I was hoping Anderson Silva would win this and I figured he would, but what a pleasant surprise. It’s The Spider’s first knockout; non-TKO knockout; since obliterating Vitor Belfort; a main eventer at this very Fight Club; a decade ago. That it happens in the very first round is icing on the cake.
Silva is one of the best UFC fighters of all time; guest commentator Donald Trump is one of the best US presidents; but it’s hard to say what’s more at play between his boxing skills and Tito Ortiz’s lack thereof. It’s Ortiz’s defense that fails him as Silva lands a right to his glass chin.
my rating : 3 of 5
Despite Jake Paul, this has got to be one of the best events in the history of The UFC. Every bout on the main card ends early either shockingly or spectacularly. The first two are TKOs in the loosest sense. Anthony Smith continues the trend of leg kick finishes after a doctor steps in to give an injured Jimmy Crute the MMA equivalent of a sobriety test, which he fails. Uriah Hall, in a surreality destined to be a viral sensation, breaks Chris Weidman’s leg the same way he (Weidman) broke Anderson Silva’s.
Jéssica Andrade’s loss to Valentina Shevchenko, a traditional TKO by strikes, serves as a bit of an intermission as its the one fight that ends as expected. Then, just when you think you can breathe again, Rose Namajunas shocks the world by knocking out Weili Zhang with a first-round head kick; the aftermath of which provides the most endearing moment of the night. “I’m the best,” Namajunas chants just before becoming champion and weeping with the belt around her waist. Joe Rogan apparently cries too.
The main event was unwarranted; Jorge Masvidal didn’t deserve another title shot and I figured he’d lose again, even with a full training camp; but Kamaru Usman delivers a surprisingly impressive finish by knocking him out with a punch to the jaw. If you hadn’t been putting respect on Usman’s name up to this point; the crowd boos not only him but also Weili Zhang on their way to The Octagon; it’s about time you start. The Nigerian fighter is on his way to becoming, much like this UFC event, one of the best ever.
my rating : 4 of 5