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Posted on September 2, 2011 by John Petit
What We Didn’t See
Just to set up the scene, we had Brazilian Jiu Jitsu royalty all over the stadium, the Octagon returning to the land where BJJ and Vale Tudo fighting were invented, and we had a stacked card with more jiu jitsu black belts than a Gracie family reunion. Even UFC Hall Of Famer Royce Gracie, who submitted his way through UFC 1 to win the event, was cage side, However, in 11 fights with five finishes, we did not have a submission finish. A fighter would have earned himself a cool 100 thousand dollars if he could have landed even a bulldog choke, but the bonus check went uncashed on Saturday night.
The Break Down Numbers
UFC Middleweight Champion Anderson Silva framed up UFC 134 as Brazil Versus the world, and here is a small breakdown of how they did. Out of twelve fights all but one fight(Loveland vs. Jabouin) had at least on Brazilian in it, and that meant all together only two winners were not from Brazil. Jabouin won his match by decision in the non Brazilian fight, and Luiz Cane was defeated by UFC new comer Stanislav Nedkov by TKO in the first round. Three fights on the card were Brazilian versus Brazilian, and in the remaining bouts Brazil went 8-1. Luiz Cane would end up being the only home fighter not to win his fight. Brazil was the clear winner in the Brazil versus the world match.
Anderson Silva’s Coming Out Party
I am not sure if people realize what they saw on Saturday with regards to Anderson Silva. I am not talking about the surgical finish over Yushin Okami, the fact that he has the longest winning streak in UFC history with 14, or the fact that he has the most title defense in UFC with 9. I am talking about how for the first time Silva legitimately became a superstar. Prior to the fight, Silva signed sponsorship contracts with the Corinthians Soccer Club, with fast food giant Burger King, and athletic apparel and shoe giant Nike. With regards to Burger King and Nike, it was the first time we saw them actually on a fighter in the Octagon. Burger King has had center sponsorship on the canvas, and Georges St. Pierre has also done commercials with Nike, but never were they on a fighter before during a fight. It is also important to mention that Anderson Silva handled himself with class on Saturday in front of his home crowd as in the past he has rubbed fans and even Dana White the wrong way. The sponsoring of athletes can go wrong in a hurry for a company if the athlete doesn’t act how a professional would, but Anderson did everything right and he deserves a pat on the back for that from the UFC.
The Nogueira Effect
American fans do not understand how popular Antônio Rodrigo Nogueira really is in his country. Two fighters were mobbed at the open work outs, Anderson Silva and Nogueira. The guy who just lost the light heavyweight championship Mauricio Shogun Rua didn’t get mobbed, but Big Nog did. This was just one of the many things that made his win so special at UFC 134. A huge underdog to a scrappy up and comer who brought the fight to him in Brendan Schaub, media all over the planet saying this is his swan song, and coming off of a 20 month lay off and 2 major surgeries; Nogueira was able to win by KO and win the knock out of the night bonus for his first time fighting as a pro in Brazil. Amazing stuff!
The Return Of Shogun
After fighting Lyoto Machida twice Shogun won the light heavyweight strap, but fell short to Jon Jones in his first title defense. With a chance to avenge his loss to Forrest Griffin, and do it in his home country, was a huge opportunity for Rua and he came through in style. Shogun finished Griffin in under two minutes and looked like vintage Shogun doing it. More importantly, he did it injury free.