Octagonside by Andreas Hale & Robert Kravantka
In the main event of UFC 101: Declaration world lightweight champion BJ Penn overcame the gritty challenger Kenny Florian to lock in a fight ending rear naked choke in the fourth round. In round one Florian tested the waters by standing with Penn and was caught with a quick right as time expired. Rounds two and three saw Florian attempt to take Penn to the mat with little success. Though Penn was being outworked the champion was never in danger and hurt his challenger repeatedly with punches. In round four Penn swiftly scooped Florian into the air and slammed him to the mat. After some struggle the champion locked in the fight ending choke at 3:54.
In one of the most jaw dropping moments in UFC history pound for pound kingpin Anderson “The Spider” Silva stood his ground against his most dangerous and largest opponent yet and knocked out former 205 lb. titlist Forrest Griffin with a single right jab. After slipping several punch combinations with stunning head movement, Silva caught the former TUF champion with a stiff right jab that laid Griffin flat on his back. The official time of the stoppage was 3:23 of the first round.
Longtime lightweight regular Aaron Riley soundly defeated a much younger Shane Nelson over three rounds to win a unanimous decision. Scorecards all read 30-27 in favor of Riley.
Undefeated former NCAA wrestling champion Johnny Hendricks needed just :32 seconds to spoil the debut of TUF 7 winner Amir Sadollah via TKO in the first round. After catching Sadollah with a left hook, Hendricks unloaded with punches until referee Dan Miragliotta waved off the contest. Sadollah Protested the stoppage.
Middleweight veteran Ricardo Almeida used quick takedowns to get the judges’ nod over three competitive rounds. All three scorecards read the same, 30-27.
Lightweight Kurt Pellegrino controlled Josh Neer for three rounds from the position to earn the unanimous decision. Scores all read 30-27.
Welterweight John Howard earned the split nod over a very scrappy Tamdan McCrory after three rounds. Scores read 29-28 twice in favor of Howard and 29-28 once for McCrory.
In a battle of middleweight mainstays Alessio Sakara defeated former title contender Thales Leites via split decision. Scores read 29-28 twice and 30-27.
Matt Riddle scored a three round unanimous decision over Dan Cramer in a welterweight showdown. Official scores read 29-27, 30-26 and 30-27.
TUF 6 vet George Sotiropoulos submitted George Roop in the second round with a wrenching kimura shoulder lock at 1:59.
Lightweight Jesse Lennox scored a controversial third round TKO after an unseen illegal headbutt opened a large gash on the face of Dannillo Villefort. The official time was 3:37.