For one night only, the KFC Yum! Center (actual venue name) will be replacing their Double Downs with a steady barrage of KNUCKLE SANDWICHES!!! SEE WHAT I DID THERE? OH SHIT, FORGOT TO TURN OFF CAPS LOCK. Round-by-round results from the Versus broadcast will be accumulating after the jump beginning at 9 p.m. ET / 6 p.m. PT — right after a quick recap of the Facebook.com/UFC prelims. From Sanchez vs. Kampmann and Dollaway vs. Munoz to Bowles vs. Page and Stevenson vs. Castillo, it’s gonna be a solid night of free fights, so refresh the page every few minutes for all the latest, and drop your two cents in the comments section.
("This big horsemeat-eating motherf*cker is next.")
There’s been a veritable orgy of UFC fight-bookings happening over the last couple days, and we might as well throw them all at you in one lump sum. We’ll start with one that might not be the biggest of the bunch, but definitely struck us as the strangest…
Jim Miller vs. Kamal Shalorus - UFC 128: When Dana White proclaimed that Miller’s impressive kneebar submission win over Charles Oliveira at UFC 124 put him in the mix of lightweight contenders, nobody figured that would mean that he’d be paired with an Octagon newcomer in his next bout. But this is the UFC, and sometimes the organization’s MMA math just doesn’t make a hell of a lot of sense. The Sparta, New Jersey native will attempt to increase his winning streak to seven when he takes on (7-0-2) WEC veteran Shalorus at UFC 128 in his backyard in New Jersey.
Dan Miller vs. David Branch - UFC 128: Considering that his brother is on the card and they can save on cornermen hotel rooms and plane tickets, it’s a no-brainer that the UFC would have another local fighter like Miller on the card for UFC 128. The fact that they now have to pay Chuck Liddell’s seven-figure salary, bar and strip club tabs has not been lost on the accounting department who have undoubtedly suggested some cost cutting measures that will be implemented in 2011. Wait until you see the beat-up budget ex-strippers they bring in to replace Arianny and Chandella.
Filipovic will attempt to prolong his rapidly shortening career by defeating the up-and-coming fighter who is riding a three-fight winning streak which includes a "W" over Gabriel Gonzaga — the last man to put Cro Cop to sleep prior to Frank Mir turning his lights out in his last outing at UFC 119.
("Stop it? My naughtiness, I thought you said, ‘Snap it.’"
When Rousimar Palhares inexplicably stopped to tell the ref that he thought Nate Marquardt’s leg felt greasy in their Ultimate Fight Night 22 bout Wednesday night, armchair fighters, referees and coaches alike collectively yelled, "What the hell are you doing?" at their television screens.
It turns out, they weren’t the only ones yelling.
Palhares’ longtime Brazilian Top Team trainer and coach, Murilo Bustamante told Tatame that he too was screaming from the sidelines for his charge not to let up and says that they have learned from the rookire mistake that may have cost Rousimar a title shot in the near future.
“We’ve talked about it a lot, he knows what he did wrong. I guarantee it won’t happen again, he learned the lesson on the worst possible way, paying for his distraction and lack of naughtiness," Bustamante explained. "Maybe the other fighter could stop to see what it was about, but Nate kept on going and didn’t do anything illegal. It was a lesson learned. It happens.”
Knockout of the Night:Brian Foster, for his 67-second storming of Forrest Petz, which was the lone stoppage on the preliminary card. Petz now drops to 0-2 in his current UFC stint, and will most likely be shown the door.
Submission of the Night (1):Cole Miller, for dropping Ross Pearson with punches in the second round of their fight, then icing him with a rear-naked choke. Miller has scored the SotN award in three of his last five appearances, and officially enters the UFC Performance Bonus Leaderboard.
Submission of the Night (2):Charles Oliveira, who pushed his record to 14-0 with a huge win over TUF 8 winner Efrain Escudero, secured via standing rear-naked choke in the third round. Though he had trouble getting Escudero to the mat in the first two frames, Oliveira showed off his tenacity in the victory, as well as some impressively unorthodox striking.
