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Monday, August 10, 2009
Weekend postmortem: The Spider's sense, Torres' humanity, more


If you're only as good as your last fight, Anderson Silva exited the Octagon on Saturday in far better shape than he entered.

After two Silva performances that had fans grumbling, the UFC decided to inflame his attitude by getting Forrest Griffin to chase him. Hopefully, Griffin got hazard pay for it; after looking aimless and ineffectual in the opening minutes, Griffin walked right into a stiff jab that crumpled his ungainly frame. Power and size leaks confidence at the first sign of accuracy -- and Silva is a sniper.

What did it prove? We already knew Silva is a far better Muay Thai craftsman than Griffin, so it's doubtful any eyeballs were singed Saturday. But it was evidence that Silva's recent appearances at middleweight were the results of his opponents' lax approaches.

So what now? There's talk of potential rematches with Nathan Marquardt and Dan Henderson, and that probably is a sign Silva has outgrown the division. Leave the remakes to Hollywood.

The weekend was considerably less bountiful for the WEC's Miguel Torres, another contender in the seemingly endless line of pound-for-pound something or others. After being stunned by an overhand right early by challenger Brian Bowles, Torres ate a chopping right that sent him to the canvas; Bowles followed up by trying to push his head to the particle board below.

Bowles is tough -- and Torres is still one of the best we've got. You shouldn't be as good as your last fight. You should be as good as your last 19.

Next for Silva: Only big fights, please, and a laundry list of rematches at 185 isn't where they're at.

Next for Griffin: A game plan that isn't the equivalent of challenging Usain Bolt to a sprint.

Next for B.J. Penn: Diego Sanchez, apparently. And that's just fine by us.

Next for Kenny Florian: A better strength training program or a drop to 145.

Next for Torres: A 37-2 record probably earns him an immediate rematch with Bowles if he wants it.

Next for Bowles: Torres or Dominic Cruz, who looked like a Tekken video game character in his win over Joe Benavidez on Sunday.

Awards

B.J. Penn, Kenny Florian
Kenny Florian, right, lost more than just his fight to B.J. Penn on Saturday.

The Dude-Needs-To-Fight-Again-In-October Award: Anderson Silva, for barely breaking a sweat against Forrest Griffin. No reason to keep him on the shelf for four to six months. The guy isn't made of porcelain.

Fight Of The Weekend Award: The WEC's Joseph Benavidez and Dominic Cruz, for making everyone else look like they were competing in slow motion. I might have actually witnessed a flying takedown attempt. Getting back to you on that.

The Don't-Make-Aaron-Riley-Angry Award: Aaron Riley, for losing a controversial match to Shane Nelson, rematching him and then proceeding to beat grade school out of his head for three rounds.

The Maybe-You-Should-Be-Really-Super-Sure-About-Winning-Before-Making-That-Comment Award: To Kenny Florian, for promising to actually cease the pulse of opponent B.J. Penn and then not even coming close to making him blink.

The Only-In-Philadelphia Award: Random Crowd Guy, for swiping Florian's hat off of his head as he made his way to the ring.

New questions

Forrest Griffin
You might not know it from this photo, but Forrest Griffin will be just fine.

Q: Does Griffin's loss count more because a middleweight knocked him out?

A: I think losing to Silva grants anyone a free pass. Griffin will be fine.

Q: Shouldn't fights lead somewhere? If Silva won't challenge for Lyoto Machida's 205-pound title, why bother fighting there?

A: There's no guarantee Machida will hold the title indefinitely, and matching Silva against his conqueror is a ready-bake story.

Q: Was the Amir Sadollah stoppage premature?

A: Only referee Dan Miragliotta and his optometrist know for sure. Sadollah looked like he was going to have significant trouble righting the ship -- his head was unprotected and Johny Hendricks was dropping leather like a Macy's sale -- but hypotheticals shouldn't be part of the equation. Another two or three seconds would have told a more complete story.

Q: Will B.J. Penn ever have another go at welterweight?

A: Only if he gets bored. Which is always very possible.

Etc.

Phillly Fight Fans
Philly fight fans showed up in force for UFC 101.

• At the UFC 101 postfight conference, Dana White announced an attendance of 17,411 that paid $3.55 million.

• White said he didn't like the idea of Silva fighting boxer Roy Jones Jr., but Yahoo's Dan Wetzel reports that White was receptive to manager Ed Soares' offer of Silva vacating his 185-pound title and making a permanent move to 205 pounds.

• That ascension likely would come with the disclaimer that he wouldn't fight champion (and friend) Lyoto Machida, although White said he would make the fight.

• Griffin got $60,000 and Silva a total of $120,000 for putting on fight of the night and knockout of the Night honors, a lesser-of-11-evils concession that probably wouldn't have happened if the undercard had been more electric. Penn earned $60,000 for submission of the night.

• With co-poster boys Urijah Faber and Miguel Torres losing their sheens of invincibility recently, you have to wonder whether noise about the WEC merging with the UFC -- first mentioned by White during a Fight Club Q&A last week -- will get louder.

• Florian told the Boston Herald he was "not sure" of his future in the sport after dropping the Penn fight. Sunday is a lousy time to ask a guy that question.

• White also mentioned he was plotting a show in Boston's Fenway Park, which would pretty much guarantee Florian on a treadmill by Tuesday.