UFC 77 Report
Oct 20, 2007
Despite the subtitle Hostile Territory there was very little in the way of hostilities outside of the fights as the competitors went out of their way seemingly to be respectful to each other.
Anderson Silva def. Rich Franklin via TKO (Strikes) at 1:07 of rd. 2
Rich Franklin's hometown crowd of Cincinnati came to their collective feet as he entered the arena to Welcome to the Jungle, and stayed there to support their hero. From the beginning it looked as if was to be a different encounter than their first meeting, as Franklin scored an early takedown. The champion, Anderson Silva got up to his feet quickly however and the slowly weaved, danced and began to pick apart his opponent. A right cross to the jaw sent Franklin awkwardly to the canvas, but the bell likely prevented Anderson from finishing the job. This may have been just delaying the inevitable, as Franklin was clearly on very shaky ground as he bravely charged forward to begin the second round. Anderson shook off Franklin's offense, biding his time until unleashing his own brand of destruction, capped off by a knee to the head which sent Franklin down for good.
After the match, the mutual respect each of the fighters had for each other was evident. Franklin's plans for the future remain unclear (he was having trouble remembering exactly where he was), and Silva reasserts himself as perhaps the most dominant champion in the UFC today.
Tim Sylvia def. Brandon Vera via Unanimous Decision
Brandon Vera gave up five inches and about 30 pounds to Tim Sylvia, but that didn't stop him from charging across the cage and engaging Tim Sylvia. It was immediately evident that Vera planned on using his extensive Greco wrestling background to force the clinch against the bigger man, however Sylvia played this game well. The first round may have have been difficult to score, but in the second round Vera may have accomplished what he was seeking all along as he put Sylvia on the canvas. He wasn't able to do much from there however, minus scoring an illegal knee to Syliva's temple that caused a break in the action as Tim recovered. The strike only resulted in a warning, not a point deduction however. The third round was all Sylvia as the former Heavyweight champion began to assert himself by finding his range and aggressively battering his smaller foe. Part of Sylvia's strategy was to take his less experienced opponent into "the deep waters" and that strategy likely paid off as Vera could do little to repel Sylvia's attack that opened a nasty cut over Vera's eye. Sylvia earns the unanimous decision over his up and coming foe, and puts himself into the title contention once again especially since Randy Couture has effectively placed the title in limbo. Brandon Vera reveals he broke his left hand early in the bout, and the scrappy fighter intends on staying in the heavyweight division.
Alvin Robinson def. Jorge Gurgel via Unanimous decision
Jorge Gurgel was fighting in front of a hometown audience filled with many friends, family and students. In the first round Gurgel finally displayed the impressive BJJ skills he's been touted for, but tends to abandon in favor of slugfests for most of his bout, passing guard at will, establishing dominant positions and finishing in the mount. The second round was nearly a mirror image of the first as Robinson was able to come on top, however he did a lot more damage with strikes than Gurgel had, and finished the round in the mount. The third round was all Robinson, as Gurgel tried to throw up desperate armbar after desperate armbar from the guard on Robinson, who all the while continued to inflict damage to Jorge's face which left him a bloody mess. Alvin Robinson takes the unanimous judges' decision.
Stephan Bonnar def. Eric Schafer via TKO (Strikes) at 2:47 of rd. 2
A battle between former training partners, Bonnar knew his edge would be on the feet. Schafer seemed to know it as well, and would resort to pulling guard several times in the match in order to bring it to the ground. This didn't seem to bother Bonnar, who unleashed a flurry of damage from the top, forcing Schafer to cover up and eventually, John McCarthy to step in and force the stoppage.
Alan Belcher def. Kalib Starnes via TKO (Doctor Stoppage) at 1:39 of rd. 2
The first bout of the PPV was billed as much of a classic striker versus grappler match as you will see in modern MMA, however after Belcher rebounded quickly from Starnes takedown most of this bout was handled on the feet. The grappler Starnes seemed comfortable in this aspect of the fight, but the experience and technique of Belcher came through. Before the first round was over a deep gash was over Kalib's eyes, but somehow cutman Stitch got it so Kalib could continue to the next round. After absorbing a few more blows to the face the doctor stopped the contest remarking he could see Kalib's skull.
Yushin Okami def. Jason MacDonald via Unanimous Decision
Demian Maia def. Ryan Jensen via Submission (Rear-Naked Choke) at 2:40 of rd. 1
Demian Maia is as decorated of a grappler that has ever set foot into the octagon, and displayed near text book Jiu Jitsu as he initiated the single leg takedown, passed an active guard of Ryan Jensen, took the back and eventually sank in a rear naked choke, earning the submission of the night taking no damage along the way.
Josh Burkman def. Forrest Petz via Split Decision
Matt Grice def. Jason Black via Decision