Anderson Silva continued his unprecedented reign of dominance over the UFC’s middleweight division this past Saturday night, stopping formidable challenger Yushin Okami on second round strikes. The victory removed one of the few blemishes from Silva’s record; he lost to Okami via disqualification due to an illegal upkick in 2005. After a first round which saw the champion feeling out the Japanese challenger, Silva came out in the second determined to end things quickly. Dropping his hands and taunting Okami, the champ dropped him with a single punch then patiently fired away at his downed opponent as Okami retreated into a fetal position, forcing Herb Dean to intervene.
The victory capped a successful night for the card’s Brazilian talent, most of whom found victory at the UFC’s first event in MMA’s homeland in over 12 years.
Perhaps the most emotionally impactful win of the night came as Antonio “Minotauro” Nogueira knocked out rising heavyweight star Brendan Schaub at 3:09 of the first round. Nogueira, one of
Brazil’s most beloved fighters, fought on his home soil for the first time in his professional career. Overcoming a rocky start, in which Schaub landed repeatedly, Nogueira was able to find his range, catching Schaub with a stiff right that hurt the younger fighter and following up with a left hook to the chin which left Schaub facedown of the canvas. Post fight, the Brazilian heavyweight, who had just returned from numerous surgeries, promised that he was now back in the vintage form which made
him one of the sports brightest stars.
Mauricio “Shogun” Rua also returned to vintage form Saturday night, only one fight removed from the vicious beating he received at the hands of Jon Jones. Taking on the man who beat him in his UFC debut, Forrest Griffin, Shogun came out aggressively. Landing early and often, he finished Griffin at just 1:53 of the first round.