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)
LAS VEGAS, NV (USA) – The Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) organization is proud to announce three classic bouts on the historic final card of the year – UFC 92: The Ultimate 2008, live from the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada on Saturday, December 27, 2008. The stacked fight card will be headlined by UFC light heavyweight champion and the original Ultimate Fighter Forrest Griffin as he defends his belt against The Ultimate Fighter Season 2 heavyweight winner Rashad Evans, who is fresh off a devastating knockout win over former UFC champion Chuck Liddell.
“We are ending 2008 with a fight card like no other,” said UFC President Dana White. “One for every fight fan out there.”
Not one, but two titles are on the line on December 27th as former UFC Heavyweight champion Frank Mir continues his pursuit to regain the belt when he meets Interim UFC Heavyweight champion Antonio Rodrigo “Minotauro” Nogueira in a showdown between the two coaches of this season’s edition of The Ultimate Fighter. Also on tap is a grudge match between two former champions, as MMA legend Wanderlei Silva takes on former UFC Light Heavyweight Champion Quinton “Rampage” Jackson.
Yahoo Sports is reporting that the UFC has finalized the top three fights for their New Year’s Eve weekend show. Its long been known that the fight for the interim heavyweight title between Antonio Nogueira and Frank Mir would take place. But the two fights below that fight are main event quality themselves. For the UFC Light Heavyweight belt, champion Forrest Griffin will take on undefeated Rashad Evans. And for the third time in their illustrious careers, former UFC champ Quentin “Rampage” Jackson will battle former Pride champion Wanderlei Silva.
As recently as Monday, UFC president Dana White said there were “lots of moving parts” as he tried to complete the company’s end-of-year fight cards.
On Wednesday, he at least got the top three fights of UFC 92 finalized. The co-main events will feature the interim heavyweight title match between champion Antonio Rodrigo and Frank Mir. Forrest Griffin will defend the light heavyweight title against Rashad Evans and Quinton “Rampage” Jackson will meet Wanderlei Silva, who defeated him twice when they fought in PRIDE.
The Jackson-Silva card had been considered for UFC 91, when the card was slated to be in Portland, Ore., as well for UFC 94, which will be Jan. 31 in Las Vegas.
But White said he wanted to “stack” the UFC’s traditional New Year’s Eve weekend card and managed to do so by putting four of the company’s most popular fighters on the card.
Quinton Jackson vs. Forrest Griffin. Photo property of the Ultimate Fighting Championship.
In the days following his title loss to Forrest Griffin and before his high-speed chase with police in California, former UFC light heavyweight champion Quinton “Rampage” Jackson and his camp considered filing a protest to the Nevada State Athletic Commission concerning the scoring during his defeat at UFC 86.
The protest was never made and despite claiming that he “got his ass kicked” during his post-fight interview with Joe Rogan, Jackson is now publicly stating that he beat Griffin. In his recent comments to Fighters Only Magazine, Jackson showed much disdain towards his fellow ‘TUF’ coach.
“I just want my fans to know, I was at my worst and Forrest was at his best - and I still beat him,” Jackson said. “A man is not a man if he can’t ‘fess up to when he gets his ass kicked. See me, if I get my ass kicked I am like ‘yeah, I got my ass kicked’ [After the fight] I was being sarcastic, because I really could not believe that it went the way it did. I’m not a sore loser, shit happens. But I was hoping that Forrest would be a man and come out and say ‘You know what, I didn’t win that fight’, especially after he watched it.”
And people say leg-kicks don’t hurt? MMAjunkie.com posted the medical suspensions for UFC 86 with Quinton “Rampage” Jackson out until possibly January 2nd, 2009!:
- Quinton Jackson - suspended until Jan. 2 due to possible left knee, tibia, fibia and thumb injuries (can be cleared early by orthopedic doctor); minimum suspension until Aug. 5 with no contact until July 27 for precautionary reasons
- Forrest Griffin - suspended until Sept. 4 due to right-upper-eyelid laceration (can be cleared early by doctor)
- Chris Lytle - suspended until Sept. 4 due to laceration near right eye (can be cleared early by doctor)
- Josh Koscheck - suspended until Aug. 5 with no contact July 27 for precautionary reasons
- Marcus Aurelio - suspended until Jan. 2 due to possible left-thumb ligament injury (can be cleared early by orthopedic doctor); minimum suspension until Aug. 5 with no contact until July 27 for precautionary reasons
- Justin McCully - suspended until Jan. 2 due to possible left-shoulder injury (can be cleared early by doctor)
- Cole Miller - suspended until Sept. 4 due to facial lacerations (can be cleared early by doctor)
- Jorge Gurgel - suspended until Jan. 2 due to right tibia, fibia and elbow injuries (can be cleared early by orthopedic doctor)
- Dennis Siver - suspended until Aug. 20 with no contact until Aug. 5 for precautionary reasons
- Justin Buchholz - suspended until Sept. 4 due to scalp laceration (can be cleared early by doctor)
Forrest Griffin, by Becky Bollom on Flickr
The main bout of UFC 86, Forrest Griffin vs Quinton “Rampage” Jackson, is still the talk of the MMA world.
