Randy Couture did it again.
For the second time in as many fights, Couture shocked the world and defeated a challenger that was supposed to run him over. This is nothing new to Couture. He’s been an underdog for the majority of his career. However after two huge wins over two dominate heavyweights, can Couture be an underdog any longer?
Couture dominated challenger Gabriel Gonzaga over two rounds and an assault of strikes on the ground two minutes into the third forced referee Herb Dean to stop the fight, allowing Couture to retain his UFC Heavyweight Title. Gonzaga laid in the Octagon, bloodied and exhausted, in front of the 11,118 in attendance at the Mandalay Bay Events Center. It was a sight that many did not expect to see.
Gonzaga put himself on the map with a vicious knockout of Mirko Cro Cop this past April at UFC 70. A single headkick from Gonzaga left the supposed best striker in MMA unconscious on the mat. Couture said that he had developed the perfect strategy to beat Gonzaga during training. Gonzaga (8-2) stated that he found that Couture (16-8) had a fatal flaw in his game. It was Couture that ultimately won the chess match.
Clay Guida def. Marcus Aurelio - Split Decision
Thales Leites def. Ryan Jensen - Submission (Armbar)
Frank Mir def. Antoni Hardonk - Submission (Kimura)
Renato Sobral def. David Heath - Submission (Anaconda Choke)
Patrick Cote def. Kendall Grove - TKO (Strikes)
Joe Stevenson def. Kurt Pellegrino - Unanimous Decision
Roger Huerta def. Alberto Crane - TKO (Strikes)
Georges St. Pierre def. Josh Koscheck - Unanimous Decision
Randy Couture def. Gabriel Gonzaga - TKO (Strikes)
Here are the official results from the UFC 74 weigh-ins.
Thales Leites weighed in at 188 lbs, 3 lbs over the 185 lb limit at middleweight. He currently has two hours to lose the extra weight. Since his fight against Ryan Jensen is a non-title bout, he will be permitted to weigh-in at 186 lbs if need be. We will be sure to have an update on the situation as soon as we get the information.
Update 9:30 PM: Leites made the required weight within two hours and will be permitted to fight tomorrow night.
Randy Couture (228.5 lbs) vs Gabriel Gonzaga (252 lbs)
Georges St. Pierre (170 lbs) vs Josh Koscheck (170 lbs)
Joe Stevenson (155 lbs) vs Kurt Pellegrino (155 lbs)
Patrick Cote (184.5 lbs) vs Kendall Grove (184 lbs)
Roger Huerta (155 lbs) vs Alberto Crane (155 lbs)
Marcus Aurelio (155 lbs) vs Clay Guida (155 lbs)
Frank Mir (255 lbs) vs Antoni Hardonk (244 lbs)
Renato Sobral (204 lbs) vs David Heath (205 lbs)
Thales Leites (188 lbs) vs Ryan Jensen (185 lbs)
Three big future UFC matchups are being reported by three different sites…
UFC Mania is reporting that Chris Leben may take on Mike Swick in a rematch of their January 2004 bout at WEC 9. Leben won that bout by knockout in the second round and it was the focal point of a good amount of discussion between Leben and Swick during the first season of The Ultimate Fighter.
Yesterday UFC President Dana White also mentioned the possibility of the bout during a Q&A session with UFC Fight Club members after the UFC 73 weigh-ins. The bout is expected to take place at either UFC 76 or UFC Fight Night 11. No word on whether the fight would take place at welterweight or middleweight.
UFC Junkie is stating that Diego Sanchez and Jon Fitch are expected to meet at UFC 76:
Rising welterweight contender Jon Fitch could put his spotless UFC record on the line with a fight against Diego Sanchez at UFC 76.
Early this morning, a reliable source close to one of the fighters told UFC Junkie that the fight is in the works and expected to take place at UFC 76 on Sept. 22. The bout would be on the main card, and according to our source, may even be billed as a co-main event.
Sherdog got into the announcing of future bouts this morning when they revealed that Marcus Aurelio will make his UFC debut at UFC 74 against Clay Guida. Aurelio signed a four-fight deal with the UFC last month and is widely known for his win over Takanori Gomi at PRIDE Bushido 10. Guida is coming off a pair of close decision losses to Tyson Griffin and Din Thomas respectively.
Here is a preview we put together for UFC 72: Victory.
Main Card Bouts:
Rich Franklin vs. Yushin Okami
Forrest Griffin vs. Hector Ramirez
Tyson Griffin vs. Clay Guida
Jason MacDonald vs. Rory Singer
Ed Herman vs. Scott Smith
Marcus Davis vs. Jason Tan
Eddie Sanchez vs. Colin Robinson
Dustin Hazelett vs. Stevie Lynch
Also be sure to tune in at 3 PM EST as we’ll be doing one of our patented ‘Live Blogs’ for the PPV.
Sherdog is reporting that Rich Franklin will meet Martin Kampmann in the main event of the UFC’s inaugural event in Ireland on June 16th.
It is also being reported that Dana White will officially announce the contest and the event during tonight’s UFC Fight Night 9 on Spike TV. On top of that, a possible bout between Forrest Griffin and Hector Ramirez is being rumored.
MMA Weekly’s rumor page also has Tyson Griffin vs Clay Guida as a possible matchup for the event as well…
We are live doing our one of our patented live blogs! Be sure to comment throughout the night…
Also check out our official preview and predictions for this event…
Tonight’s lineup for those who are wondering -
Rashad Evans vs Sean Salmon
Heath Herring vs Jake O’Brien
Hermes Franca vs Spencer Fisher
Nate Marquardt vs Dean Lister (will be televised if there is TV time remaining)
Clay Guida vs Din Thomas
Chad Reiner vs Josh Burkman
Ed Herman vs Chris Price
Ross Pointon vs Rich Clementi
Here is a preview John and I put together for UFC Fight Night 8 along with a little commercial for everyone…
Rashad Evans vs. Sean Salmon
Heath Herring vs. Jake O’Brien
Hermes Franca vs. Spencer Fisher
Nate Marquardt vs. Dean Lister
Clay Guida vs. Din Thomas
Chad Reiner vs. Josh Burkman
Ed Herman vs. Chris Price
Ross Pointon vs. Rich Clementi
Be sure to tune in tomorrow night as we’ll be doing one of our patented ‘Live Blogs’ starting at 8 PM EST!
News and Notes
- The next WEC show will be March 24th at The Joint in Las Vegas, Nevada.
- PRIDE has added the following bouts to their upcoming show Pride 33: Second Coming:
* Takanori Gomi vs. Nick Diaz
* Hayato Sakurai vs. Mac Danzig
* Kazuo Misaki vs. Frank Trigg
* Kazuhiro Nakamura vs. Travis Wiuff
- Matt Lindland has confirmed through ‘The Fight Network’ that he signed a three-fight deal with BodogFight. All of the fights will take place in the heavyweight division.
- It’s looking like Tito Oritz vs. Forrest Griffin II is a strong possibility for UFC 70 in Manchester.
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.