Screens from ESPN’s recap of UFC 73
In order to remain a champion, one has to beat the best the opposition has to offer. Both Anderson Silva and Sean Sherk did just that on Saturday night, winning their fights in convincing fashion. With their respective roads now temporarily cleared, both fighters seem like they may stay on top for quite a while: a trend that we haven’t seen recently, at least in this upset-filled year.
UFC 73 turned out to certainly be ‘Stacked’ with action-packed fights from beginning to end. While the show’s production moved a bit faster than usual because of time constraints, each fight on the card equaled the pace. The majority of those in attendance at the ARCO Arena in Sacramento, California might not have agreed according to their unusual reactions throughout the night, but the event definitely lived up to the hype.
Anderson Silva successfully defended his UFC Middleweight Title with a first round TKO victory over Nate Marquardt. The fight was back and forth until Silva (19-4) connected with a straight left hand that dropped Marquardt (25-7-2) to the mat. Silva then got on top of Marquardt and rained down unanswered right hands until referee John McCarthy stepped in to halt the bout.
Marquardt stayed down on the mat for a few moments afterwards, obviously shaken up. Silva thanked all of his trainers and coaches during a post-fight interview with Joe Rogan. He also continued his growing love affair with American fans with praise and thanks as well.
“I love fighting for these fans,” Silva said. “I enjoy fighting in front of these fans fight after fight. They are always gracious.” Silva will now most likely go on to rematch former champion Rich Franklin this fall.
Sean Sherk won yet another five round unanimous decision and was able to keep his UFC Lightweight Title after defeating top contender Hermes Franca. Sherk (32-2-1) was able to control Franca (18-6) throughout the course of the fight, pressing the action and not letting Franca get up from the ground.
Franca landed multiple big knees to the chin of Sherk but was unable to generate any more offense than that. After the fight, Sherk stated that he was very impressed with Franca’s skills on the ground and his defense as well.
“Hermes was great on the ground. Definitely an awesome Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu guy.” said Sherk. “He did a good job of keeping his face from getting hit and kept me close the entire fight.”
Tonight we will be going live at 10 PM EST, covering UFC 73: Stacked with one of our patented live blogs. Be sure to leave some comments throughout the night…
While you are waiting for the event to start, feel free to check out our coverage of the event which includes predictions, media coverage, and much more:
UFC 73: Stacked
Tito Ortiz vs. Rashad Evans
Anderson Silva vs. Nathan Marquardt - UFC Middleweight Title
Sean Sherk vs. Hermes Franca - UFC Lightweight Title
Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira vs. Heath Herring
Kenny Florian vs. Alvin Robinson
Stephan Bonnar vs. Mike Nickels
Chris Lytle vs. Jason Gilliam
Frankie Edgar vs. Mark Bocek
Jorge Gurgel vs. Diego Saraiva
News and Notes:
- Renzo Gracie recently accepted Frank Shamrock’s request for a rematch on MMA Weekly’s Sound Off:
Gracie was recently on MMAWeekly Radio to responds to Shamrock’s challenge. “I never get invited to a party that I didn’t show up. I’d love to do it again,” Gracie said excitedly. Anyone who knows Gracie knows that he never shies away from a challenge and that he has the heart of a lion. “I want to finish a fight that I never had a chance to finish. I think it will be a continuation of what we had in February.”
- Maurico Rua has stated that his leg injury is not as severe as many media outlets are reporting that he will still continue to train while undergoing physical therapy.
- Jason Gilliam will be replacing an injured Drew Fickett as Chris Lytle’s opponent at UFC 73.
- UFC Junkie is reporting that Renato “Babalu” Sobral will make his return to the Octagon at UFC 74 against David Heath.
- Jess Liaudin has announced that he will be training with Team Quest for his upcoming bout at UFC 75 in September:
“I wanted to go to [Las] Vegas to train with Randy [Couture],” Liaudin said. “I saw his new gym, and it looked great. Not only that, but everyone trains down there. Martin Kampmann offered to rent me his apartment because right now he’s back home having surgery on his knee. The only thing is that his apartment is about a 15-minute drive from the gym, and I don’t drive.”
“We looked around a number of different gyms,” Liaudin said. “I always wanted to go to Team Quest, but I didn’t really want to go to Oregon. Now Dan Henderson has a gym in California. My manager got in touch with them; you can stay in a house with other fighters, they come pick you up and take you to the gym and, for extra money, they even deliver food for us.”
- Justin Levens has signed a three-fight deal with Palace Fighting Championships.
Video of the Day:
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UFC Junkie is reporting that Drew Fickett has been forced to pull out of his scheduled bout with Chris Lytle at UFC 73 because of an undisclosed injury. A second replacement opponent for Lytle has not yet been named.
