Issue 163

January 2018

UFC 134: Silva vs. Okami

August 27th 2011

After 13 years, the UFC finally headed back to Brazil.

Anticipation for the first UFC event in Brazil since UFC 17.5 was enormous. Despite producing some of the top stars in the sport over the previous decade, the country had been starved of top-flight fight cards since 1998. A stacked bill and night of amazing moments meant the wait was well worth it...

‘Listen to my instructions’

Rousimar Palhares learned a valuable lesson in one of the craziest fights ever. He head-kicked and ground- and-pounded Dan Miller, then jumped onto the cage in celebration. The only problem was that Herb Dean hadn’t even stopped the fight. Confused, ‘Toquinho’ got down, then almost got stopped by a huge left hand. He collected his wits in the round two and won a decision.

Making an entrance

As well as being a mixed martial artist, Paulo Thiago was a member of BOPE, the elite special forces of the Brazilian military police and, therefore, the biggest badass at the event. He got a huge reception when he entered the arena, as 14,000 rowdy Rio natives shouted along to the song Tropa de Elite (Elite Squad) from the movie of the same name about the gangster-getting cops.

Labor day

Mauricio ‘Shogun’ Rua redeemed an infamous defeat by knocking out Forrest Griffin, though the TUF 1 winner could be forgiven for having his mind elsewhere. Just before the fight, his wife texted him to say she was ready to have their baby – nine days early. Griffin jumped on Dana White’s jet to get back to his better half straight after the post-fight presser. 

The greatest

Anderson Silva was at the peak of his powers and considered to be the world's best fighter. Following on from a jab-dropping front- kick KO of Vitor Belfort, he turned in another exemplary performance, taking a leaf out of Muhammad Ali’s punch manual to put Yushin Okami down with incredible counter striking.

Charity case

Erick Silva made a hell of an entrance to the UFC, knocking Luis Ramos out in 40 seconds. The optimistic young man counted on a $100,000 bonus (Zuffa was more generous in those days), but Dana White awarded it to Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira for his comeback KO of Brendan Schaub. To make up for it, ‘Big Nog’ offered Silva five grand of his winnings.

Also entertaining at UFC 134

The HSBC Arena went deathly silent when Stanislav Nedkov shockingly knocked out Luis Cané.

Ross Pearson was unlucky to end up with an ‘L’ after three close and competitive rounds with Edson Barboza.

In the only bout not to feature a Brazilian, Haitian-Canadian Yves Jabouin took a decision from Ian Loveland.