Read on for UFC 208 main card results...
SILVA vs. BRUNSON
It wasn’t vintage Anderson Silva in Barclays Center in Brooklyn on Saturday night, but the man considered by many to be the greatest MMA fighter of all-time still had enough in the tank to take a close three-round decision over fellow 185-pound standout Derek Brunson in the UFC 208 co-main event.
“I worked hard for a long time in my life to fight here,” the 41-year-old Silva said. “I put my heart in this all the time. Now when I come here to fight, I give my best. I know I’m too old to fight. These guys are fast and strong, but I put my heart in this.”
Scores were 30-27 and 29-28 twice for the No. 7-ranked Silva, now 34-8 with 1 NC. The No. 8-ranked Brunson falls to 16-5.
After a minute of staring at each other in the middle of the Octagon, the combatants began to make tentative moves toward each other. With two minutes gone, Brunson moved in for a takedown, but Silva pushed him away and it was back to a war of nerves on the feet. At close range, Brunson opened up a bit, but wasn’t able to land anything of significance before Silva got away from the fence. In the final minute, Silva got more aggressive, attempting a spinning back kick and a jumping knee before slipping to the mat just before the horn.
Silva’s takedown defense continued to be sharp in round two, and Brunson was wary of getting over aggressive against the former middleweight king. After Silva landed a spinning back fist and chased after Brunson, the North Carolina native got his takedown, but Silva rose quickly. Brunson kept Silva pinned to the fence, but with 90 seconds left, “The Spider” broke free, getting the crowd roaring with a little showboating as the round closed.
Brunson accelerated his work rate in the final round as he kept looking for takedowns and fired off punches when Silva tried to lock up a clinch. With 90 seconds left in the fight, Brunson took his foe to the mat, and while he wasn’t able to do any damage to Silva, he kept him on his back for the rest of the bout.
“I come to fight happy,” Silva, the longtime middleweight champion who won for the first time since October 2012, said. “I love my job, I love the UFC, I love my fans. For a long time it was my dream to fight in New York.”
More from UFC 208: Full results | de Randamie makes history by defeating Holm | Silva, Jacare, Teixeira get main card wins | Fighters go distance for prelim wins
Watch Octagon interviews: Germaine de Randamie, Anderson Silva, Ryan LaFlare
Backstage interviews: Anderson Silva, Jacare Souza, Glover Teixeira
Order the UFC 208 digital replay now!
SOUZA vs. BOETSCH
No. 3-ranked middleweight contender Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza cemented his spot in the top five with a first-round submission win over No. 13-ranked Tim Boetsch.
Boetsch was able to turn back Souza’s first takedown attempt, and a hard 1-2 got the attention of the Brazilian, but midway through the round, “The Barbarian” was on his back and the jiu-jitsu black belt went on the attack, quickly moving into the mount position and locking in the kimura that forced a tap out at 3:41 of round one.
With the win, Souza improves to 24-4 with 1 NC; Boetsch falls to 20-11.
TEIXEIRA vs. CANNONIER
After some standup to kick off the bout, Teixeira took Cannonier to the mat with a minute gone in the first round and began to take control, nearly sinking in a guillotine choke. When that didn’t work, Teixeira kept pressing, dominating the ground action until Cannonier got to his feet with 15 seconds left in the frame.
Opting to stay with a strategy that was working, Teixeira put Cannonier on the canvas early in round two and kept him there until referee Kevin MacDonald restarted the stalled action with under two minutes left. It was the opportunity Cannonier needed, but he was unable to capitalize.
The third was all Teixeira on the mat, as Cannonier had no answers for the Brazilian veteran, who sailed to victory on the scorecards by identical tallies of 30-26.
With the win, the No. 3-ranked Teixeira moves to 26-5; Cannonier falls to 9-2.
POIRIER vs. MILLER
Lightweight contender Dustin Poirier snapped the three-fight winning streak of New Jersey’s Jim Miller as he battled through a leg injury and gutted out a majority decision victory in the main card opener.
Scores were 28-28, 30-27 and 29-28 for Poirier, now 21-5; Miller falls to 28-9 with 1 NC.
After a host of decisions on the prelim portion of the UFC 208 card, Miller and Poirier got the main card off to a rousing start in the first round, with compelling action taking place on the feet and the mat. Poirier was sharp offensively and defensively early on, but Miller made a run in the second half when he got his opponent to the mat. But it was a heated standup exchange in the closing seconds of the frame that had the crowd roaring.
In the second minute of round two, Poirier briefly rocked Miller, prompting the Sparta native to seek a takedown. He didn’t get it, but it gave him time to recover once the two rose and separated. But now Poirier had found his range, and he began picking Miller apart with accurate shots. Miller refused to wilt under the pressure, firing back to make sure Poirier knew he was still there. With a little over a minute left, Poirier changed the location of the bout, putting Miller on the seat of his pants, but he quickly rose, ending the round with a right hand to the face of his bloodied opponent.
In round three, Miller appeared to get his second win, with kicks to the tiring Poirier’s leg scoring a flash knockdown. Poirier got up quickly, but he was limping on his injured right leg, forcing him to seek refuge on the mat with a well-timed takedown. From there, Poirier was able keep Miller grounded, with the only hiccup being a late kimura attempt from the gritty veteran who continued fighting until the final horn.