x Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 23 July 2017

Silva pounds Griffin into submission

Despite all the hype surrounding the "UFC 101: Declaration", the middleweight champion Anderson Silva ruthlessly beats Forrest Griffin in the first round.

Anderson Silva, right, connects with a punch on Forrest Griffin on his way to beating him in only 3min 23sec.
Anderson Silva, right, connects with a punch on Forrest Griffin on his way to beating him in only 3min 23sec.

Despite all the hype surrounding the "UFC 101: Declaration", the middleweight champion Anderson Silva ruthlessly beat Forrest Griffin in the first round of the light heavyweight bout in Philadelphia. With the partisan crowd siding with American underdog Griffin, the Brazilian Silva stepped up to Griffin's 205lb weight and needed only 3min 23sec to force the former light heavyweight champion into a submission move and an embarrassing verbal tap-out.

"Forrest is a good guy, a good fighter and a good man, but I've been training hard - it wasn't his night," said Silva post-fight. Following lacklustre middleweight defences against Patrick Cote and Thales Leites, the world body president Dana White had personally picked Griffin to face Silva - one of the most clinical strikers in the Ultimate Fighting Championship . In destroying White's pick, Silva did not disappoint. His powerful hand speed and boxing skills underlined a masterful demonstration. Griffin, disconsolate, ran out of the cage before the referee confirmed his fate.

In the Declaration's main event, BJ Penn successfully defended his lightweight belt against premier contender Kenny Florian. Penn never looked in danger, resisting multiple Florian attacks with several impressive take-down defences, before submitting the challenger with a fourth-round rear-naked choke - his speciality. Both fighters had never been knocked down going into the bout - a statistic which ended immediately. After the fight, Penn said: "When I woke up, I thought 'I've been doing this for nine years - what am I doing?'

"But this my dream, since I was a kid, to come and fight like that for the fans." Penn's strict strength and conditioning training worked wonders, and the champion cemented his standing as the king of the UFC lightweight division. emegson@thenational.ae