Georges St-Pierre Vs. Jon Fitch
If there was any question if Georges St. Pierre was a true champion before, they were wiped away with the blood off Jon Fitchs battered face after five rounds of action that saw St. Pierre win a unanimous decision by scores of 50-43, 50 44, and 50-44.
The first round was all GSP as he rocked Fitch with a left hand that dropped him to the canvass and it looked like the fight could be a short one for the talented Canadian. St. Pierre went right to the offensive dropping big punches and elbows - even going as far as mounting his opponent - but he just could not put Fitch away. It was Fitch's determination that was the story of the entire fight.
In the second and third rounds Fitch was able to get back on track working the body of St. Pierre but was unable to match the pure athleticism of the champion, and was behind on almost all of the exchanges. In almost every round St. Pierre was able to put Fitch in deep trouble, but the heart and determination of the AKA-trained fighter was something to see. Fitch was nothing less than a warrior as he dug deep and stayed in the pocket firing off everything he could. It was not enough.
St Pierre's varied attack was a major factor in the bout as Fitch could not match the variety of punches, kicks, knees and elbows that GSP offered at every turn. The French Canadian was able to use his jab, to good effect throughout the bout and used it to set up big punches and takedowns that came often for the 2- time champion. In the end a battered and bruised Fitch was overshadowed by the UFC hype machine that was already in motion.
Almost immediately after the bout BJ Penn came into the Octagon and challenged St. Pierre to a rematch that could be one of the most anticipated bouts of the year. Lets do it George do you want to do it? Penn asked the champion moments after the bout. St. Pierre accepted. I am not a chicken, I dont want to duck anybody, I am a proud champion. The bout could happen in the year end show in December.
Brock Lesnar Vs. Heath Herring
In only his third fight, Lesnar was impressive, defeating the
extremely experienced Heath Herring, and did so using the tools sharpened in
the wrestling domain. His abilities outside that domain still remain in
question despite the timely victory. In the opening moments of the bout, Lesnar landed a huge right hand
that sent the Texas Crazy Horse tumbling backwards in a reverse roll and onto the mat. Despite the quick start, Lesnar could
not finish the fight, instead riding out back control for the bulk of
three rounds to secure the dominant victory.
Lesnar scored with knees to the body and a handful of punches to erase
the memories of a spastic loss to former UFC heavyweight champion Frank
Mir. I here to fight - I am here to win - to try to be come the UFC
heavyweight champion, said Lesnar coming into the fight. He was able
to get the victory but whether he is able to translate his ample
wrestling acumen into a championship remains to be seen.While the performance was still raw, Lesnar showed some of the skills that made him an NCAA champion, and on the flip side some of the inexperience that comes with only three MMA bouts. However, he remains an intriguing prospect in a heavyweight division that is in dire need of new blood. That - in conjuction with an American audience that is enamoured with heavyweights - could be the hook that the UFC needs to rejouvinate the division.
I just new I had to keep it off the cage and keep it on the feet. Those were the pre-fight words of Rob Emerson and his gameplan proved to be prophetic, as he kept it off the cage and on the feet for a quick 12 seconds en route to his first UFC knockout. Emerson landed a huge right hand dropping Gamburyan to the mat and followed up with a left hook that made the Anvil go limp, before Yves Lavigne stepped in to stop in the quickest fight of the night.
Truth is I am never going to lose. Roger Huertas bold statement to Kenny Florian was proven false as Florian dominated his bout with Huerta putting an exclamation point on his rise to secure number one contendership ahead of the Matador.
Florian looked like he was just a little faster on the draw and used counters to Huertas superman punches and wide right hand to land the more technical strikes en route to a unanimous decision after three rounds. Huerta found himself mounted in the opening minute of the bout after Florian was able to get the takedown and jump to mount. While Huerta managed a nifty escape, he looked like he was on the defensive throughout the bout and just couldnt land the hard shot that he was looking for. It would be situation that would play out many times during the bout.
Huerta's attack looked very one dimensional and Florian was able to fight through it to pick him apart in every aspect o the fight. The Ultimate Fighter 1 veteran used Huerta's aggression against him with counters and deft footwork to keep the fight flowing in his favor. While the Matador constantly moved forward - he was never able e to land the telling blow - the consequence proved to be his first UFC loss. Florian wins by unanimous decision after three rounds.
Jason MacDonald Vs. Demian Maia
Jiu Jitsu was the difference in the first PPV fight of the evening as Damian Maia was able to secure the rear naked choke at 2:44 of the third round to go to 3-0 in the UFC. It was an impressive performance for the Brazilian jiu jitsu black belt who just served notice to the division that he has what it takes to compete in the Octagon. Jason MacDonald was forced to play catch up throughout the fight and could not stay off the ground long enough to enforce his game plan.
Maia was able to get the fight to the mat when he needed to, working slick submission attempts including a tight triangle choke in the early part of the first round. It looked like the fight was over at that point but the gritty MacDonald fought his way out and sneak out the back door. That would not be the last time he found himself in trouble as he fought off the mount - and the ground and pound that usually follows - through most of the second round. His survival would be in vain and eventually the tough Edmontonian succumbed to a choke hold.
Tough to tap, Maia said of MacDonald afterwards, tough but not impossible as the end came in third when he was able to get his forearm underneath the chin of the resilient Canadian who showed off a world-class heart, but couldnt will himself to the win this time around.
Cheick Kongo over Dan Evensen TKO
In an unimpressive heavyweight fight, Cheik Kongo
surprisingly went for a takedown to start things off, but returned to
his bread and butter and landed a right hand that put Evanson on the
ground for the count. The big heavyweight followed up with hammer fists
to force referee Yves Lavigne to step in and stop the bout. "I am one of
the best fighters in the world Kongo said following the fight, and
expressed his interest in fighting for the championship belt. In a
notoriously thin Heavyweight class he may actually get his opportunity
despite a sloppy loss to Heath Herring just one fight before. I wonder if Kongo might be the next fighter they match up with Brock Lesnar as they push Lesnar into contendership status in the coming year.
The Dark Matches
Tamdan McCrory over Luke Cummo Decision
Jon Jones over Andre Gusmao
Chris Wilson over Steve Bruno Decision
Ben Saunders over Ryan Thomas Submission