UFC 78: VALIDATION - November 17th, 2008 - Newark, New Jersey
MMA News Written by Joel Recinos
Sunday, 18 November 2007
RASHAD EVANS VS. MICHAEL BISPING Light heavyweight bout
This battle of the undefeated matches the Ultimate Fighter 2 (TUF 2) winner, Rashad Evans, against the Ultimate Fighter 3 winner, Michael Bisping. Both fighters are coming off controversial decisions and each is out to prove he is a legitimate contender and not just the winner of a reality show. Rashad Evans won his first five UFC bouts before earning a draw his last time out against Tito Ortiz, his first real test as a fighter. Ortiz might have won that fight had he not had a point deducted for holding the fence to avoid a takedown.
TUF 3 winner, Michael Bisping also has his moment of mediocrity, getting dominated for two rounds in his last fight against Matt Hamill before coming back strong in the third to earn the split decision win. Bisping has won all four of his UFC fights but hasn’t shown the big knockout power like that of his opponent, Rashad Evans. He is the first Brit to headline a UFC event.
Both men came out swinging and Rashad landed two quick rights before they clinched and went up against the fence. There it stayed until the ref broke it up with 3:18 left. Rashad came out swinging wildly and they went back against the fence. The crowd grew restless and started to boo. With 2:22 left, Rashad caught Bisping’s leg during a kick and took him down. They struggled to their feet and went back against the fence. Rashad landed a couple of elbows and took Bisping down again. Though the round was close due to inactivity, Rashad probably did more to control the round.
In the second, Rashad landed a big right hand and then got a big slam takedown. But the ref stood them back up after a lengthy period of grab-ass. They boxed for the rest of the round with each man landing some warning shots. Bisping also got in a few kicks, a good knee, and ended the round with a takedown. Rashad looked a little tired. You could arguably give the round to Bisping though it could have also gone the other way.
A great deal of sparring opened the third and final round. But whether they were standing up or on the mat, no damage was being done and good shots landed sporadically. Evans continued to take Bisping down but was unable to capitalize on it nor impose his will.
The fight went to the scorecards and each judge scored it a very close 29-28 with Rashad Evans taking home the split decision. Bisping was visibly disappointed at the announcement but quickly regained his compsoure. Evans remains undefeated at 16-0-1, while Bisping suffers his first defeat at 15-1.
HOUSTON ALEXANDER VS. THIAGO SILVA Light heavyweight bout
Houston Alexander has earned a reputation as an explosive knockout fighter after only two UFC bouts. It took him 48 seconds in his UFC debut to knock out Keith Jardine and 1:01 to do the same in his second UFC fight against Alessio Sakara. The unbeaten Thiago Silva has a similar story. He made his UFC debut on the same night as Alexander and TKO’d James Irvin. In his second UFC fight, he knocked out Tomasz Drwal, again on the same fight card as Alexander.
This fight lasted longer than a minute mostly because Houston came out tentative, showing too much respect for Silva. Alexander eventually took Silva down but Silva turned the tables and took Houston down. Eventually Silva got full mount, straddled Houston’s torso and reigned down the danger. Houston couldn’t escape and eventually Silva’s bombs found their target. Houston’s head bounced off the canvas with each blow before the ref realized Houston was unconscious and stopped the fight with 1:35 left in the round.
Thiago Silva, very classy in his postfight comments, remains undefeated at 12-0 and continues his rise to a title shot. Houston Alexander (8-2) lost some veneer tonight but he will be back after he polishes his ground game.
KARO PARISYAN VS. RYO CHONAN Welterweight bout
It’s Armenia vs. Japan in this welterweight contest. Karo Parisyan is a crafty long-time veteran who earned his first victory in the Octagon back in UFC 44, September 2003. Karo is coming off unanimous decision wins over Josh Burkman and Drew Fickett after losing to Diego Sanchez at Fight Night 6 in August of 2006. Karo goes up against Ryo Chonan, a PRIDE veteran making his UFC debut. Ronan has an abundance of international experience and owns a submission win over UFC middleweight champion Anderson Silva during Pride’s Shockwave 2004. Chonan has lost just 3 times in the last 3 years to such notables as Dan Henderson and Phil Baroni.
