Efrain Escudero. Photo by Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC.
Nick Diaz's hard-fought title defense and Abe Wagner's 32-second destruction of Tim Sylvia may have made the headlines this past weekend, but there was plenty more quality MMA going on around the country.
"Ultimate Fighter 8" winner Efrain Escudero won for the second time since his release from the UFC, submitting Jeremy Larsen with an armbar in the second round of Rage in the Cage 148's main event.
Also victorious was former WEC featherweight champion Cole Escovedo, who snapped a two-fight losing streak via technical submission after choking opponent Steven Siler unconscious with a triangle choke at a Showdown Fights event in California.
Forrest Griffin. Photo property of the Ultimate Fighting Championship.
Former UFC light heavyweight champion Forrest Griffin will be sidelined indefinitely after suffering a broken left hand during his title loss to fellow “Ultimate Fighter” reality show winner Rashad Evans at UFC 92 this past weekend.
According to the official list of medical suspensions released by the Nevada State Athletic Commission late last night, Griffin could be suspended until June 27 unless he is cleared early by an orthopedic doctor. At the least, Griffin will be suspended until February 12 with no contact permitted until January 28 for precautionary reasons.
Joining Griffin in terms of injuries suffered at the event was Cage Rage veteran Mustapha Al-Turk, who suffered a broken nose in his brutal loss to Cheick Kongo as well as Dan Evensen (left knee injury), Reese Andy (broken orbital bone), and Brad Blackburn (broken nose, left arm numbness) The aforementioned fighters will also be serving the same suspension timeline as Griffin.
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)