UFC 85: Bedlam
June 7th London, England
Thiago Alves d. Matt Hughes via TKO (Knee and Punches) in Round 2.
Both Fighters came in after only about 5 weeks notice after various injuries forced Chuck Liddell, Shogun Rua, Rashad Evans, and James Irvin from the card. Alves came in 4 lbs. over the 170 lb weight limit, so the fight was held at a catch weight of 175 lbs and Alves was docked 10% of his salary for the fight. The former UFC Welterweight Champion, Matt Hughes is coming off of his 2nd defeat at the hands of Georges St. Pierre while the up and comer Alves is coming off of a TKO win over Karo Parysian and riding a 5 fight win streak.
Round 1. After a short feeling out period on the feet and brief but effective ground and pound from Alves after a Hughes' slip, Hughes shot for and got a takedown. The majority of the round was spent on the ground where not much damage occured as Alves defended well not allowing Hughes to unload any effective strikes.
Round 2. Alves was able to stuff a takedown and keep the fight on the feet where he landed an early knee to set the pace, but it was about a minute later when Alves landed a leaping knee to the chest / jaw of Matt Hughes which knocked him down. Alves quickly pounced and finished the fight with punches forcing the ref to step in and stop it.
Now on a six fight win streak, Alves addressed the crowd and stated that a sprained ankle kept him from running during the week which affected his weight cutting. Alves also requested a title shot from the winner of the St. Pierre / Jon Fitch fight in August. The former champ, Matt Hughes was asked how near retirement he may be and he responded that he still has one more fight left in him, against fellow former champ, Matt Serra.
Fabricio Werdum d. Brandon Vera via TKO (Punches) in Round 1.
Early on, most of the fight consisted of various clinches. Werdum was the aggressor in the fight and was able to get a takedown midway through the round, with no major damage being inflicted. After Vera was able to get the fight back to the feet, Werdum kept up his aggressive attack and was able to get a trip takedown, and passing into mount. Werdum was unloading with punches causing Vera to cover up and protect his face. With no answer to the punches, the ref stopped the fight with 15 seconds left in the round. Some will call it a questionable stoppage, but after re-watching it a few times it seems more understandable. Vera was doing nothing to escape the position, moreso trying to wait out the round and Werdum was relentless with punches.
Thales Leites d. Nate Marquardt via Split Decision after 3 Rounds.
Rounds 1 and 2 were full of fast paced and enjoyable action. Marquardt's ground and pound was specifically effective, landing powerful shots and maintaining an agressive assault. Leites main strength was his standup; both traded effective strikes the entire fight. The key turning point in this fight however, happend on two different occasions. Once in round 2, Marquardt landed an illegal knee to Leites' face, while Leites had one knee on the mat. Referee Herb Dean made sure to let Leites and the ringside doctor know he has 5 minutes to recover and deducted a point from Marquardt's score. The other turning point which ultimately lost him the fight was when Marquardt again landed an illegal blow, this time an elbow to the back of Leites' head. The second one was more questionable though, after replays showed the elbow was moreso to the side of his head. It's also of note that Marquardt landed a pile-driver type move near the end of the fight, which is also illegal, though it was not called probably because the 10 second warning had sounded just seconds before. Once Marquardt re-reads the rule book I can see an immediate rematch happening later this year due to the fact that the fight was so close and rather enjoyable from a fan's point of view. This was probably Marquardt's best UFC fight to date, it's crazy how he threw it away with the deducted points.
Luiz Cane d. Jason Lambert via TKO (Punches) in Round 1.
The fight was contested mostly on the feet where Cane completely dominated Lambert in the striking department. Cane was both, the quicker and more powerful striker of the two and it showed early and often. Cane was landing flush punches in bunches that knocked Lambert down twice and ended the fight with Lambert nearly KO'd near the fence while face forward on the mat. Very dominating performance for Cane's first UFC win.
