There wasn't any bad blood going into the Main Event on Saturday night, and the fight largely reflected that.
Champion Luke Rockhold (pictured above, photo via Sherdog) was in control for most of his five round affair with Challenger Tim Kennedy. Rockhold used a boxing and clinch heavy attack, in stark contrast to previous fights where his flashy kicks fly in his second successful title defense against the former Army Ranger Sniper. Eschewing the turnback and double jumping roundhouses that had dazzled against former champion "Jacare" de Souza, he kept the wrestler moving backwards and stalked with punches.
The gameplan worked brilliantly, as the excellent grappler Kennedy are a steady diet of straight punches and found the vast majority of his takedown attempts foiled. Kennedy was outmatched on his feet, but did find success in the few instances where he was able to ground the Champion. In the first round he sent Rockhold skyward with a double leg pickup before slamming him to the earth and did decent work on top before a kimura attempt from the bottom led to Rockhold's escape. Kennedy's best work however was done in the third round, where he was able to secure a takedown from the rear clinch and take back control. It was enough to net him the round but not the match.
Nate "The Great" Marquardt Gets Violent KO Over Woodley
Tyron Woodley is unbeaten no more.
In a fight that not many had high hopes for in terms of action, the fighters involved having turned in a staggering 75 minutes of uniterupted decisions between the two of them in their previous fights. Nate looked in prime form though, forcing the All-American to stand and fight over the four rounds the fight lasted.
In a turn of events most didn't see coming, Tyron Woodley managed to drop Nate standing in both the 1st and 3rd frames before the awe inspiring conclusion of the bout in round four. Marquardt hit Woodley with a stern right hand backing him up to the fence, before delivering an elbow-elbow-hook-uppercut combination that left Woodley in a crumpled pile on the canvas.
After the TRT controversy that led to his leaving the UFC on Dana's bad side, Nate made a steller statement in his welterweight debut, in the best possible way. Not only did he prove himself a viable top 10 170 pounder, but also as an impressive and exciting fighter that he hadn't been, seemingly since he began TRT. He did not use the therapy for this fight, and it appears that he dosn't need it.
Gracie Dismantles Jardine
Roger Gracie, perhaps the greatest to ever don a gi and compete in BJJ, righted his MMA ship after a set back suffered at the hands of Muhammed Lawal. Against UFC outcast and terrible unortodox striker Keith Jardine, Gracie continued to look stiff on his feet, but was able capitolize on "interesting" striking decisions by Jardine, dragging him to the ground in both of the first two rounds.
If Gracie looked like a fight out of water standing, he made Jardine look like a cat in the ocean with a shark once the fight hit the canvas. Flowingeffortlessly between positions and submissions, Gracie landed some great elbows that made Jardine don his familiar crimson mask of plasma. In round three, Jardine narrowly outstruck Gracie in round 3 but it was way too little way too late, and he dropped a pear shaped decision to Gracie, who netted a 10-8 first round in the eyes of two of the judges. Andy Dinger curiously gave all three rounds to Gracie, continuing a night of horrible work from the Oregon judges.
In Other Action:
Lorenz Larkin too all of his explosivity down with him to 185 pounds, running over Robbie Lawler after surviving an early knockdown by Robbie en route to 30-27 cards across the board.
Mizuto Hirota won the first two rounds of his bout with the ever unimpressive Pat Healy, before being robbed by Healy's fellow Oregonian's, dropping a decision to Pat. Andy Dinger comfirmed that the people in white coats need to take him to the funny farm, turning in an unacceptable 30-27 card.
Ryan Couture took advantage of the fading cardio of the massive lightweight Joe Duarte to take the final two rounds from Joe. Ken Barringer delivers a curious 29-28 Duarte card, not as abhorrent as other decisions on the card by noteworthy none the less.