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UFC 134 main card recap: Silva demolishes Okami, “Shogun” KO’s Griffin

Original photo by Fight! Magazine

If there were any lingering arguments remaining about who is MMA’s greatest of all time, a discussion against Anderson Silva would now just be utterly ridiculous.

Silva delighted the home crowd at UFC 134 with the decimation and destruction of Yushin Okami in the second round, further solidifying his status as the best fighter to ever grace the Octagon, or any other cage for that matter.

There was no touch of gloves to start, only a bow from the champion, and after a round of clinching against the cage from Okami, the fire was officially lit in the champion for the second stanza.

Silva came out in the second with a whole different attitude — one of great destruction and aggression. The champion stalked Okami, shaking his fists looking for an altercation, and once Okami obliged, Silva returned fire with his hands down by his waste, firing off a straight right hand that put Okami on the mat.

The champion stayed patient, but once Okami was back up, Silva once again came forward with a big kick to the body followed by a another right hand that put the Japanese contender right back on the canvas.

There was no charity this time around. Silva assaulted the body of the covered Okami with knees to the body and an elbow for good measure, before putting him away with unanswered strikes.

The win extends the unbeaten streak of Silva (31-4 MMA, 14-0 UFC) to fifteen, with a record fourteen straight wins in the UFC.

“Shogun” avenges loss with KO of Forrest Griffin

Mauricio Rua had said he wanted to “erase” the loss he suffered against Forrest Griffin back in 2007.

He did just that, needing less than two minutes to put Griffin away with a flurry of hammerfists.

Griffin looked to push the pace out of the gate, but looked a little tense and tight to start the fight. Rua looked very calm and connected early with counter punches before landing a glancing right hand that stunned the former UFC light heavyweight champion.

Rua followed up with a big left hook, and another right that dropped Griffin to the mat. “Shogun” pounced, landing three big right hands flush on the chin, but it was a flurry of hammerfists that rendered Griffin unconscious on the canvas.

With the win, Rua (20-5 MMA, 4-3 UFC) takes one step closer to another shot at UFC light heavyweight gold.

Edson Barboza decisions Ross Pearson

Edson Barboza kept his record perfect at 9-0 with a split decision victory over Ross Pearson, but it didn’t come easy.

Barboza started quickly with leg kicks, but the pace and pressure of Pearson kept him from getting off anything significant early on. Pearson stayed true to his game plan, closing the distance and chasing Barboza all over the Octagon.

Barboza’s speed made up for any lack of space caused by the pressure of Pearson, as he consistently landed the cleaner strikes, all while fending off take downs attempted by the TUF 9 winner.

Barboza found his rhythm in the second, catching a kick of Pearson and then delivering a staggering kick to the body. Barboza continued the combination with a clipping right hand off the kick that sent Pearson reeling to the canvas.

Pearson quickly made his way back to his feet, but after two rounds in the books, it appeared that he needed something big in the third to change the outcome of the bout.

Barboza slowed considerably in the third, and Pearson tried to capitalize, continuing to apply constant pressure on the young Brazilian. Pearson failed to get the fight to the mat on several take down attempts, as Barboza closed out the round with a big spinning kick to the body, followed by a big left hook.

When the scores came in, it was Barboza (9-0 MMA, 3-0 UFC) that would take the split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28).

“Big Nog” KO’s Brendan Schaub

The legendary career of Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira isn’t over just yet.

Nogueira showed the MMA world that he is still a factor with a stunning first round KO of Brendan Schaub.

After clinching early and eating a couple of nasty uppercuts from Schaub, Nogueira walked Schaub down and landed a brutal overhand right that stunned Schaub.

Nogueira (33-6-1 MMA, 4-2 UFC) stayed in the pocket, following up with a series of alternating strikes punctuated by a flush left hook that dropped Schaub to the mat unconscious.

Stanislav Nedkov takes out Luiz Cane

Just as it seemed that Luiz Cane was in full control of his UFC 134 bout with Stanislav Nedkov on his home turf, an overhand right from Nedkov turned the bout into a first round stoppage for the visiting Bulgarian.

Nedkov landed his winging overhand right on multiple occasions in the first round, but it was Cane that landed brutal and powerful combinations early.

A bloodied Nedkov appeared to be in deep trouble with his back against the cage with the approaching Cane closing quickly when he uncorked one of those overhand rights that stopped Cane in his tracks. Nedkov landed a flush left hook that put Cane on his heels in full retreat, but there would be no escape. Nedkov pursued, landing a big right hand that dropped Cane against the fence before finishing him off with a flurry of unanswered right hands.

It was a dramatic turn of events that gave the Bulgarian a win in his UFC debut in hostile territory, improving his record to 12-0 overall (1-0 UFC).

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