UFC 82 Thoughts and Notes

Some brief thoughts and notes from last night’s UFC 82: Pride of a Champion…

Full audio of the post-fight press conference here courtesy of Steve Cofield. Sam Caplan gives his take here, here, and here. Michael Rome here. Brian Knapp here.

Official news and numbers

Let’s get straight down to the facts. The official attendance inside the Nationwide Arena was 16,431. The live gate is expected to be somewhere around $2.2 million.

Fight of the Night honors went to Anderson Silva and Dan Henderson, who each received $60,000. Silva also earned $60,000 for submission of the night. Chris Leben won the same amount for his stoppage of Alessio Sakara.

Josh Koscheck and Yushin Okami both suffered separate hand injuries in their fights. Both Koscheck and Andrei Arlovski completed the last fights on their respective contracts with the UFC and are now officially free agents.

Silva looks unstoppable

I said before last night that if Anderson Silva dispatched of Dan Henderson easily, then I’d go ahead and claim that he is unstoppable. He is. He’s completely cleaned out the entire middleweight division. I was long a proponent that guys using the Team Quest style of fighting were bad matchups for Silva but obviously that isn’t the case. Silva shows us an entire new dimension of his game every time out.

While a rematch against Okami (who is now pretty much the top contender unless the UFC plans on bringing someone else in or creating a new plan) is intriguing, it’s pretty much set in stone that Silva would pick him apart on the feet. I don’t necessarily agree with Dana White’s constant statement that Silva is the best pound-for-pound fighter in the sport completely, but I will say that he’s getting dangerously close to achieving that honor.

Herring and Kongo both impressed

Yeah, I know Heath Herring said after the fight that he wanted to stand and bang with Cheick Kongo, but his decision to beat him on the ground obviously worked out in his favor. I have to say though that I was completely impressed with Kongo. It seems like the guy learned how to wrestle overnight basically. Now Herring isn’t the best wrestler in the world but he’s decent in his own right and Kongo was able to take him down multiple times throughout the fight, thus credit is given where credit is due.

Tanner wasn’t ready

Poor Evan Tanner. I love the guy to death but I’ll be the first guy to admit that he looked like crap and was visibly not ready to come back just yet, especially against a fighter of Okami’s caliber. I’m going to say that it’s back to the drawing board for him but it’s pretty clear that he can’t do what he’s done in the past - come into a fight only training for the months leading up to that fight and expect to do well. The game has changed the past two years.

Another thing that bothered me was that there was only one person in his corner. “Stitch” Duran was even giving him advice in between rounds. I know that he trains with Josh Burkman and company part-time but in this day and age, you have to be hooked up with a camp full time. Just something he should consider.

Hopefully Arlovski re-signs

Dana White also mentioned at the post-fight press conference that although Andrei Arlovski just completed the last fight on his current contract, they were currently in talks about signing a new deal. I really hope it happens. Even though it’s obvious that the UFC shouldn’t let a fighter of his caliber go, the current title situation isn’t anything to be content about. Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira has no one lined up to challenge him. Randy Couture isn’t coming back (although White mentioned that he officially offered Couture a fight against Nogueira). Brandon Vera, Fabricio Werdum, Heath Herring, etc are all not worth/not ready.

I also hope they get things done with Josh Koscheck as well. Don’t want to see him walk away.

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