What I saw of UFC Rio

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This is not the official GRACIEMAG.com report on UFC Rio, an event that took Rio de Janeiro by storm this Saturday night.

All the emotions that arose on the night will be narrated by the always competent Marcelo Dunlop and Carlos “Cobrinha” Ozório, who witnessed everything up close in the middle of the HSBC Arena.

Here, I’ll just be sharing my personal observations, what I saw of the event from afar, in a hotel room in Joinville, Santa Catarina.

The first fight I managed to watch was Rousimar “Toquinho” vs. Dan Miller, and I couldn’t figure out why the Brazilian from the small town of Dores do Indaiá wasn’t on the main card.

Rousimar Palhares has eight fights in the UFC, of which just two are losses, to Nate Marquardt and Dan Henderson.

And, yet again, he put on a riveting fight, this time even with some historic moments.

Have you ever seen a fighter beat on his opponent and then rush to celebrate, only to find out the fight wasn’t over?

If it has ever happened before, I don’t know when.

Add to that how, upon returning to action surprised that the fight hadn’t finished, Toquinho was nearly knocked out in the action that ensued.

I still think Miller asked to stop and then made the most of the referee having been oblivious to this.

Then, Luiz Cane had a poor run of luck, but that’s MMA for you.

One punch and it’s over!

So then came the legend! The guy who was run over by a truck as a kid, spent months in a coma, went through all that while still a kid, and even after having suffered such pain still opted to make his living as a fighter.

Could he have gotten used to pain?

Antônio Rodrigo “Minotauro” Nogueira, just for what he’s been through, need prove nothing more than he already has.

At 35 years of age, the Brazilian brought his tally to 40 fights today. He’s faced everybody, lost, won, become champion, been knocked out, and is still going strong.

He was returning after over a year recovering from three surgical operations and months on crutches.

I doubt anyone would put together a list of the top five MMA fighters of all times without including Minotauro on it.

The knockout imposed on Brendan Schaub is the latest moment contributing to the legend.

Welcome back, Mino!

And if that were not enough, I also got to see Maurício “Shogun” Rua!

The last time the Curitiba native appeared he made a poor impression, it cannot be denied, but today that was erased completely.

In shape, quick and powerful as he was back in the days of Pride FC, Shogun has now shot to the top of the list of challengers to Jon Jones’s title.

Forrest Griffin didn’t have a change.

And to top it all off, I got to see the greatest of them all!

In a little over six minutes Anderson Silva managed to show once again just why he’s in a league of his own!

He dodges blows like no one does.

The power and precision of his strikes is unmatches.

If you fight Anderson, you’re never in control.

Against Okami, Anderson chose not to end the fight following the first knockdown imposed on his prey.

When the second time came around, he finished the job.

All that was left for Herb Dean to do was call an end to the fight!

It was symbolic that it was in Rio de Janeiro that Brazil was provided certainty that just as we had Pelé in soccer, we have Anderson Silva in MMA.

I wanted to watch more but the Faixa Combate MMA show ended and Sportv News began.

What didn’t I get to see?

I didn’t get to see Joe Rogan!

I didn’t get to see a Brazilian ring girl – a major failing.

I didn’t get to see a Gracie in the octagon – an even more serious omission.

I didn’t get to see a single submission in an event held in a city that practically invented MMA, through challenge fights meant to prove Jiu-Jitsu’s status as the most effective martial art.

It’s a sign that the times really have changed.

Today MMA goes by the American text book, and Americans want to see knockouts.

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