazing he might have went out early...but then again...he might not have.
- The respect shown between Silva and Belfort after the fight is one of the greatest things about mixed martial arts. The anger between Silva and Belfort (albeit, one sided) was very real, but when the fight was done, Silva went to him, whispered some words, and helped him to his feet.
- It's nice to see Silva dominantly defend his title, and successfully take the first step on the road to a superfight with welterweight champion, Georges St. Pierre. It's all up to you Georgie boy!
- Oh yeah, that front kick Anderson finished the fight with? He claims that Steven Seagal helped him perfect the move. Well, one of those ridiculous moves he was teaching had to work, just so happens it's one that Silva's used in the past, against Dan Henderson, to be exact.
After the jump I'll give my thought on the event overall, Jon Jones' title shot, and much more
- Jon Jones schooled Bader in where elementary boxing skill, and a double leg take down will get you at the higher levels of the UFC's light heavyweight division. He had no trouble keeping Bader at arms length, and defending his double legs, and then beat the wrestler when he put him on his back.
- Jon Jones continues to develop as a fighter, and the hype is well deserved, but dammit, I want to see him on his back!
- Oh, did you hear, Jones is also getting a title shot against Shogun Rua at UFC 128, filling in for now injured Rashad Evans. I understand that Rua's ground game is at times under rated, but man, I think Jones just might crush him.
- Evans really screwed the pooch by waiting for Shogun to get healthy, and then getting injured himself...that's a huge layoff, and will no doubt be difficult to bounce back from.
- I'm hard on Bader tonight, but don't get me wrong, so long as he works on his striking, and switches up his wrestling game, he can still be a to contender in the division. He was seriously dwarfed by Jones, but really, most guys would be, the man is massive.
- It was said prior to the event, and going out of it, it can be said again. Jones/Bader was the real co-main event and would have been had we known it was a number one contender match. Forrest Griffin and Rich Franklin put on a solid a fight, but it went one of the two ways people predicted it would, and that was the longer, less exciting route. Forrest Griffin's size got the job done, and the ring rust didn't really show, even though Griffin said he felt it.
- Enough of the top three fights, let's talk about Jake Ellenberger and his interesting performance against Carlos Eduardo Rocha. Did Ellenberger take him lightly? Did the media underestimate Rocha? The truth is somewhere in the middle, but Ellenberger pulled through a rough first round and gutted out an ugly decision win. This was a major lose-lose situation for Ellenberger.
- The judge that scored all three rounds for Rocha needs to be publicly stoned, and I do not mean Joe Rogan style.
- Miguel Torres has adopted the less risky, but far more effect style of fighting under the training of GSP's coach, Firas Zahabi. The steady jab an occasional right straight led to a undeniable victory for the former bantamweight champion against Antonio Banuelos. This was a stand up version of what we'd see later in the night, when Jones defeated Bader. Banuelos, like Bader, looked clueless when dealing with an their opponent's reach advantage.
- As for the under card, things went as expected for the most part. After taking plenty of unnecessary damage from Paul Kelly, Donald Cerrone submitted him in the second round. Cerrone's kicks were on point, but man, he was getting clipped with some hard shots against an opponent many thought he'd walk through with absolute ease. I hope we don't see similar performances from the majority of the WEC's lightweight cross overs.
- Chad Mendes dominated Michihiro Omigawa from bell to bell, handling him not only on the feet but on the ground. After a near armbar from the bottom by Omigawa, he wasn't able to mount much offense against the Team Alpha male product. Omigawa also suffered a nasty cut over his left eye, right above his eyelid. It was in an area that in my opinion, nearly guarantees a stoppage, but the doctor was no where to be found.
- Norifumi Yamamoto, or, "Kid", accomplished absolutely nothing in his UFC debut. In all honesty, this was one of the most horrific UFC debuts ever. Demetrious Johnson looked on fire, with some of the best timed take downs south of Canada. He was slipping punches perfectly as he shot in for the double leg.
- As for the event overall, it delivered big time. The world was watching and all went according to plan. The night was filled with action, and the only fight that didn't really thrill me in any way was Ellenberger/Rocha. Not too shabby after poor numbers for UFC 125.