What do you get when you roust two old fighters from their rocking chairs and toss them into the cage for a fight that would have been so awesome ten years ago that your head would have exploded at the mere idea of it? We have no idea, but we can’t wait to find out, just like we can’t wait to see what happens when Chael Sonnen finally has to stop talking crazy long enough to step in there with Nate Marquardt.
UFC 109 is coming at you from the Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas tonight, beginning with some preliminary action on Spike TV at 9 pm EST. Keep it locked right here for all the live results and insightful commentary you can stand, some of which will be completely obscured by unfortunate typos in the heat of the moment. As long as you’re here, might as well introduce yourself in the comments section and begin making obscure film/music/pop culture references that are only funny to you. Huzzah!
I turned the TV on in time to catch the end of Tito Ortiz-Ken Shamrock on “UFC Unleashed.” Maybe they ought to remove Mike Goldberg’s post-fight commentary where he promises us that these two warriors will meet again. Just a thought.
With the Spike TV prelim broadcast now underway, Rogan calls Danzig-Bucholz a ‘win or leave town match.’ That’s what you have to like about Joe. He says what we’re all thinking, what we all assume to be true, even if it flies in the face of how the brass claims to approach these decisions.
Melvin Guillard vs. Ronnys Torres
Guillard comes right out with a jumping knee, followed by a headkick. Torres stays calm and puts him on his back in the first minute. Torres is struggling a bit to keep Guillard down, eventually letting him scramble up after trying some ground and pound. No problem, Torres puts him down again a few seconds later. Guillard returns to his feet again, where he looks infinitely more comfortable, but so far he hasn’t threatened Torres with much. Torres eats a knee en route to a third takedown. Guillard can’t stop the takedowns so far, but at least he’s surviving on the mat, though losing the round. Guillard returns to his feet in the final thirty seconds, but can’t get much done. That one’s 10-9 Torres.
In between rounds, one of Torres’s cornermen spills a ton of ice all over the mat. Attempts to clean it up prove hilarious. "This is the goddamn ‘Three Stooges!’" shouts Rogan. I haven’t seen him this fired up since his last B.J. Penn love fest.
There’s a bizarre moment early on as Torres nearly lifts Guillard up and over the fence, and Melvin takes the opportunity to grab on to the top of the cage. Torres takes another knee coming in, and now the takedowns are beginning to look a little more labored. Guillard stops a Torres takedown and adds an extra knee. Torres is looking a little winded now, and it may be Guillard’s chance to take over. Torres almost takes Guillard’s back and then nearly gets a kimura in a scramble, but Guillard powers out. Diving punch on a downed Torres in the last ten seconds helps steal the round. 10-9 Guillard.
A windmill right from Guillard nearly starches Torres, who is looking tired and a little sloppy. Guillard is the much sharper fighter on the feet, and his crisp punches are starting to find a home. Torres gets the takedown and goes immediately to side control. Now he has to decide whether to hold him there and fight for position or try for a submission and risk letting him up. Torres seems to be looking for the mount, but Guillard scissors his head with his legs and uses the break to scramble back up. Torres dives for another takedown and gets it, with Guillard sitting down with his back against the fence. Torres works some body shots and Guillard yawns for the crowd. That’s fun. You’re still losing the round, though. Torres gets one more takedown in the final seconds, but Guillard rolls into mount and finishes with a barrage of punches. That may have made all the difference to the judges.
Melvin Guillard def. Ronnys Torres via decision.
Afterwards, Guillard says he’s 1-0 and looking to get the title by 2011. That seems possible. If a bunch of UFC lightweights die all at once in a plane crash.
Am I the only one who keeps thinking that people are saying buttholes instead of Buchholz? Sorry, I’m still a thirteen year-old kid at heart. Buchholz’s stand-up look sharp in the early going. Danzing tries a takedown but gives up on it and lands a right hand that Buchholz thought was to the back of the head. Danzig avoids a punch and counters with a good left. Buchholz drops him to his knees with a right. Looks like neither of these guys wants to leave town. Right hand from Danzig lands flush and he follows with a clinch. Tough round to call, but I’m giving it to Buchholz.
Danzig really wants to take Buchholz down, despite earlier promises that he’d love to stand with him. So far it isn’t working out, but I guess it helps to keep him guessing. Danzig finally gets that double-leg and goes to side control. He looks for the mount, but Buchholz recovers guard and almost nabs a kimura. What is it, near kimura night in the UFC? Danzing works through it and takes the mount, then Buchholz’s back, but loses it when he tries for a triangle. Buchholz ends the round getting swept and pounded on in the mount. 10-9 Danzig.
