Champ Anderson Silva beats Nate Marquardt – TKO (strikes) Rd1. (click to watch this fight!) Champ Sean Sherk beats Hermes Franca – unanimous decision.
Tito Ortiz vs. Rashad Evans – DRAW (click to watch this fight) Antonio Minotauro Nogueira beats Heath Herring – unanimous decision.
Kenny Florian beats Alvin Robinson – tapout (strikes) Rd1.
Jorge Gurgel beats Diego Saraiva – unanimous decision
Stephan Bonnar beats Mike Nickels – tapout (rear naked choke) Rd 1.
Chris Lytle beats Jason Gilliam – tapout (triangle choke) Rd 1.
Frankie Edgar beats Mark Bocek – TKO (strikes) Rd1.
Fight Grades: Minotauro Nogueira vs. Heath Herring – B
Nog has beat Herring now for the third time (twice in PRIDE). Good. Herring could have stunned his critics (that includes me) and finished off Minotauro in the 1st round following a HUGE kick to the head. Rogan gave it the ole “right on the button”. Instead he decided to pull of and let the ref stand it up. Nog had no idea where he was, let alone the ability to stand under his own power… why did Herring back off?!?! How bad does it look like Herring threw this fight? He came in at a portly 259lbs. Geez man take a few laps and act like you care. Minotauro deserves big props for taking one hell of a shot to the face (think Sean Salmon) and regaining his composure to pull out the victory.
Sean Sherk vs. Hermes Franca– A
Franca got OWNED. Sherk displayed the true meaning of “to break his spirit”. The only time Franca was walking to and from his corner. Sherk showed incredible control over his opponent. He ate some of the biggest knee strikes you’ll ever see, and did so willingly b/c each knee to the face led to a takedown.
Poor Franca got a raw deal b/c not only did he ROCK Sherk 3 times with big-time knees to the face, he also caught Sherk deep in guillotine chokes… Franca put together a highlight reel in this fight. Too bad Sherk’s dominance lasted 24 minutes and Franca’s highlights spanned about a minute of time. The only way to get this belt from Sherk is for a striker with GREAT takedown defense to step in to the cage.
Tito Ortiz vs. Rashad Evans – C+ (click to watch this fight)
Are you kidding me? This was the fight the was promoted so heavily by the UFC? This was the result of all that buildup, all that smack talk, all that BS self promotion by Tito? And they actually want us to be hyped up for Tito/Rashad II?!?!
Two VERY SIMILAR fight styles. At certain points several minutes lapsed without a single punch throw. They jockeyed for double-leg takedowns for at least half the fight. Tito: where was the dirty boxing? Where were the nasty elbows, the dominant ground-n-pound? Rashad: didn’t you watch tape of Liddell beating Tito down? Didn’t you realize the guy hates getting hit with multiple shots?
This was a step back for Ortiz and a small step up for Evans.
Anderson Silva vs. Nate Marquardt – B+ (click to watch this fight!)
Would have liked this to go to 3 rounds to get our money’s worth from these two. Nate did a lot of talking in his UFC Countdown piece, only to get shut-up by Silva’s fists. We were really looking forward to seeing Nate take him down. And really looking forward to seeing some crazy knees from Silva. Entertaining none the less. (I hope Heath Herring was taking notes on how to finish a fight).
Spider Silva has deadly accuracy; Rogan is right, the man is surgical. He darts those fists straight into your face – Rock’em Sock’em robot style.
This fight will be a good title fight for the middleweight class. Silva is very dominant with his strikes and control in the octagon. Nate is a seasoned veteran though and has won every fight in the UFC thus far. Nate said in a recent interview that he thought his stand up was better. He didn’t sound arrogant or of someone being smart, but he said it matter of factly. I hope he is as good as he is confident because he will need it against this KO monster with the last 5 out of 7 of Silva’s fights ending in a TKO/KO. Nate has been doing good lately, but most of his fights going to the judges which can be an indicator of a cautious strategy. This is going to be a tough one to call with Nate’s experience and Silva’s tough hands/knees. Unless Silva makes a mistake and gets submitted by Nate I think the champ will end up winning in the end by way of decision.
I can’t wait for this one. Tito hasn’t really fought anybody or won in a good way for sometime now. He TKO’ed Ken Shamrock twice, a 43 year old and other than that he has either lost to Chuck or eked out split decisions with Forrest Griffin and Vito Belfort. I really think Rashad is going to make Tito pay for any trash talk he will bringing into the public the week before. You can also bet Tito will probably pull some sort of stunt at the weigh-ins. In my opinion these guys have similar fighting styles so it will be fun to see those styles clash together in the octagon. I am going to go with Rashad Evans in the third round by way of TKO.
