Rich Franklin (Photo: mmaweekly.com)
UFC 53 – Heavy Hitters – Atlantic City, N.J. – Boardwalk Hall – June 4, 2005
Rich Franklin, a teacher from Cincinnati, Ohio, won the UFC middleweight title from Evan Tanner at UFC 53.
Franklin had earned the title shot win a win over UFC legend Ken Shamrock at the finals of The Ultimate Fighter.
Franklin dominated Tanner in the second and third rounds before the doctor called for an end to the bout in the fourth.
Andrei Arlovski retained his UFC interim heavyweight title with a win over Justin Eilers, who got the title shot because fights with Mirko Cro Cop and Ricco Rodriguez fell through.
With less than a minute to go in Round 1, Eilers blew out his knee. Arlovski moved in for the kill and won by TKO.
Forrest Griffin built on his win in The Ultimate Fighter series by defeating Bill Mahood in 2:18 with a rear naked choke.
Judo expert Karo Parisyan scored his fourth UFC win in a row by defeating Matt Serra by unanimous decision.
Paul Buentello delivered some powerful punches on the debuting Kevin “The Shaman” Jordan before putting him away with a guillotine choke in 4 minutes.
Nick Diaz improved his UFC record to 4-1 by knocking out Koji Oishi in 84 seconds. His victory and the other two preliminary bouts were all shown on the PPV broadcast.
Those results were Nate Quarry over Shonie Carter by TKO at the 2:37 mark; and David “The Crow” Loiseau over Charles McCarthy on a second-round TKO with a flying knee.