A busy UFC weekend that started with UFC on FX 4 Friday finished with UFC 147 in Brazil. For the second time in a year, UFC revisited the country who’s legacy is a foundation for the entire sport. This card did not disappoint. It was filled with action from start to finish. Headlining the card was the rematch between Rich Franklin and Wanderlei Silva and the crowning of two Ultimate Fighter contracts. Originally scheduled was Vitor Belfort who coached the TUF: Brazil series, but was out due to a broken hand. Stepping in to replace Belfort was Franklin who last fought Silva in Germany almost exactly 3 years ago. The first fight could have gone either way, this one only went one.
Despite a monstrous flurry in the second round of this five round fight, Wanderlei Silva who appeared to punch himself out in that flurry, never amounted much of a challenge to the much busier and more accurate Rich Franklin. Silva almost had Franklin stopped in the 2nd, but after weathering the storm it was never close after that. Silva who tried to taunt Franklin into a war in the 5th to no avail almost got knocked out at the very end while trying to push the action. Franklin took the fight 49-46 on all the judges cards.
With both fighters aging, Franklin looks as good as he ever has. Especially if the UFC continues to set up these specialty catch-weight fights for him. On the other hand, while Wanderlei had his moments, one has to wonder how many fights the veteran has left.
In other action, the conclusion to the UFC’s first international edition of The Ultimate Fighter came with the crowning of two winners.
The middleweight final saw Cezar Ferreira took a unanimous decision against Sergio Moraes. Both fighters had the other hurt. In a back in forth battle, Ferreira took the decision across the board. Moraes had Ferreira hurt in the 2nd but couldn’t finish. The 3rd round saw Ferreira control and win the fight and new contract.
The other TUF finale was 29-28 unanimous decision that saw Rony Mariano defeat Godofredo Pepy in another action packed battle. Mariano controlled positions and in the end was crowned the TUF: Brazil’s featherweight winner. Pepy had flashes but couldn’t put together anything with enough consistency to overtake the less wild Mariano.
Fabricio Werdum proved that an old dog can still learn new tricks. With an ever improving striking game, Werdum TKO’d Mike Russow in the first round of their fight. Landing a combo finished with an uppercut that sent Russow to the canvas, Werdum jumped on with some ground and pound and finished the fight.
All in all, a very entertaining night of fights from Belo Horizonte, Brazil.