Sherdog weighs-in on the general displeasure of the decision and possible rematch, along with fighters’ opinions on who won the fight. An official count wasn’t made, but giving it a casual read, it does seem that most think Griffin won the fight.
The number one reason for Griffin not winning - and notice it’s not written Jackson winning or even Griffin losing - is that “you have to beat the champ”, a quote from Jackson’s coach Juanito Ibarra, some fighters, and even readers of this site. The concept is well understood, but scoring systems don’t change for championship fights and champions don’t get awarded bonus points (although we’ve all seen some fights where it seemed like they were). The UFC does increase the number of rounds for a title fight, but that’s the lone rules change, and no scoring changes come along with that. Dave Meltzer of Yahoo! Sports has similar thoughts.
Griffin’s win made him the highest paid fighter of the night according to MMA Weekly. The $150k win bonus helped him top former champ Rampage. The two also were awarded fight of the night bonuses of $60k. The third highest paid fighter wasn’t even on the main card. Gabriel Gonzaga, who defeated Justin McCully on the preliminary card, received $100k with the win bonus.
Nogueira tests positive
MMA Weekly is reporting Alexandre “Pequeno” Nogueira has allegedly tested positive for the Boldenone according to the CSAC.
Kolohe to defend title Aug 2
Kala “Kolohe” Hose will defend his ICON middleweight title against Rolando Dominique in his home state of Hawaii on Aug 2.
Bosse to take on the Colossus
Former hockey enforcer Steve Bosse is scheduled to take on James “The Colossus” Thompson at TKO 35 on Oct 3 in Montreal. Bosse’s last fight was a controversial win against Wes Sims, while Thompson was “that guy who fought Kimbo” at Elite XC’s initial CBS show.
Kicking a live horse
Our Cage Potato buds are already having fun with the UFC’s swat at Affliction’s Fedor card.
What’s the best way to relax after a championship fight? How about a little poker, literally. Forrest Griffin, decked out in Full Tilt (aff link) gear, presumably sponsoring him, played in the main event of this year’s World Series of Poker.
Wicked Chops Poker gives us a few words from Griffin, and also informs us that Griffin’s non-patience won the day, causing him to go all-in blind until he was knocked out of the tourney.
Forrest Griffin def. Quinton Jackson - Unanimous Decision
Patrick Cote def. Ricardo Almeida - Split Decision
Joe Stevenson def. Gleison Tibau - Submission (guillotine choke)
Josh Koscheck def. Chris Lytle - Unanimous Decision
Gabriel Gonzaga def. Justin McCully - Submission (americana)
Cole Miller def. Jorge Gurgel - Submission (triangle choke)
Melvin Guillard def. Dennis Siver - TKO
Justin Buchholz def. Corey Hill - Submission (rear naked choke)
Update Jul 6 7:45pm: Adding post-fight video reaction.
First, Forrest Griffin:
Others after the jump.
Dana White. Photo property of the Ultimate Fighting Championship.
While it’s pretty easy to assume that the current relationship between UFC President Dana White and his reigning heavyweight champion, Randy Couture, might be a little rocky considering White’s company filed a defamation suit against Couture earlier this year, things might be starting to get a little better between the two.
White was a guest this morning on CBS and XM Satellite Radio’s “Opie and Anthony Show” (audio here) where he talked about a variety of topics, including his current situation with Couture. As he’s done all throughout the past eight months since Couture formally resigned from the promotion, White had nothing but good things to say about the UFC Hall-of-Famer.
“I have nothing but respect for Randy Couture,” White said on the program. “This guy is a real fighter and he’s always fought the best fighters in the world. So whatever his reasoning his for wanting to sit out for the remainder of this thing, I want Randy Couture back in the UFC. I want him to be a part of this thing for the rest of his life and I’m trying to work that out with Randy right now so we’ll see what happens.”
Whether or not White and Couture are really trying to work something out remains to be seen, but this is the first time in quite a while that White has even mentioned anything related to an attempt to patch things up with Couture.
White also discussed his attempts to sign former PRIDE heavyweight champion Fedor Emelianenko, widely considered the top pound-for-pound fighter in the world. While one of Couture’s main reasons for leaving the UFC was White’s inability to sign Emelianenko, he noted that his attempts were not made in vain.