(‘Hey guys, I like you both, but I’m going for ice cream later and there’s only one open seat in my convertible. I’ll let you two sort this out however you deem necessary.’ Photo courtesy of UFC.com.)
Looking for live results, sort of clever commentary, and pithy observations all rolled into one for tonight’s UFC 103? Then you’re in the right place. We’ll follow the action from Spike TV to pay-per-view as we wait for the most important 195-pound bout since Rich Franklin vs. Wanderlei Silva to be decided. And on this night when MMA and boxing are supposedly going head-to-head, we promise that we won’t even mention Floyd Mayweather. Oh crap, we blew it already, didn’t we? Screw it. Remember to hit refresh often to keep up with the action.
So how ‘bout this? We’re watching the normally unaired prelims commercial free on Spike, and it’s a bunch of fights Joe Rogan says we “deserve” to see. You’re right, Joe. We do deserve it. We’ve earned it. Now let’s enjoy it.
Um, anybody just see a weird, glitchy loop of the first few seconds of the fight played over and over again for a full minute, or is that just a local problem? We’re past it now and both guys are still conscious so I guess I didn’t miss anything. McFedries lands a nice uppercut and Drwal responds with a takedown. McFedries gets up and goes back to banging, throwing nothing but power shots at Drwal. Drwal lands a right to the jaw that wobbles McFedries, then a few seconds later shoves him to the mat and follows him down with some hard ground and pound before the round ends. I give that one to Drwal, 10-9.
Drwal starts the round with several straight punches that snap McFedries’ head back. Drwal moves in and puts McFedries down again. McFedries looks tired and more than a little discouraged. Drwal moves easily to mount, takes McFedries’ back and sinks in the rear naked choke. McFedries offers little defense, and it’s tap-tap time.
Tomasz Drwal def. Drew McFedries via submission (rear naked choke)
Joe Rogan seems like he can understand what Drwal is saying in the post-fight interview, or maybe he’s just being nice, but I’m at a loss. I got maybe every fourth word.
Oh good, now we’re going to take an extended look at Halo 3 ODST. Glad this is commercial-free.
Okay, now I’m hearing the audio for the Spanish broadcast laid over the English one. Seems like there are some production issues going on tonight. No matter, Story and Foster come out swinging, both landing some big shots. Foster gets the better of it but Story takes him down. Story has a stream of blood coming out of his head. Foster gets back to his feet, only to have Story put him down again against the fence. Foster gets back up again and they exchange big rights. This is a frantic fight so far, and both these guys are already banged up. First round goes to Story on my scorecard.
Story doesn’t look like he wants to eat too many more punches on the feet, and instead gets things to the mat where he has the advantage. Story tries a little ground and pound before going to half-guard. Story looks for an arm-triangle but Foster recovers guard. Story keeps at it though and has his hips up too high for Foster’s guard to be of much use. Story keeps squeezing and Foster has to tap.
Rick Story def. Brian Foster via submission (arm-triangle) at 1:09 of round two.
Joe Rogan hustles backstage to interview Rich Franklin, who promptly exposes how unusual tonight’s UFC broadcast is by talking about how he’s not used to being interviewed in his locker room before fights. Hey, I’m with you, Rich. I’m not used to hearing the Spanish-language broadcast, so we’re all on new ground here.
Miller uses his long limbs to keep Escudero at a distance early on, landing a good jab for the fight’s first significant strike. Miller throws a body kick and Escudero catches it and then puts Miller down off a right hand, but doesn’t seize the opportunity to follow him down. A good right from Miller is met with a knee to the head from Escudero, who doesn’t seem like he wants to take this to the mat at all. Right after I type that, he picks Miller up and slams him, but then allows him back up. Miller seems shaky after eating a right hand. Escudero charges in with a left hook and a follow-up right on the chin that drops Miller. Excudero adds a couple more, but Miller is already out.
Efrain Escudero def. Cole Miller via TKO (punches) at 3:36 of round one.
We jump right into this one and Rogan tells us that Miller is very pumped up tonight. Lopez lands a decent jab early on, but Miller is unfazed and comes back with a good combo of his own. Miller hammers Lopez with a left that puts him on queer street, but he tries to act like it’s no big deal. Head kick by Miller lands fairly cleanly. Looks like Lopez is on his way to a knockout. Lopez comes marching toward Miller and eats a flurry that puts him down. In a scramble Miller locks up a standing guillotine but can’t finish it. He’s hanging tough, but Miller isn’t giving him any breaks. Miller tries for an ankle lock just before the round ends, but no dice. This one is all Miller so far.
