Sunday, August 28, 2011

Anderson Silva toys with another top fighter, destroys Yushin Okami at UFC 134

If you stand with the most dynamic striker in the world, your fate is inevitable.

Anderson Silva lulled Yushin Okami to sleep early in the second, then floored him with a right hook and pounded him out from there.

Silva cruised in retaining his UFC middleweight title with a TKO victory at the 2:04 mark of the second round in the main event of UFC 134 in Rio de Janeiro.

The win was especially huge for Silva (31-4, 14-0 UFC) as the UFC returned to Brazil for the first time since 1998. The crowd in Rio chanted Silva's name throughout the fight and roared when he finished it.

The victory pushes Silva's UFC win streak to an amazing 14 straight. It also avenges his only loss in the last six years. Okami beat Silva back in 2006 via disqualification.

Silva was incredibly dominant in the striking department. According to FightMetric, he landed 52-of-71 shots (73 percent). In the finishing round, he had a 30-4 advantage.

Before the fight, Okami's strengths seemed to give him a shot at pulling a monumental upset (Silva was a minus-550 favorite). The Japanese fighter is big for the weight class and other fighters rave about his strength in the clinch. Silva never let him get into a rhythm and broke him mentally in the first round.

After following Silva around for the first two minutes of the first round, Okami (32-6, 10-3 UFC) worked the clinch for almost two minutes. Silva never wilted and looked plenty strong enough to deal with the ground-and-pound specialist. Once the fighters separated, the end of the first provided a preview of things to come.

Silva closed the round by landing a nasty head kick. Okami stumbled backwards and ate a knee as the horn sounded.

When Silva came out for the second, he meant business. He charged forward throwing punches and kicks from different angles. After a minute of that, he backed up and basically put his hands at his side, daring Okami to hit him. Okami took the bait. Instead of charging forward and attempting a takedown, Okami threw some sloppy punches. He was a sitting duck.

Just 36 seconds into the round, Silva, who switched between conventional and his more natural southpaw stance, landed a hard jab with the right and down went Okami. Silva backed up and let Okami stand up. Silva repeated the pattern and less than a minute later, he put a lot more mustard on a right hook. Okami fell to his back and his arms went to the side.

It was over. Silva, the world's No. 1 pound-for-pound fighter, jumped on top and threw 25-plus unanswered shots. Okami did nothing aside from cover up. Referee Herb Dean had to save him.

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