I was sitting at home enjoying some ghetto caipirinhas (rum, lime club soda, lime fla-vor ice popsicle) getting psyched on the fights. Well as the story goes one ghetto caipirinha became two and two became eight and that's how I ended up drunk. I'm still kinda drunk but that's neither here nor there. As I do with every event let's take a look at the biggest winners and losers on the night.
Anderson SIlva - This was his coming out party in Brazil. While American fans assume that he's been a star since triangle choking Chael Sonnen, the reality is that until front kicking Vitor Belfort, no one in Brazil knew who he was. The Belfort fight made him a star in his home country. Last night was when he became a megastar. I really don't see anyone at 185 that can defeat him, despite what Ken Pavia thinks (seriously Hector Lombard and Alexander Schlemnko?). I think he needs to become a super hero. Or start fighting two people at once.
Mauricio Rua - I doubted you Shogun. I'm sorry. I won't do that again. I honestly believed that a few Forrest Griffin leg kicks would damage Rua's knees enough that it would be like fighting a gimp. That's obviously not what happened. The combinations were crisp and with power. Power that Forrest really doesn't ever like feeling. The ending looked like Griffin's first and title defense against Rashad Evans where he first flailed around and then went fetal. I still doubt that Shogun is long for the sport but he was at least a winner last night.
Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira - I need to apologize to you as well. I thought you came in out of shape for the fight and when it started, I was sure that I was right. Then you took multiple upper cuts and hooks to the chin and kept plodding forward, stalking Schaub. I've never viewed you as a power puncher but you had Brendan out on his feet and then out with his face down and butt in the air. I still don't want to see you continue fighting. You're a legend in the sport and it's rare for men with your resume to go out on a win on the biggest stage of their career. Please retire. You've earned it.
Rio Fans - HOLY SHIT WAS THAT CROWD HOT LAST NIGHT! I've been to the Bruce Springsteen shows to close old Giants Stadium, I've been to the World Series in Boston in 2004, I've been to World Cup games. Last night's crowd was comparable to all of those. That was perhaps the best fight atmosphere in MMA ever with the crowd constantly singing, chanting, and stomping the whole entire time. There's no doubt that the Brazilian fans love this sport and that the UFC will be returning. Take note rest of the world, Brazil has the best fans.
The UFC - I think you found your new destination for foreign cards. That was ridiculous and I have no doubt that you can fill a football (soccer) stadium the next time you head to Brazil.
Losers and other thoughts after the jump...
Yushin Okami - So much for seizing the opportunity huh? It took you so long to get to a title shot and you squandered it by just watching a fighter with his hands at his waist. I don't know what happened but that was a god-awful performance in a title fight. Getting dropped by a jab probably didn't feel good either. Guess we'll never have a Japanese champion in the UFC.
Forrest Griffin - Whatever man. You said in your pre-fight blog that you were having trouble getting motivated to get to the gym to train for this fight. When you're an average athlete, you can't take short cuts and last night proved why. Congrats on the new addition to your family. I'm pretty sure last night was the last time we'll see you in the UFC. If you return it'll be like Stephan Bonnar who is semi-retired.
Brendan Schaub - So much for that title shot and being the "legend" killer. You didn't look bad but your striking defense wasn't up to snuff. For the rest of your career you'll have to defend yourself from those that will claim you have a weak chin. Probably a good time to start learning head movement while you're still young in the sport.
Mario Yamasaki and Marc Goddard - WTF fellas? Those stand ups were ridiculous and you know it. Don't do that again because you made yourself part of the fight which shouldn't ever happen. Hell I don't even think that the Maz has ever done that. And he's the Maz.
- I'd say the loss did more to advance Ross Pearson's career than any of his wins inside the UFC. He looked fantastic and pressed the action against a fighter who many felt would steamroll him. Edson Barboza looks great as always but this was a fight where they both came out winners.
- LOL at Rousimar Palhares. Celebrating a win before you've won is definitely the greatest moment in MMA. The sitting on the top of the fence was clutch with Dan Miller standing next to you trying to pull you down. Would have been even more hilarious if you got knocked out afterwards. You didn't and you won a decision. Nice improvements to your stand up by the way.
- Luis Cane got punched in the face and then threw a flying kick to the fence. I'm pretty sure he had no idea where he was at that point and just wanted out. I don't know what you're supposed to do with the guy at this point since he obviously has skills, it just so happens that defense isn't one of them.
- Seriously, that crowd. Awesome.