Drew Fickett has been scratched from next weekend’s UFC 73 event and his opponent, Chris Lytle, is currently awaiting word on a replacement.
Lytle’s agent, Ken Pavia, confirmed the news to UFC Junkie early this morning.
Fickett was actually a replacement for Canadian Jeff Joslin, who was scratched from the event last month because of an injury.
The nature and extent of Fickett’s injury is not yet known.
Sherdog.com is reporting Canadian welterweight Jeff “The Inferno” Joslin (5-3) has been forced to withdraw from his fight at UFC 73 with Chris Lytle (22-14-5) due to an injury. Taking Joslin’s place will be UFC vet Drew Fickett (29-5-0).
According to an article on ‘The Fight Network’, Joslin was craving the opportunity to fight a well-known name but to his dismay the injury bug bit him again.
“I’ve been going through a few days of being pissed off,” a disappointed Joslin said today. “I was looking forward to the fight; he’s [Lytle] a well-known name and it was a good opportunity.”
UFC 73: Stacked is scheduled to take place July 7th at the ARCO Arena in Sacramento, California.
MMAWeekly has obtained the salaries for this past weekend’s UFC 68: The Uprising, held in Columbus, Ohio. As usual, these numbers represent only the actual money given to the fighters, both their salary and win bonuses. It does not include any PPV buy cuts or sponsorships.
UFC 68—- March 3, 2007
Title Match & Main Event Fighters
-Randy Couture: $250,000 (17th fight in UFC; defeated Tim Sylvia)
-Tim Sylvia: $100,000 (11th fight in UFC; lost to Randy Couture)
Main Card Fighters
-Matt Hughes: $150,000 (18th fight in UFC; defeated Chris Lytle)
-Rich Franklin: $42,000 (9th fight in UFC; defeated Jason MacDonald)
-Renato “Babalu” Sobral: $21,000 (9th fight in UFC; lost to Jason Lambert)
-Martin Kampmann: $20,000 (3rd fight in UFC; defeated Drew McFedries)
-Jason Lambert: $18,000 (5th fight in UFC; defeated Renato “Babalu” Sobral)
-Jason MacDonald: $14,000 (3rd fight in UFC; lost to Rich Franklin)
-Chris Lytle: $10,000 (8th fight in UFC; lost to Matt Hughes)
-Drew McFedries: $5,000 (2nd fight in UFC; lost to Martin Kampmann)
Preliminary Match Fighters
-Jon Fitch: $28,000 (5th fight in UFC; defeated Luigi Fioravanti)
-Matt Hamill: $10,000 (3rd fight in UFC; defeated Rex Holman)
-Luigi Fioravanti: $8,000 (4th fight in UFC; lost to Jon Fitch)
-Jamie Varner: $6,000 (2nd fight in UFC; defeated Jason Gilliam)
-Gleison Tibau: $6,000 (2nd fight in UFC; defeated Jason Dent)
-Rex Holman: $3,000 (1st fight in UFC; lost to Matt Hamill)
-Jason Gilliam: $3,000 (1st fight in UFC; lost to Jamie Varner)
-Jason Dent: $3,000 (2nd fight in UFC; lost to Gleison Tibau)
Disclosed Fighter Payroll: $697,000
Here is the official card for UFC 68: The Uprising.
Main Card Bouts:
Tim Sylvia vs. Randy Couture - UFC Heavyweight Title
Matt Hughes vs. Chris Lytle
Drew McFedries vs. Martin Kampmann
Rich Franklin vs. Jason MacDonald
Renato Sobral vs. Jason Lambert
Rex Holman vs. Matt Hamill
Jon Fitch vs. Luigi Fioravanti
Gleison Tibau vs. Jason Dent
Jason Gilliam vs. Jamie Varner
Canadian middleweight Jason “The Athlete” MacDonald will make his return to the octagon March 3rd when he faces former UFC middleweight champion Rich “Ace” Franklin.
“When you continue to be successful in the UFC, each time you go back you get a tougher fight,” MacDonald said in a statement. “I got a big win over (Chris) Leben who was considered to be in the top five and now they’re giving me someone else who is another top guy.”
Jason MacDonald made his UFC debut earlier this year when he choked out ‘The Ultimate Fighter 3’ runner up Ed Herman. MacDonald was able to continue his winning streak last Saturday when he choked out Herman’s teammate Chris Leben making it six wins in a row for the New Glasgow, N.S. native.
In other news, it is expected that former UFC welterweight champion Matt Hughes will face Chris Lytle at UFC 68.
Update: 5:21 PM EST - Sherdog.com is reporting that along with signing to fight Rich Franklin, Jason MacDonald has also agreed to a signing bonus and a new four-fight contract.