Mike Swick d. Marcus Davis via Unanimous Decision after 3 Rounds.
Round 1 was all Swick. After a brief striking exchange, Swick was able to get an early takedown and ultimately ride the round out with minor damage from ground and pound. Rounds 2 and 3 were a little more active. Swick used his size and reach advantage and kept Davis at a distance, avoiding any damage Davis could offer. Round 3, again was Swick winning the standup. Swick was docked a point for holding the fence late in the round, which ignited him to finish strong, getting a takedown and wind milling his punches to close the fight earning him a one sided unanimous decision and ending Davis' 11 fight win streak.
Michael Bisping d. Jason Day via TKO (Punches) in Round 1.
In the night's most dominating effort, Bisping completely overwhelmed Jason Day from the opening bell. A brief exchange on the feet led to an early takedown by Bisping. From there it was an all out assault with punches from various angles. Day was never able to unload any of his own offense as his best and most used technique was covering up his face. Bisping won the fight after Day was not able to protect himself.
Matt Wiman d. Thiago Tavares via Knock Out (Punch) in Round 2.
Round 1 started out strong for Tavares as he was able to get the fight to the ground and work his jiu jitsu. Early on he slapped on some submission attempts ranging from a guillotine, omoplata, and a heel hook. Wiman was also active in the round using a heel hook attempt as a transition into Tavares' guard for punches. Rogan said it best as the round was a high paced grappling exchange from bell to bell. Round 2 was just as highly paced as the first. Both fighters unloaded with punches and kicks early on. The exchange led to a takedown by Wiman. During an attempted guard pass, Tavares was able to escape to his feet. Wiman got up and immediately started backing Tavares against the fence throwing a flurry of punches and knocked him out with a right hook sending Tavares straight down slumping against the fence. Very good scrap and a huge win for Wiman.
Martin Kampmann d. Jorge Rivera via Submission (Guillotine Choke) in Round 1.
Kampmann with an early trip takedown. Rivera attempted a triangle choke, but Kampmann used it to his advantage after freeing himself he winded up on Jorge's back, eventually getting both hooks in. Kampmann does not work for a rear naked choke, instead he slides further to Jorge's side and attempts an arm triangle from half guard. Jorge scrambles out, but Kampmann transitions to a fight-ending arm-in guillotine choke after passing into full mount, causing the choke to tighten. Big win for him after coming back from a long layoff due to rehabbing from knee surgeries.
Overall, UFC 85 was an entertaining show. The card may not have been the biggest event they could have produced, but it was filled with a few of the promotion's future stars. Given a chance to grow and a spotlight to perform, it will only help their appeal to the fans who may not know them. In all, 8 of the 11 fights were shown on the pay per view.
1 Submission, 1 Knock Out, 4 TKOs, and 2 Decisions.
Unaired prelim results: Antoni Hardonk d. Eddie Sanchez via Knock Out in a heavyweight bout, Paul Taylor d. Jess Liaudin via Decision in a welterweight bout, and BJJ blue belt Kevin Burns d. BJJ black belt Roan Carneiro via Submission in a Welterweight bout also marking Burns' UFC debut.
The UFC gave out it's annual event bonuses to 4 fighters for their efforts. Each received an extra $50,000.
-KO of the night: Thiago Alves
-SUB of the night: Kevin Burns
-Fight of the night: Matt Wiman vs Thiago Tavares
Next week's review: EliteXC "Return of the King" on Showtime from Hawaii featuring 160lb Title fight between KJ Noons and Yves Edwards and a Middleweight contest between Murilo 'Ninja' Rua and undefeated Tony Bonello. Also Dream 4 on HDNet with the 2nd round of their Middleweight Grand Prix featuring Japanese MMA Legend Kazushi Sakuraba vs Holland's devastating striker Melvin Manhoef and BJJ icon Ronaldo 'Jacare' Souza vs the always entertaining Jason 'Mayhem' Miller.