Saturday, September 29, 2018

UFC 95: Battle of the TUF Winners

Diego Sanchez (Photo: ufc.ca)


UFC 95: Sanchez vs. Stevenson – Feb. 21, 2009 – London – O2 Arena

Diego Sanchez survived a bloody war with Joe “Daddy” Stevenson in the main event of UFC 95.

Sanchez, who dropped to the lightweight division, beat Stevenson by unanimous decision in a battle of The Ultimate Fighter winners.

An audience of 2.4 million watched the tape-delayed show on Spike TV.

In the co-main event, Dan Hardy knocked out Rory Markham in 69 seconds.

Tuesday, September 25, 2018

UFC Fight Night 17: Cain Velasquez Makes Some Noise

Cain Velasquez (Photo: foxsports.com)


UFC Fight Night 17: Lauzon vs. Stephens – Feb. 7, 2009 – Tampa, Fla. – USF SunDome

Cain Velasquez proved unstoppable at UFC Fight Night 17, beating Denis “The Menace” Stojnic in a heavyweight bout.

Velasquez, who would eventually win two UFC heavyweight titles, improved to 5-0 by defeating “The Menace” from Bosnia.

In the main event,  Joe Lauzon improved to 18-4 with a win over Jeremy “Lil Heathen” Stephens with an armbar in Round 2. Stephens was substituting for the injured Hermes Franca.

Josh “The Dentist” Neer battled through a cut near his eye to beat Mac Danzig with a triangle choke in Round 2. Neer picked up his fourth win in five fights.

Sunday, September 23, 2018

UFC 94: Grease Is The Word


Georges St. Pierre (Photo: pinterest.com)


UFC 94: St.-Pierre vs. Penn 2 – Las Vegas, Nev. - MGM Grand Garden Arena – Jan. 31, 2009

Georges St. Pierre bested BJ Penn in a battle of champions at UFC 94, but a greasing controversy clouded his victory.

GSP used an overwhelming ground-and-pound attack to defend his welterweight title against Penn, who tried to add the belt to his lightweight championship.

While Penn failed to continue after four rounds, he later sought an investigation into his claim that GSP was covered in too much Vaseline. While the decision stood, a new rule was enacted limiting the use of grease to a fighter’s face.

GSP also won his first meeting against Penn by split decision at UFC 58.

Sunday, September 9, 2018

UFC 93: Dan Henderson Earns a Coaching Gig

Dan Henderson (Photo: bloodyelbow.com)


UFC 93: Franklin vs. Henderson – Dublin, Ireland – O2 Arena – Jan. 17, 2009

Dan Henderson continued his recovery from the loss of two championships by beating Rich Franklin in the main event of UFC 93.

Franklin’s middleweight title was not on the line, as the bout took place in the light heavyweight division.

With the victory, Henderson earned a spot as The Ultimate Fighter Season 9 coach opposite Michael Bisping.

Henderson scored his second straight win since dropping his PRIDE 83 kg and 93 kg titles to Anderson Silva and Rampage Jackson, respectively.

Mark Coleman battled Mauricio “Shogun” Rua in rematch from PRIDE 31. Both men’s teams got into a brawl, and Rua scored the TKO win with 24 seconds left.

Rousimar Palhares picked up his seventh win in eight fights with a unanimous decision over Jeremy Horn.

Alan “The Talent” Belcher used a guillotine choke to beat Denis Kang in Round 2.     
        
“The Irish Hand Grenade” Marcus Davis kicked off the pay-per-view with a split decision over Chris Lytle.

All of the preliminary fights ended with finishes. England’s John “The Hitman” Hathaway made his UFC debut with a TKO win over Tom Egan at the 4:36 mark.

Martin Kampmann beat Alexandre Barros with a second-round TKO. Eric Shafer beat Antonio Mendes by TKO at 3:35.

Poland’s Tomasz Drwal came back from knee surgery and a 16-month layoff to knock out Ivan Serati at the 2:02 mark.

Dennis Siver returned to the Octagon to beat Nate Mohr with a spinning back kick, followed by punches for the TKO win in Round 3.

Monday, June 4, 2018

UFC 92: Suga On Top

Rashad Evans (Photo: foxsports.com)


UFC 92: The Ultimate 2008 – Las Vegas, Nev. – MGM Grand Garden Arena – Dec. 27, 2008

Rashad “Suga” Evans completed his march to the UFC light heavyweight title by defeating Forrest Griffin at UFC 92.

The undefeated Evans won by TKO in Round 3 in the first-ever title fight between winners of The Ultimate Fighter.

Frank Mir won the UFC interim heavyweight title from Antonio Noguiera in the TUF 8 coaches fight. Mir won by TKO in Round 2 to earn a shot at heavyweight champion Brock Lesnar, whom Mir had already defeated.

Mir had been forced to drop the heavyweight title in 2004 after a motorcycle accident.
Quinton “Rampage” Jackson avenged two PRIDE losses by knocking out Wanderlei Silva in 3 minutes, 21 seconds.

Tuesday, May 29, 2018

The Ultimate Fighter Season 8 Finale: Bader and Escudero Triumph

Ryan Bader (foxsports.com)


TUF 8 Finale – Las Vegas, Nev. – Palms Casino Resort – Dec. 13, 2008

Ryan Bader and Efrain Escudero won their divisions in The Ultimate Fighter Season 8 finale.

Escudero won the lightweight tournament with a unanimous decision over Phillipe Nover, while Bader knocked out Vinny Magalhaes in 2:18 to win the light heavyweight bracket.

The coaches for TUF 8 were UFC interim heavyweight champion Antonio Rodrigo Noguiera and Frank Mir, who battled for the title two weeks later at UFC 92.