Fight of the Night:Kyle Kingsbury and Jared Hamman, for their fast-paced three-round brawl in the prelims. Despite a third-round rally from Hamman, Kingsbury’s domination and damage in the first two frames secured him 29-28 scores from all three judges.
As for UFC 118, some shifting will need to be done to fill the empty main card slot, and potentially fill the hole that the replacement could create in the Spike TV Prelim broadcast. The lineup currently looks like this…
On his loss to Sonnen: "I didn’t follow my gameplan, and I paid for it. I put on a good show, but mentally I wasn’t there…I fought a wrestler exactly how you’re not supposed to fight a wrestler — just stepping straight forward, trying to knock him out with every punch. So, I learned my lesson. I put on a good fight so I think that’s important as well, but I definitely plan on being a lot stronger mentally this next fight."
("The creepy guy behind the ring? Don’t worry Rachelle, that’s just James McSweeney. He’ll probably ask you for a lock of your hair before you leave, but he’s cool." / Photo courtesy of twitter.com/nathanmarquardt)
(Rousimar Palhares vs. Helio Dipp, 3/10/07. Dipp passes out at 2:06. Palhares lets go at 2:10. Despite the peppy soundtrack, nobody appears to be very happy about it.)
If you’re a UFC fighter who competes every four months, a 90-day suspension is a fairly empty gesture. Still, we have to give some props to the New Jersey State Athletic Control Board for making it officially known that holding onto a submission after the referee has stopped the fight is, at the very least, frowned upon. So why did they decide to make an example out of Rousimar Palhares, following his heel hook of Tomasz Drwal at UFC 111? Turns out, holding onto subs well past the point of necessity is a bad habit for "Toquinho":
“When a referee’s in there pulling three times and the other fighter’s tapping…I think everybody knows, regardless of language issues or anything, at that point the referee’s trying to stop the fight,” [NJSACB counsel Nick] Lembo told Sherdog.com on Monday…"A referee should not have to use that much force to release a heel (hook)," Lembo wrote…
Lembo said Palhares’ past adherence to [holding submissions to eliminate any dispute that the other fighter tapped] is part of what led to his decision. He reviewed Palhares’ submissions of Helio Dipp and Flavio Luiz Moura in Brazil in 2007 before Saturday’s fight and thought those holds were held too long as well. “If you watch those two fights, that concerned me,” Lembo said. “He’s very, very slow after the referee physically intervenes, as in this case. I think Palhares in an outstanding fighter with an outstanding future. Maybe this will send a message that his camp can discuss this with him and maybe alter it a little bit.”
(Lucio Linhares highlight reel courtesy of norja01.)
Tucked away on the preliminary card of UFC 107 this Saturday will be two promising Brazilian up-and-comers, trying to make their names on MMA’s greatest stage. Will they prove that they belong there, or will they just be more chum for the Octagon’s sharks? Let’s meet ‘em…
LUCIO LINHARES (MW) Experience: 13-4 record, with multiple appearances in M-1 Challenge and Finland’s Fight Festival organization. Is currently on a five-fight win streak, with all wins by stoppage and notable victories over Karl Amoussou and Sean Salmon. Will be facing:Rousimar Palhares (9-2, 2-1 UFC) Lowdown: A native of Ipatinga, Brazil, the 36-year-old Linhares grew up studying a variety of martial arts including kung fu and capoeira before discovering jiu-jitsu. Now, "the gentle art" is how Spartan makes his living. Linhares is highly-regarded as a BJJ instructor, and his annual seminars in Finland have garnered him the unofficial title of "Godfather of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu in Finland." (He also competed in the M-1 Challenge as a ringer for Team Finland.) Though Linhares’s start in MMA came relatively late in life, he’s enjoyed great success recently thanks to an improving stand-up game. He describes Palhares as "my hardest opponent to date." However: "I know I have a good Brazilian jiu-jitsu and I am confident to face anyone in the UFC because this is the moment of truth for me."