UFC 237 wasn’t a glorious homecoming for Anderson Silva. In fact, it was a painful exercise in futility.
Silva succumbed to a first-round TKO in his fight with Jared Cannonier, and it was shade of UFC 168 all over again. Cannonier landed a hard leg kick that buckled Silva’s knee, and effectively rendering him unable to continue.
Silva writhed in pain the ground after receiving the kick, unable to put any weight on the knee, as referee Herb Dean came into stop the contest at 4:47 of round one.
Afterwards, Cannonier (12-4) spent a long few moments basking in the boos that rained down on him in Rio, before paying respects the legend he just vanquished. And also giving the Brazilian fans a bit of their own medicine.
“I appreciate the opportunity to step in here,” he told Jon Anik in the post-fight interview. “[Silva] didn’t have to fight me, he could have fought anybody he wanted to and he accepted a fight with me. So I want to show my appreciate and my respect for him.
“But the crowd is a different story. They don’t respect me, so I ain’t got no respect for them.”
With the loss, the 44-year old Silva drops to 35-10-(1). He has now gone just 1-6-(1) in his last eight fights, including the loss in the rematch against Chris Weidman in which he fractured his leg.
Cannonier has now won back-to-back fights, having defeated David Branch at UFC 230 last November.