Chuck Liddell predicted a first round knockout in this highly anticipated rematch but someone forgot to tell Rampage Jackson. Rampage caught Chuck on the chin a minute forty-seven seconds into the first round with a powerful right hook that snapped his head around and immediately put Liddell on his back. Jackson pounced on the prone figure of Chuck Liddell and pounded out two quick ones before referee Big John McCarthy called a stop to the fight. Naturally, when he came to,
CHUCK LIDDELL vs. QUINTON JACKSON
We have yet another stunning upset in the UFC! Quinton Rampage Jackson is the new light-heavyweight UFC champion. He has dethroned the previously invincible Chuck Liddell, not once but twice! Both times making it look easy.
Chuck Liddell predicted a first round knockout in this highly anticipated rematch but someone forgot to tell Rampage Jackson. Rampage caught Chuck on the chin a minute forty-seven seconds into the first round with a powerful right hook that snapped his head around and immediately put Liddell on his back. Jackson pounced on the prone figure of Chuck Liddell and pounded out two quick ones before referee Big John McCarthy called a stop to the fight. Naturally, when he came to, Chuck was angry about the quick stoppage and some may say he has a case. But Chucks arms were splayed as Jackson pumped two fists into his face so hard they bounced Chucks limp body. Amazingly, the first punch knocked Chuck out, the second one knocked him awake and Liddell came to life and reached up as if to ward off a third blow.
Randy Couture, the only man to pick Matt Serra over Georges St. Pierre, is fast gaining a reputation as a master prognosticator having also predicted Jackson would win. Couture reasoned that Jackson was not intimidated by Liddell and that Jacksons style of going hard after a fighter would give Liddell trouble.
Chuck Liddell failed to avenge his first loss to Rampage Jackson. Jackson embarrassed Liddell in Japan in their 2003 PRIDE fight. Rampage chose to stand and fight and ended up beating Chuck at his own game. Jackson clearly dominated Liddell throughout that first fight and appeared to be the superior striker, often landing hard left jabs and roundhouse haymakers. Jackson was continually on the attack and came out unscathed. Dana White, a commentator at that first fight, said he was shocked. In the second round Rampage landed a vicious uppercut coming out of the clinch that put Chuck on his ass. Rampage pounced but a wobbly Chuck made it back to his feet, only to be picked up and slammed. An exhausted and helpless Chuck absorbed numerous hard blows from Rampage before his corner threw in the towel.
Since that 2003 loss, Chuck had won 7 straight fights against top caliber UFC fighters. Chucks training had become legendary and his vastly improved cardio was supposed to the difference maker in their rematch.
Liddell was classy in defeat offering no excuses for getting caught, his MMA record dropping to 20-4. The former PRIDE fighter and new UFC champion, Rampage Jackson, ups his MMA record to 27-6.
Celebrities in attendance included David Spade, Andre Agassi, Kevin James and Adam Sandler.
Joe Rogan announced that Dan Hollywood Henderson, a double-belt champion in PRIDE, will be re-joining the UFC to compete for the light-heavyweight belt that Rampage Jackson had just won. Even though they are good friends Henderson said he would have no trouble fighting Jackson.
JOSH BURKMAN vs. KARO PARISYAN
This interesting welterweight matchup features, Karo Parisyan, a decorated judo specialist, still stung by his bitter loss two fights ago to Diego Sanchez in Fight Night 4 Aug 2006. Karo is looking to regain the steam he had been building for a title shot before he got derailed. Josh Burkman, a cast member of the Ultimate Fighter (TUF) 2, is coming off two wins over Josh Neer and Chad Reiner after being submitted by Jon Fitch, also on Fight Night 4. This is no cakewalk for either fighter, each of whom will wear the victory like a badge of legitimacy.
Both fighters came out aggressively for the first round but it was Karo who was connection with all the hard shots. Karo continued to pick Burkman apart in the second as he peppered him with shot after shot. Karos fists proved to be world class weapons. Eventually the beatings took their toll and Burkman began to fade while Karo avoided everything that Josh threw at him. A desperate Burkman came out swinging to start the third round but it was only a matter of time before fatigue overtook him.
Karo continued to press the attack and picked up the unanimous decision to improve his MMA record to 25-4. Burkman showed he has a good chin but took his fourth loss against nineteen wins. During his postfight interview with Rogan, Karo asked Dana White for his title shot. He said he wasnt going to get on his knees (a la Georges St. Pierre) but he wants a title shot nonetheless Shortly after that, Karo sung a off-key song about his judo skills that would curdle milk.
TERRY MARTIN vs. IVAN SALAVERRY
Long-time UFC veteran, Ivan Salaverry, returns to the Octagon after two years for this middleweight bout against Terry Martin. Salaverry lost a unanimous decision to Nathan Marquardt on Fight Night 8. Terry Martin, after suffering embarrassing losses to James Irvin and Jason Lambert, is coming off three straight victories, the last a 14 second knockout over Jorge Rivera in UFC 67. Neither fighter can afford to lose this fight, which doesnt explain why Terry Martin entered the Octagon to Michael Jacksons Billie Jean.
This would be another short night for Terry Martin. Salaverry came out with several impressive leg kicks. Martin just bided his time until he could move in for a clinch. After which he grabbed Salaverry from behind and dropped him on hid head. Salaverry quit on impact but it took a few hammer fists before the referee waved a stop to the fight.
