With the highly anticipated UFC 134: Silva vs. Okami (UFC: Rio) completed and in the history books, it’s easy now to sit back and view the event as a whole. The crowd comes to mind right away because if you watched any portion of the card (Facebook Prelims, SpikeTV Prelims or PPV Main Card), you probably noticed the extremely loud Brazilians cheering, booing, and shouting at maximum volume for seemingly the whole event.
Secondly, you may have noticed that there was a Brazilian fighter competing in every bout of the night, except for the very first one. The UFC likes to give the fans what they want, and when in countries outside of the US, the fans love to see their countrymen throw down. Throughout the night, the crowd was intense and louder than any other crowd in recent history. So loud, in fact, that it was often hard to hear Mike Goldberg and Kenny Florian as they did their commentary.
There was one instance, however, in which the crowd was dead silent. As the referee pulled Stanislav Nedkov off of the crumpled heap that was once a conscious Luiz Cane, you could’ve heard a pin drop in the arena. After a few moments of silence, a slow golf clap arose as the Brazilian crowd was in shock and disbelief. At the end of the night, Nedkov, a man who not many people believed had a chance to win, was the only non-Brazilian fighter to defeat a Brazilian.
Leading up to the fight, many fans and fight experts believed that Cane would handle Nedkov with ease; using superior boxing and BJJ. For much of the first round, Cane’s striking and striking defense seemed to be winning the fight for him. Nedkov was really determined to land a powerful overhand right that Cane could see coming from a mile away and avoid. However, as the opening round progressed, Cane had Nedkov hurt against the fence and dropped his left hand for a split second which allowed Nedkov to find a home for that overhand right and paired it with a mean left hook. Both punches landed solidly and sent Cane reeling along the cage, dazed and confused. As Nedkov cleared the cobwebs from his head, he zeroed in on his staggered opponent, sealed the deal and prevented the Brazilian sweep of UFC 134.
Nedkov knew what he had done and played it up a bit, mush to the displeasure of the Brazilian fans at the HSBC Arena in Rio de Janeiro. While shocked and upset at the outcome, fans would quickly forget their lone blemish on the night as the main card continued with four more wins for the hometown fighters.