Rashad Evans. Photo property of the Ultimate Fighting Championship.
Rashad Evans scored a third-round stoppage of fellow “Ultimate Fighter” winner Forrest Griffin to claim the UFC light heavyweight title while Frank Mir put on the best performance of his career in defeating Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira to recapture a piece of the UFC heavyweight belt that he once owned at UFC 92.
Evans came into his showdown with Griffin as an extremely slight underdog and the first two rounds of the bout were just as close. Both fighters connected with a mix of punches and kicks with great frequency, but Griffin likely escaped the first ten minutes with an edge on the judge’s scorecards.
A combination of a slip and a grazing right hand from Evans caused Griffin to fall to the canvas at the start of the third round. Evans, a former collegiate wrestler at Michigan State University, pounced on Griffin and landed some punches until the champion was able to tighten things up on the ground.
Frank Mir. Photo property of the Ultimate Fighting Championship.
Two championships changed hands Saturday night in Las Vegas as Rashad Evans and Frank Mir each scored impressive stoppages over Forrest Griffin and Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira respectively in the two featured bouts at the UFC’s annual year-end show. A full recap of the event will be posted shortly.
Complete results from the fight card:
Patrick Barry def. Dan Evensen - TKO (Leg Kicks)
Brad Blackburn def. Ryo Chonan - Unanimous Decision
Matt Hamill def. Reese Andy - TKO (Strikes)
Antoni Hardonk def. Mike Wessel - TKO (Strikes)
Yushin Okami def. Dean Lister - Unanimous Decision
Cheick Kongo def. Mustapha al Turk - TKO (Strikes)
Quinton Jackson def. Wanderlei Silva - KO (Punch)
CB Dollaway def. Mike Massenzio - TKO (Strikes)
Frank Mir def. Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira - TKO (Strikes)
Rashad Evans def. Forrest Griffin - Submission (Strikes)
Yushin Okami. Photo property of the Ultimate Fighting Championship.
The Ultimate Fighting Championship yesterday announced the seven-bout undercard for UFC 92: The Ultimate 2008, which will take place on December 27 in Las Vegas. The event will be headlined by Forrest Griffin making his first UFC light heavyweight title defense against Rashad Evans. “Ultimate Fighter 8” coaches Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira and Frank Mir will clash for the interim UFC heavyweight belt and Quinton “Rampage” Jackson will rematch Wanderlei Silva as well.
Among the undercard fights announced were two matchups that will take place on the televised pay-per-view portion of the fight card: C.B. Dollaway, the runner-up in the seventh season of “The Ultimate Fighter”, will take on former IFL middleweight Mike Massenzio and heavyweight contender Cheick Kongo will face his second straight UFC newcomer in Cage Rage veteran Mustapha Al-Turk.
The five preliminary bouts will be spearheaded by a middleweight battle between Yushin Okami and Dean Lister where the winner could get the next shot at Anderson Silva’s UFC middleweight title in the near future. Additional non-televised bouts include Matt Hamill vs. Reese Andy, Antoni Hardonk vs. Mark Burch, Ryo Chonan vs. Brad Blackburn, and Dan Evensen vs. Pat Barry.
Thiago Alves. Photo property of the Ultimate Fighting Championship.
All things must eventually come to an end.
Matt Hughes hasn’t officially retired, but his career is now visibly coming to an end. While two straight losses to current welterweight king Georges St. Pierre are nothing to be alarmed about, Hughes, who once said that he would hang up the gloves before becoming anyone’s highlight reel, was stunned again yesterday afternoon at the UFC’s latest event in London courtesy of a Thiago Alves’ flying knee.
Alves, who failed to make weight for the fight and forced the bout to take place at a catch-weight of 174 lbs, was in control from the start of the fight, evading multiple takedown attempts from Hughes, a former All-American collegiate wrestler.
However Hughes was eventually able to take Alves down to the canvas late in the first round. Despite not mounting much offense, Hughes was able to control Alves from top position for a good portion of the round before Alves reversed position and worked some ground-and-pound of his own before the horn sounded to end the stanza.
The second round saw Hughes take a knee to the face after trying another early takedown. The blow opened a cut near the former champion’s mouth and Hughes found himself on his back and avoiding strikes from Alves yet again. After landing a few hard punches, a scramble allowed both fighters to get back to their feet.
Alves then rushed Hughes and connected with a flying knee that sent the Miletich Fighting Systems product crumbling to the mat, his left knee awkwardly bending behind him. Alves pounced on a defenseless Hughes and connected with a couple of unanswered shots before referee Herb Dean stepped in to halt the bout.
Antoni Hardonk def. Eddie Sanchez - TKO
Paul Taylor def. Jess Liaudin - Split Decision, R3
Luis Cane def. Jason Lambert - TKO
Kevin Burns def. Roan Carneiro - Submission (Triangle Choke)
Matt Wiman def. Thiago Tavares - KO
Martin Kampmann def. Jorge Rivera - Submission (Guillotine Choke)
Fabricio Werdum def. Brandon Vera - TKO
Thales Leites def. Nate Marquardt - Split Decision
Mike Swick def. Marcus Davis - Unanimous Decision
Michael Bisping def. Jason Day - TKO
Thiago Alves def. Matt Hughes - TKO
Eddie Sanchez. Photo property of the Ultimate Fighting Championship.
