Posted on: October 25, 2009 12:03 am
Edited on: October 25, 2009 1:01 am
Undefeated UFC light heavyweight champion Lyoto Machida defends his title against challenger Mauricio "Shogun" Rua in the main event of UFC 104.
Round 1: Shogun with a kick to the body. Machida with four knees from a Muay Thai clinch before they separate. Machida with another knee from the clinch as Shogun shoots in for a takedown. Shogun holding Machida against the fence, throwing knees to the thighs. Machida breaks free. Machida throws a high kick and Shogun connects on a low kick counter. Shogun tries for a takedown. They're against the fence again and Machida breaks free. Machida with an outside leg kick. Shogun rushes in with a punch-kick combo, but Machida eludes it. Machida with an inside leg kick, and Shogun answers it with an outside leg kick. Shogun is attacking every opening Machida leaves, even if he has to chase him to land it. Big leg kick by Shogun. Counterstrike right hand by Shogun. body kick by Shogun. Machida lunges in with a left jab. The round ends, and on my scorecard, the streak ends: 10-9 Shogun.
Round 2: Machida with a straight body kick and Rua counters with a fist. Shogun follows up with a leg kick. Machida with a very hard straight left to Rua's face, which backs him up for a second. Shogun whiffs on a head kick. Machida lands another left. Shogun ducks in for a takedown attempt and Machida times a knee to the head perfectly. Shogun fails to get the takedown. Machida with an outside leg kick. Body kick by Shogun. Machida with a body kick of his own. They both throw knees to the body at the same time, blocking each other. Shogun with a nice body kick but Machida stuffs the takedown attempt that follows. Shogun clinches Machida against the fence and Machida throws some knees to the ribs. Shogun attacks Machida's thighs with knees as the round ends. I'd narrowly give this round to Machida, 10-9.
Round 3: Shogun with another big body kick. Machida's side is totally red at this point. Leg kick by Shogun. Shogun mixes up the body kicks, switching from side to side as Machida changes his stance. Huge body kick by Machida. Rua with a kick and Machida counters with a fist. Shogun shoots for a takedown, doesn't get it, but smashes Machida with an elbow to the head on the break. Yet another big body kick by Shogun. The crowd is now chanting for Shogun, sensing that he's got a chance to win this. Machida with a body kick. Shogun chases Machida down with a big leg kick and Machida takes a clinch for a knee strike to counter. Machida backs Shogun up against the fence and unloads with fists and kicks. Shogun answers back with fists, including a hard right, and finally ties up Machida. The round ends. 10-9 Shogun heading into the championship rounds.
Round 4: Both men are being very measured in their strikes, cautious of the other's ability to counter. Shogun throws an inside leg kick and Machida answers with a one-two fist combo as Shogun blocks. Body kick by Shogun. Head kick by Machida is blocked by Shogun. Shogun with a takedown attempt at the fence, but it's a stalemate. Huge leg kick by Shogun and Machida fires back with three straight punches. Shogun with a left fist into a tie-up. He lands a short elbow on the break. Knee to the body and leg kick by Shogun. another leg kick by Shogun. The round ends, and Machida looks more tired and beaten up than Shogun does. 10-9 Shogun.
Round 5: If the judges agree with me, then Machida needs to finish Shogun in this round to keep his title. Shogun with more leg and body kicks. Machida countering with fists, but Shogun knows they're coming and blocks. Body kick by Shogun. Machida with a body kick. Shogun walks right into a big knee, but avoids a follow-up knee and ties up with Machida on the fence. The referee breaks it up for inactivity with two minutes left. Body kick by Shogun, followed by an inside leg kick. Machida with a knee to the body, and Shogun answers with a short elbow to the head. The crowd chants for Shogun again. Machida misses on a high kick. Machida throws a knee and Shogun blocks it, then attacks with fists. Left hand by Shogun and the buzzer sounds. Both men raise their arms, but I have to think Shogun just won the title. 10-9 Shogun, so I score the bout 49-46 for Mauricio Rua. We'll see what the judges think.
Winner: Lyoto Machida defeats Mauricio "Shogun" Rua via unanimous decision (48-47, 48-47, 48-47) after five rounds to remain UFC light heavyweight champion.
Wow. The crowd boos the decision.
Machida evaded the question on whether he thought he deserved the decision, saying all three judges said he earned the victory. But he was open to a rematch.
"Whenever," Machida said. "Whenever he wants, I try again. No problem."
"My corner told me that I was winning all the rounds," Rua said through an interpreter after the loss. "I feel like I won this fight, but a fight is a fight. What can I do."
There are several things to take away from this. Firstly, this was Mauricio Rua's best performance in a long, long time, and he deserves a rematch.
