UFC Fight NIght 14: "Silva vs. Irvin" sure did end with a bang on Saturday night.
Anderson Silva, making his light heavyweight debut, took just over a minute to dismantle James "The Sandman" Irvin. "The Spider" landed a perfectly placed overhand right to counter a kick by Irvin. Irvin was dropped immediately and had no chance to recover against a finisher the caliber of the Brazilian.
If there were any doubts before on whether he was too small for light heavyweight, those have been put to rest. Silva looked huge at 205 pounds. And Irvin was supposed to be the bigger and stronger guy, but that wasn't the case. It was clear Silva was bigger right from the opening stare down.
One of the other main concerns coming into this fight for Silva was if he would be slower at the heavier weight. From what I saw, if anything, he was faster. James Irvin isn't the best fighter in the world by any means, but he's a very tough guy that hits hard and strikes fast.
Silva beat him to every punch and just completely dominated him. That kind of size and speed is so scary. There's no doubt in my mind that this guy could hold any belt he wanted to.
He continues to impress every time out, and in my opinion, he is the best fighter pound for pound on the planet. Fedor Emelianenko was more than impressive tonight as well, but Anderson Silva's name belongs right there next to his.
They're the two best fighters in the world and there isn't much doubt about it. For me, Fedor vs. The Spider will be taking over as the fight I'd like to see most ... even though that probably won't ever happen. I can't even call them number one and number two. Calling either of these guys number two would be an insult.
Brandon Vera also made his debut at light heavyweight. He was expected to walk right through Reese Andy, but the IFL veteran proved to be formidable. He took a lot of punishment from Vera and kept coming forward.
By the third round both guys were gassed. Maybe it had something to do with the weight cut for Vera, but he came in weighing under the 205 limit and looked like he was in great shape. I think it was just a tougher fight than he expected. Light heavyweight is a great weight class for him.
Despite not getting the finish, I was still impressed. His Muay Thai was crisp throughout the fight. He tied Andy up multiple times with that clinch and landed numerous damaging knees. He also landed some nasty body kicks -- a couple of which put Andy on the mat.
He didn't get the knockout, but he got the win. And there are some very intriguing match ups out there for him at 205 pounds.
Frankie Edgar got back to business after losing to Gray Maynard a few months ago. He took Hermes Franca down time and time again and controlled most of the fight en route to earning a unanimous decision.
His gameplan was identical to the one he used against Spencer Fisher in victory. Frank Edgar is a top lightweight in the UFC. What that says about Gray Maynard, I don't know, but Frank Edgar can scrap with anybody.
CB Dollaway slapped what Joe Rogan referred to as a "Peruvian Necktie" on Jesse Taylor in the first round of their fight. I'm sure it will win submission of the night (it did). It was nasty and came out of nowhere when it seemed like Jesse had a good position.
CB needed to prove he was at least the second best fighter to come from this season of "The Ultimate Fighter," and I think he did that.
The welterweight match between Anthony "Rumble" Johnson and Kevin Burns ended with some controversy. Near the end of the back and forth war, Johnson took a nasty finger to the eye. It looked at first like Burns connected on a big uppercut that knocked Johnson out, but replays showed the eye rake, and the whiff on the follow up uppercut.
In all fairness to Burns -- because he fought great -- Anthony Johnson was robbed.
In the last main card fight, Cain Velesquez made short work of Jake O'Brien. He trapped his arms and landed numerous unanswered strikes. Once the ref knew O'Brien had no chance to get out, he had to stop the fight. He remains undefeated (4-0) now with two wins in the UFC.
O'Brien was known as one of the tougher heavyweights after beating Heath Herring last year, but this is two losses in a row for him. He'll need to step up his game to keep his job in the UFC.
All in all this was a solid event for the UFC, capped off by another legendary performance from Anderson Silva. They put this card together on short notice, and I didn't mind missing the Affliction card for it. Of course, I was able to catch the Affliction main event right after the UFC and am on my way to watch the rest right after I submit this. Plus DREAM 5 tomorrow night.
What a weekend.
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