Much was said about the fact five Americans faced Brazilians on the main card of UFC 117 in California, which added a battle-of-nations twist to the event. And the home team came out on top on the scorecards, winning 3 to 2. While Matt Hughes, Clay Guida and Jon Fitch overcame Ricardo Cachorrão, Rafael dos Anjos and Thiago Pitbull, respectively, Anderson Silva and Junior Cigano beat Chael Sonnon and Roy Nelson.
UFC Hall of Fame member Matt Hughes was pleased.
“I’m really happy to beat a Brazilian with a wrestling move,” said Hughes in celebration. After beating both Renzo Gracie and Cachorrão this season, he will likely take a rest and only return next year.
Clay Guida saw his opponent withdraw from combat due to pain in his jaw. Rafael dos Anjos felt something was awry in the first round and the weight of Clay’s shoulder against his face led him to desist in the third.
“I’m here to win, not to hurt my opponents. So I want to say sorry to Rafael, you’re a tough guy,” said a gentlemanly Guida.
The long-haired fighter remarked on his evolution since taking up with coach Greg Jackson.
“It’s a different world. It took me a while to realize I’m my own biggest distraction. The coach makes the champion. Champions aren’t born, they’re made,” he said in summary.
Another with cause for celebration is Jon Fitch, whose positive result against Thiago Pitbull slots him into a shot at the title now held by George St.-Pierre.