Secondly, this illustrates that perhaps Machida has earned a little bit of champion's favoritism, in that he needs to be completely dominated or finished in order to lose. If Machida and Shogun were two midcarders fighting, would Machida still have won that decision? Or was he given the benefit of the doubt due to not being finished or seriously rocked?
Lastly -- are leg and body kicks given enough credit on scorecards? Shogun didn't attack Machida's head very much, but after a full 25 minutes of successfully going after the legs and body, was he hurting his score purely due to that strategy? Does somebody need to knock Machida out cold in order to get credit for winning the standup battle?
I'm interested in your thoughts, so fire away.
Posted on: October 24, 2009 11:41 pm
Edited on: October 24, 2009 11:57 pm
Undefeated heavyweight Cain Velasquez tries for his fifth straight UFC win in a battle against former IFL heavyweight champion Ben Rothwell, who makes his UFC debut.
Rothwell has won 14 of his last 15 fights, with the one loss being a third-round KO at the hands of Andrei Arlovski for the former Affliction fight promotion.
Round 1: Velasquez throws a body kick and Rothwell answers with straight punches. Rothwell with another combo off a Velasquez kick. Velasquez with a takedown. Rothwell tries to get up with his back to the fence. Rothwell gets up and Velasquez dumps him with a high takedown. Rothwell escapes. Velasquez lands some solid punches in a pair of exchanges. Velasquez with a single-leg takedown and some elbows from the top. Velasquez has side control. Velasquez lands a couple of fists from the top. Rothwell tries to escape and gets tripped to his back. More elbows by Velasquez. Velasquez throws punches from the top. Velasquez tries to take his back for a choke, but then switches to full mount. Rothwell pops his hips to escape and Velasquez goes right back to ground and pound. Velasquez stands over Rothwell and unloads with serious bombs from the top. Rothwell is getting dominated here, and is now bleeding. He just can't get up from beneath Velasquez. Miraculously, the round ends without Rothwell being finished. 10-8 Velasquez. He's just too much of an athlete, and his wrestling is far too advanced for Rothwell.
Round 2: Rothwell whiffs on a head kick. He looks out on his feet. Velasquez with a single leg takedown. Rothwell goes to kis knees and Velasquez smashes him with several hard uppercuts. Rothwell scrambles with his back to the cage, trying to get back to his feet. Velasquez obliterates him with five consecutive lefts to the face and referee Steve Mazzagatti stops the fight. Rothwell immediately protests the stoppage. Velasquez was clearly dominating the fight, but Rothwell does have a history of being able to take a lot of punishment. The thing is, if you aren't answering strikes like that, you're putting the referee in a position to make that call. Such is MMA.
Winner: Cain Velasquez defeats Ben Rothwell via TKO due to strikes at 58 seconds of Round 2.
Velasquez said after the fight that he didn't think Rothwell was finished, and that the fight could have gone longer. He felt Rothwell was still posturing up and trying to escape from the spot.
Posted on: October 24, 2009 11:09 pm
Edited on: October 24, 2009 11:35 pm
After a break to watch the replay of Okami-Sonnen, we get back to live action as Josh Neer fights Gleison Tibau at middleweight. Both men coming off losses.
Tibau enters to Black Sabbath's "Iron Man."
Round 1: Neer lands one right hand and Tibau fires back with a combo. Tibau with a big takedown, slamming Neer on the back of his head. Neer gets back to his feet. Big inside leg kick from Neer buckles Tibau's leg. Tibau with another big slamming takedown. Tibau tries some ground and pound but can't do it, because when he's close, Neer pulls guard and starts striking from the bottom and when he postures up, Neer threatens with upkicks. Neer gets up and they briefly trade before Tibau slams Neer with another takedown. Neer immediately escapes to his feet. Inside leg kick by Neer. Tibau with punches, missing the majority of them. Neer lands a hook. Tibau takes Neer down one more time. Can he do anything with it this time? Nope -- Neer's up. Inside leg kick by Neer. Tibau connects on a one-two counter combo. The round ends, and I score it 10-9 Tibau, but he needs to do more after the takedown.
Round 2: Tibau comes right out with another big takedown. Tibau's power and wrestling are clearly superior. Neer's back up, and he lands a couple of shots to the face before another takedown puts him on his back... briefly. Tibau with a straight left. Neer counters with a right. Inside leg kick by Neer. Takedown by Tibau. It's safe to say both guys are sticking to their gameplans. Neer tries to escape but this time, Tibau takes full mount. Neer gives up his back on a scramble and Tibau puts the hooks in as Neer tries to stand up. Neer shakes Tibau off by escaping out the back door, but Tibau takes an arm on the way down and threatens with an armbar. Neer escapes and they square off again. Neer misses an uppercut and Tibau misses the counterpunch. Neer whiffs on a haymaker. Another inside leg kick by Neer. Neer is grimacing in pain when he throws those kicks now, so he may have injured himself. End of the round, and I give it to Tibau 10-9 again.
