Vitor Belfort vs. Anderson Silva ended like most thought with the Spider as the big UFC 126 winner in his 8th successful title defence. Belfort was no match for Silva who looked for a big win coming off a near defeat against Chael Sonnen.
Silva knocked out Belfort in Round 1 after the first flurry of action. A kick to the face put Belfort on the ground and the referee stopped the fight shortly thereafter. It was short work for Silva and another dominant performance by the champion. The knockout was spectacular and as quick as you’ll ever see in MMA.
The UFC middleweight champion proved that whether it was due to Sonnen’s PED advantage, a rib injury, or just overlooking his last challenger, that his last performance may have been more fluke than a sign the champion is on the decline. Silva never looked better and there is no doubt whether undeserving or not, that Vitor Belfort was hardly a tomato can.
The UFC champion was uncharacteristically flamboyant leading up to the Anderson Silva vs. Vitor Belfort UFC 126 fight. Silva is usually pretty laid back and doesn’t get involved in the trash talking or WWE type stuff before fights. However, Silva put on some kind of a white Phantom of the Opera mask at the weigh-ins and got in Vitor Belfort’s face. Thanks to Belfort we were reminded of how nice of a guy that Silva is and how this was just promotion. I’m sure Dana loved that. There is a rumour of a beef between the two Brazilian fighters that dates back a few years, yet nobody has talked openly about it.
The win now puts MMA fans one step closer to seeing arguably the greatest fight in MMA history, well at least on paper. UFC president Dana White announced recently that if Silva could beat Belfort and UFC welterweight champion Georges St. Pierre wins vs. Jake Sheilds at UFC 129, he would make the highly anticipated Georges St. Pierre vs. Anderson Silva Dream Fight. While nothing is ever a given in the UFC, a loss against Jake Shields seems highly unlikely for the unstoppable GSP.
Belfort is now the eighth victim to fall to the world champion. Silva is now 8-0 in UFC middleweight title defenses. In eight of those fights, Silva was only in any real danger in one although he lost a round against Dan Henderson. Silva is a very polarising fighter as evident by the reaction he gets from MMA fans for past performances, but there is no denying his greatness. With Belfort out of the picture there is really nobody in the middleweight division that matches up well against Silva. That is why the Silva vs. GSP fight may be his biggest test and the fight that earns him the honour of the greatest MMA fighter of all time.
As much as the UFC and Dana White would have liked us to believe that Vitor Belfort would challenge Silva, I never bought it. White said in an interview almost two years ago before Belfort was under contract that he felt Belfort would be Silva’s biggest challenge. It could have been the long layoff but the former UFC champion never seemed to have the current champion in any trouble. Belfort still has the tools to become UFC middleweight champion. Unfortunately that won’t happen as long as the Spider is hanging around the division.
Silva recently came off a six month layoff himself. It will be interesting to see what the Spider’s next move will be. If the plan really is an Anderson Silva vs. GSP Super Fight at 185 then that would likely shelve Silva until December at the earliest. Silva has fought at least twice a year since winning the title in 2006. The other option would be a Silva vs. Sonnen rematch but that would be risky business considering how close Sonnen came to beating the Spider. With as good as Silva looked tonight, convincing him to lay dormant for 10-twelve months may be a tough sell for Dana White and Joe Silva.
In huge news; Jon Jones defeated Ryan Bader after dominating him for two rounds. Following the fight Joe Rogan announced that Rashad Evans has blown out his knee and pulled out of his scheduled fight against Shogun Rua for the UFC light heavyweight title. Rogan announced that now Jones will get the shot setting up Mauricio Shogun Rua vs. Jon Jones for the UFC light heavyweight title. The place erupted with the news. This will be huge and after yet another dominating performance by Bones Jones, the hype for Jones’ first UFC title shot should do blockbuster business.
Shogun vs. Evans was scheduled for UFC 128 on March 19. That is a ridiculously short time for Jones to get ready for such a big fight. Jones vs. Shogun will go down on March 19 which gives Jones shortly a month to get ready for his first ever five round fight. Preparing for his first five rounder with only five weeks turnaround time could be the difference here.
That is going to be huge!
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