Here is a preview John and I put together for UFC 71: Liddell vs. Jackson.
Main Card Bouts:
Chuck Liddell vs. Quinton Jackson
Terry Martin vs. Ivan Salaverry
Josh Burkman vs. Karo Parisyan
Houston Alexander vs. Keith Jardine
Kalib Starnes vs. Chris Leben
Thiago Silva vs. James Irvin
Sean Salmon vs. Alan Belcher
Jeremy Stephens vs. Din Thomas
Carmelo Marrero vs. Wilson Gouveia
Also be sure to tune in at 10 PM EST as we’ll be doing one of our patented ‘Live Blogs’ for the PPV.
Here are the weigh-in results for UFC 66: Liddell vs. Ortiz II.
Chuck Liddell (205) vs. Tito Ortiz (205)
Forrest Griffin (205) vs. Keith Jardine (205)
Chris Leben (186) vs. Jason MacDonald (184)
Andrei Arlovski (236) vs. Marcio Cruz (236)
Michael Bisping (205) vs. Eric Schafer (205)
Thiago Alves (170) vs. Tony DeSouza (171)
Gabriel Gonzaga (244) vs. Carmelo Marrero (220)
Rory Singer (185) vs. Yushin Okami (284)
Anthony Perosh (236) vs. Christian Wellisch (235)
Here’s a few links to fill you in on what sports writers around the country are saying about UFC 66: Liddell vs. Ortiz II…
LA Daily Times: UFC finds ultimate success
St.Petersburg Times: It’s not all fun and games
UFC: Chuck Liddell: the Last of the Mohicans
Globe and Mail: Liddell, Ortiz meet the media
UFC: Liddell lingers as the Last Piece in the Ortiz Puzzle
OC Register: UFC 66: Liddell vs. Ortiz preview
LA Times: Liddell confident he’ll beat Ortiz
LV Review Journal: Trainer on top with Liddell
UFC: Jardine Ready for A Blue Collar Battle on Saturday
ESPN: UFC 66 Makes ESPN’s Top 100 Sports Events for 2006
UFC: The MMA Resurrection of Jason MacDonald
UFC: Chris Leben – Revenge Now, Redemption Later
FOX: Does Ortiz Believe He Will Win?
Keith Jardine and Forrest Griffin
Carmelo Marrero and Gabriel Gonzaga
Jason MacDonald and Chris Leben
Thiago Alves and Tony DeSouza
Christian Wellisch and Anthony Perosh
Marcio Cruz and Andrei Arlovski
Tito Ortiz and Chuck Liddell
Eric Schafer and Michael Bisping
UFC 66 Press Conference - Ortiz and Liddell
UFC 66 Press Conference - Jardine, Griffin, Schafer, Bisping
Liddell vs. Ortiz II Predictions
The Ultimate Fighting Championship has officially added three undercard bouts to UFC 66: Liddell vs. Ortiz II.
Also announced was a heavyweight battle between Australia’s Anthony Perosh and ‘The Hungarian Nightmare’ Christian Wellisch.
UFC heavyweights Carmelo Marrero (6-0) and Gabriel Gonzaga (6-1) will clash in a battle of the big men at UFC 66.
Gonzaga is currently 2-0 in the UFC with his last victory coming against Fabiano Scherner at UFC 60: Gracie vs Hughes.
Marrero is currently 6-0 and 1-0 in the UFC. Marrero made his UFC debut at UFC 64: Unstoppable where fans saw him stop heavyweight prospect Cheick Kongo to earn the spilt decision victory.
What a night! When sitting here and looking back on tonight’s event I am lost for words.
The evenings event was kicked off with a fight between lightweight contender Spencer Fisher and 18-year old Dan Lauzon. Lauzon worked well early on but Fisher overcame his initial assault and returned fire with some good punches and knees. Fisher was eventually able to rock Lauzon and the fight was called at 4:38 of the first round.
Next up was a battle between the big men. The question coming into this fight was would Carmello Marrero be able to take Kongo down. Marrero showed he could do just that as he took Kongo down at will throughout the whole fight and neutralized anything Kongo had to offer. Kongo didn’t do much throughout the first two rounds but he look a little better in the third. In the end though that wasn’t enough and the fight was scored a split decision win for UFC newcomer Carmello Marrero.
After a tribute to UFC legend Ken Shamrock, Jon Fitch and Kuniyoshi Hironaka took to the octagon. Hironaka looked excellent early in the first as he caught Fitch in a triangle which he worked for the majority of the first. Fitch eventually broke free and he ended the first on a high note as he took Hironaka’s back and worked for a submission.
The second and thirds were a lot alike. Fitch came out hard each round and imposed his will on the Japanese fighter working some vicious ground and pound along with some good stand-up. At one point in the second Fitch took a shot to the face which caused he nose to bleed but it had little effect and the outcome was definitive as Fitch was declared the winner by unanimous decision.
To me Fitch showed a lot tonight. He showed he can overcome adversity and that he is touch as hell. Fitch got caught in a submission early but he weathered the storm and from that point on he controlled the fight with vicious ground and pound and striking.
Next up was the co-main event of the evening for the UFC lightweight title. Sean Sherk proved that the lightweight division is the proper place for him.
Sherk came out early and secured a strong takedown and that set the tone for the fight. Sherk worked excellent ground and pound throughout the whole fight and he neutralized anything Florian had to offer except for the little roadblock he ran into in the second round.
While working from the top, Sherk was firing off his shots and Florian threw an elbow from the bottom. The shot landed and opened up a big cut on the forehead of Sean Sherk. The cut had to be checked but the fight was allowed to continue. Blood poured out of the cut but Sherk jumped the hurdle and continued to pound Florian for the remaining three rounds.
Sherk was able to neutralize any offense Florian had to offer by taking him to the canvas time after time. Late in the final round, Sherk picked Florian up and slammed him to the canvas sending one final message to the crowd. In the end Sean Sherk won by unanimous decision and was crowned the new UFC lightweight champion.
Next up was the fight everyone had been waiting for, the battle for the UFC middleweight title between Rich Franklin and Anderson Silva. As the fighters made their ways to the octagon you could sense the difference in attitudes. Silva looked very calm, composed and ready while Franklin on the other hand came out looking pissed and uptight.
Anderson Silva dominated Rich Franklin from start to finish as he utilized a devastating Thai clinch. In one exchange Franklin was able to land a couple of shots but that was the beginning of the end. Silva worked hard knees to the body and head before momentarily releasing his grip. When he grabbed back on he fired off a knee that landed square to the face and broke Franklin’s nose and sent him crumbling to the canvas.
Afterwards Silva was very emotional as he was crowned the new UFC middleweight champion of the world. Franklin was very humble and he assured fans that he’d work his way back up the ranks.
In other action, Clay Guida put on a ground and pound clinch and he went to work on Justin James choked him out late in the second round after working some excellent ground and pound.
Yushin Okami moved one step closer to being middleweight contender as he knocked out ‘The Ultimate Fighter’ alumnus Kalib Starnes late in the third round.
Kurt Pellegrino set himself straight tonight after losing in his UFC debut as he choked out Junior Assuncao early in the first round.