Round 3: Tibau with a takedown and Neer is fighting back from the bottom, with upkicks and other strikes. Neer is up again. Neer swinging for the KO now, probably sensing the fight slipping away. Neer stuffs a takedown attempt for a change. Neer stalks Tibau, throwing mostly left hands. He has gotten away from the leg kicks. Tibau with a single-leg takedown. Neer gets into butterfly guard and fights his way back up. After some fist exchanges, Neer throws another leg kick and limps afterward. Both fighters land some punches in a flurry. Tibau with a takedown, and the time expires. Tibau 10-9, winning 30-27 on my scorecard. The crowd boos. UFC commentator Joe Rogan says they're "L.A. douchebags."
Winner: Gleison Tibau defeats Josh Neer via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28) after three rounds.
Posted on: October 24, 2009 10:26 pm
Edited on: October 24, 2009 10:44 pm
Joe Stevenson vs. Spencer "The King" Fisher is up next at lightweight.
Fisher enters the Octagon to Johnny Cash's "God's Gonna Cut You Down," which is 40 different kinds of awesome.
Round 1: Stevenson with a leg kick. Fisher with an inside leg kick. Stevenson with a left hook and Fisher counters with a right. Fisher now throwing body kicks as a lead-in to punches. Stevenson goes for a bodylock takedown and Fisher sprawls. Stevenson puts Fisher's back to the fence and tries to muscle him down. Stevenson switches to a double leg and keeps fighting for it. Back to a body lock. Fisher is bleeding over the right eye, but he's an easy bleeder. They're separated and Fisher starts with leg kicks again. Stevenson with an elbow to the wounded eye. Fisher smiling and waving Stevenson forward, so Stevenson takes him down and tries to take Fisher's back as he turtles up. The horn blows to end the round as Stevenson goes for a rear naked choke. 10-9 Stevenson.
Round 2: They duke it out with nobody gaining an advantage for the first minute of the round. Stevenson gets another takedown and Fisher takes full guard. Fisher with elbows from the bottom. Stevenson postures up and tries for a leg lock, but fisher pulls out of it and re-establishes guard. Stevenson grinds up Fisher's head with short elbows, re-opening that cut. Fisher loses half guard as Stevenson takes side control and traps the arm. Stevenson hammers away with elbows, and with Fisher unable to defend himself, referee Herb dean stops it.
Winner: Joe Stevenson defeats Spencer Fisher via submission due to strikes at 4:03 of Round 2.
Posted on: October 24, 2009 10:13 pm
Edited on: October 24, 2009 10:24 pm
We keep it going now with Anthony "Rumble" Johnson vs. Yoshiyuki Yoshida, a fight that was supposed to be at each man's standard welterweight limit of 170 pounds. Johnson killed that idea by showing up on the scales at 176 pounds for the weigh-ins, looking like he was about to pass out. When you try to cut from 220 pounds to 170, that'll happen.
Yoshida agreed to fight Johnson at a catchweight of 176, and Johnson is now certain to have a significant weight advantage in the Octagon. Win or lose, Johnson will forfeit 20 percent of his purse for overshooting the contracted weight by such a large margin.
Round 1: As suspected, Johnson looks considerably larger than Yoshida. Johnson with a barrage of fists. A five-punch combo sends Yoshida backing into the cage. Johnson locks up Yoshida and pounds away with uppercuts, crosses and other big shots, finally dropping him to the mat with a right hand. Referee Steve Mazzagatti stops the bout.
Winner: Anthony Johnson defeats Yoshiyuki Yoshida via TKO due to strikes at 41 seconds of Round 1.
Johnson apologized to the UFC and the fans for failing to make weight. He probably should have apologized to Yoshida too, or at least thanked him for still accepting the fight.
Useless trivia: This fight is the 39th fastest KO/TKO win in UFC history. Go ahead. Look it up. I'll wait.
Posted on: October 24, 2009 9:30 pm
Edited on: October 24, 2009 9:57 pm
TUF 8 light heavyweight winner Ryan Bader (9-0-0, 2-0-0 UFC) puts his unblemished record up against Eric "The Red" Schafer (11-3-2, 3-2-0 UFC), who is looking for his fifth consecutive victory.