Round one was busy but uneventful. Karo was able to take Chonan down and keep him there. Karo scored a beautiful knockdown seconds into the fight. He grabbed Chonan’s left leg after a kick and held it as he landed an open-hand left hook that sent Chonan to the mat.
Karo continued to control the action in the second, frequently taking down Chonan and meting out punishment. Chonan’s lone highlight was an overhand right that got Karo’s attention. Though they stayed on their feet for a spell in the third, it was the same busy but uneventful outcome. Karo got easy takedowns and threw some elbows but no significant damage was done. Karo continued to dictate the pace to cement the win.
Karo improves his MMA record to 26-4 with another unanimous decision. He apologized profusely for the boring fight and his sub-par performance during his postfight interview with Joe Rogan. The loss puts Chonan at 14-8.
ED HERMAN VS. JOE DOERKSEN Middleweight bout
Ed Herman, the TUF 3 middleweight runner-up, hasn’t always lived up to expectations but is coming off two submission wins after losing his first two UFC bouts. Doerksen is no stranger to the Octagon having made his debut at UFC 49. He’s only won one out of four UFC fights but has won seven of his last eight fights in the smaller arenas. Doerksen took the fight on short notice when David Terrell pulled out. Ironically, Doerksen owns a submission win over Herman three years ago on the junior circuit. He also owns victories over Patrick Cote and Chris Leben.
Ed Herman looked really strong in the first round both standing-and-striking and ground-and-pound. He opened up a vicious cut on the left eyelid of Doerksen with a grazing left jab. Doerksen was unable to mount any attack of his own.
Herman controlled the second round as well, besting Doerksen at stand-up then taking him to the ground for some poundage. Herman’s corner got a scare with 10 seconds left when Doerksen secured a tight triangle choke and an armbar that Herman couldn’t escape. Herman was saved by the bell and was close to going to sleep.
With a flicker of hope Doerksen came out for the third round to trade blows with Herman. Thirty-five seconds later, Herman caught him under the chin with a left hook and laid him out like a discount carpet.
With the first knockout of his career, Herman improves his MMA record to 16-4. Herman thanked the tough journeyman, Joe Doerksen, for taking the fight on such short notice. He drops to 39-11.
SPENCER FISHER VS. FRANK EDGAR Lightweight bout
Spencer Fisher, the long-time UFC veteran, is coming off a unanimous decision win over Sam Stout during Fight Night 10 last June. He goes up against New Jersey’s own, undefeated Frankie Edgar, a man looking for his third consecutive UFC victory. One of them being a unanimous decision win over then-undefeated Tyson Griffin.
Frankie Edgar dominated the first round keeping Fisher on his back the entire round. While Edgar landed several elbows and hard shots, Fisher was able to wrap him up at times and avoid the serious damage. The second round was a repeat of the first with Edgar taking down Fisher easily and staying busy throwing hands and elbows. Fisher had no answer for the takedown in the third and once again spent most of it on his back warding off blows. Edgar had no power behind the attack but it kept Fisher from mounting any kind of offense of his own.
Edgar gets the unanimous decision win and remains undefeated at 8-0. With the loss, Fisher drops to 21-4. I usually like to watch lightweight bouts because they can stand and throw blows all day long. Edgar was able to take down Fisher at will but it was like watching the ground-and-pound without the pound?
JOE LAUZON VS. JASON REINHARDT Lightweight bout
TUF 5 contestant Joe Lauzon owns a victory over Jens Pulver. He takes on thirty-eight year old, undefeated fighter Jason Reinhardt, making his UFC debut. Reinhardt, 18-0, won 14 of his fights by submission and has never been to a decision. But then again, neither has the 14-3 Joe Lauzon, just 23 years of age.
Joe Lauzon came out strong and needed just 1:14 to secure a rear-naked choke, forcing Reinhardt to tap out. Lauzon is now 3-0 in the UFC and 15-3 overall. Reinhardt (18-1) was simply overwhelmed and suffers his first defeat in losing his UFC debut.
OTHER FIGHTS In other fights, Akihiro Gono beats Tamdan McCrory by submission with an armbar in the second round.
Thiago Alves beats Chris Lytle by referee stoppage due to a cut in the second round.
Marcus Aurelio TKO’s Luke Caudillo in the first round.