Lopez lands a right hook and then later a jab for the southpaw. That got Miller’s attention. Lopez is grabbing his left shoulder and waving the fight off. Something very bad must have just happened, because this dude proved he was no quitter in the first round. Replays show Lopez’s shoulder popping after having his punch blocked, and something is definitely poking out at an odd angle in his shoulder. Bummer.
Jim Miller def. Steve Lopez via TKO (injury) at 0:48 0f round two.
Now Rogan is talking to Belfort, who seems very nervous or maybe just uncomfortable with this whole backstage interview business. I understand the UFC’s desire to promote their pay-per-view as hard as possible on this broadcast, but this might not be the best way. We move directly to an interview with Dana White, who successfuly avoids mention of how weird this thing is, but says no less than three times that he’s curious as to which Vitor Belfort will show up tonight. We get it.
On to the action for us paying viewers…
Joe Rogan starts off the pay-per-view by making the case for the 195-pound division, and then we…I’m sorry, is the sound still messed up? What’s the deal tonight, UFC? What is it about putting the prelims on Spike that suddenly turns your production crew into a Russian public access TV station?
Griffin starts the fight by throwing about ten leg kicks in the first minute. Clearly, wearing down Franca’s legs is a big part of Griffin’s game plan. Now Griffin adds in body kicks and punch combos, accounting for all the offense in this fight as Hermes just stands around taking shots. A left hook from Griffin briefly staggers Franca in the final minute of the round. Griffin ends the round with a couple snazzy inside leg kicks. 10-9 Griffin, but as usual, the crowd isn’t loving him at the moment.
Franca is a little more active to start the second, winging big right hands at Griffin. Griffin fires back but Franca looks to turn this into a street fight as he grabs Griffin’s leg off a kick and loops some wild rights that mostly miss Griffin. Griffin is picking him apart. Franca throws a crazy left hand/right uppercut combo that misses by a mile. Griffin comes back with a right hand that drops Franca after an inside leg kick. Griffin pours it on once Franca is down. Franca hangs tough but Griffin is hammering him and Franca is out. There’s the kind of finish Griffin needed.
Tyson Griffin def. Hermes Franca via TKO (punches) at 3:26 of round two.
Goldberg tries to pump up Trigg by saying that he almost beat Matt Hughes. Rogan brings us back down to earth by pointing out that really he just kicked Hughes in the balls and then pounced while he was recovering.
Trigg lands a good left as a counter in the first minute and it has Koscheck worried about his eye. Trigg is stalking and Koscheck is circling away, looking for his shots. A right hand behind the ear staggers Trigg and then a follow-up right drops him hard. Trigg is woozy and Koscheck moves over to hammer him with several unanswered rights. Trigg isn’t responding, and referee Leon Roberts stops it. Trigg seems to think it’s a bad stoppage, but he’s way wrong.
Josh Koscheck def. Frank Trigg via TKO (punches) at 1:25 of round one.
In his post-fight remarks Koscheck asks for Matt Hughes. Hey, isn’t that who Koscheck’s AKA teammate Mike Swick keeps asking for? Boys, you can’t both beat up on Hughes. Flip a coin or something.
Kampmann looks like he wants to band with Daley early on. He gets stung with a couple shots and decides maybe a takedown wouldn’t be a bad idea, but he can’t finish it. A big left hook frtom Daley smashes Kampmann’s jaw and he looks a little wobbly. Daley connects with another left hook/straight right combo. Kampmann is playing a dangerous game right now, and on cue he takes it to the clinch. After little action there, Daley unloads with another left hook on Kampmann and has him stunned. Kampmann is still on his feet but eating a ton of shots and not doing anything in response but covering up. Daley keeps pounding on him and Yves Lavinge has seen enough. Kampmann never went down and he’s not happy with the stoppage, but he’s also not completely capable of standing still in one place right now. Excellent debut for Daley.
Paul Daley def. Martin Kampmann via TKO (punches) at 2:31 of round one.
Looks like we’re mining the prelim stuff that didn’t even make the Spike TV cut now. Call it the unaired portion of the usually unaired preliminaries.
Dos Anjos tries for a takedown early but can’t get Emerson down. Emerson responds with a four or five-punch combo that mostly misses. Dos Anjos goes to work on Emerson’s legs with kicks and they seem to be getting to Emerson. Dos Anjos goes for another takedown in the final minute and this time he gets it, but perhaps too late to do anything with it. Dos Anjos ends the round on top and it likely pushes the first frame in his favor on the scorecards.