Buchholz complains at the end about illegal 12-to-6 elbows. Danzig attempts to atone by hugging referee Herb Dean.
The pace slows a little in the third. Rogan and Goldberg take to talking about the weather, more or less. Danzig tags Buchholz with a nice shot that makes his legs go rubbery. Danzig gets a clinch and works some knees, then tosses Buchholz down and turns it on in the final two minutes, taking his back and looking for a rear naked choke. Buchholz is defending, but the round ends with Danzig throwing down punches. 10-9 Danzig. From where I’m sitting, looks like Buchholz is getting his walking papers.
We take a brief commercial break to advertise "Shutter Island" and an all-new, totally hilarious episode of "Blue Mountain State" about a girl with no arms who gets sexually assaulted or something. Great work, boys.
Mac Danzig def. Justin Buchholz via decision.
Danzig says heavyweights don’t understand what it’s like to fight in the UFC’s 155 lbs. division. No disrespect. You lazy fat fuckers.
Really? The best thing we can find to say about Serra and Trigg is that they’ve both fought some good guys? And lost more often than not. I guess it’s not like you can call either one of them the tallest competitors in MMA.
Serra starts off with some straight rights to Trigg’s midsection. Trigg has the reach, but Serra seems to be having no trouble getting inside right now. Serra loops a left hand over Trigg’s defenses and it lands. He’s definitely the busier fighter early on. Serra throws a big looping right that drops Trigg. Serra jumps on him and hammers away until Josh Rosenthal has seen enough. Trigg’s going to complain, but he wasn’t doing anything besides lying on his back and getting punched in the face.
Matt Serra def. Frank Trigg via TKO (punches) at 2:23 of round 1.
Serra says he’s glad he can go to his daughter’s first birthday party without looking "like a cyclops." That’s just totally offensive to cyclopses everywhere.
A lot of feeling out going on at first. Maia is content to trade punches initially and gets stung with an uppercut from Miller. Maia clinches and looks for a leg trip, but Miller’s staying calm and he gets away. Maia catches a kick from Miller and puts him down briefly, but he scrambles back up in time to catch a knee to the groin. Miller grabs his junk, but Maia keeps hammering him. Steve Mazzagatti, naturally, does nothing. After a break, we’re back, and no one’s the worse for wear. Nice leg trip takedown from Maia, but Miller is back up as soon as his butt hits the mat. Miller finishes the round by landing a straight right. Very close round, but I’m calling it 10-9 for Miller.
We’re back to a stand-up battle in the second frame and, somewhat surprisingly, Maia’s striking is right there with Miller’s. He lands a good right and later a strong left that gives Miller something to think about. The action stalls a bit as both guys try to strike from just outside the effective range. Maia’s owning the center of the Octagon and pressing the fight a bit more, and if nothing else happens that might be enough to win this round. Miller starts to come forward, but Maia is tagging him. 10-9 Maia.
Maia rushes in to another clinch but gives it up before trying for a takedown. Maia looks for another takedown and looks as if maybe he got stunned with a punch. He gets back up and muscles Miller to the ground, but can’t seem to get his jiu-jitsu game started. Maia is trying to work some GnP against the cage and he seems to be doing more damage by bleeding on Miller than anything else. Believe it or not, it’s Miller who comes the closest to landing a submission, threatening Maia with a triangle choke in the final minute. Maia’s not having that, and he finishes the fight on top, punching away in an effort that is mostly cosmetic for the judges.
Demian Maia def. Dan Miller via decision
Maia seizes the mic from Rogan, who rolls his eyes, and launches into a rambling apology to the fans. Dammit Rogan, this is why you guard that mic with your life. Nothing good comes from an out-of-breath fighter speaking in a foreign tongue to a crowd that’s already kind of sick of him.
Brian Stann vs. Phil Davis
The empty seats in the background tell us that this is one from the prelims. Davis looks much quicker than Stann right off the bat, and it isn’t too long before he clinches with Stann and tries to force him down. Stann defends and back off, then gets kicked all up in his chest. Davis can’t do a whole lot on the feet, mostly because he doesn’t allow himself to get close enough to actually hit Stann, but he does manage a takedown with two minutes left in the round. Stann tries to get up and gives up his back. Davis transitions to mount and drops a couple of punches. Stann is just trying to survive. He does, but just barely.
