Thiago Silva and Brandon Vera stepped into the octagon this evening at UFC 125 knowing that another loss could put their careers in the promotion in jeopardy.
We rarely get to see evidence of Silva’s BJJ Black belt skills, but in the first round after Vera started aggressively with some solid Muay Thai strikes the Brazilian took the fight to the floor and showed good control from on top and land a few solid blows to secure the round in his favor.
After the bell Silva stood up and appeared to taunt his opponent, clapping and staring intensely at Vera who quickly got to his feet and briefly got into a staredown with him before being separated by the referee.
The altercation clearly fired up Vera who came out strong early in the second, throwing head kicks and punches. Silva threatened himself with straight punches, but it wasn’t long before he again took Vera down where he again established complete control. One thing he didn’t display however was the same killer instinct he does on the feet, but there’s no doubt this was another round in the books for the Brazilian.
Again Vera was on the offensive in the stand-up early in the final stanza, and briefly gained the upper-hand as a result, knocking Silva down with a body kick and drilling him with more strikes when he got back to his feet. Silva wisely clinched up and reverted to his successful strategy from the first two rounds, again taking him down against the fence.
Vera was finding it impossible to escape from under Silva and things began to get worse for him as Silva finally began to work effective offense from his dominant position, throwing repeated strikes to his head. As Vera tried to protect himself Silva mocked the Hawaiian by slapping him on the head and back.
By the final bell Vera’s face was a mess, with a close-up showing a severely broken nose. There was no doubt about the final result and one judge even scored the fight 30-26 in his favor, the others going for 30-27.