Last night fans saw a passing of the torch as UFC welterweight superstar Georges “Rush” St. Pierre destroyed Matt Hughes early in the 2nd round.
In what turned out to be one of the best UFC events in quite some time about 15,000 fans packed the ARCO Arena in Sacramento, California to witness one of the most anticipated fights in UFC history; Hughes and St. Pierre didn’t disappoint.
The atmosphere in the arena was intense as the challenger made his way out of the back room. St. Pierre possessed a stone cold stare as he marched his way through the crowd and up to the octagon. Sporting his typical red gi with his partner and mentor David Loiseau at his side, St. Pierre hopped into the octagon and began to shadow box before once again the lights dimmed…
To St. Pierre’s pleasure the man he had been forced to think about for the better part of two years began to make his way out of the back walking to his patented entrance song “A Country Boy Can Survive”. Hughes’ much like St. Pierre looked very focused while he walked with his star studded corner which featured the likes of Pat Miletich, Mark Hughes, Robbie Lawler, among others.
As was the case with Mr. St. Pierre, before Hughes entered the cage he took a moment to say a prayer. Hughes then made his way into the octagon while he gave his counter part in the blue corner a glance.
When the fighters made their way to the center of the octagon for the pre-fight stare down, St. Pierre made sure he stared right into Hughes’ eyes and let him know that he was business. Both fighters showed a touch of respect at they slammed gloves and made their way back to their corners.
As the first round started, St. Pierre let Hughes know he was for real was he implemented his jab and kicks. Chants of “GSP! GSP! GSP!” echoed through the crowd as the two fighters worked to impose their wills. About half way through the first round fans had a heart pounding moment as Hughes’ took two low kicks in a row that caught him below the belt. The second kick warranted Hughes’ some time to recover but when he did they went right back to where they started.
St. Pierre stuffed a few takedown attempts by Hughes’ where he was then able to continuously use his quick jabs, kicks and knees. Just as the round was coming to a close St. Pierre unleashed a wicked superman punch that dropped Hughes to the canvas. St. Pierre quickly pounced on his downed opponent but before he could do anything the bell rang to end the first.
St. Pierre gained some huge momentum at the end of the second earning himself the 10-8 score in the round. The second was a lot like the first for St. Pierre as he came out guns ablazin’ as he stuffed a Hughes takedown. St. Pierre showed some excellent skills throwing a low kick that sweeped the feet of Mr. Hughes momentarily putting him to the canvas. Hughes quickly regained his footing as the fighters squared up. A short while later St. Pierre landed a stiff jab which he followed up with a beautiful high kick that landed flush to the head of Hughes sending him stumbling backwards to the canvas. St. Pierre knew he was done as he pounced on the champion. St. Pierre’s initial barrage on the ground consisted of punches which weren’t doing much but when he switched to the elbows he finished his legendary opponent earning himself the victory.
Afterwards St. Pierre was speechless as Dana White crowned him with the UFC welterweight championship title. During his post-fight interview, St. Pierre stated that his emotions were so strong he couldn’t even cry.
Also on the card was a heavyweight title fight which was lackluster at best. Sylvia has been widely criticized by fighters and fans alike and after his latest performance you can expect more of the same.
Sylvia stuffed numerous takedown attempts by Monson through-out the fight while he tossed off a lazy jab from time to time coasting to the unanimous decision victory.
Afterwards the fans were quite upset as they littered the arena with boos. Sylvia graced the microphone after his fight and stated he would have like to finish Monson but he was happy with his performance and he felt he just out jiu-jitsu’d the best ground guy in the division.
Other Results: Jake O’Brien def. Josh Shockman (Unanimous Decision); James Irvin def. Hector Ramirez (TKO – Strikes); Antoni Hardonk def. Sherman Pendergarst (KO – Low Kick); Nick Diaz def. Gleison Tibau (TKO – Strikes); Joe Stevenson def. Dokonjonosuke Mishima (Guillotine Choke); Brandon Vera def. Frank Mir (TKO – Strikes); Andrew McFedries def. Alessio Sakara (Submission – Strikes).