Anderson Silva finally got back to winning ways tonight at UFC 208 with a unanimous decision victory over Derek Brunson, though the result could easily have gone the other way.
Silva rooted to the center of the Octagon to start. Brunson cautious. He feels out with a leg kick. Clearly Brunson’s trying to resist his natural instinct to charge forward with heavy leather.
Another leg kick from Brunson misses. Brunson with a punch that doesn’t land and Silva counters with a right hook.
Brunson comes in again and Silva lands another counter. Now it’s Silva who suddenly decides to abandon his patient, counter-style and comes forward a little recklessly with punches. Brunson tries for a takedown, but Silva stuffs it and stays upright against the cage before breaking away.
They exchange in the center of the Octagon and Brunson staggers off-balance. Another exchange at close range and Brunson able to land too. No joy on the takedown so far for Brunson, stuffed easily.
Leg kick for Brunson. Silva with a wheel kick attempt and then tries for the thai clinch, but Brunson starts to land big uppercuts. Silva not defending those which is dangerous. They break apart and Silva launches into a flying knee, but falls to his back, enabling Brunson to get on top in the final seconds of the round.
Body punch for Brunson. He shoots in on a takedown attempt, but Silva is still sharp and sprawls on that nicely. Silva misses with a knee and then tries for another that just grazes his opponent.
Silva circling around Brunson and then lands a counter. Silva pawing the air with his jab. Left hand gets through for Brunson. High kick misses for Silva.
Right hand for Brunson. Kick and spinning attack from Silva, but then Brunson lands a takedown. However, Silva does well to quickly get back up.
Brunson pressing Silva up against the cage with a little over two minutes of the round remaining. Brunson seems happy to settle in here. He lands a knee and an uppercut. Elbow for Silva and tries to break away, but Brunson pushes him back into the cage.
Brunson gives some space and lands a couple of punches, but that enables Silva to move away from the cage. Brunson into a takedwon attempt, but it’s stuffed again and they go back to striking range.
Silva poised for the counter, but Brunson isn’t playing his usual offensive game. Leg kick for Silva. He breaks into a capoeira movement and then leaps into a kick and Brunson just decides to back away and reset.
Solid snapping jab for Silva. He’s starting to get loose, but the round comes to a close before he can land anything really meaningful.
Onto the final round then. Couple of left hands for Brunson. He just misses with a head kick attempt. Brunson tries for a single leg and Silva does well to stop that.
Brunson in on the takedown almost immediately again, but again Silva stuffs it as he’s done many times during the fight. Brunson trying to clinch against the cage.
Silva able to get the action back to the center of the Octagon. He lands a jab. Silva needs to get more active here if he wants the win.
Another jab for Silva. He unleashes a few punches. Big knee from Brunson upstairs. Silva tries to get into the muay thai clinch again, but like in the first round he eats a good few uppercuts for his troubles and doesn’t land anything offensively himself. Strange tactic from him, Rich Franklin can testify as to how deadly ‘The Spider’ was in the past from that same clinch.
Silva landing a few shots in close, but not paying a great deal of attention to his own defense. He lands a kick that strays to Brunson’s groin, but after a touch of gloves they get back to it.
Brunson goes for a takedown and this time he does land it, and that’s big for him. Brunson not doing a whole lot with the position, but happy to run down the clock on top.
Final 20 seconds and he lands a nice elbow. Silva also landing a few elbows from his back, but this one’s going to the judges.
There wasn’t a whole lot of action there, but Brunson seemed to be edging it. However, the judges go the other way, awarding Silva the unanimous decision victory (29-28 x2, 30-27).
It’s great to see Silva getting a win, and he’s overcome with the emotion of the moment afterwards, but there will definitely be some debate about whether he deserved to get the victory.