More inside leg kicks from Dos Anjos to start the second. Emerson lands a right hand, but he’s having trouble mounting much offense of his own after spending so much time on defense. Dos Anjos tries for another takedown to no avail, and then another that briefly puts Emerson down before he scrambles back to his feet. Emerson stuffs a third takedown, and Dos Anjos goes back to the inside leg kick well. Emerson is limping around to end the second. Dos Anjos appears to be up two rounds to none.
It takes only about fifteen seconds for Dos Anjos to commence his leg kick party, and Emerson nearly goes face first into the canvas. Dos Anjos shoots for the takedown and this time he finishes it and almost takes Emerson’s back before settling for the top position in half-guard. Emerson’s left leg has turned several different colors from all those kicks. Dos Anjos lands some decent elbows from inside Emerson’s full guard now. Dos Anjos passes to half-guard and then side control, but Emerson gets back to his feet. Dos Anjos pounds the left leg some more in the final minute. Dos Anjos looks to have this one wrapped up as we go to the scorecards.
Rafael Dos Anjos def. Rob Emerson via unanimous decision.
Dos Santos comes out to the "Rocky" theme; Cro Cop comes out to Duran Duran while wearing a Pride t-shirt. What the hell is going on? Is this also somehow related to the earlier production glitches?
Dos Santos backs Cro Cop up with feints and lands a nice uppercut before Cro Cop slips away. Cro Cop flicks out a left head kick that gets blocked. Dos Santos lands a left in close that appears to hurt Cro Cop, who’s covering up and trying to get away. Dos Santos is cut around his eye, though he hasn’t taken too many significant strikes, so maybe it was in inadvertent head butt during one of the exchanges. They clinch and Cro Cop tries a throw that fails. Dos Santos looks like he’s cut around both eyes now. Cro Cop lands a straight left that gives Dos Santos something to think about. Another one lands before the horn sounds, but Dos Santos looks like he can take them, for now, anyway.
Dos Santos lands a lead right and Cro Cop whiffs on a leg kick. Dos Santos goes after Cro Cop again and looks like he has him off-balance, but he keeps catching counter lefts that aren’t helping him any. Dos Santos is loading up on uppercut and big rights, making it easier for Cro Cop to defend. Another head kick attempt misses. Dos Santos clinches with Cro Cop against the cage and works some knees to the body. Cro Cop is starting to look like he might rather be somewhere else. An inside leg kick from Cro Cop absolutely hammers Dos Anjos in the groin. I guess if he can’t land it to the head he might as well work on the testicles. After the restart Dos Santos cuts Cro Cop with a hard right hand and then lands a solid body kick before the round ends. Dos Santos has taken both rounds on my card.
Cro Cop lands a straight left, maybe his best of the fight, but Dos Santos keeps coming and lands a good right to the body. Dos Santos lands a couple knees in the clinch that have Cro Cop looking wobbly. Dos Santos landing knees to the head now, and Cro Cop looks like he may be ready to go. Cro Cop says something to the ref and Dos Santos walks away yelling in triumph. Apparently Cro Cop is saying that he can’t see, and this one is over. Replays show a knee and a right hand to Cro Cop’s left eye that made him pack it in.
Junior Dos Santos def. Mirko Filipovic via TKO (ref. stoppage) at 2:00 of round three.
Oh, hell no. No more prolonged, torture-porn ads for Saw VI. At least this one isn’t as long or detailed. And at least there’s no overly topical health care sub-plot. I’m not sure which is worse.
Rich Franklin vs. Vitor Belfort
They spend most of the first two minutes feeling one another out, trading leg kicks and feints. Neither man wants to open up right now. A left hand behind the ear drops Franklin to his knees. Belfort follows it up with another hard left that snaps Franklin’s chin around, followed by some unnecessary hammer fists. Franklin is out. It’s over just that quickly, and at least there’s a contender on the horizon for Anderson Silva.
Vitor Belfort def. Rich Franklin via TKO (punches) at 3:02 of round one.
Vitor thanks Jesus profusely after his win and says he likes Anderson Silva, but he’s here to work. Franklin doesn’t seem to know what happened, but Rogan insists on making him watch himself get knocked out on the big screen anyway. Yeah, I don’t think he’s going to have any meaningful insights at the moment.
That’s it for me. Tune back in tomorrow and we’ll see if we can deconstruct this stuff for you.