Silva had spent an average of just over four minutes per fight in his seven UFC matches. While Cote lasted longer than any of Silva's previous opponents in the Octagon, he never truly threatened the reigning MMA king.
Silva spent much of the first round dancing around Cote before scoring a huge head kick and busting open the challenger. In the second round, Cote was able to deliver some shots but Silva scored with more kicks and knees, at one point after an exchange on the mat even offering to help Cote up (an offer that Cote promptly refused).
The third round was just getting going when Cote went down, ending the night in disappointing fashion.
"My knee just popped out," said Cote. "I'm so sorry."
With his eighth-straight UFC win, Silva tied the company record for consecutive victories, tying Royce Gracie and Jon Fitch.
In other bouts on the card:
- Thiago Alves (22-4) showed he's ready for a UFC title shot, knocking off Josh Koscheck (13-3) via unanimous decision in a battle of welterweight contenders.
Koscheck, who took the fight on just a few weeks notice after Diego Sanchez had to withdraw, tried to play to his strength - wrestling - but Alves slowed him down all match with vicious low kicks and excellent take-down defence, not to mention a big left hand early in the first round and a booming knee early in the third round. Two judges scored the match 30-27, while one had it 29-28.
Following the bout, Alves made it clear who he wants next: reigning welterweight champ Georges St-Pierre. "You guys wanna see that?" Alves asked, drawing roars of approval.
- Gray Maynard (7-0-1) won a unanimous decision over Rich Clementi (40-13-1) in an uninspiring lightweight match-up. All three judges scored the match 30-27. Maynard used his strong wrestling to control the match, never allowing Clementi any openings for his submission game.
- In the upset of the night, Junior dos Santos (7-1) won his UFC debut in spectacular fashion, shocking would-be heavyweight contender Fabricio Werdum (11-4-1) with a monster first-round beatdown. Dos Santos landed a right uppercut that effectively ended the match but connected with five more shots on his fallen foe before it was officially stopped just 1:20 in.
- Ex-UFC lightweight champion Sean Sherk (37-3-1) won a unanimous decision over Tyson Griffin (12-2) in a highly-entertaining pay-per-view opener. Two judges scored the match 29-28, while one had it 30-27. It was a fast-paced affair from the start, with Sherk, a world-class wrestler, showing not only the fitness he's known for but also strong stand-up skills throughout.
MMA NOTES: UFC 90 set a record for the largest gate for any event at All-State Arena, breaking the mark set in 1997 by Wrestlemania 13 . . . Matt Hughes, who was booed Saturday when shown on the arena's screens while sitting ringside, confirmed on Friday that he would be facing Matt Serra in April in a grudge match of former UFC welterweight champions . . . UFC personality Rachelle Leah is the cover girl for the November issue of Playboy, which is available on newsstands . . . Following Saturday's card, the company's next major event is UFC 91 in Las Vegas on Nov. 15, headlined by heavyweight champion Randy Couture versus Brock Lesnar.