Round 1: Bader connects with a right hook and Schafer shrugs it off. Shafer misses with left jabs, trying to find his range. Bader tags him with a combo. Schafer misses a few more jabs and Bader roughs him up with a combo. Bader misses with a looping right hand. Bader with a left jab. He follows up with an overhand right and a left to the ribs. Bader chases Schafer down and smashes him with a big right hand to the ear. Schafer goes down and Bader slugs away with rights to the head, trying to finish. Schafer gets to his feet and Bader tosses him back down like a rag doll. Schafer gets up again, eats some strikes and gets taken to his back again. Schafer turtles up and covers his head as Bader goes Donkey Kong with hammer fists. Schafer rides it out and ends up taking guard. Tough kid. Schafer catches Bader's arm in an omoplata, but Bader powers out of it and decks him for good measure. Bader backs off and the ref stands Schafer up at the buzzer. 10-9 Bader, but Schafer is still dangerous.
Round 2: Schafer accidentally pokes Bader in the eye with a weak jab, causing a momentary stoppage. Schafer finding the mark now with jabs and leg kicks. Bader has slowed his attack, probably out of respect for how hard it is to finish Schafer after that first round flurry. Schafer with jabs, keeping Bader from finding range for a big shot. Bader misses with a left hook. Bader gets inside with a body shot, which Schafer answers with a combo. Bader lunges in and Schafer missed on a countering left. Schafer tags Bader with a left hook that takes him off balance. Bader is lunging with his shots now and Schafer is beating him on technique. Bader tries a takedown with 10 seconds left, probably trying to earn points with the judges. Schafer stuffs it and clips him with a right. Bader goes for another takedown and Schafer stuffs him again at the buzzer. 10-9 Schafer.
Round 3: Bader lands a light left jab followed by a looping overhand right to the ear, and Schafer goes down again. Bader moves in to finish, but Schafer ends up taking guard. Bader inadvertantly headbutts Schafer, which bloodies his face. Bader lets him up, and the referee wants the doctor to look at Schafer's mug. It's all good, so we continue. Bader still looking for that big knockout shot, but Schafer is staying patient. Neither man is throwing much in the way of strikes. Bader with a double-leg takedown to side control. Schafer with knees to the ribs from the bottom. Bader doing very little on top, just enough to try and seal the round for himself and keep Schafer from escaping. Schafer pulls himself back to guard and tries for an omoplata at the buzzer. 10-9 Bader by my scorecard, which gives the fight to Bader, 29-28. We'll see if the judges agree.
Winner: Ryan Bader defeats Eric Schafer via unanimous decision (30-27, 29-26, 30-27) after three rounds.
I don't know where that 29-26 score comes from. That judge gave Schafer one round 10-9, and the other two rounds (presumably Round 1 and Round 3) to Bader 10-8. Bader definitely won those rounds, but I don't know if I'd go so far as to call them 10-8 rounds. At least they got the winner right.
Posted on: October 24, 2009 9:04 pm
Edited on: October 24, 2009 9:18 pm
We're kicking things off with the heavyweights, as Pat Barry faced Antoni Hardonk. This might be a quick one.
Round 1: Hardonk refuses an obvious gesture to touch gloves from Barry. So Barry nails him with a right to the jaw on the first exchange. Well played, sir. Hardonk with the outside leg kick. Barry with a hard leg kick of his own, and then he counters a Hardonk leg kick with a right hand. Hardonk face-palms Barry before throwing a leg kick and poked Barry in the eye, causing a brief stoppage. Barry with a straight right. Hardonk with inside leg kicks. Hardonk starts with body kicks and Barry hits him with a right. Hardonk slumps down into a double leg shot and just sits there, as if he may have been hurt by the punch. Barry gets him to his back and works for a choke. Hardonk escapes. Hardonk with a head kick that gets blocked. Barry doing a good job countering with fists. Hardonk now has a bloody nose. The round ends with Hardonk still using those kicks. It's a good strategy since Hardonk has a significant reach advantage, except Barry doesn't seem to be having much trouble getting into range. 10-9 Barry.
Round 2: Barry has a good-sized mouse under his right eye. Barry lands a very stiff one-two combo that puts Hardonk back on his heels. Barry rocks him again with a straight left during an exchange. A big right hand sends Hardonk to the canvas, but he's back up. Body kick by Barry. Hardonk ties up Barry and tries for a takedown, which could be an indication of how he feels about Barry's strikes. Hardonk can't get the takedown and they square off again. Barry puts a straight left right on Hardonk's jaw and follows up with a roundhouse right fist, and Hardonk is down for good. Two more punches on the canvas, and the ref waves the fight off.
Winner: Pat Barry defeats Antoni Hardonk via TKO due to strikes at 2:30 of Round 2.
Joe Rogan asks Barry what he was thinking after he got poked in the eye in the first round. Barry says "Ouch."
Posted on: October 24, 2009 8:53 pm
Edited on: October 24, 2009 9:03 pm
Here are the quickie results from tonight's UFC 104 undercard bouts so far. Yushin Okami vs. Chael Sonnen is still in progress:
I'll be back shortly with round-by-round live blogging of the top seven fights on the card, beginning shortly at roughly 9 p.m. ET.