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UFC 102 Notebook:

Thiago Silva makes a point to prove he’s back against Keith Jardine

Jake Rosholt records his first UFC win, Vera solid but not spectacular

One Great Fight

In the main event of UFC 102, Antonio Nogueira defeated Randy Couture by unanimous decision. Post fight it was announced that Couture resigned with the UFC a six-fight, 28-month deal.

Thiago Silva insists his finger-pointing to a fallen Keith Jardine was only to make the point that he was back, not taunt “The Dean of Mean” when he was down.

His actions moments earlier, when Silva floored Jardine with a big left hook before adding a few finishing blows, would have sufficed.

“No, I was just saying I was back,” said Silva (14-1), who rebounded from his only career loss, a first round knockout by light heavyweight champ Lyoto Machida at UFC 94 in January.

"I'm here to prove I'm back. ... This fight was very important for me. The UFC is my life."

The quick KO of Jardine will likely land the Brazilian another big fight, UFC President Dana White said in the postfight press conference.

“Thiago is a beast. He looked amazing tonight. We all know how tough, durable and motivated Keith Jardine is,” White said. “Realistically this guy’s only loss is to a guy who is considered pound-for-pound the best in the world. I think there are a lot of interesting match-ups with him.

“The light heavyweight division just keeps getting better and better.”

Rosholt in the win column

For being the most decorated collegiate wrestler in the history of the UFC, coming out with a subpar performance in his debut loss to Dan Miller in February was quite tough on the former Oklahoma State standout Jake Rosholt.

But the three-time NCAA champ made sure his second verse was much better than his first try, recording a third-round submission victory over Portland favorite Chris Leben.

“I wanted to go out there and show the UFC and all the fans that I do have some stand up ability and I’m training and getting better all the time,” said Rosholt, who took some punishing shots by Leben, who was fighting for the first time since his steroid suspension following his fight with Michael Bisping.

“I knew in the third round that I needed to make it convincing. At some point in the round I wanted to take him down and do a little damage on the ground.”

Rosholt did just that as he slipped on arm triangle choke for the win at the 1:30 mark in the third.

“I was excited about fighting Chris Leben, I knew it was gonna be an exciting fight,” said the Idaho-native Rosholt, who improved to 6-1 overall in the sport. “He never puts on a boring fight. So I knew I was gonna have to be ready and go out there and fight the whole time. It was a big opportunity for me and I would like to thank the UFC and everybody else for putting this on.

“I love fighting in Portland. I was born and raised six hours from here. It was a chance for some of my relatives to come and see my fight.”

Vera not pretty, but patient

Brandon Vera won his third bout after making the move down from heavyweight to light heavyweight with a unanimous decision win over Krzysztof Soszynski, but that didn’t stop the fans in attendance from reigning down a few boos.

While Vera tried to spice up his game with a Southpaw stance and utilizing his hands, “The Truth” want the fight in large part to his success in the Muay Thai clinch.

“I didn’t finish the fight, so I’m not happy with it going to a decision ever,” said Vera, who improved to 11-3 with the win.

“Krystoff is a resilient little dude. I caught him with one knee and didn’t knock him out, I elbowed him in the face and split him open and he was still coming. I hit him with a good uppercut and he still kept coming. He’s tough.”

Record-breaking hit

While there were four first-round KOs or TKOs Saturday, no one was quicker in getting the job done that Todd Duffee.

The 6-foot-4, 250-pound Duffee blasted Tim Hague so fast that he actually set a UFC record for fastest knockout in seven seconds.

“He came back and grabbed me tonight and said I want to fight soon. I want the fast track, I want to fight good guys right now,” said White of the 23-year-old who is 6-0 with all of his wins coming via KO.

“This kid is fired up and eager to fight, and I like that.”

Lesnar was Couture's biggest cheerleader

While there certainly might have been more vocals fans for Randy Couture Saturday night, its doubtful there were any bigger than Brock Lesnar.

The UFC heavyweight champ sat next o White and openly rooted for the man he won the UFC crown from in November.

“Brock was saying if couture wins this fight let me fight Couture again. ‘You’re already fighting someone,’” White said.

“These guys always want to be the match makers. Brock is excited. He was cheering for Randy. We’re all fans at the end of the day. It’s fun to watch good fights no matter who you are.”

Andy Samuelson can be reached at [email protected] or 702-948-7837.

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