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UFC 75: CHAMPION vs. CHAMPION Results

UFC 75 RESULTS (detailed):

I’ll be updating as it happens for both of you that care. The show is on a 9-hour tape delay from the 02 Arena in London, England and is airing right now for free on Spike TV.

* LIGHT-HEAVYWEIGHT BOUT: Houston Alexander made Alessio Sakara look like nothing by waylaying him with a knee in the clinch and finishing with some ground and pound in the 1st. Alexander’s the most explosive striker I’ve ever seen and looked like an absolute MONSTER in this fight.

* WELTERWEIGHT BOUT: Marcus Davis def. Paul Taylor with about 1:00 left in the 1st via Submission (Armbar). What a great, great fight. It’s a shame it ended so early. They exchanged evenly until about 2 minutes into the round when Taylor nailed Davis right in the side of the head with a crisp kick. He jumped onto Davis and tried to finish it by solidly hammering down on him. Davis, amazingly, held on. Both were good at pressing the action against the cage, going back and forth on the ground and switching dominant positions. Davis tossed himself into a sidemount and had Taylor in trouble with forearms and elbows, but Taylor showed just as much grit as Davis earlier in the round and held on. He even reversed it, gaining a full-guard mount on Davis, but Davis was able to slip Taylor’s arm into an armbar for the submission win. Great fight.

Two fights into this card and the show’s already amazing. Those were among two of the most explosive fights I’ve seen so far this year.

HEAVYWEIGHT BOUT: Cheick Kongo def. Mirko Cro Cop via unanimous decision. ROUND 1: Good first round. Cro Cop’s movement and general fight strategy make it very apparent that unlike last time, he’s taken the cage into account in his training. Kongo had a fierce look of determination before the bell, but once he started getting stalked he looked nervous and tentative. Still, he managed some decent inside leg kicks. He had Cro Cop pressed against the cage but couldn’t get anything done. McCarthy separated them and Mirko took Kongo down, slipping out of half-mount into a full mount and doing some damage on the ground. In the final seconds, Kongo reversed into a mount, but Cro Cop maintained full guard long enough for Kongo to get nothing done. The round was fairly even, but I’d give it to Cro Cop for the takedown and especially for setting the pace of the entire round. ROUND 2: The story in Round 2 was how vastly improved Kongo is in his ground game. He took Mirko down
and while not doing a terrific amount of damage still controlled the entire round. When they stood, he dominated the clinch and did some damage with the knees. He may have accidentally hit Cro Cop’s groin with about a minute left, but McCarthy didn’t see it. Kongo definitely won this round, and there’s enough of an argument to give him Round 1 that Cro Cop has to do something to finish rather than let it go to a decision. ROUND 3: Five-minute stop of the fight after less than a minute. Kongo did hit low and was warned by McCarthy to keep the knees up after McCarthy saw the replay from the 2nd round. Kongo had Cro Cop in a clinch, hit a solid shot right to the groin, and while McCarthy was trying to stop him immediately hit a second one. Pretty dick maneuver, and there’s no way you hit two accidental groin shots with the knee against a guy that’s two or three inches shorter than you. After the restart it was all Kongo. Mirko looked alright in the first round but was absolute shit in the second and third. Kongo wins 29-28 on all three scorecards. Mirko’s done.

Michael Bisping vs. Matt Hamill is up next. This was supposed to be the finale to Season 3 of “The Ultimate Fighter,” but Hamill wasn’t able to get medical clearance to fight. As such, the tagline for the fight is “The Ultimate Fighter Finale you never got to see.”

Matt Hamill is coming out to “Born in the USA” by Bruce Springsteen. It won’t get him any friends, and the cynic in me has to expect that Hamill has no idea that music was chosen for him (he’s literally deaf). Expect the roof to blow off the place when English native Bisping comes out.

