GEORGES ST. PIERRE vs. MATT SERRA
Matt Serra shocked the MMA world! Who would have thought that Georges St. Pierres first title defense would end with St. Pierre lying flat on his back staring dreamily into space with a dazed look on his face. Anyone who predicted a first round knockout would not have guessed that Matt Serra would be the one battering his opponents face like a speed bag. Matt Serra finally got his promised shot at the welterweight title, his reward for winning the Ultimate Fighter 4 television show, and he made the most of the opportunity. At the time, it was unknown if Serra was going to face the freakishly strong Matt Hughes or the highly respected and technically sound Georges St. Pierre. The decision was made when Hughes squared off against St. Pierre in UFC 65, last November. That fight was never in doubt as GSP kept Matt Hughes on the defensive the entire fight and came out completely unscathed with the UFC Welterweight belt.
GEORGES ST. PIERRE vs. MATT SERRA
Matt Serra shocked the MMA world! Who would have thought that Georges St. Pierres first title defense would end with St. Pierre lying flat on his back staring dreamily into space with a dazed look on his face. Anyone who predicted a first round knockout would not have guessed that Matt Serra would be the one battering his opponents face like a speed bag.
Matt Serra finally got his promised shot at the welterweight title, his reward for winning the Ultimate Fighter 4 television show, and he made the most of the opportunity. At the time, it was unknown if Serra was going to face the freakishly strong Matt Hughes or the highly respected and technically sound Georges St. Pierre. The decision was made when Hughes squared off against St. Pierre in UFC 65, last November. That fight was never in doubt as GSP kept Matt Hughes on the defensive the entire fight and came out completely unscathed with the UFC Welterweight belt.
This fight was originally set to take place in UFC 67 but GSP had to pull out due to a knee injury he suffered during training. Many didnt give the 58 Matt Serra much chance of winning this fight. Matt Serra was coming off very a close win over Chris Lytle in the TUF 4 finale. The only thing Serra had going for him was that he wasnt afraid of Georges St. Pierre. Matt was hoping GSP would take him lightly and get caught in a submission. GSP made a mistake all right. Serra was looking for it and jumped all over it.
With 2 minutes, three seconds left in the first round, Serra throws a haymaker that missed but his forearm catches the top of GSPs head. Serra has heavy hands and it was enough to teeter St. Pierre off balance, just as Serra came back with his left hand and slapped St. Pierres head down. GSP staggers across the octagon trying to regain his balance and Serra follows him. St. Pierre slips backing up and momentarily leaves himself unguarded. Serra lands an overhand right on the side of St. Pierres head that drops him to the canvas. Serra jumps on him throwing blows. GSP makes it back to his feet but not before he eats a lot of shots. GSP steps back while Serra reloads and rocks St. Pierre with a blow on the side of the head that wobbles him backwards. GSP lamely tries to grabs Serras leg for a takedown. Serra just pushes him off and lands another blow as GSP tries to stand. Serra gets separation and lands a knockout blow on the chin that rocks GSPs head sideways. GSP falls flat on his back, Serra mounts him and drops fist after fist in a stunned St. Pierres face until the Ref stepped in and stopped the fight.
Matt Serra becomes the new UFC welterweight champ and ups his MMA record to 16-4. St. Pierre, gracious in defeat, drops to 13-2. Matt Hughes gleefully applauds from his seat and shouts I love it.
During his post fight comments, Serra asked Joe Rogan if he and Dana White had any Humble Pie in the back, alluding to the fact that Joe and others spoke about GSP as if he already had won the fight. St. Pierre, in his interview, offered no excuses for losing and congratulated the new champ for beating him fair and square.
DIEGO SANCHEZ vs. JOSH KOSCHECK
In perhaps the most disappointing fight of the evening, Josh Koscheck pulled another upset and demystified the previously undefeated Diego Sanchez. Koscheck won a unanimous decision, making Diego look very ordinary in a fight almost entirely devoid of action. Josh Koshcek controlled the fight from the opening bell. Instead of a ferocious pitbull, Diego spent the whole fight circling and feinting. He didnt try a takedown once, conceding that Koscheck was the better wrestler and the ground game was Koschecks advantage. The fans continually booed their disappointment over what should have been a great fight.
There was bad blood between these two fighters, Diego having shoved Koscheck on stage during weigh-ins. They had fought before, on the Ultimate Fighter television show. Diego won that exhibition but Koscheck said it was due to his own MMA inexperience. Diego wanted to prove it was no fluke. Koscheck was out to tarnish Diegos perfect 19-0 record.
Unlike his previous fights, Diego came out for the first round very tentative and seemed reluctant to press the action. It was an easy round to score as Koscheck landed the only shots thrown. Round two was more of the same. Diego chose to stand and circle with Koscheck instead of trying to take him to the ground. Diego only succeeded in eating left jabs. The final round saw yet even more shadow boxing and the fans let the fighters know their disappointment, booing almost the entire round.
