By Jaime C. Feal
Anderson Silva showed everyone once again why he’s the greatest mixed martial artist the world has ever seen. Putting on a striking exhibition as usual, Silva made short work of Stephan Bonnar and finished a light heavyweight opponent for the third time in three tries. Starting off the main card, Demain Maia impressively submitted Rick Story with a neck crank, Maia’s first submission victory since 2009. Next was a rematch of the no contest between Phil Davis and Wagner Prado, in which Davis used his patented anaconda choke to secure the victory. Jon Fitch derailed the Erick Silva hype train with a dominating ground and pound performance, winning by unanimous decision. Also on the card, Glover Teixeira continued his rise up the light heavyweight ranks by defeating Fabio Maldonado. In the co-main event, Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira triumphed over Dave Herman to the delight of the fans in Rio de Janeiro. All in all, it was a tremendous card full of exciting fights and finishes.
Welterweight Division (170 lbs.):
Jon Fitch (23-4-1, 13-2-1 UFC) vs. Erick Silva (14-2, 2-1 UFC)
Fitch starts with a leg kick and connects, very interesting. Again Fitch tries for a leg kick, but misses. Unusual for Fitch to be throwing leg kicks. Silva feinting not throwing. Silva lands a knee but gets taken down. Silva briefly gets up but gets taken back down. A huge struggle ensues where Fitch is relentlessly riding the back of Silva standing up. Fitch keeps trying to get a hook in and is landing punches along the way. After about two minutes Silva finally gets free. Silva lands a front kick and an overhand right. Fitch clinches up on the cage. Spinning back kick lands for Silva, who continues with his hands down. Silva lands a knee and Jon grabs his leg and takes him down. Silva gets back up, but Fitch is once again on his back standing. Fitch is controlling him and drags him down as the round closes. 10-9 round for Fitch.
First time Erick Silva has gone past the first round in the UFC. Silva swing and misses with a spinning back fist. Good uppercut by Fitch, but huge sweep by Silva. Now Fitch is turtling and Silva is trying to take his back. Great reversal by Fitch, but Silva pops up. Fitch dives for Silva’s ankle but gets swarmed on. Silva is terrorizing him with hammer fists and right hands. Finally Fitch gets up and avoids being taken down again. Good knees from Fitch. The welterweights clinch again on the cage. Fitch is dropping down, looking for a takedown, but not putting much effort into it. Ref implores them to work. Silva takes the back standing of Fitch, then drags him down. Silva looking for a rear naked choke, had it fully locked in, but Fitch shows incredible submission defense. Fitch looking to turn into Silva, and does. Jon Fitch reigning down punches and now he’s looking to do damage. Fitch grabs an armbar and has it deep but Silva survives, and the horn sounds. 10-9 round for Silva.
Fitch drags down Silva and is rocking him with right hands. Silva in big trouble right now, getting completely controlled. Fitch looking for a rear naked choke, but big shots are landing for him in the process. Jon just relentless right now, but Silva escapes. Silva looking for a guillotine, but gives it up. Fitch nailing Silva with elbows inside his guard. Silva spins and turtles, Fitch dominating the round. More ground and pound from Fitch. Silva gets up, eats a couple knees, gets dragged back down, Fitch lands more ground and pound. Silva getting beat up. Fitch has Silva fully flattened out, getting pounded with punches. Silva is fully mounted, Fitch just demolishing him with ground strikes. Fight in danger of being stopped soon. Ref telling him to fight back. Fitch with elbows now, starting to slow down with his attack, but still landing nearly everything. Silva escapes with 8 seconds left, Fitch has a front choke, but the fight ends. 10-8 round for Fitch.
The judges score the fight 29-28, 29-28, and 30-27 for the winner by unanimous decision Jon Fitch.
Heavyweight Division (265 lbs.):
Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira (33-7-1, 4-3 UFC) vs. Dave “Pee-Wee” Herman (21-4, 1-2 UFC)
Herman lands a nice left bod kick. Big Nog clinches up but Herman tosses him down. Herman on top landing punches, Nog looking for a sweep. Herman lets him up. Nogueira lands some punches, clinches up with Herman but eats some knees to the body. Nog using dirty boxing on the cage, Herman breaks free. Inside leg kick from Herman. Nice right hand from Nogueira. Big Nog again goes to the dirty boxing tactics. Another powerful leg kick from Herman. Nogueira back to the clinch. Good one-two from Nogueira to close the round. 10-10 round.
Big left hook from Nogueira floors Herman and puts him on his back. Nogueira passes to side control, looking to set up an arm triangle. Now working an Americana. Nogueira starting to crank on it, but Herman fights it off. Nogueira in full mount landing punches now. Nogueira on the back, very high, but spins to an armbar position. Herman escapes to his feet. Nice stiff jab from Nogueira. Herman scores a nice takedown into half guard. Nogueira looking to sweep. Herman lets him up to his feet. Good series of punches from Minotauro. Nogueira lands a takedown, passes to mount, goes for an armbar again. Herman defending well. Herman spins and Nogueira goes belly down with the armbar. Herman spins again but this time Nog has it locked in too tight, Herman taps out, the crowd erupts in applause.
Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira wins by submission (armbar) at 4:31 of Round 2.
Light Heavyweight Division (205 lbs.):
Anderson “The Spider” Silva (32-4, 15-0 UFC) vs. Stephan “The American Psycho” Bonnar (15-7, 8-6 UFC)
Bonnar comes out aggressive, backing Silva up. Silva slips and stumbles, Bonnar tries to take him down. The fighters are clinched on the cage, Bonnar with some dirty boxing. Silva good knee to the body. Silva tried a knee to the head but missed. Bonar still working on a takedown, but good defense by Anderson. Bonnar with double underhooks, still couldn’t toss Anderson. Good short elbow from Bonnar, dropped for a takedown and got denied. Silva with the Thai plum, spins Bonnar around. Good knee to the body by Silva, solid punches from Bonnar. Silva is just laying on the cage, inviting Bonnar to trade with him. Silva showing disdain for Bonnar’s striking. Bonnar tries a single leg and gets shut down. The fighters are trading and Silva is so relaxed. Silva with his hands completely down. Bonnar gets tripped down by Silva and goes reeling backwards. As he gets up Silva swarms with strikes, landing an enormous knee to the solar plexus that crumbles Bonnar. “The American Psycho” is turtled up and severely hurt, and Silva puts him away with a few more right hands to the head as the ref steps in to stop the fight.
Anderson “The Spider” Silva wins by TKO at 4:40 of Round 1.