Silva stunned the bookmakers in his return to Japan, turning
out a vintage knockout over the favored Brian Stann
in the main event of
UFC on Fuel TV 8.
Prior to the bout, many pundits predicted that “The Axe Murderer”
might have been facing his final in-cage appearance. A winner in
just three of his previous 10 fights, Silva appeared to be
tailor-made to fall at the hands of the hard-punching Stann.
Instead, the Brazilian turned back the clock at Saitama Super Arena
in Saitama, Japan, stopping Stann with a second-round explosion of
“I don’t know what happens here in Japan, man. The fans just give
me a lot of energy,” Silva told Fox Sports following his victory.
“I’m so happy to make all my fans around the world happy. That’s
why I fight. I fight for you. I’m here because of you and my God,
so thanks for the great support.”
Though Silva would seal the deal in second round, his chances at
victory were touch-and-go at best in the opening frame, as both men
hit the canvas in a wild first five minutes.
“I got out of the strategy in the first round a little bit, because
he’s a tough guy. He was so close to beating me,” Silva said.
“After I finished the first round, my coach told me to [throw] the
right hand, and it happened.”
Silva’s right clipped Stann perfectly as the American lunged
forward, taking away his balance and creating an opening for “The
Axe Murderer” to land a glancing left that sent Stann reeling to
the canvas. From there, the outcome was elementary, as Silva struck
his wounded opponent with four violent right hooks to the head,
relieving him of his consciousness and securing Silva his first
victory on Japanese soil since July 2006.
“He’s a tough guy; Brian Stann is a great opponent. I’m so happy to
fight a guy like him and to just make a fight like that,” Silva
said of the hard-fought contest. “I’m there to fight. I’m not there
to run. I love to fight with guys like that. Thanks so much to
Brian Stann for fighting me.”
Though Silva ruled the Pride Fighting Championships’ 205-pound
division for more than five years, the 36-year-old has more
recently competed at 185 pounds with the exception of tonight’s
light heavyweight showdown with Stann. While Silva looked sharp in
his return to his former weight class, it is currently unclear
whether the 16-year pro will remain a UFC light heavyweight.
“This was a special fight,” said Silva. “The guys at light
heavyweight are so big. I don’t know what is going to happen next.”