Bristol Marunde v. Jay Silva Results
Bristol Marunde and Jay Silva fought for the middleweight championship in the Superior Cage Combat event Friday night, November 4, 2011. Many on the Internet are writing about the fight and describing what happened even though they clearly were not even there. This author will tell the true story, because I was there . . . ringside.
This was a very important career fight for both fighters. Jay Silva came into this fight with two recent losses in the UFC to C.B. Dollaway and Chris Leben, and a significant loss in Bellator to Hector Lombard, so it was critical to Silva’s career that he win this fight in SCC to get a reasonable chance to make a UFC comeback. Winning the middleweight title would have given Dana White a reason to look back over his shoulder and possibly reconsider Silva.
Silva is a dangerous fighter with unpredictable and powerful strikes, including a strategy that includes a period of what might be described as coasting punctuated by explosive attacks with strikes, elbows and knees. A fighter who gets caught in any of these violent explosions is liable to get cut. Marunde knows this only too well.
Marunde has been on a winning streak, and his last three fights were all against worthy and accomplished fighters. Bristol defeated Victor Moreno with an impressive Kimuro, and Moreno had 52 fights on his resume. Marunde tortured 6’6″ MCC and VFC light heavyweight champion Chuck “The Reverend” Grigsby with an unrelenting assault that included devastating leg kicks. Prior to that Shane Primm’s loss to Marunde left Primm limping from the cage.
This title fight for the SCC middleweight belt also was an important career fight for Marunde. His career would have easily sustained a loss at this point without long term negative implications, but the victory has propelled Marunde to national recognition as a major force in the MMA world.
This five round fight at the Orleans Arena in Vegas started with some intense emotions and strong words at the weigh-ins. Marunde started the challenge with his statement that he came to win and that he “wouldn’t even break a sweat.” That apparently provoked Silva, who announced that he was “the man” and that he had fought big names while Marunde had not. Silva ranted about how he was the greater fighter and how Marunde was not. The contrast was apparent in two styles of “trash talk.”
When the two stepped into the cage Friday night, it was all about two warriors absolutely focused on winning the middleweight title. Both claimed they would take the belt home, but we all knew there would only be one victor. And we all knew one would go home defeated before a world audience. The career implications for both were huge. And no one knew this better than Marunde and Silva.
The fight was five intense rounds of sitting on the edge of your seat not knowing what the next five seconds would bring. The fight could have gone either way in a heartbeat, and we all knew that. The fight started with stand up and strikes, elbows, and knees. This is where Silva thought he had the advantage, and it is where he did his greatest damage with elbows cutting Marunde’s eyebrow late in the third round. Blood poured down Marunde’s cheek, but it was obvious by the amused and taunting expression on Marunde’s face that he was not hurt at all.
One that thing can be said unequivocally is that Marunde was both stronger and had superior cardio. That does not diminish Silva’s power or his strength or his cunning as a fighter. And it should be acknowledged that Silva took the fight on a short notice, replacing Elvis Mutapcic who was injured during training. On the other hand, a professional MMA fighter today no longer has the freedom to get sloppy between fights. The sport is far too competitive, and a fighter may have one chance to prove himself. A serious fighter must always be ready to take that next big fight on short notice.
What Silva did not know, but will never forget, is that Marunde is one of the most versatile MMA fighters in the business today. No longer can a title holder be one dimensional, no matter how good he may be in that dimension. The best striker, the best kicker, and the best submitter will never hang onto a title against the master fighter who is versatile. Silva is good. Silva is tough and a dangerous striker with sharp elbows, but Silva is not a versatile fighter. Marunde is.
Marunde proved that he earned the title by beating Silva in standup, on the mat, with superior strength and vastly superior cardo. But Marunde is also the master tactician, and he adapts his strategies throughout a fight.
The judges’ unanimous decision in favor of Marunde doesn’t tell the whole story. Marunde dominated Silva and was clearly the aggressor in all five rounds. Marunde totally controlled Silva when he took him down on the mat, slamming him a couple of time, including in the last 30 seconds of the fifth round. At the end of the fight with Marunde on top reigning down blows to Silva’s body and head, Silva’s arms were actually outstretched and he was not defending himself. Marunde could have continued the punches, and the ref appeared just about to stop the fight. Why Silva’s arms were outstretched as shown in the above photo is unknown, but he must have been exhausted and no longer able to defend himself. The bell rang, and Marunde knew he had just won the SCC middleweight title.
Marunde attributes much of his winning streak and success to his training coach, Peter Pinto. Shown in this photo below, Peter’s face lights up in the glory of the moment, a culmination of a life time of education and experience and two years of training Bristol.
Marunde and Silva were awarded Fight of the Night. It definitely was the fight of the night. There was a lot of action, uncertainty, blood, and a lot on the line for both fighters. One would win and one would lose. But now we know. Bristol Marunde is the SCC Middleweight Champion.