Hard-hitting heavyweight Eddie Sanchez will return to action on June 7th at UFC 85: Bedlam in London, England when he takes over as an injury replacement for newcomer Neil Wain against Dutch striker Antoni Hardonk.
The UFC announced the change on their official website yesterday.
Wain will be unable to compete after suffering a broke nose during a recent training session. No word as of yet concerning a timetable for his return.
Sanchez is currently riding a two-fight winning streak, most recently stopping Soa Palelei with strikes in December. Despite twice going into the third round, the North County Fight Club has yet to go the distance in his career.
Hardonk last scored a seventeen-second knockout of Colin Robinson in January, snapping a previous two-fight losing streak that saw him lose to former heavyweight champion Frank Mir and longtime veteran Justin McCully in consecutive fights.
B.J. Penn throws a jab at Joe Stevenson during their championship bout at UFC 80: Rapid Fire. Photo property of the Ultimate Fighting Championship.
In a night of quick fights and surprising stoppages, one thing remains the same: B.J. Penn is still that damn good.
Penn submitted former Ultimate Fighter contestant Joe Stevenson with a rear naked choke in the second round to claim the vacant UFC lightweight title and become the second fighter in history along with current heavyweight champ Randy Couture to win championship gold in two different weight classes.
The lively 8,412 inside the Metro Radio Arena in Newcastle, England saw Penn surprise Stevenson with an uppercut that sent the California native down to the mat in the opening seconds. Penn pounced on his opponent but Stevenson was able to maintain his composure and survive Penn’s initial assault.
The former welterweight champion controlled Stevenson on the ground for the remainder of the first round, opening up a vicious cut in the middle of Stevenson’s forehead with just over a minute left in the round. Stevenson would end up donning a crimson mask for the rest of the fight.
The two had an even exchange on the feet to start the second stanza but that ended once Penn started to pick Stevenson apart with looping lefts and uppercuts. The bout was stopped at one point to have the doctor check Stevenson’s cut but the stream of blood avoiding Stevenson’s eyes already gave those watching the doctor’s answer.
Stevenson fell victim to another Penn (12-4-1) uppercut once the bout was restarted, signaling the beginning of the end for “Daddy.” Penn used punches and elbows to force Stevenson (28-8) out of position enough to be able to give up his back, which Penn quickly took without a second thought.
Penn was able to sink in a rear naked choke and Stevenson was forced to tap out without putting up much of a fight. The win finally gave Penn the UFC lightweight title in what was his third career attempt at the belt.
After the fight Penn acknowledged that he was trying to make his third try a successful one.
“Joe is a great guy,” said Penn. “I knew he was going to be tough, but I put everything into this. I wanted to make sure it was three times the charm and not three strikes you’re out.”
Penn also went out of his way to send former champion Sean Sherk a message now that Sherk will be challenging Penn in his first title defense later this year.
“Hey Sean Sherk, you’re dead,” Penn shouted during his post-fight interview with Joe Rogan.
Sherk, who was cage-side doing color commentary on the bout along with Rogan and UFC play-by-play announcer Mike Goldberg, stormed into the Octagon and picked up a microphone right after Penn made his comment.
“That belt belongs to me,” said Sherk. “You’ve got one more fight before you can be called lightweight champ.”
We will be going live at 1:00 PM EST with live results of UFC 80: Rapid Fire, which will take place live from the Metro Radio Arena in Newcastle, England.
UFC 80 features a lightweight championship bout between former welterweight title holder B.J. Penn and top contender and Ultimate Fighter 2 winner Joe Stevenson. Also on the card is a rematch between Gabriel Gonzaga and Fabricio Werdum and a welterweight clash between Marcus Davis and Jess Liaudin.
Be sure to leave comments throughout the afternoon and night.
Live results are shown after the jump.
Joe Stevenson weighs-in for UFC 74: Respect. Photo property of the Ultimate Fighting Championship.
The official weigh-in results for tomorrow afternoon’s UFC 80: Rapid Fire are below. All fighters successfully made weight.
MMA on Tap will start live coverage of the event starting at 1:00 PM EST tomorrow.
BJ Penn (154 lbs) vs Joe Stevenson (154 lbs)
Fabricio Werdum (247 lbs) vs Gabriel Gonzaga (255 lbs)
Jess Liaudin (170 lbs) vs Marcus Davis (169 lbs)
Wilson Gouveia (205 lbs) vs Jason Lambert (204 lbs)
Jorge Rivera (185 lbs) vs Kendall Grove (186 lbs)
Antoni Hardonk (244 lbs) vs Colin Robinson (238 lbs)
Paul Kelly (170 lbs) vs Paul Taylor (170 lbs)
James Lee (206 lbs) vs Alessio Sakara (206 lbs)
Per Eklund (155 lbs) vs Sam Stout (155 lbs)
Mark Gilbert of The Sun is reporting that Colin Robinson and Antoni Hardonk will clash in a heavyweight affair at UFC 80 in Newcastle, England.
Northern Ireland’s Colin Robinson (8-3) made his UFC debut in June at UFC 72: Victory. Robinson fell victim to the hands of Eddie Sanchez early in the second round of their heavyweight bout.
Dutch kickboxer Antoni Hardonk (5-4) is coming off of a tough submission loss to former UFC heavyweight champion Frank MIr at UFC 74: Respect. Hardonk sports a UFC record of 1-2 with his sole victory coming over Sherman Pendergarst,