UFC 64 Ultimate Fighting Championship Anderson Silva wins with TKO over Rich Franklin in first round at 3:59. Many thought if Silva’s blowout of Chris Leben in June during the fight was not to be repeated. Silva used a Muay Thai brutal clinch to dominate Franklin on the inside and stun the crowd to UFC 64 at the Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas real estate by scoring a first round TKO to win the UFC middleweight crown.
Silva was overcome with emotion after taking out Franklin. Silva feels that the UFC is where he is meant to fight. He wanted to make
his third successful UFC title defense in his first fight back after an injury had delayed his fighting for seven months.
By the second minute of the first round, both fighters started opening up a bit more, with Silva securing a tight Thai clinch that produced a series of solid knees to the head and body, one of which jarred the champ. Franklin waded right back into battle, but as he returned, Silva locked his hands around Franklin’s neck, and this time a huge right knee left Franklin stunned and open for a brutal follow-up that included a final left knee and two more kicks that sent Franklin to the canvas, where referee John McCarthy halted the bout at the 3:59 mark.
“I was not expecting him to be that strong in the clinch,” said Franklin. “I expected it to be my sweet spot and it gave me a lot of trouble.”
In Ultimate Fighting Championship 64’s second title fight, the first time since 2002, the UFC has a lightweight champion, and his name is Sean Sherk. Sherk pounded and grounded and his way to a five round unanimous decision victory over a courageous Kenny Florian, who has come a long way from his days on ‘The Ultimate Fighter’ reality show, but was unable to stop the charges of Sean the ‘Muscle Shark’.
“I’ve been working for this moment my whole life,” said Sherk, the first UFC lightweight champion since Jens Pulver abandoned the belt in 2002.
Scores were 49-46 twice and 50-48 for Sherk, now 35-2-1.
Sherk immediately took Florian (7-3) to the mat in the Octagon, intent on ending the fight early. Florian patiently regrouped while looking for an opening to land a submission, but Sherk was focused and stayed in control. Soon Florian saw his opening and used a guillotine that looked dangerous for a bit until Sherk muscled his way out and almost got an armbar on Florian a few moments later before pounding and grounding until the bell rang.
Florian opened the second round with several hard kicks, only to be put on his back by a Sherk takedown. Blood was evident once on the mat from a cut on the side of Sherk’s forehead due to an elbow, and Florian was bleeding, too. After a visit from the ringside doctor, the action resumed on the mat with Sherk doing everything he could to impose his will on Florian. Florian eventually fought his way out of trouble and reversed position on the Minnesotan with the two soon standing up and squaring off and finishing the round at a stalemate.
The third began with Florian working his Muay Thai, but in the blink of an eye, Sherk threw a left and shot in for a takedown and he again tried to take down the Massachusetts native on the mat. With a minute and a half to go, Florian gave up his back to Sherk briefly, but Sean the ‘Muscle Shark’ was unable to capitalize and the two rolled back into the guard until stood up with 35 seconds left. The fun began as Sherk scored with some big punches and Florian fought back with a couple of kicks at the bell that jarred Sherk and brought a huge roar from the crowd.
Blood stained the trunks of both men, the fourth round began with more solid kicks by Florian before a takedown by Sherk and more ground and pound from the former UFC welterweight title challenger. Florian was unable to escape the smothering onslaught of Sherk who was doing enough damage to punish Florian and score points, but not enough to finish the fight. This prompted a standup from referee Steve Mazzagatti with just seconds left in the round.
Sherk got his biggest takedown of the night to punctuate the start of the fifth and final round, and the pattern of the previous rounds continued as Florian was simply too weak to keep Sherk off him. But ‘KenFlo’ got new life with 3:30 left in the Ultimate Fighting Championship 64 fight as Mazzagatti stood the fighters and he opened up again with the kicks. And in keeping to form, Sherk again looked for the takedown, but Florian sunk in a guillotine choke on Sherk in a last effort to pull off the upset. Sherk escaped though and proceeded to pick Florian up and slam him with a huge thump. The fight ended as the clock ran out, with Sherk earning a UFC world title and Florian earning respect from the skeptics.
“Everybody underestimated Kenny except me,” said Sherk. “He’s a tough guy and we had a great fight.”
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UFC 64 Ultimate Fighting Championship Silva winner with TKO over Franklin. Second bout Sean Sherk winner over Kenny Florian.
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