It was very close to an all Brazilian sweep at UFC 134 in Rio this past Saturday night. If Luiz Cane would have successfully finished Stanislav Nedkov it would have happened. Not difficult to do when all the fights except for one were featuring at least one Brazilian fighter though. Rio showed why Brazil is one of the best places to take a MMA event as good as the UFC. The entire event was loud and the UFC performed as expected.

Anderson Silva Toys with Okami, Decides to Just Finish Him in Second

The Fight…

There is not much else to say other than Anderson is the greatest fighter of all time. Forget the Legend of Fedor, forget GSP for the moment. Anderson Silva continues to prove he is the most amazing mixed martial artist to ever grace us with his presence. He is the Bruce Lee of MMA. OK enough Silva love, but seriously. He played games with Okami after a 1 round feeling out period. Okami looked completely lost after controlling most of the first round. Silva caught him with a kick then and that’s when he played Muhammad Ali until he had enough and decided to finish him early in the 2nd.

Going Forward…

Anderson Silva – I honestly do not know what to do with Anderson Silva anymore. A fight with GSP would be amazing but that puts the Welterweight division on hold if it happens. I think GSP should face Condit after Diaz, assuming he gets past BJ Penn. The Middleweights need time to build back up before someone challenges for Silva’s title again. A Jon Jones and Silva fight would be good but if Jones gets past Rampage I think Rashad should get his chance. So if it were up to me I want to see a Anderson Silva vs. Shogun Rua super fight!

Yushin Okami – Yushin’s defense style will never be very effective against fighters like Silva. I knew it would be difficult for him to emulate Chael Sonnen’s performance but if he was able to take Silva down I don’t think he would have ever been caught in a submission. If Okami wants another chance he is going to have to take on some top guys over his next few fights. Damien Maia or Vitor would pose some interesting challenges for him.

Shogun Finishes Forrest in the First Round

The Fight…

This fight went exactly how I expected. Shogun was quicker then Forrest on every strike and eventually he hit him hard enough. Forrest could not catch him and Rua capitalized on an early opportunity to finish the fight in the first round.

Going Forward…

Mauricio Rua – Shogun showed us why he was a champion not too long ago. He dominated Forrest Griffin and is right back on track to get another shot at the belt. I believe he needs at least one more fight before we start making it official though. There are a lot of options here too. Shogun could challenge Rashad, Tito, or maybe even Phil Davis in the not too distant future. I think Davis would be a good challenge for him before he attempts to face Jon Jones again.

Forrest Griffin – Forrest took another pounding, this time at the hands of Shogun. His speed is starting to hurt him against some of the top guys in his division and it makes you wonder if he should go the Alistair Overeem route and begin to bulk up and join the Heavyweights. If not he can always help headline a card against any UFC vet at 205. I personally like seeing Forrest take on the veterans and legends of the sport.  Maybe a fight with The Janitor or Little Nog could be in his future.

Edson Barboza Takes Split Decision over Ross Pearson

The Fight…

Barboza and Ross decided to trade strikes from the start of this fight. Unfortunately for Ross, Edson was the better man tonight. Barboza used his superior muay thai to outpoint Pearson in a close fight. Pearson pressed the action but Barboza countered beautifully throughout the match. He did hurt Pearson one time but Ross showed his toughness and bounced right back up. That may have been all Edson needed to seal the deal in his home country.

Going Forward…

Edson Barboza – Edson has showed some amazing abilities over his first three UFC fights. He is 3-0 now and 9-0 over his career. This most recent win is going to put his name in with some more dangerous fighters soon. A fight against Jakob Volkmann could be a good test for him or they can give him the winner of Evan Dunham/Shamar Bailey before stepping up his competition to a higher level.

Ross Pearson – Pearson lost a close fight and needs to get back on track in the UFC. He should not at all be in risk of losing his job but a good showing in his next fight will keep him in good faith with the company. A matchup with fellow contender Danny Castillo could be an interesting fight.

