Penn, Silva silence critics

NEIL SPRINGER -- SLAM! Sports

, Last Updated: 12:40 PM ET

Redemption was on tap at UFC 101.

Going into the event, both lightweight champion B.J. Penn and middleweight titleholder Anderson Silva had come under fire for their most recent performances.

Penn (14-5-1) received the ire of fans and media outlets alike for the 'greasegate' controversy.

Following his lacklustre performance against Georges St. Pierre at UFC 94, Penn filed a formal complaint with the Nevada State Athletic Commission stating the Montreal native cheated by having his cornerman, Phil Nurse, apply Vaseline to his neck and shoulders between rounds in an attempt to make him slippery.

Silva (25-4-0), on the other hand, earned himself a chorus of "boos" for his dull performances against Patrick Cote and Thales Leites.

However, any criticisms about their respective fighting abilities were silenced at UFC 101.

PENN DOMINATES FLORIAN

In the main event, Penn submitted top lightweight Kenny Florian (11-4-0) with a rear-naked choke in the fourth round.

Florian's game plan was to get Penn to the mat or tire him out with constant takedowns. This backfired as the lightweight champion defended each attempt and dealt the only damaging blows in the stand-up exchanges.

With three rounds in the books, Penn still looked relatively fresh and Florian had yet to mount any significant offense. During the fourth stanza, Penn got a takedown of his own and wasted no time in securing the choke, earning himself a $60,000 'submission of the night' bonus.

Love him or hate him, Penn is still the top lightweight in the world and last night he proved why.

SILVA DESTROYS GRIFFIN

In the co-main event, Silva made an example of Forrest Griffin (16-6-0). To someone new to the UFC, it would have appeared that the former light-heavyweight champion had no business being in the same octagon.

For every punch Griffin threw, the middleweight titleholder simply kept his hands down and used superior head movement to avoid any contact.

The only thing Silva could have done to further embarrass him would have been to plant his palm on Griffin's forehead and watch him swing wildly in a desperate attempt to connect.

To add injury to insult, Silva dropped Griffin three times in the first round.

Early in the bout, Silva knocked him down with a hard right-hook, but Griffin managed to get back to his feet.

The second trip to the mat came moments later as a result of a left-straight. Silva attempted to finish him, but Griffin weathered the storm.

The end of the fight saw Griffin throw wild punches as he charged Silva. This left him open to a stiff right-jab that sent him tumbling to the ground and signaled the end of the fight.

In a repeat of his loss to Keith Jardine at UFC 66, Griffin bolted from the octagon and ran backstage immediately following the knockout.

The bout earned both Griffin and Silva $60,000 each for 'fight of the night,' an odd choice considering the bout was more of a beatdown than a proper match.

Silva also earned another $60,000 for 'knockout of the night.'

Silva's next bout will most likely be a middleweight title defense against Dan Henderson, who is hot off a knockout victory over Michael Bisping at UFC 100. The two fought once before at UFC 82, with Silva winning by second round submission.

HENDRICKS STUNS SADOLLAH

After two setbacks -- one as a result of a leg infection, the other from a broken clavicle -- The Ultimate Fighter season seven winner Amir Sadollah finally made his regular UFC debut.

However, in less than 30 seconds, Sadollah (1-1) was put away by four-time All American wrestler Johny Hendricks (6-0).

Sadollah's striking looked crisp in the early going, but he walked into a big left-hook while charging forward. Hendricks then delivered a couple stiff uppercuts, sending Sadollah to the mat. He followed up with a flurry of punches before referee Dan Miragliotta stepped in to stop the fight.


Videos

Photos