Silva, Rua get their vengeance

NEIL SPRINGER, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 4:00 PM ET

Anderson Silva avenged his loss to Yushin Okami in the main event of UFC 134 Saturday, stopping the Japanese middleweight with strikes in the second round.

Things started out well for Okami, who managed to grind away at the champion during the early going. But it all fell apart in the second round. Silva came alive right off the bat, exploding with clean combos. Moments later, he dropped his hands, completely disrespecting Okami’s striking.

Having already knocked Okami down once with a straight-right, Silva rocked him with a right-hook and unloaded with punches, elbows and knees on the ground for the TKO victory.

“I’m training hard for my team ... for all the guys,” Silva said following the fight. “I’m here to fight. I’m so happy.”

It took four years, but Mauricio (Shogun) Rua got his revenge against Forrest Griffin.

Rua looked in tremendous shape, blasting Griffin with hard punches during their co-main event fight. After getting wobbled with a right hook behind the ear, Griffin attempted a desperation takedown. However, Rua flattened him out and unloaded with hammer-fists for the knockout victory.

“I trained hard every day for this fight,” Rua said after the fight. “Thank you, Brazil!”

After dispatching Griffin in such impressive fashion, Rua is now likely one win away from a shot at the light-heavyweight championship.

Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira proved he still has it, knocking out Brendan Schaub with a flurry of punches in the first round at UFC 134 Saturday.

The MMA legend survived a couple close calls after getting wobbled early by Schaub. However, Nogueira managed to keep pressing forward, eventually hurting Schaub with a stiff straight-right against the fence. He then followed up with a nasty left hook to knock Schaub out cold.

“I had just three and a half months to train for that fight,” an excited Nogueira said. “I had an injury, in my knee ... but I sacrificed (rehab) so I could fight in Brazil.”

Many critics — including myself — felt Nogueira was at the end of rope and outmatched by the younger, stronger Schaub. It just goes to show you can never count him out.

In a completely bizarre moment during the prelims, Brazilian middleweight Rousimar Palhares dropped Dan Miller with a vicious head kick, unloaded with a series of punches and then walked away with his arms up in victory.

The only problem is referee Herb Dean never stopped the fight.

Dean then literally had to pull Palhares off the octagon wall mid-celebration and force him to continue fighting. Once they restarted, Miller knocked him down with a straight-left, but Palhares recovered and delivered a big takedown as time ran out in the first round.

Luckily for Palhares, he didn’t let the incident bring him down and mauled Miller with vicious ground-and-pound, bloodying the New Jersey native in the second. Things then slowed considerably in the final stanza, as both men were visibly exhausted from such a high-octane battle, but it was enough for Palhares to walk away with an impressive unanimous decision victory..

“It was a very tough fight,” Palhares said, refusing to comment on the false finish. “He was tough the whole way, but thank God I won this fight.”

This isn’t the first time Palhares has acted oddly during a fight. After failing on a leg-lock attempt against Nate Marquardt last September, Palhares stopped to protest, claiming his opponent had greased his legs with Vaseline.

However, in doing so, he took his eyes off Marquardt, leaving himself open for a knockout shot on the mat.

Edson Barboza won a close split-decision against Ross Pearson in a stand-up war.

Pearson came out aggressively, getting right inside Barboza’s range to work his boxing. Barboza responded by staying light on his feet and utilizing sharp counter-striking to edge Pearson on the judges scorecards.

Undefeated Stanislav Nedkov scored a huge upset, earning a TKO victory over dangerous striker Luiz Cane.

For much of the fight, Nedkov was on the receiving end of stiff punches from Cane. However, he eventually found a home for his wild overhand right and followed up with a left to the temple. After a few more punches on the ground, it was academic.

Thiago Tavares put on the most impressive performance of his career, stopping Spencer Fisher with strikes in the second round.

Tavares wasted no time in taking Fisher to the ground, chipping away with punches. After securing back control, Tavares unloaded with more shots for the TKO victory.

Paulo Thiago got back in the win column, taking an impressive unanimous decision over David Mitchell.

Thiago appeared one step ahead throughout the fight, displaying some improved counter-striking and keeping Mitchell out of his comfort zone.

Whenever Mitchell threw a shot Thiago either punished him or ducked under for a clean takedown. After 15 minutes of fighting, the judges awarded Thiago the clean sweep.

Montreal’s Yves Jabouin earned his first UFC victory, snagging a close split-decision over Ian Loveland in his bantanweight debut.

Though Loveland came out aggressive in the early going, Jabouin’s superior striking made all the difference, as he wobbled Loveland with a big overhand right and consistently found a home for his spinning backfist.


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