The country’s first event in 13 years was a good one. Losses were avenged, reputations damaged and solidified, and a homophobic gargoyle pulled the big upset of the night.
UFC 134 meant a lot for the evolution of the sport and for the country of Brazil. But who were the night's biggest winners?
Big night for Big Nogs
Antonio “Stay There Grappling” Nogueira pulled the big upset of the night in front of his home crowd when he knocked out Brendan Schaub.
Nogs hadn’t had a knockout since 2005 and rarely ever finishes in the first round, so this was an upset in more ways than one.
It will be interesting to see what this means for both of these fighters. I am not sure if Nogs has another title run in him or not, but it was cool to see him win in front of that insane crowd.
Schaub took a big step backwards, and much like Forrest Griffin, looked like he never really got off the plane.
Is the Shogun back?
Most of the guys who lose to Jon Jones never fully recover, so I was curious to see how Shogun would bounce back after Jones tossed him around like a rag doll.
Griffin did a lot of pre-fight complaining about dropping weight, the flight, the food, and just about everything short of the hotel not having the right kind of pay-per-view porn.
It almost seemed like he was making excuses for losing beforehand.
He lived up to his own negative hype and got destroyed by Shogun. Griffin looked tight; his striking wasn’t fluid at all, and it didn’t take Shogun long to take advantage. He used Griffin’s head as a drum and beat out a nice song with a series of hammer fists.
This puts Shogun right back in the mix in the wild light heavyweight division.
Even though Okami got destroyed, it was still huge for Japanese MMA to have a fighter in such a high-profile title fight.
I am sure Okami would have liked to perform better for his Japanese fans, but it is no disgrace to lose to the GOAT.
Japan has had a rough year, so much that I actually found myself rooting against America in the women’s World Cup final.
Okami couldn’t pull off the miracle, but right now there are millions of Japanese kids imitating him and asking their parents to enroll them in martial arts classes. It won’t be long before we see a Japanese champion.
This fence offered more of a challenge than Okami
Silva’s dismantling of Okami was reminiscent of vintage Roy Jones Jr., a comparison I made in a recent article.
Like RJJ, Silva didn’t even have to keep his hands up, dodged punches like they were in slow motion, and used precision striking to make a professional fighter look helpless.
Enough is enough.
Watching Silva dominate the middleweight division is getting boring. Who is left for him to fight? Other than Sonnen, there really isn’t another compelling fight for Silva in the middleweight division.
This win will likely put more pressure on Silva to jump up to light heavyweight, where interesting fights with Rashad Evans and Jon Jones await.
I can say without a doubt that was the best UFC crowd ever.
They were into every kick, every punch, and seemed to propel the Brazilian fighters to better performances.
Does Nogs fight like that if they are in Milwaukee? I am not sure.
The crowd had plenty to cheer about as the Brazilians dominated the card, going 8-1, their only loss coming when Cane fell to Nedkov.
It’s not as if MMA needs to be advertised in Brazil, it is the birthplace of the sport, but tonight advertised Brazil to the rest of the world, and they didn’t disappoint.
I doubt it will be 13 years before we see another UFC event in Brazil, although I am sure Griffin and Schaub wouldn’t mind…