Big Knockout for Big Nog

The Fight…

Nogueira looked like he was back in Pride form, showing he can still take punishment as well as dish it out. He used a big right hand to finish the fight early in the first round. I give Brendan Schaub credit; he looked great in this fight. Really being effective with his jab and using an uppercut to rock Big Nog twice. I thought he was going to take the fight until that right hand landed.

Going Forward…

Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira – This win puts Big Nog right back in the mix with the top Heavyweights in the UFC. He is getting older and it may be his last chance to make a serious run for the title but the man will never give up and that is what gives him a chance to do it. Nogueira has a lot of options in front of him. We know he wants a rematch with Frank Mir or he could take a fight with Brock Lesner.
Brendan Schaub – This loss does not hurt Schaub as much as some might think. This fight proved he was not ready to step up just yet. 1 or 2 more fights should really show us what he is all about. I think a good fight for him would be against the winner of Big Ben and Mark Hunt.

Nedkov Keeps Fighting, KO’s Luiz Cane in Debut

The Fight…

Cane looked good using his size early in the fight. Midway through the first round he hurt Nedkov but did not take full advantage of the injured fighter and let him stand up. That was the only mistake Stanislav needed as he immediately returned fire and hit Cane with a punch that hurt him. Nedkov swarmed and the fight was called.

Going Forward…

Stanislav Nedkov – Nedkov continues to surprise everyone he faces. Hopefully his injuries are finally behind him and he is ready to make a run in the UFC Light Heavyweight division. He is a very well rounded fighter and should continue to be involved in great fights in the future. A match up on Fox could be in his future, maybe against Alexander Gustafsson or Ronny Markes.

Luiz Cane – Cane may not have a future in the UFC come Monday. This is his third loss in his last four fights and all of them have been by (T)KO. Cane has potential and maybe a move to Strikeforce will help him get his career back on track. If the UFC keeps him, he could be put in the cage with any other upcoming 205’er. Maybe he gets the winner of James Te Huna and Ricardo Romero.

Prelim Fights

Thiago Tavares finished the very tough Spencer Fisher in the 2nd round by TKO. Both men were in need of a victory here and Tavares was the better man tonight. Fisher has not been finished since 2007 but it may not be enough for him to continue fighting in the UFC.

Rousimar Palhares and Dan Miller had a war with a wild first round. Tree Stump dropped Miller with a leg kick and swarmed him with punches. Referee Herb Dean stepped in for a closer look and Palhares walked away with his hands raised as if he won. Dean never stopped the fight though. After getting Rousimar down from the top of the cage the fight was restarted with 30 seconds left and Miller dropped Tree Stump almost knocking him unconscious. However, Palhares survived and went on to dominate the 2nd round and hold off for a victory.

Paulo Thiago got back to his winning ways with a dominant win over David Mitchell. Thiago looked like a brand new fighter and we should see him soon against a tougher opponent. Mitchell’s days in the UFC may be numbered as he is now 0-2 in the promotion.

Raphael Assuncao took the fight to Johnny Eduardo and earned himself a unanimous decision victory. This was Raphael’s first UfC win and should get him another fight in the near future. I would like to see Eduardo against a striker if the UFc gives him another chance.

Erick Silva debuted with a knockout over Luis Ramos. It was a very quick fight as a big right hand put Ramos down quick. Silva looks to be an exciting prospect for the 170 lbs. division.

Yuri Alcantara took home a victory against a tough young fighter in Felipe Arantes via unanimous decision. I was surprised that Arantes stayed in the fight as much as he did, I thought Alcantara would run through him. Both fighters should return to the octagon again.

Yves Jabouin defeated Ian Loveland by split decision though it should have been unanimous. One of the judges scored it 30-27 when Loveland clearly lost rounds two and three. Not sure who the UFC was using in Rio but they may need to make a change next time. Either way Yves used a variety of body shots and kept the fight on his feet to earn the victory.

Predicition Results Tally:

Joe – 9-3
Rob – 6-6