Starting from 3:00p.m. EST and 12:00 p.m. PST we will have the UFC 93 report as it happens.
Dan Henderson vs. Rich Franklin
The long awaited Rich Franklin vs. Dan Henderson fight was marred by what some will call a controversial decision as Dangerous Dan Henderson took a three-round split decision victory over a surprised Rich Franklin at the O2 arena in Dublin, Ireland.
It was very competitive early as Franklin landed a nice leg kick in the opening moments, but took a punch and got taken down shortly after for his efforts as Henderson was able to secure the takedown early and land some solid shots from the top. Franklin stayed active off his back to keep Henderson off balance, and was able to find his way to his feet whenever he got taken down and land a few body kicks, but this pattern played itself out several times in each of the three close rounds and would prove to be a losing formula for the former UFC middleweight champion.
A clash of heads put two deep cuts on the brow of Franklin and as he sat on the stool in between rounds 1 and 2 that came as the result of an accidental headbutt and the cut men had to work to keep it under control and it would not be the last unintentional infraction bestowed upon the TUF 2 coach. In the second it was Franklin circling out as Henderson moved forward looking for the big right hand, and the tie up to take the fight to the mat. Again Franklin used his footwork to keep Henderson off him but the takedown still came half way through the second as Henderson worked but did little in appreciable damage from there in what was another close round.
The third round saw Henderson get the fight to the mat right away but he could not keep the fight there long enough to capitalize on the position as Franklin squeezed out to the side and landed a couple of hard punches to the side of the face as they separated. The body shots that Franklin landed in the first and second rounds appeared to pay dividend in the third that saw Henderson slow noticeably. In Franklins best round he proceeded to use his footwork to stay clear of the clinch and take most of the round before taking a deep eye poke in his right eye with 37 seconds on the clock. After three rounds the decision was announced as 29-28 two times for Henderson and 30-27 once for Franklin in a close bout that will see Henderson move on to become the coach of the Ultimate Fighter Season 9 and face off against Michael Bisping after the season concludes.
I am looking forward to the experience, and I think it is right up my alley being a competitor in the Olympics, he said following the victory. Nearby the anguish in Franklins face told the story of his disappointment.
Mark Coleman vs. Mauricio Rua
In what could be only described as the worst performance of Ruas career - a performance that was worse even than his fight with Forrest Griffin - the 27-year-old Brazilian defeated Mark Coleman via TKO at 4:36 of the third round in a disappointing semi-main event.
I long time no fight
I come back, and now 100 percent,he said in broken english following the fight, despite his assertion that he is back 100 percent, it is hard to believe that the fighter that once dominated Pride and has not competed in over a year, is back in top form.
In the first Coleman stormed out and took the fight right to the ground off a deep leg kick by Rua and looked strong landing a couple of hard shots to the face of the BJJ black belt on the mat. From there it was all Shogun who got to his feet and controlled the standup with leg kicks and knees that Coleman had no defense for. The elder statesman, while a long-time compeitor in the sport looked every bit his 44 years and appeared to gas out after only a minute in the first round.
Action slowed considerably in the second stanza and although Rua had an Omaplata as the round came to a close, he too was gassed out completely and didnt have enough to finish his equally gassed opponent as the action slowed to a crawl as both fighters looked like they were 44. Neither competitor asserted themselves in a round that may go down as the worst in the entire card in a performance that was less than advertised considering the heavy promotion put into the bout with the storylines of Rua's injury leading into the contest.
In the third, Coleman came back, getting the takedown and working on a slow ground-and-pound assault, but could not keep the fight there long enough to secure the fight when he needed it most. The fight went back to the feet and this time Shogun teed off with an uppercut and left hook to send the referee in to stop the bout and put and end to a miserable contest.
Coleman made no excuses following the fight dismissing the weight cut to 205 as the reason for his lack of conditioning, I am a wrestler I just did it, he said. He didnt do a whole lot more, and neither did Rua in what must surely be a disapointing performance for the UFC brass who once had high hopes for the former Pride middleweight Champion.
Rousimar Palhares vs. Jeremy Horn
Rousimar Palhares was impressive, and unimpressive in the same bout as he
dominated Jeremy Horn at times and showed limited conditioning at times, a
problem that has reared its ugly head in both of his 3-round fights.
As expected it didnt take long for Palhares to get it to the
ground, take the back, and land punches from the back over an
overwhelmed Jeremy Horn who played defense for almost the full 15
minutes of the lopsided bout. Despite the early domination, the experience of Horn carried
him through some tough spots that would have seen most - if not all
- other fighters succumb to the formidable ground assault of BJJ black
belt Rousimar Palhares.
Horn found an opportunity in the middle of the second stanza getting
the mount over what appeared to be a gassed Palhares, but he was unable
to turn the tide and capitalize on his lone opportunity and it would cost him as Palhares was able to get the
takedown when he needed to, and ride out the rest of the fight to take
Denis Kang vs. Alan Belcher
I think I established myself in the UFC, Alan Belcher certainly
did that in a huge upset submitting Denis Kang with a guillotine choke
at 4:36 of the second round in the second bout of the main card.
It started out poorly for Belcher who was dominated in much of the bout both on the ground and on the feet before locking in the guillotine choke when he appeared to be losing the fight. In the first round
Kang landed nice combonations on a Belcher who had his hands way down from the opening bell.
It didnt look like he had much respect for Kangs stand up and while
it didnt look good for him early, he was able to secure the arm-in
guillotine choke off a weak shot in the second to secure the tapout and the upset
victor over the UFC newbie.
Chris Lytle vs. Marcus Davis
Lets do it again, just moments following the fight between Marcus Davis and Chris Lytle those were the words out of Daviss bleeding face to his equally damaged opponent Lytle, and I am sure fans could not agree more. In what will probably be the fight of the night - a comment I make without having even seen the rest of the card - Davis took a split-decision 29-28, 28-29, 29-28 after three rounds over the always game former fireman.
All three rounds were fought on the feet with both fighters trading hands for three hard fought rounds, and when it was all said and done, both faces bore the signs of war with their left eyes closed and blood trickling from their faces. While it was a close fight in the first two rounds, Daviss body kicks appeared to slow Lytle down as Davis came on in the third while Lytle slowed, and it proved to be the difference in a close but entertaining back-and-forth affair. The split decision was well earned by Davis, and I expect to see a rematch in will go down as an early candidate for fight of the year.
Tom Egan vs. John Hathaway
John Hathaway swarmed his opponent Tom Egan from the opening bell, getting the
fight to the ground at will and using control to soften his opponent,
and eventually elbow him into submission to get the victory at 4:36 of
the first round via TKO.
Preliminary Dark Matches
Martin Kampmann over Alexandre Barros TKO 3:09 rd 2.
Eric Schafer over Antonio Mendes TKO 3:35 rd 1
Tomasz Drwal over Ivan Serati KO 2:02 rd 1
Eric Schafer vs. Antonio Mendes
Dennis Siver over Nate Mohr TKO 3:47 rd 3.