Koscheck won a unanimous 3 round decision. Josh was exuberant in victory, miming the pre-fight shove he received from Diego on Joe Rogan. Koscheck then stole the mic from Rogan and after booing the crowd back, loudly emphasized that Diegos MMA record is now 19 and oooooooooooone. Diego left the octagon quietly and without comment.
As for Diego Sanchez, hell be back but his invincibility is gone. His relentless beat down of Karo Parysian with a knee strike so vicious it sent Parysians tooth flying, is now just a suspicious memory.
ROGER HUERTA vs. LEONARD GARCIA
Brazilian jiu-jitsu fighter, Leonard Garcia, from Lubbock Texas, earned his shot at the UFC with an eight fight winning streak with the smaller organizations. He makes his UFC debut against Roger Huerta, a scrapper from the mean streets of Mexico and El Salvador. Huerta is 2-0 in the UFC, his last win being a convincing 19-second TKO over John Halverson in UFC 67.
There was no feeling out period in this fight. Both these guys came out swinging, scrapping and escaping submissions. Both fighters were willing to stand and trade when they werent grappling. It was a close opening round but Garcia seemed to get the worst of it and sustained a little cut over the eyebrow. An action packed second round saw both fighters willing to slug it out toe-to-toe, with Huerta doing the most damage. Garcia caught some serious damage in the third as Huerta overwhelmed him with a barrage of face-punches. The unanimous decision went to Roger Huerta but Garcia showed he is a gamer with heart. Garcia would not quit and would not back down. Keep your eye on Huerta, though. The man loves to throw down!
YUSHIN OKAMI vs. MIKE SWICK
Japanese middleweight Yushin Okami had feasted on TUF fighters with two wins over Rory Singer and Kalib Starnes. Tonight he met Mike Swick, a man known for ending fights early. The Texas born Swick showed he could also go the distance when needs to when he pounded out a unanimous decision over respected fighter, David Loiseau.
Unfortunately, the bigger Yushin proved to be too much for Swick to handle. In the first round, Yushin landed some hard jabs and eventually took Swick to the ground. Swick looked tired as he tried to defend Okamis submission holds. Yushin bullied Swick some more in round two but Swick finally mounted an attack in the final seconds. He landed a barrage of blows that finally slumped Okami to the canvas when the bell sounded signaling the end of the round. In round three, Swick took a terrible beating when Yushin got full mount and was the fight was dangerously close to being called. Somehow Swick reversed position as time ran out.
Okami pounded out a hard-fought unanimous decision. Yushin Okami is making a name for himself in the UFC by defeating Ultimate Fighter contestants. He shined even brighter tonight by taking out a rising star like Mike Swick and making him look very ordinary in the process.
ALAN BELCHER vs. KENDALL GROVE
Alan Belcher is fresh from a devastating head-kick knockout of tough Brazilian Jorge Santiago in his UFC debut. TUF 3 winner and Tito Ortiz prodigy, Kendall Grove is coming off a one-sided beat-down of Chris Price. Belcher is angry he didnt get picked for the Ultimate Fighter show. Could Alan Belcher improve his standing by knocking off the TUF3 winner?
Not tonight. This one was all Kendall Grove. Kendall manhandled Belcher in the round one tiring him out with several knees in the clinch and landing a nice elbow. Grove opened round two with repeated elbows from a side mount that opened a gash on Belchers head. Kendall later scored again with a hard right and landed several knees flush on Belchers face. Kendall tossed Belcher to the mat like a rag doll and eventually choked him till he passed out and went limp. Overall, a stellar performance by Kendall Grove that won the Tapout submission of the night.
JOSH HAYNES vs. LUKE CUMMO
The funniest fight of the night goes to Haynes vs. Cummo. It featured Matt Serras teammate and TUF 2 finalist, Luke Cummo against TUF 3 finalist Josh Haynes. Cummo has the bruised, sunken eyes of a serial killer while Josh Haynes was sporting his trademark blue mohawk. Haynes had a string of rotten luck in the UFC losing to Rory Singer and Michael Bisping in the TUF 3 finale. Cummo, not much better, lost to Jonathan Goulet and Joe Stevenson but scored a win over Jason Von Flue. Both fighters needed a win to maintain credibility.
Relatively slow in the first round, Cummo busted Haynes in the mouth, which probably won the round for him. In the second, Cummo hit Haynes right on the button and knocked him loopy. Haynes hit the floor but jumps up and TACKLES THE REFEREE FOR AN EASY TAKEDOWN! Cummo, standing nearby observing the takedown, assumes thats a stoppage and raises his hands in victory.
Cummo evens his UFC record at 2-2. Haynes bad luck continues and drops to 0-3. And the ref, losing his UFC debut, is 0-1.