Wanderlei Silva savors victory in Japan, where he is a fan favourite. Photo via screenshot.
Something strange was in the water for UFC on Fuel 8 in Japan. It starts with the crowds there in the Saitama Super Arena. They sit on their hands compared with North American crowds. There were a few chants running through the stands, though, especially for the Japanese fighters like Takanori Gomi and Yushin Okami.
The fight that didn’t interest me beforehand---Wanderlei 'The Axe Murderer' Silva v. 'All American' Brian Stann---was a war and in my mind fight of the night and of the year so far. Both men were knocked down in vicious flurries. One exchange looked like a hockey fight, with both fighters clutching the other’s shoulder and swinging for the fences.
Stann actually looked to get the better of the exchanges overall, as Silva was aggressive but looked to counterpunch. Late in the first blood began streaming from Stann’s nose, particularly when he was on top of Silva as the bell rang.