UFC 114 was the largest event put on by the company since UFC 100 last July. The heated rivalry between Quinton Jackson and Rashad Evans drew the attention of casual and hardcore fans alike. Initially, Dana White projected 800-850,000 pay per view buys. From what I gathered from media coverage and general public interest I was expecting the show to hit 950,000. Early feedback has the show coming in right around 925,000 buys. This just goes to show that Evans, Jackson, and the UFC promotional team did a hell of a job making this fight a big deal.
As for the fight, those who were expecting a brawl filled with wild haymakers, bloodshed, and 2 men trying to kill each other may have been disappointed. 15 seconds into the 1st round Rashad DRILLED Jackson with an over-hand right that sent him stumbling backwards. Rashad rushed in and pressed Rampage against the cage long enough for him to recover. Later in the round “Suga” scored a takedown to secure the judges’ favor.
The 2nd round didn’t feature as much excitement as the first. Evans continued to fight smart, moving around constantly and avoiding Quinton’s attacks. In the 3rd Jackson finally got his hands on his rival. About 2 minutes in Rashad shot for a takedown and was caught with a short right uppercut. He went tumbling to the ground and Jackson moved in quickly to finish the fight but Rashad weathered the storm and regained composure. In the later stages of the round he scored 2 takedowns to seal his decision victory. The refs scored it 30-27, 30-27, 29-28.
After the fight Rashad said he wanted to focus on taking advantage of areas Quinton was weak and avoid ones he was strongest. He was happy with his win but said he’d be open to doing it again.
Rampage said he was disappointed with the outcome. Ring rust was a factor and he’d like to fight more frequently in the future. When he dropped Rashad in the 3rd he thought he’d be able to finish and was surprised Evans withstood. In closing he said he wanted a rematch.
Coming out of this fight Rashad will challenge the champion Mauricio ‘Shogun’ Rua and Rampage will likely move on to face another top contender. Lyoto Machida’s name has been tossed around. A rematch with Forrest Griffin is also a possibility.
Like the main event, many of the fights on this show went to decision. The co-main event was a somewhat entertaining match up between Michael “The Count” Bisping and Dan Miller. Bisping got back on the winning track with superior striking and avoidance of takedowns. For The Count a rematch with Wanderlei Silva could be in the cards. Miller is likely to be cut as this is his 3rd straight loss.
Newcomer John “Hitman” Hathaway impressed all as he put a beating on Diego Sanchez over 3 rounds. Sanchez got rocked in the 1st by a huge knee while shooting in for a takedown and went into survival mode in order to make it out the round. The remainder of the fight saw Hathaway use his reach to continuously land strikes. 30-27, 30-27, 30-26 for the Hitman on the scorecards.
Rogerio Nogueira and Jason Brilz put on a surprisingly awesome battle. No one expected Brilz to offer much in the way of opposition, how wrong everyone was. Jason took it to Little Nog all 3 rounds. He rocked Minatouro with punches, nearly submitted him with a very tight guillotine, and overall gave him all he cold handle. The fight was nearly stopped in the 2nd when it appeared to referee Josh Rosenthal that Nogueira had passed out in the choke. Right as Rosenthal prepared to step in Nog gestured to the ref that he wasn’t done yet. When 15 minutes expired the judges gave the split decision to Nogueira. The fans in attendance let it be known they weren’t pleased with this outcome. I had Brilz winning rounds 1 and 2 with Minatouro taking the 3rd. No matter the decision, Jason earned himself a lot of fans and a great deal of respect with his performance. Hopefully we’ll get a rematch between these 2.
The “oh sh*t!!!” moment of the night came when the fabulously flabby Mike Russow took a beating for 2 and a half rounds before knocking He-Man, I mean Todd Duffee, out cold. Duffee was tagging Russow the first 2 rounds but apparently the man with the doughy mid-section had just enough left in his tank to win the fight and earn the KO of the night bonus
Here are the rest of the results:
Ryan Jensen defeated Jesse Forbes via submission (guillotine choke) at 1:06 of round 1
Aaron Riley defeated Joe Brammer via unanimous decision (30–27, 30–27, 30–27).
Cyrille Diabaté defeated Luis Cane via TKO (strikes) at 2:13 of round 1
Melvin Guillard defeated Waylon Lowe via TKO (strikes) at 3:28 of round 1
Efrain Escudero defeated Dan Lauzon via unanimous decision (29–27, 29–27, 29–27).
Dong Hyun Kim defeated Amir Sadollah via unanimous decision (30–27, 30–27, 30–27).
UFC 115 airs this Saturday night with a main event of Rich ‘Ace’ Franklin against Chuck “The Iceman” Liddell. Each of these former champions are looking to re-ignite their career with a win here. Rich Franklin is coming off a fight where he was finished by Vitor Belfort in the 1st round. Before this fight he looked good in competitive match ups with Dan Henderson and Wanderlei Silva, respectively. He went 1-1 in both of these fights which went to close decisions. Franklin is a smart fighter and is likely to move in and out with body and legs kicks while pumping his jab.
The Iceman’s struggles have been well documented over the last 14 months. He’s lost 4 of his last 5 fights, 3 by (T)KO. During his layoff he’s changed his training and drastically altered his diet. He’s upgraded his famous mini keg stomach for a six pack but good looking abs don’t mean much when you enter the octagon. Liddell has a lot to prove here as many think he should step away from the cage for good. Chuck would be wise to use his wrestling background to score takedowns early on. After wearing down Franklin on the ground maybe he’ll be able to catch him on the chin with a trademark overhand right. A win here and he’ll probably get the originally planned fight with Tito Ortiz, a loss will likely end his career
When I reviewed this card about a week ago the co-main event did nothing for me. Really, nothing! I watched the 115 countdown show a few days ago and they did a great job of getting Pat Barry over and making him interesting. Job well done UFC. Everyone already knows Mirko Cro Cop but Barry is pretty much and unknown. Both men have an extensive kickboxing background so hopefully we’ll be in for a strictly standup battle. The rest of the show looks like this:
- Welterweight bout: Paulo Thiago vs. Martin Kampmann
- Heavyweight bout: Ben Rothwell vs. Gilbert Yvel
- Welterweight bout: Carlos Condit vs. Rory MacDonald
Preliminary card (Spike TV)
- Middleweight bout: David Loiseau vs. Mario Miranda
- Welterweight bout: James Wilks vs. Peter Sobotta
- Welterweight bout: Ricardo Funch vs. Claude Patrick
- Welterweight bout: Mike Pyle vs. Jesse Lennox
That’s it for this week. Enjoy the show folks
2nd Round Submission:
Carlos Condit rear naked choke on John Alession WEC 26
About the Author
Written by Martin Foster
Martin H. Foster is the author of "The 2nd Round Submission" and host of "Verbal Submission Radio" Follow him at www.twitter.com/MHMFoster