Disappointing would be an understatement to describe the action that took place in the main event of tonight’s UFC 97 card. The chorus of boos began in the first round and grew louder as the bout slowly crawled toward the finishing point.
Anderson Silva managed to retain his UFC middleweight championship with a unanimous decision victory over Thales Leites in a bout that was sure to do nothing for his “pound for pound” status.
Neither fighter showed much of a willingness to engage the other for any duration of time for the fights full five rounds. Doing a play-by-play breakdown on the bout would be painful so if you haven’t had a chance to see the fight you can rest assured that it was very forgettable at best. In the fifth round of the middleweight championship contest most fans at ringside were fed up and expressed their discontent with overwhelming chants of “Bull****” and “GSP”.
After it was all said and done Silva picked up the unanimous decision in a fight many were glad was over with scores of 49-46, 48-47, and 50-46. The victory tied separate records for the most consecutive wins and the most title defenses in the UFC for the dominant middleweight champion.
The lackluster middleweight championship match-up capped of the otherwise entertaining UFC 97: Redemption card which took place at the Bell Centre in Montreal on Saturday night.
Mauricio “Shogun” Rua didn’t have enough time to silence his critics about his recent endurance problems as he dropped Chuck Liddell with a left hook late in the first round and proceeded to batter the former UFC light heavyweight champion with an unforgiving series of hammerfists for the first round TKO victory. The two feared strikers traded shots early in the first before Shogun managed to drag Liddell to the canvas. Once there Shogun was able to work for a heel hook and briefly take Liddell’s back before the two stood back up for the bouts finish.
The win is sure to propel Shogun towards an eventual title shot at some point down the road in the UFC while it is unknown what the loss may mean for Liddell at this point. The defeat was the fourth in his last five bouts, with three of those losses coming by convincing knockout stoppages.
Other action of the night saw Cheick Kongo derailing Antoni Hardonk‘s recent win streak with a dominating first round ground and pound beatdown. Kongo was able to utilize his superior wrestling to rain down a series of brutal elbows and punches to force a halt to the heavyweight showdown.
Luiz Cane out-banged Steve Cantwell in an exciting fight that will push Cane closer to a title shot at light heavyweight along with Shogun. Cantwell had his moments during the fight but Cane’s more poweful strikes proved to be the difference in his unanimous decision victory.
Brian Stann ran into a wall in the form of a Krzysztof Soszynski kimura in the first round of his UFC debut.
On the undercard Nate Quarry beat Jason MacDonald bloody in the first round of their bout, Denis Kang got back on track, Mark Bocek looked impressive and much more.
A full list of the results from UFC 97: Redemption are listed below.
Anderson Silva def. Thales Leites via unanimous decision (49-46, 48-47, 50-46)
Sam Stout def. Matt Wiman via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
Mauricio “Shogun” Rua def. Chuck Liddell via TKO – Round 1, 4:28
Krzysztof Soszynski def. Brian Stann via submission – Round 1, 3:53
Cheick Kongo def. Antoni Hardonk via TKO – Round 2, 2:29
Luiz Cane def. Steve Cantwell via unanimous decision (29-28, 30-27, 30-27)
Denis Kang def. Xavier Foupa-Pokam via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
Nate Quarry def. Jason MacDonald via TKO – Round 1, 2:27
Ed Herman def. David Loiseau via unanimous decision (30-26, 30-27, 30-27)
Mark Bocek def. David Bielkheden via submission – Round 1, 4:57
T.J. Grant def. Ryo Chonan via split decision (30-27, 28-29, 29-28)
Eliot Marshall def. Vinicius Magalhaes via unanimous decision (29-28, 30-27, 30-27)