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This week in MMA

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Top StoryIt may have looked predictable on paper, but the
latest fight involving pound-for-pound king Anderson Silva ended up
producing several twists, as well as a surprising amount of negativity
toward the dominant middleweight champion. Silva baffled some and
annoyed others in his fight against Patrick Cote atop UFC 90 on Oct.
25, implementing a style that flaunted his superiority.Silva
made several Kung Fu-esque hand motions and other puzzling gestures
before Cote went down with a serious knee injury in the third round.
Silva did not live up to his billing as a dismantler, picking his shots
sparingly and never quite blitzing for the kill, though Cote absorbed
heavy shots that landed flush. Cote collapsed shortly into the third
after aggravating a pre-existing meniscus injury, and Silva was awarded
the anti-climactic victory by technical knockout.Several
prominent mixed martial arts writers and even UFC President Dana White
called into question the performance, a backlash that so peeved Silva
that, according to White, he demanded to fight again immediately. The
UK magazine Fighters Only reported Silva will likely be on the UFC’s
next card in London, set for February, though White said Silva was
ready to go as soon as UFC 91 in two weeks.Cote became the
first person to take Silva to a third round in the UFC, a fact he
himself stressed in several interviews. His knee injury will require
surgery and keep him out of action for six to eight months, which makes
it unlikely Silva’s next title defense will be a rematch with the
Canadian. Cote’s manager, Stephane Patry, told The Canadian Press that
he suffered the meniscus injury while training for a fight against Drew
McFedries in January and re-aggravated it preparing for Silva. A doctor
had urged surgery, but Cote opted for a cortisone shot so he could
fight Silva.For his part, Silva told sources that his
uncharacteristic antics in the fight were meant to induce Cote into
making a mistake in the later rounds. He apologized at the UFC 90
post-fight press conference for not delivering a more forceful fight.The
result was a deflating end to a strong pay-per-view offering, as the
UFC made its debut in the Chicago market at the Allstate Arena in
Rosemont, Ill. The 15,359 fans on hand translated into a $2.8 million
take at the gate, a record for the venue that surpassed a mark set by a
World Wrestling Entertainment “Wrestlemania” in 2006.Though the
number of pay-per-view buys will not be clear for several weeks, the
show was the strongest test to date for whether or not Silva has
reached an echelon as a drawing card that approaches his echelon as a
fighter. The Spike TV “Countdown to UFC 90” preview drew 796,000
viewers, according to MMA Payout, thought to be the highest rating in
the history of a series that premiered in 2005 and has hyped every UFC
pay-per-view since. Silva’s ability to draw buys would not only benefit
the UFC but also Silva himself, as he receives a contractual percentage
of that revenue on shows he headlines, according to the Wrestling
Observer.Regardless of whether Silva broke out as a top draw at
UFC 90, several fighters took it upon themselves to break out in
rankings for their respective weight classes.Dave Mandel/Sherdog.comThiago Alves' stockcontinues to rise.Thiago
Alves put on a clinic against Josh Koscheck, shutting down all of the
elite wrestler’s takedown attempts and working leg kicks that battered
his opponent, a late replacement for Diego Sanchez. The American Top
Team ace made as convincing a case as possible for a welterweight title
shot, even impressing champion Georges St. Pierre. With St. Pierre set
to face B.J. Penn in January, it remains unclear when a title
opportunity might present itself.At lightweight, Sean Sherk
proved he’s still in contention, as he defeated fellow wrestler Tyson
Griffin by unanimous decision. The fight played out almost entirely on
the feet and featured several fits of crisp striking. Sherk and Griffin
collected $65,000 “Fight of the Night” bonuses for their efforts. Sherk
said afterward that he wants the winner of the Nov. 15 fight between
Kenny Florian and Joe Stevenson.The UFC 90 “Knockout of the
Night” bonus went to sudden heavyweight prospect Junior dos Santos, who
dropped Fabricio Werdum in 81 seconds with a perfectly scouted right
uppercut. The punch halted Werdum’s march toward a heavyweight title
shot.Elsewhere, Spencer Fisher worked a diligent triangle to
put away Shannon Gugerty in the third round and take the “Submission of
the Night” bonus. Gray Maynard battled the active ground game of Rich
Clementi -- and boos from a restless crowd -- as he took a unanimous
decision. Also picking up wins were Dan Miller -- who improved to 2-0
in the UFC by outpointing a very game Matt Horwich -- and Thales
Leites, who had no trouble with late replacement Drew McFedries,
submitting him briskly with a rear naked choke in the first round.
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5/25/2018 9:32:18 AM UTC