by Jeff Cain – MMAWeekly.com (Photos by April Pishna)
UFC Fight Night 14 saw two fighters debuting in the light heavyweight division: Anderson Silva and Brandon Vera. Silva showed why he’s highly regarded as the best pound-for-pound fighter in the world when he went up in weight class and knocked out James Irvin in the main event in just 61 seconds. Vera won a unanimous decision over Reese Andy, but didn’t live up to the expectations dropping down from heavyweight.
Up until the knockout, Silva and Irvin were feeling each other out and just getting started. Irvin threw a right leg kick that Silva caught and countered with a straight right hand that landed right on the button sending Irvin crashing to the canvas. Silva swooped in and finished the Californian with a series of right hands.
The much anticipated debut of Brandon Vera at 205 pounds was a bit of a let down, but Vera did what he had to do to chalk up his first UFC win in that weight class. Vera looked strong early but was hesitant to pull the trigger as the fight went into the later rounds.
Considering it was his first time cutting down from heavyweight, the expectations placed on Vera could have been set too high. Obviously there’s going to be an adjustment period, but at the end of the night, he came away with the win.
Frankie Edgar bounced back from his loss to Gray Manard with a dominating performance over Hermes Franca who returned to the octagon for the first time since being suspended for testing positive for steroids following the lightweight title bout with Sean Sherk at UFC 73 in July of last year.
Edgar was able to take Franca down repeatedly throughout the fight and work a mix of punches and elbows. Outside of an arm bar attempt in the first round and a well placed knee in the final minute of the bout by Franca, Edgar completely controlled the action.
C.B. Dollaway defeated the man he replaced in the finals of The Ultimate Fight season 7, Jesse Taylor by his favorite submission, the Peruvian necktie. Dollaway had defeated Taylor in collegiate wresting and beat him in an mixed martial arts bout Saturday night that consisted mainly of grappling. If he didn’t receive the Submission of the Night bonus check, it’s a travesty.
In other action, Cain Velasquez showed he’s a force in the heavyweight division by completely dismantling Jake O’Brien winning by TKO in the first round. International Fight League veteran Rory Markham made a splash in his UFC debut with a highlight reel high kick that knocked out Brodie Farber. Tim Credeur defeated fellow Ultimate Fighter 7 housemate Cale Yarbrough by TKO in just under two minutes.
-Anderson Silva def. James Irvin by KO at 1:01, R1
-Brandon Vera def. Reese Andy by unanimous decision at 5:00, R3
-Frankie Edgar def. Hermes Franca by unanimous decision at 5:00, R3
-Cain Velasquez def. Jake O’Brien by TKO at 2:02, R1
-Kevin Burns def. Anthony Johnson by TKO at 3:35, R3
-C.B. Dollaway def. Jesse Taylor by submission (peruvian neck tie) at 3:58, R1
-Tim Credeur def. Cale Yarbrough by TKO at 1:54, R1
-Rory Markham def. Brodie Farber by KO at 1:47, R1
-Nate Loughran def. Johnny Rees by submission (triangle choke) at 4:21, R1
-Brad Blackburn def. James Gaboo by TKO (strikes) at 2:29, R2
-Shannon Gugerty def. Dale Hartt by submission (rear naked choke) at 3:33, R1