Live fight report of UFC Fight Night Silva vs. Irvin
MMA News Written by Arnold Lim - The Sushiboy
Saturday, 19 July 2008
Anderson Silva over James Irvin
Anderson Silvas debut in the 205 lbs light heavyweight division was shorter than his entrance into the Octagon, as he caught a right body kick from James Irvin and tattooed a right hand on the nose of his opponent that sent him to the canvas. While the fight wasn't officially over at that point, for all intents and purposes end was near as he stood over Irvin, and started the lawnmower, pummeling him until referee Mario Yamasaki had no choice but to step in and stop the bout at 1:01 of the first stanza.
The man known as the best pound-for-pound fighter in the world did little to repute his title and sent a shiver through the collective spines of middleweight fighters in the UFC division in the process. It is the division he seems most interested in competing in, telling Joe Rogan through a translator his move into the 205 lbs weight class was a good experience, but "his responsibility is to defend the 185 pound title.
Silva must be a very responsible person because while the UFC is very much playing up his position as the world's best, it is getting harder and harder to dispute the claim.
Brandon Vera vs. Reese Andy
Vera looked like he was in physically great shape - possibly the best shape of his career but it didnt translate into a strong performance against IFL veteran Reese Andy. Vera came out throwing wild high kicks in the early goings but that was as aggressive as he got in a plodding three-round decision that saw Brandon Vera win via unanimous decision.
The size and weight advantage appeared to be a factor in this fight but in a way that most would not have expected. The weight cut seemed to hurt Vera - and despite the physical advantage - he seemed hesitant in a fight that saw his opponent offer very little in the way of offense of his own. Switching from southpaw to standard stances several times seemed to confuse Andy, and the IFL veteran looked timid and off balance throughout the bout. In conjunction with Vera's performance, it equated into a less than impressive semi main event for the fans of the UFC.
Both fighters almost looked like UFC first timers, which was a major disappointment. You would have to think that this fight was set up to be a coming out of sorts for Vera's light heavyweight debut, but it was far from entertaining and even Vera knew it. The fight for sure wasnt the most exciting fight I had by far, he said afterwards. In addition, he admitted that the weight cut may have played a role in his performance, saying the 205 cut was a little more tough than I thought. You have to wonder if Veras body needsto adjust to the new weight class before feeling natural for the talented fighter. One thing is for certain, what was expected to be one of the more entertaining fights of the night, was much less than advertised.
Frankie Edgar vs. Hermes Franca
Frankie Edgar was steadfast in defeating perennial contender Hermes Franca in a bout where wrestling was the difference. As expected Hermes Franca loaded up the right hand looking for the knock out on the feet but Edgar was ready - and despite taking some damage in the fight - was able to use superior control and submission defense to secure victory.
As expected Francas jiu jitsu was always a danger, and on a couple of occasions Edgar had to work his way out of submission attempts, but Francas weak takedown defense proved to be his undoing.You have to wonder if a one-year layoff hurt his performance, because the jiu jitsu black belt could never secure top position or defend any takedowns when it mattered.
All three rounds looked much the same with the exception of the final seconds of the third round where Franca landed a stinging knee that opened up the nose of Edgar, but it was too little too late. In the end, Edgar won a unanimous decision with scores of 30-27 three times over and gets himself back in the mix in a thickly saturated and exciting UFC lightweight division.
Cain Valasquez over Jake OBrian
Both Jake OBrian and Cain Valasquez engaged right off the bell and it was Valasquez who was able to secure the crucifix position in the early goings of the first stanza. Valasquez trapped both of OBrians arms off a scramble, and dropped right hands onto the face of his opponent until referee Steve Mazagatti stepped in and stopped the fight at 2:02 of the first round, to give Valasquez the impressive victory. "I got his armed clamped, got my ground and pound, he said to Rogan after the fight. Valasquez looked extremely impressive and could be on the fast track in an extremely thin UFC heavyweight division. The division is in dire need of young talent and Valasquez could be just the up-and-comer that the UFC needs to help build a fading division.
Kevin Burns over Anthony Johnson
Kevin Burns defeated Anthony Johnson in a controversial fight with a bitter finish. In the early goings, the smaller Burns was content to exchange with the hard hitting Anthony Johnson making a great account of himself in the early goings against the superior striking of Anthony Johnson.
Throughout most of the bout Johnson was able to get the better of the exchanges on the feet, however Burns never backed down and it was Johnson who went to for several hard takedowns that Burns didnt even attempt to stop. From the top it was clear that Johnson was unable to turn the position into effective offense, but with his stand up and takedowns, it appeared that he was on his way to a victory over the surprisingly game Burns. It was not to be.
In the third round, Burns threw a pawing open hand strike that saw his fingers gouge the right eye of Johnson and followed up with a right uppercut that missed. Johnson screamed and fell back clutching his face and when the dust settled Kevin Burns defeated Johnson by TKO. Despite Burns errant fingers that poked the eyes of Johnson on more than one occasion, he was surprisingly declared the winner via TKO at 3:35 of the third round.
Burns was apologetic after the fight telling Joe Rogan the reason he kept throwing the open left hand was becauseI broke it [my hand] 3 times in 16 months I had no other choice. Despite both Johnson and Burns showing great class after the bout, winning with an eye gouge looks bad for the UFC and is reminiscent of Frank Trigg defeating Dennis Hallman with a kick to the groin in the WFA. You would have to think that the UFC would be interested in putting this fight together again as the ending was a squalid finish to a bout that fans will surely be unsatisfied with.
Jesse Taylor vs. CB Dollaway
CB Dollaway was impressive in his bout against Jesse Taylor using his superior wrestling to stuff the takedowns and defeat Taylor for the second time, this time in an MMA bout. Taylor worked for the takedown right from the outset but was stuffed at all turns by the former Arizona State wrestler who had defeated him in a wrestling match in the past. Dollaway was a step ahead of Taylor in all aspects of the fight game mounting Taylor, and taking his back before capitalizing off an errant punch to get back to his feet and pull off one of the most impressive submissions since Nick Diaz secured a Gogoplata over Takanori Gomi in Pride.
In Preliminary action
Tim Credeur defeated Cale Yarbrough TKO 1:54 rd 1
Rory Markhan defeated Brodie Farber via Head Kick 1:37 rd 1
In an entertaining fight former IFL champion and UFC newcomer Rory Markham showed off an iron chin taking numerous hard shots from Brodie Farber before landing a head kick that will live on in UFC highlight reels for the rest of time. Markham countered a missed right hand with a high kick that tombstoned Farber whose hands immediately fell to his side upon impact, and gave Markham the most impressive UFC debut KO in a long time.