Hermes Franca Vs. Sean Sherk
This is going to be another awesome fight I think. Franca is a loose cannon in the Octagon and is a little sloppy. None of his opponents has been able to capitalize on any of his standing mistakes yet and Sherk probably won’t be able to do it since he isn’t the fastest on his feet. The George St.Pierre fight still haunts me with Sherk because he just seemed to let go once Pierre landed a few punches on his head. Franca is a sloppy bomb swinging for the fences striker so Sherk better go in like a dozer and scoop this guy up and try to keep it on the ground. Even though Franca is no slouch on the ground I think Sherk will take him down control some of the fight and Franca will probably bust loose and TKO Sherk with a little ground and pound in the second or third.
Heath Herring Vs. Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira
This will be another neat fight. Even though Heath hasn’t showed much in the showmanship category with his last few fights it will be cool to see two ex-PRIDE guys duke it out in the heavyweight class. If Herring trains hard and really wants it bad enough I think he will put on a great show and duke it out with Nogueira. I think there will be a little ground movement, but for the most part it should be a striking war going to the judges. After three round I believe it will end up like they did last time they fought with Nogueira the”Minotauro” getting the decision.
Alvin Robinson Vs. Kenny Florian
I know there is a lot of talent on this card so a lot of good fighters will not be on the main card, but I can think of a few that should be in place of this match. Not that Kenny isn’t a killer but I think he is going to walk though Alvin probably with a first round submission
Mike Nickels Vs. Stephan Bonnar
This will probally be a 50/50 good striking with a ground war also between two good submission guys. Both of these guys are tough so I don’t think either of them will go down, but I think Bonnar will eventually overwelhm Nickels and get a submission after Mike makes a mistake. I will have to go with Bonnar going to war, but getting a submission on Mike in the second round.
Mark Bocek Vs. Frank Edgar
I think this fight is gonna be fast. These two are super fast fighters with lots of speed. Frank has gotten through the first time UFC jitters and has a very powerful ground game. Mark is also strong on the ground and has been cross training as of late at none other than the great, “Greg Jackson’s” in New Mexico. I hope nothing rubs off on him because I think Frank Edgar is going to catch Mark making an early and land a Guillotine ending this one early in round one.
Love him or hate him, Tito Ortiz is a dominant fighter and will always speak his mind. With UFC 73 STACKED a week a way, he gave 411mania another great interview.
Ortiz gives respect to Rashad Evan’s wrestling ability, thinks there’s potential for a MMA fighters union, confirms he has one more fight on his UFC contract, and is taking business advise from Jenna Jameson (I can’t believe I just typed that)
Some of the good stuff…
“Last year, I won 3 of my 4 fights, and I had two knockouts and one decision but I’m still dominant and I’m still in the title contention. I’m someone to reckon with. I’m not someone who gets beat by people. Look at my last nine years of competition. I’ve only lost to two people. I lost to heavyweight world champion Randy Couture, and I lost twice to Chuck Liddell. Those are the only two people I’ve ever lost to. I am still a name to be reckoned with.”
“The times that I’ve worked with Dana. He’s always tried to tell me to say things I’ve never said because it didn’t sound good and it wasn’t things that I wanted to say. I know that Chuck has always said “Yes Dana” and he’s always listened to what Dana says and is pretty much Dana’s puppet. That’s the way I’ve seen it, that’s the way I say it. I’m gonna speak the truth, I’m not gonna hold anything back, and that’s just the way I am.“
“For her to do what she did with Club Jenna and taking up the whole adult industry and selling it to Playboy and makin the revenue that she did out of it, just see the business stuff that does on the outside of it by getting into mainstream movies and stuff, and she’s been in a lot of things to grow her icon name: Jenna Jameson helped me do the same and I’m kinda following the same model.“
“Me and Rampage said we’ll never fight each other, ever, you know? But if the money that we’re getting paid for the fight comes to numbers we’ve always wanted, we’re not gonna say no… When Rampage gets the bout it could be a multi-million dollar fight so we could look at it as, “Hey we’re gonna make a lot of money and entertain the fans.”
“Big paydays like that are the ones that are gonna take care of it. I gotta look out for my future. UFC is gonna be here forever. Tito Ortiz is not gonna be here forever as fighter, but maybe as a business man.“
“I have one more fight with the UFC and I’m a free agent. Have to see what the UFC is gonna offer me. What they wanna give to me, and how important am I to their company. They’ve showed me plenty of times before that I’m not really that important to the company if they’re gonna make money with or without me.”