It may have been billed as BJ Penn vs Kenny Florian, but at the end of UFC 101, all anyone was talking about was Anderson Silva taking on Forrest Griffin.
Hugely anticipated, the fight was over in just three minutes, and fan favourite Griffin was showed up by Anderson who looked superior in ever way. Dodging strikes from Griffin without breaking a sweat, Silva showed an almost prescient level of awareness. Even stranger than the way Silva channeled Neo from The Matrix, was the way Forrest waved the fight to an end after receiving what appeared to be a relatively tame jab.
Then, bizarrely, before Silva’s hand was even raised, Griffin ran from the octagon, making himself look like a fool and putting a giant dent in his integrity.
But the marquee match of the night was Penn vs Florian. These two evenly matched fighters battled for four rounds, but as expected, the win eventually went to BJ who ultimately outclassed his opponent and forced him to tap with a rear naked choke.
As if often the case, it was the undercard that provided the most constant reliable entertainment, with two matches in particular standing out.
A full-on war between Jesse Lennox and Danillo Villefort was topped only by George Sotiropoulos’ owning George Roop. Sotiropoulos put in a tremendous performance, especially when going to the ground, where he was able to seamlessly transition at will, making Roop look like a complete newbie. Sotiropoulos finally finished the fight with a kimura, and marked himself out as someone to look out for.
Whenever the fight went to the ground the Australian fighter was able to transition at will, and after dominating the first round, he did exactly the same in the second, and it wasn’t long before he’d locked in a kimura for the submission win. This is one fighter I’d like to see again.
Bonus features are the usual fare – nothing to shout about.