With his fourth straight victory, the up-and-coming Martin improves his MMA record to 18-2 and is back on the fast track to being a UFC contender. Not bad for a minute, four seconds worth of work. Its back to the drawing board for a very disappointed Salaverry, who drops to 12-5-1.
HOUSTON ALEXANDER vs. KEITH JARDINE
Keith Jardine, the bald-headed-goateed crowd favorite from TUF2, continues his UFC rise with two wins over the tough Forrest Griffin and Wilson Gouveia. The victories are sweet coming after hard-fought losses to TUF 1 runner up, Stephan Bonnar, in Fight Night 4, and to Rashad Evans in the TUF 2 semi-finals. His opponent for this light-heavyweight fight is thirty-five year old Houston Alexander, making his UFC debut after seven years competing in the junior circuit. Jardine can ill afford to lose to this UFC newcomer with so little under his UFC belt.
Jardine jumped out with a new fighting style and promptly dropped Alexander with a left hook. That would be Jardines only moment of glory. Alexander jumped back up into a clinch with Jardine and pushed him to the fence. Alexander held Jardine by the neck and popped him with an overhand right that buckled his knees. Still in Alexanders grasp, Jardine stands up only to get 5 more right on the head. The sixth was an uppercut that lifted Jardine off his feet and deposited him on the canvas. Jardine struggles to hit feet with Alexander swarming all over him, only to get knocked down again when yet another hard right lands flush on the button. Jardine gets up again and another right uppercut sends him to the mat. Jardine makes it to one knee before another right uppercut planted Jardine facedown on the canvas in an undignified position for the final time. Alexander lorded over his prone opponent before the referee tore him away.
Who the hell is Houston Alexander? A bonafide ass-kicker, thats who. This fight, though definitely one-sided, was exiting to watch. Alexander put on a tremendous display of striking power. His blows made Jardine look like a rag doll.
KALIB STARNES vs. CHRIS LEBEN
Chris Lebens up and down UFC career continues tonight against TUF 3 fighter Kalib Starnes. The controversial Leben has lost two out of his last three fights, albeit one of them to the eventual middleweight champ, Anderson Silva. Starnes had a more difficult time in the UFC winning his UFC debut but losing his next fight to the surprisingly tough Yushin Okami. Both fighters desperately need a victory. Starnes wants to take this fight to the ground while Leben wants to stand and trade blows.
Lebens hairstyle for this fight consisted of bright orange hair with a black X spray painted askew on the left side of his head. Chris was the more active fighter in the first round but Kalib may have stolen it with a flurry of punches landing in the closing seconds. It will take a LOT more of those to knock out the granite-chinned Leben. Kalib came out in the second round landing some big shots that wobbled Leben. But this time it was Leben ending the round with a flurry as Starnes appeared to run out of gas. In the third, Leben buckled Kalib with a painful kick to the liver. Starnes recovered in the guard position and then hit Leben with a heavy elbow. Both tried to end the fight in a flurry but this one was going to the scorecards. Though it appeared to be a close fight, Kalib won the unanimous decision.
Kalib gains respectability winning two of his last three fights and improving his MMA record to 10-2-1. Leben has a tougher road to hoe now having to explain how he lost three of his last four fights. In their post fight comments with Joe Rogan, Kalib humbly said he would have given the nod to Chris Leben. Chris said screw the judges, screw the scoring, it was an exiting fight for the fans. Well, he was right on two accounts.
JEREMY STEPHENS vs. DIN THOMAS
Thirty-year old TUF 4 fighter Din Thomas, owns a victory over current champ Matt Serra. He is on a recent tear with victories over Rich Clementi and Clay Guida. He takes on 21-year old newcomer Jeremy Stephens making his UFC debut in this lightweight bout.
Stephens spent most of the first round rolling around trying to squirm out of submissions. The crafty Thomas was pulling out all holds on the excited youth. With the round nearing its end, Stephens finally escaped, stood up and unleashed a bevy of crazy punches while Din was still on his back. In the second, crafty experience won out over youthful exuberance as Din, from the guard position, secured an arm bar. Stephens tried to slam Thomas loose but Din had it locked on tight. Once Din turned Stephens over and had Jeremys arm hyperextended, referee John McCarthy called a stop to the fight. An angry Stephens protested that he didnt tap but his only alternative was continuing the fight with a broken arm.
Thomas improves to 23-7, Stephens drops to 13-2.
CARMELO MARRERO vs. WILSON GOUVEIA
Carmelo Marrero is 1-1 in the UFC, making his light-heavyweight debut. Marreros undefeated 6-0 MMA record was marred recently when he lost a Heavyweight bout to Gabriel Gonzaga, the man who went on to defeat Mirko Cro-Cop. He drops down in weight to go up against Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu black belt, Wilson Gouveia, Gouveia won his last two UFC fights, including a submission victory over Seth Petruzelli, since losing his UFC debut to Keith Jardine.
Gouveia absolutely buckled Marrero with three consecutive lethal leg kicks, the last two knocking Marrero off his feet. The first time, Gouveia let him up so he could continue his leg kicks. The second time Gouveia strapped on a guillotine choke hold and forced Marrero to tap a minute six seconds into the first round.
Gouveia wins his third straight UFC fight and improves his MMA record to 9-4. Marrero continues his decline at 6-2.