It has been almost 13 years since the Ultimate Fighting Championship has held an event in Brazil. There were many great moments at UFC 17.5 back in 1998 but the one that sticks in my mind is Vitor Belfort’s destruction of Wanderlei Silva. Since that day back in October of ’98 the sport of Mixed Martial Arts has totally changed. The sport is more popular than ever and it carries less of a stigma these days. It is fitting that the UFC heads to Rio this weekend to pay tribute to the great Brazilian’s that have helped make the sport what it is today. We may very well see an epic moment at UFC 134 that rivals Belfort’s win over Silva in 1998.
The Main Event on the fight card is a battle between Anderson Silva and Yushin Okami for the UFC Middleweight Title. Silva retained his title after surviving four-plus rounds of being battered by Chael Sonnen, ultimately winning via submission in the fifth round. Sonnen was the first fighter in the UFC to show that Silva could be beaten, he just came up short in his bid to win the title. I think that Yushin Okami benefited from seeing the Silva vs Sonnen bout from UFC 117, but Okami is not Chael Sonnen. Sonnen was able to take Silva down and he used a brutal ground-and-pound attack once on the mat. Okami is more of a grinder though, and in a five-round fight it is unlikely that Okami will be able to hold Silva down through all of those rounds to get a decision win. I would love to see Okami beat Silva in front of a Brazilian crowd, but I do not think Okami will be able to get the job done. I see Silva finishing the fight via TKO in the second round.
Several local MMA fighters and fans have offered up their opinions on the main bout of UFC 134 so take a look at them below and let us know what you think as well:
Cody “The King” Kessinger (Highlander MMA/Bronx Hill MMA) – “Silva. By KO. Round 1.”
Mike Yanez (Highlander MMA) – “I got Okami! Silva’s loss comes to Japan”
Brian “Milkk” Gates (Bad Dog MMA) “Silva, submission, no probably strikes. First round.”
Brian Hemminger (Toledo MMA Examiner) “Silva via knockout in round two”
Kristian Lee (Hardrock MMA Ring Model) “Silva!”
Derek Carnahan (Local MMA Fan) “Silva round 2 KO with a move that Steven Segal taught him”
Chad Sermon (C3 MMA) – “Silva is gonna win hands down”
A.J. Sherrard (Bad Dog MMA) – “Silva K.O.”
Antonio Pantoja (The Submission Academy) – “I’m picking Okami…The experts have spoken. I read tomorrow’s newspaper, apparently Silva loses tonight.”
There are several places to watch UFC 134 this weekend, but there are two suggestions I would make:
– The Sports & Social Club at “Fourth Street Live!” in Downtown Louisville
– Fox and Hound Louisville – Combat Incorporated is celebrating the One Year Anniversary of their gym opening. The party is at Fox and Hound Louisville – 302 Bullitt Lane – Louisville, KY 40222.