video review : Dominick Cruz versus Cody Garbrandt at UFC 207

video review : Dominick Cruz versus Cody Garbrandt at UFC 207

Dominick Cruz is the better trash talker; the lead-up to this fight was even more entertaining than the fight itself; but Cody Garbrandt gets the last laugh, sometimes literally as he mocks his opponent for nearly the entire bout, displaying some slick dance moves in the process. Rounds 3 and 4 are especially tough for the now former Bantamweight Champion, who’s knocked down and nearly out more than once.

my rating : 4 of 5

2016

video review : Amanda Nunes versus Ronda Rousey at UFC 207

video review : Amanda Nunes versus Ronda Rousey at UFC 207

I really wanted Ronda Rousey to win this fight. It could’ve made for a spectacular comeback story. In hindsight, I don’t know what she could’ve done to make that happen. Armbars are out when you lock-up to take your opponent down and she pushes you off like you’re nothing amid a flurry of face punches, which, for Rousey, probably evokes a dreadful sense of déjà vu from the Holly Holm loss.

This one is worse though as she’s beaten wobbly and nearly senseless in less than a minute. Why is an interesting question. Boxing was never Rousey’s strong suit; I remember Miesha Tate piecing her up in their bout; but it looks like she no longer belongs in The Octagon. Then again, Amanda Nunes is a beast, as was Holm. The competition is on another level and the torch, as they say, has been passed.

my rating : 3 of 5

2016

video review : Anderson Silva versus Demian Maia at UFC 112

video review : Anderson Silva versus Demian Maia at UFC 112

Demian Maia is simply outclassed here. His one technical advantage would be his jiu-jitsu on the ground, but, as much as he tries, he can’t manage to get Anderson Silva down. That should mean another quick KO for the champion and the fight looks like it’s going that way for the first couple of rounds as Silva entertains the crowd with his “confidence-crushing clowning”, but he stops mid-bout.

With that, the fourth round becomes a dance-off as the two fighters move around The Octagon basically doing a lot of nothing. Round 5 isn’t much better, though a one-eyed Maia does commit to an early flurry of strikes near the beginning. The crowd, the commentators, the ref and even Silva himself seem to blame Silva for the weird and lackluster bout, but I’d also put some of that blame on his opponent.

my rating : 2 of 5

2010

video review : Anderson Silva versus Forrest Griffin at UFC 101

video review : Anderson Silva versus Forrest Griffin at UFC 101

This is not only “one of the most embarrassing knockouts I think we’ve ever seen,” it’s also one of the funniest. Forrest Griffin looks like he’s goofing around when he falls down for the third time from a paw punch that looks like it’s “not even a very hard one”.

I don’t know if what happens in this short bout; it ends in the first round; has more to do with Forrest Griffin having a bad day or Anderson Silva being arguably the best (pound-for-pound) fighter in The UFC, but both factors seem to be at play.

my rating : 4 of 5

2009

video review : Jon Jones versus Alexander Gustafsson at UFC 165

video review : Jon Jones versus Alexander Gustafsson at UFC 165

“We recently saw Anderson Silva defeated by Chris Weidman,” Mike Goldberg reminds us after Joe Rogan suggests Alexander Gustafsson could win this fight if he catches Jon Jones “flat-footed”. Jones is more cautious than Silva though; he doesn’t play games in The Octagon; and he “can take a shot”.

He takes more here than any of his previous bouts. He’s even taken down for the first time. It seems Gustafsson is easily his toughest opponent yet. By the end, the Champion does manage to do enough to win via unanimous decision, but it’s a close fight. “One of the best of all time”? Perhaps.

my rating : 4 of 5

2013

video review : Anderson Silva versus Vitor Belfort at UFC 126

video review : Anderson Silva versus Vitor Belfort at UFC 126

Two leg kicks is the only action for almost the first three minutes of this bout. That’s probably because both Anderson Silva and Vitor Belfort know they can get knocked out at a moment’s notice, especially Silva. Vitor Belfort is on a three-fight knockout streak.

He finally gets it going by, as Joe Rogan phrases it, tagging Silva with a left and the fight doesn’t last long from there. Silva, who displays outstanding head movement while dodging Belfort’s signature flurry, knocks him out with a front kick to the face. “Wow!”

my rating : 4 of 5

2011

video review : Anderson Silva versus Chael Sonnen at UFC 117

video review : Anderson Silva versus Chael Sonnen at UFC 117

Chael Sonnen dominates Anderson Silva for nearly this entire bout. “Is it too early for Chael to start celebrating,” Joe Rogans asks rather rhetorically after the wrestler scores yet another takedown near the start of the fifth and final round. At that point, a victory seems inevitable.

“You know what; you could never count out a guy like Anderson Silva,” the commentator ponders as Sonnen continues to win the fight, “Let’s see how much he’s got left; what kind of weapons he can pull out of his arsenal.” Those are words that, in hindsight, would stand among Rogan’s wisest.

What Silva pulls out is a triangle (“Triangle!”) choke with just two minutes left on the clock. Sonnen struggles to free himself but eventually taps; it takes a video replay to confirm it; which must be devastating for him. Silva, now 12 and 0, remains champ by the slimest of margins.

my rating : 4 of 5

2010

video review : Anderson Silva versus Chael Sonnen at UFC 148

video review : Anderson Silva versus Yushin Okami at UFC 134

video review : Anderson Silva versus Yushin Okami at UFC 134

Yushin Okami, who reportedly claimed he would beat Anderson Silva up during the build-up to this fight, looks to be an about event match for the champion during the first round. That all changes in the second when Silva begins to, as Mike Goldberg puts it, push the pace.

There’s a moment reminiscent of Silva’s comical slaughter of Forest Griffin as The Spider enters The Matrix. His head movement is “sick”, his punches, which don’t look like much, are accurate and powerful enough to floor Okami, who looks completely overwhelmed, terrified even.

my rating : 4 of 5

2011

video review : Anderson Silva versus Nick Diaz at UFC 183

video review : Anderson Silva versus Nick Diaz at UFC 183

Anderson Silva seems tentative and a little rusty here. What he does after his decision victory is announced; fall down and cry like a baby; suggests it’s because he’s nervous returning to The Octagon for the first time since getting his leg snapped in two by Chris Weidman.

Whatever the case, this fight starts off close and stays that way until the later rounds when Nick Diaz, who’s been taunting Silva much to the amusement of Joe Rogan; I think it just makes him look silly; seems to tire. That’s when Silva starts “loosening up” and taking over.

my rating : 3 of 5

2015