Watching eight straight fights end in judges' decisions would bore any crowd, even the notoriously respectful fans at Japan's Saitama Super Arena.
Thankfully, the lull that ensued between the first and 10th fights of the UFC on Fuel TV 8 came to a sudden halt when heavy-handed New Zealander Mark Hunt knocked out Stefan Struve.
Minutes later, Wanderlei Silva, a man who primarily made his bones fighting in Japan, put on a display of violence alongside opponent Brian Stann that was last seen in an MMA fight when Don Frye and Yoshihiro Takayama wildly slugged it out at Pride 21.
Following a feel-out process that lasted roughly 30 seconds, Silva and Stann fearlessly engaged in several chaotic exchanges in the first round, each man nearly losing consciousness in the process.
It became blatantly obvious early in the first round that neither Silva nor Stann intended to grapple or point fight. Both fighters unleashed several reckless combinations, each barrage as ferocious and entertaining as the last.
Then, late in the second round and in quintessential Silva fashion, "The Axe Murderer" landed a beautifully timed overhand right-left hook combination that flattened Stann and opened the floodgates for a vicious finish.
A fighter who's always thrived once he smells a hint of blood, Silva zeroed on the wounded Stann like a hungry lion and dropped four consecutive looping punches on "The All-American's" jawline to finish the job.
In a matter of minutes, the fans at the Saitama Super Arena morphed from sleepy onlookers to electrified spectators.
Half of the fighters who partook in the bouts that went to a judges' decision at UFC on Fuel TV 8 can say they walked away winners. But those fighters still can't ignore UFC president Dana White's propensity to cut boring fighters and keep ones of the exciting variety.
At night's end, it was difficult to tell whether or not fighters like Struve and Stann secured their spots on the UFC's roster with their valiant efforts in defeat.
One thing is certain, however: Fighters like Diego Sanchez and Yushin Okami, who each earned decision wins, must expect to move up the ladder at a much slower pace than guys like Hunt and Silva.
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