Rashad Evans (205) vs Chuck Liddell (204)
With a perfectly placed right hand Rashad Evans knocked out "The Iceman" Chuck Liddell and stunned UFC fans around the world in the process. [I'm] going straight for the horns
I wanted to go straight at him at his own game, he said after defeating the "Iceman" Chuck Liddell, and he followed his own gameplan to a tee. "Sugar" loaded up with a right hand that landed flush on the chin of Chuck Liddell knocking him out cold in at 1:51 of the second round in a surprise ending to the first ever UFC in Atlanta.
I am going to show him something a little different Evans said before the fight, and while he remained his elusive self, the result was a resounding victory for the TUF 2 winner who should find himself in title contention following the victory. Liddell on the other hand is in a bad spot, the extrmemly popular striker has lost three of his last four fights and this result leaves him far from the title position that he craves. You have to wonder if this is the last time we will see Liddell for a while, if at all.
Matt Hamill (205) vs Rich Franklin (204.5)
Cutting weight this week was awesome. Those were the words of Rich Franklin following an impressive victory over Matt Hamill and you have to wonder if the weight cut to the 205 lbs. division will be a more common occurrence for the former middleweight champion.
The first round saw Franklin work the outside with solid leg kicks and the looping punches from the outside that Ace is well known for. Despite Franklins success in the stand up he was the one who bled first as he peppered Hamill from the outside. Hamill eventually got one takedown and passed the guard but was unable to capitalize on the position and it would prove to be the only time the fight would go to the mat.
The second stanza was all Franklin again as Matt Hamill just seemed at odds with himself and unable to find any sort of rhythm. Surprisingly Franklin went to the kicks early and often, despite the constant threat of a takedown from the former wrestling champion. As the rounds wore on the damage to the leg of Hamill appeared to be the difference as Hamill slowed down considerably as the fight wore on.
In the third round Franklin sealed the deal with a right body kick that dropped Hamill to the mat and referee Mario Yamasaki stepped in almost immediately to save a tapping Matt Hamill.
Dan Henderson (185) vs Rousimar Palhares (184.5)
In the first round Dan Henderson looked as good as he has in a long time landing a big right hand off his knees that stunned Rousimar Palhares early, and constantly stuffing the takedowns and putting his right hand on Palhares every time he came within takedown range. The first round was all Henderson, as Palhares could not get the fight to the ground and keep it there for any meaningful period of time, and it would prove to be his undoing.
Rousimar Palhares appeared even more wary of the right hand in the second but while he ate a punch coming in, he was able to scoop the legs of the greco-roman wrestler and slam him to the ground. He went to work quickly working a heel hook/kneebar attempt that looked tight but he was unable to finish and in the end it would cost him. Henderson averted danger there, and despite slowing down considerably in an uneventful third round, took the unanimous decision after three rounds.
Nate Marquardt (185) defeats Martin Kampmann (184.5)
Martin Kampman took a right head kick to the head that dropped him and sent him reeling backwards against the cage early on and Nate Marquardt would capitalize. Marquardt following up with right hands and right uppercuts against the cage until Kampman crumbled sending referee Mario Yamasaki in to stop the fight at 1:22 of rd 1.
Dong Hyun Kim (170) defeats Matt Brown (170)
Dong Hyun Kim, coming off an extremely impressive performance in his UFC debut against Jason Tan, started off strong working the back of Brown on several occasions and almost securing a rear choke earl in the round. Matt Brown showed good defense and worked his way out of trouble however and the prolonged stay riding the back of Brown appeared to sap much of Kim's engergy as he faded fast as the rounds went on.
The second half of the first round, and the entire second round saw Brown take over working his stand up and landing punches and takedowns on a weary Kim who appeared to be all but finished as round two came to a close. Surprisingly the pendulum swayed in Kim's favor in the third as he was able to secure a handful of takedowns and land some solid elbows cutting Brown with about 30 seconds remaining to retain his unbeaten record via split decision 29-28, 28-29, 29-28 after three rounds.
Kurt Pellegrino (156) defeats Thiago Tavares via decision
Tim Boetsch (205.25) defeats Michael Patt (205.25)
Tim Boetch landed two solid right hands from the stand up in his fight
with Michael Patt, one that wobbled his opponent, and the other that
dropped him to the mat for good. Boetch followed up with the obligatory
volley of punches on the ground until the referee stepped in and
stopped the bout at 2:03 of the first round to cap off an impressive
victory in preliminary action.
Jason MacDonald (185) defeats Jason Lambert via submission
Jason MacDonald spent more time in a choke than Jason Lambert but ended up the victor by rear naked choke at 1:20 of the second round. JMac got the takedown right away and after defending a guillotine attempt went to work with effective ground and pound against The Punisher Jason Lambert. As the round closed Lambert went to a guillotine choke again and almost finished the Canadian but The Athlete was saved by the bell as only six second remained on the clock.
MacDonald wasted no time in the second getting the fight to the mat, working to the mount, taking the back and finishing with a rear naked choke early in the second. I was patient I know he was getting tired, I knew that drop to 185 wound tire him out. MacDonald was right and earned the Submission of the Night honors for the third time in his UFC career.
Ryo Chonan (170) defeats Roan Carneiro (170) via decision
A breakdown of UFC 88 can be found HERE...