The UFC likes to end each year with a bang, and they certainly did it again this year, with an outstanding triple card. [A Light Heavyweight Showdown between Wanderlei Silva and Quinton Jackson ~ the Interim Heavyweight Championship between the two Coaches - Antonio Nogueira and Frank Mir - of Season 8 of The Ultimate Fighter ~ as well as the World Light Heavyweight Title Bout between the first season's winner of The Ultimate Fighter - Forrest Griffin - and the second season's winner - Rashad Evans]
So, without further ado, tonight's re-cap:
The first fight of the night was between Heavyweights Cheick Kongo and Mostapha Al Turk.
[I wanted Kongo to win this fight, and he did!]
The fight started off with Turk throwing a high kick, which Kongo caught with his left hand, in-turn, nailing Turk in the face with a hard right punch! Then, Turk caught Kongo with an accidental knee to the groin. A few minutes later, Kongo caught Turk with a knee to the groin as well, which I am pretty sure was no accident! [even the Ref, Steve Mazzagatti, stated "I sure hope that was an accident"] All of that aside, Kongo ended the 1st round with a vicious ground & pound, winning the fight by TKO.
Now, Kongo says that he wants to be the next in line for a Title Fight, which means that - if granted - he will fight the winner of the future Brock Lesnar fight against whoever wins tonight's match-up between Antonio Nogueira & Frank Mir. [I would love to see Mir win tonight's fight, which would mean a re-match between him and Lesnar - who he's already beaten. Then, Mir can beat Lesnar again, and defend against Kongo - that would rock!] :-)
The second fight of the night was probably the one that I was looking forward to the most ~ a re-match between Light Heavyweights Quinton "Rampage" Jackson and Wanderlei "The Axe Murderer" Silva. [for those who may not be aware, the two have previously fought each other, twice, in PRIDE, and both times Silva destroyed Jackson!]
This time however, I wanted Rampage to win. [I just had a feeling that after losing his belt to Forrest, he would come back, more focused and determined. Plus, I think that Rashad is going to beat Forrest tonight, and I would love to see a fight between Rampage & Rashad!]
Now, I think that Wanderlei Silva is a scary guy and an extremely ferocious fighter, and I am sure that Rampage had to have been nervous going into this fight [he was so focused on his walk to the octagon, that he didn't even stop and give his trademark howls!] however, in the very 1st round, Rampage caught Wanderlei with a left hook that knocked him out cold! [It didn't even look like Rampage's full power was behind the blow!] You can bet that Rampage was howling after this victory, and I was happy for him!
Now, because I have just driven 24+ hours, and I am extremely tired, I am just going to jump ahead to the two main events of the evening:
[don't worry, I won't leave you hanging on the other fights - I will re-cap those, very briefly, at the end]
First we had the Interim Heavyweight Championship Bout between Antonio "Minotauro" Nogueira and Frank Mir. Now, I already stated above - in the Kongo fight re-cap - that I would have loved to see Mir win this fight... I really like both of these fighters, and it was hard for me to choose who thought was actually going to win it, and in the end I chose Nogueira [I figured that in a 5-round bout, Mir would gas before Nogueira]
Before the fight, Joe Rogan spoke with Brock Lesnar about his feelings regarding the outcome of this match-up, and Lesnar earned my respect by telling Joe that he is not yet "the Champ" until he beats whoever wins this fight - I thought that was very cool of him! Lesnar then went on to say that he wanted a re-match with Mir. . . I am somewhat happy to report that Lesnar is going to get his wish, as Mir won the fight [though I feel bad for Nogueira, as he lost due to a somewhat controversial ref stoppage...]
Mir was simply on-fire tonight! He came out with superb combinations, and just kept rocking Nogueira. He definitely, won the 1st round! He was also controlling the 2nd round, when he dazed Nogueira yet again, this time pouncing on him and raining down some blows. The ref [Herb Dean, who I think is very good] then came in and stopped the fight. Me personally - I think the fight was stopped too early - Nogueira is known for being able to take a beating and yet still being able to continue and conquer - I feel that he was not given the chance, though I do feel that had the fight not been stopped, Mir would still have emerged the victor! So, now Mir will go on to fight Lesnar to see who deserves the title of Heavyweight Champion of the World!
Next was the World Light Heavyweight Championship Bout between Forrest Griffin and "Sugar" Rashad Evans. Again, I stated above, in the Rampage fight re-cap, that I thought Evans was going to win this fight. I love Forrest, however this was his first title-defense, and I just thought that Evans was going to take the title.
The fight started off similar to the Forrest/Rampage fight, with Forrest throwing brutal kicks into Evans' legs - this continued throughout the 1st & 2nd rounds. After the 2nd round ended, I told my wife that I had a feeling that the 3rd round was going to be it - Evans was going to knock-out Forrest [my wife was rooting for Forrest] Sure enough, Evans figured out Forrest's style, moved inside, knocked Forrest down and just pummeled him with hammer fists and elbows, until the ref stopped the fight.
Rashad Evans is now the Light Heavyweight Champion of the World! [Bring on Rampage!] :-)
For those who care, the other fights were between:
Dan Evensen & Pat Barry ~ Pat Barry won this fight with some extremely nasty leg kicks - he actually ended up blowing out Evensen's knee with one of his kicks! [I'll be keeping an eye on this dude!]
C. B. Dollaway & Mike Massenzio ~ Dollaway won via ground & pound/ref stoppage [no surprise here]
Matt "The Hammer" Hamill & Reese Andy ~ Another win via ref stoppage/ground & pound courtesy of Matt Hammil [again, no surprise]
Antoni Hardonk & Mike "The Juggernaut" Wessel ~ this was a Heavyweight fight, and it was Wessel's UFC debut - this guy is a beast, however Hardonk took him down with some pretty vicious knees to the head & nose!
Well, there you have it ~ another exciting MMA event ~ re-capped by yours truly! :-)
I also wanted to say that my oldest son is with the family this week (through the 4th) so, I will be keeping busy with him and the family through then. I will try to post a review or two between now and then, however no promises until afterwards - hopefully then, I will also find the time to continue reading everyone else's wonderful blogs! :-)