Bader and Escudero were both members of Big Nog's team.

In other bouts, Anthony “Rumble” Johnson knocked out Kevin Burns with a head kick in Round 3. This was a rematch from UFC Fight Night 14, where Burns won by TKO with an eye poke, rather than being disqualified.

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

UFC Fight Night 16: Fight For The Troops

Josh Koscheck (Photo: mmamania.com)


UFC Fight Night 16: Fight for the Troops – Fayetteville, N.C. – Crown Coliseum – Dec. 10, 2008

Josh Koscheck capped off a night of brutal UFC action by knocking out Yoshiyuki Yoshida in the main event of Fight for the Troops.

Koscheck bounced back from a loss to Thiago Alves less than two months earlier, ending Yoshida’s nine-fight winning streak at the 2:15 mark.

“What an honor to fight in front of all you guys,” Koscheck told the troops in the crowd.

UFC presented its first show to support the military, as proceeds went to the Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund.

Tuesday, May 8, 2018

UFC 91: Brock Lesnar Takes Over the Octagon


Brock Lesnar (Photo: mixedmartialarts.com)

UFC 91: Couture vs. Lesnar – Las Vegas, Nev. – MGM Grand Garden Arena – Nov. 15, 2018

Brock Lesnar captured the UFC heavyweight title in only his third Octagon appearance at UFC 91.

The former WWE champion beat Randy “The Natural” Couture by TKO in the second round to complete a stunning transition from the top of the wrestling world to the pinnacle of MMA.

The 265-pound Lesnar had a 45-pound advantage on the 45-year-old Couture. More than 1 million fans bought the show on PPV.

In the co-main event, Kenny Florian beat Joe “Daddy” Stevenson with a rear-naked choke at the 4:03 mark. Florian earned a lightweight title shot against B.J. Penn at UFC 101.

UFC 90: Anderson Silva Continues to Dominate


Patrick Cote (Photo: bjpenn.com)

UFC 90: Silva vs. Cote – Rosemont, Ill. – Allstate Arena – Oct. 25, 2008

Canada’s Patrick Cote was unable to stop the Anderson Silva juggernaut at UFC 90.

Silva retained the UFC middleweight title when Cote succumbed to a knee injury in Round 3.

Fans weren’t too intrigued by the main event, as the pay-per-view did only 300,000 buys. That was below average for an Anderson Silva fight.

In the co-main event, Thiago Alves  earned a shot at Georges St-Pierre’s UFC welterweight title with a unanimous decision over Josh Koscheck.

Gray Maynard remained undefeated with a unanimous decision win over Rich Clementi in the lightweight division.

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

UFC 89: Michael Bisping Wins the Battle of Birmingham

Michael Bisping (Photo: prommanow.com)


UFC 89: Bisping vs. Leben – Birmingham, England – National Indoor Arena – Oct. 18, 2008

Michael Bisping improved his record to a sparkling 17-1 by defeating Chris Leben at UFC 89.

TUF 3 winner Bisping established himself as a British fighting headliner and as a contender for Anderson Silva’s middleweight title.

The event aired live in the United Kingdom and on tape delay in North America on Spike TV.

In the co-main event, “The Dean of Mean” Keith Jardine rebounded from a loss to Wanderlei Silva with a split decision over Brandon Vera.

Monday, April 23, 2018

UFC Fight Night 15: Nate Diaz Faces The Dentist

Time to see The Dentist (Josh Neer) - Photo: uproxx.com


UFC Fight Night 15 – Omaha (Neb.) Civic Auditorium - Sept. 17, 2008

Nate Diaz scored a split decision over Josh “The Dentist” Neer at UFC’s first show in Nebraska.

The judges ruled the bout 29-28, 29-28, 28-29 in Diaz’s favor. Insert “he won by the skin of his teeth” joke here.

Still, it was the fifth win in as many UFC fights for Diaz, a former WEC lightweight champion.

Neer is nicknamed "The Dentist" for his "tendency to re-arrange his opponents' teeth," according to the UFC Encyclopedia.

Spike TV presented the fight card as a lead-in to the eighth season of The Ultimate Fighter, featuring teams coached by Frank Mir and Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira.

UFC 88: Rashad Evans' Electrifying Knockout of Chuck Liddell

Rashad Evans (Photo: mmajunkie.com)


UFC 88: Breakthrough – Atlanta – Philips Arena - Sept. 6, 2008

Rashad Evans scored an amazing knockout win over Chuck Liddell at UFC 88.

Evans clobbered the former light heavyweight champion with an overhand right in Round 2.


"I wanted to beat him at his own game," Evans said.

He improved his record to 12-0-1 and earned a light heavyweight title shot against Forrest Griffin at UFC 92.

Former middleweight champion Rich Franklin returned to the light heavyweight division to defeat Matt Hamill. Franklin used a body kick to score a TKO in Round 3.

Dan Henderson rebounded from the loss of his two PRIDE championships with a unanimous decision over Rousimar Palhares.

UFC 87: Georges St-Pierre's Title vs. Jon Fitch's Win Streak

Jon Fitch (Photo: mmaweekly.com)

UFC 87: Seek and Destroy – Minneapolis – Target Center – Aug. 9, 2008

Georges St-Pierre dominated Jon Fitch at UFC 87, the company’s first show in Minnesota.

GSP cleaned up on the judges’ scorecards: 50-43, 50-44 and 50-44. Fitch was a very worthy opponent, racking up 16 wins in a row to earn the title shot.

Kenny Florian won his fifth straight fight in the lightweight division, beating Roger Huerta by unanimous decision.

Brock Lesnar scored his first win in the Octagon with a unanimous decision over Heath Herring. Despite his inexperience, Lesnar got a shot at the UFC heavyweight title three months later.