LIGHT-HEAVYWEIGHT BOUT: Michael Bisping def. Matt Hamill via split decision. ROUND 1: They stayed standing for all but thirty seconds of this round. Great, exciting stuff. They had a good exchange in the first minute, and the rest of the round was all Hamill. Hamill’s striking is so improved it’s like watching a completely different guy. Bisping certainly wasn’t expecting it. He regained his composure in the last thirty seconds, but almost got caught as the round was winding down. Bisping definitely showed some damage coming out of it. Easily Hamill’s round. ROUND 2: Much more even round. Bisping showed a bit more energy, though he still looked a bit tentative and unsure. I guarantee you that’s directly attributable to the fact that nobody expected Hamill to engage him standing. Hamill scored a takedown or two, but again, wanted to keep it standing to the surprise of everyone. Hamill didn’t dominate the way he dominated the first round and looked to be tiring, but I’d still give the round to him. It was close enough, though, to where I wouldn’t argue with anyone who’d give it to Bisping. ROUND 3: Again, an even round. Bisping did some damage standing, taking advantage of Hamill’s cardio shitting out on him and the dropping of his hands, but didn’t do enough to secure a win. Bisping went on the offensive in the last twenty seconds, but couldn’t finish Hamill. Hamill’s corners (who can’t even give him instructions during the fight due to the fact that he’s deaf – which makes his success in the sport even more amazing) celebrated as if he’d already won. Decision forthcoming. Scorecards read 30-27, 29-28, and 28-29 – Michael Bisping wins via split decision. It was close enough in the second and third, I suppose, but I honestly think that Hamill should’ve won that fight. He was, however, very gracious in defeat. How anyone can dislike the guy is beyond me.

The main event is being marketed as a “Unification” bout, however the reality of the situation is that after tonight the Pride Light-Heavyweight Title (formerly the Pride Middleweight Title) is going to be declared defunct (as will most likely the Pride Welterweight Title which Henderson also holds). It’s also being marketed as the first in a string of superfights in connection with the UFC’s acquisition of Pride. The truth is that this is probably the most high-profile fight they’re going to get unless they can actually sign Fedor Emelianenko. They’re close now to doing so than they were a few months back, but not all that much closer.

UFC HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMPIONSHIP BOUT: Quinton “Rampage” Jackson def. Dan Henderson via Unanimous Decision to retain. ROUND 1: Even exchanges while standing, but most of the fight was spent in the clinch or on the ground – both of which Henderson dominated. Henderson should easily win the round on the scorecards. ROUND 2: Not much happened in this round. Henderson took it to the ground again but did little to no damage. Quinton had a couple nice escapes and in the last minute of the ground, took side control and landed some good elbows. Henderson dominated more of the clock, but didn’t do anything with it really. I’d give the round to Quinton. ROUND 3: A little better. Rampage started out with a couple nice flurries. He caught Henderson as he went for a kick and took him to the ground. Henderson very nearly got a kimura, but Rampage rolled with it. The end result was the two men reversing positions and Henderson gaining the sidemount, but again, he couldn’t get anything done (not for lack of trying). Rampage got it back standing and ended with a quick five-second flurry that almost rocked Henderson. I’d give it to Rampage again. ROUND 4: Though not exciting, it was impressive to see Rampage completely dominate a world-class wrestler like Henderson as much as he has. It was stood up with less than a minute left in the round and Rampage hit some nice offense but wouldn’t risk going in for the kill. The most interesting part of the round was Goldber name-dropping Fedor and Joe Rogan responding with “And what about Brock Lesnar?” Round goes to Rampage. ROUND 5: Henderson pressed the first three minutes on the ground but didn’t get anything going. Jackson controlled less of the round, but as in previous rounds, when he was in control he was a lot more active. They stood back up in the final half-minute and Rampage literally almost had Henderson finished when the bell sounded to end the round. I’ve got it 49-46 Rampage. Official decision is Jackson via unanimous decision. They’re referring to him now as the Unified Light Heavyweight Champion. It’d be kinda cool if that stuck.

More later…

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  1. September 10, 2007 at 3:31 am

    I’m glad the title bout went five rounds, but I wanted to see a knockout in the 5th, not a decision. But it’s okay, since that was my call as well.

    Alexander is indeed a monster.

    Davis/Taylor was awesome and really exciting.

    Cro Cop disappointed me, though if he really did break a rib in the 1st, I can give him a little leeway.

    And just to get this out publicly, I like Bisping a lot and wanted him to win, and I think he definitely lost. And so did Bisping by the way he reacted to the decision. I’m not a judge, but to me it looked like Hamill won at least two if not all three rounds.

    • September 10, 2007 at 3:45 am

      Looking back at it: yes, still a close fight. However, the big problem is that of course Hamill clearly won the first round, but I don’t think there’s enough of a question about Round Two to warrant it going “either way”. Hamill was robbed.

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