Greg Jackson told Stann that Davis is more tired than he is, which may be a little too optimistic. Davis gets a takedown a minute in and gets the mount once again. There’s too much time left for Stann to wait this one out. He recovers half-guard, but Davis uses a kimura attempt to move to side control, and then mount again. Rogan is getting frustrated with Stann’s failure to take advantage of opportunities to escape. Davis gets to side control and hammers Stann’s body with knees until the end of the round.
Stann charges forward with a punch combo and Davis avoids it before countering with a takedown. And here we are again. Stann gives up his back and continues to get mauled by Davis. Davis looks for an Americana arm bar, but can’t finish, so he’ll have to content himself with swarming all over an increasingly hopeless Stann, who lying flat on his back and offering little defense. With ten seconds left Davis jumps into a nice armbar, but time runs out before he can finish it.
Phil Davis def. Brian Stann via decision
Thiago throws the first real strike in the form of a head kick that Swick mostly blocks. Thiago knocks him off balance with a low kick, but Swick recovers quickly and sticks him with a right. They’re both throwing a good amount, but very little landing is going on. Swick comes up with a takedown in the final minute, which might be enough to steal the round, but the crowd doesn’t care for it. 10-9 Swick.
Swick starts the round a little busier, flinging his hands about in an effort to make Thiago do something. Both guys seem to be waiting for the other to go first, which makes for a lot of awkward staring. A right hand lands for Swick and as he tries to rush in behind it he gets dropped with a left from Thiago. Thiago jumps on him right away and locks up a D’Arce choke. Swick refuses to tap, so he goes to sleep. Thiago jumps up and screams as if he’s just finished disarming a drug dealer.
Paulo Thiago def. Mike Swick via technical submission (D’Arce choke) at 1:54 of round 2.
The translation of Thiago’s post-fight speech is almost impossible to understand. I’m guessing it’s something about how happy he is not to be in Brazil right now, which Rogan already told us was a crazy place.
Nate Marquardt vs. Chael Sonnen
Marquardt starts with a kick to the body and the pace is high right from the start. Sonnen pushes for a clinch, but can’t do much with it. Sonnen gets a takedown but gets locked up in a guillotine in the process. It looks deep, but Sonnen isn’t worried and Marquardt gives it up. Sonnen delivering some very effective ground and pound. Marquardt gets up and delivers a hard knee that staggers Sonnen, but they go down again and Sonnen ends up on top. Sonnen is dropping some big elbows now, and Marquardt seems to have no answer. Dominant first round for Sonnen, and a surprising one.
Sonnen comes right in and gets another takedown without much resistance from Marquardt. Sonnen looking to pass, but Marquardt stalls him by looking for a kimura, because apparently every fight tonight has to have an attempt at one. Sonnen escapes and goes back to work with that ground and pound. Marquardt slips a hard elbow in on Sonnen and suddenly blood is everywhere. Sonnen is losing a lot of plasma all of a sudden, but it’s not bothering him all that much. Sonnen has some form of back control on Marquardt, despite the fact that his blood is leaking all over the place. Sonnen puts Marquardt on his back once more before the round ends, and that cut might be the only thing that can stop him.
God bless Matt Lindland. The first thing he says to Sonnen in the corner? “You are fucking this guy up!” You can’t argue with the facts, people.
Marquardt tries for a takedown of his own to no avail. He’s looking like the last two rounds have taken a serious toll on him as he stumbles around the cage. Sonnen wastes no time in putting him down again. Sonnen is just grinding away at Marquardt right now. Marquardt gets back up on his own, but Sonnen shoots again and gets caught in a tight guillotine. Sonnen is wincing, but Marquardt just doesn’t have the strength left to finish it. In the final minute Marquardt reverses Sonnen and winds up on top, hammering Sonnen with some hard punches. Alas, too little, too late.
Chael Sonnen def. Nate Marquardt via decision
Sonnen looks like a Republican Frankenstein in his post-fight interview. Almost hard to believe that he’s the dude who won tonight. Hat’s off, Chael. We didn’t think you had it in you.
Randy Couture vs. Mark Coleman
Mark Coleman comes out to rap music that could not match his personality any worse. Couture comes out to “Stranglehold.” Rogan gets pretty worked up when he hears that Sweaty Teddy. Don’t we all, though?
"Man, I’m pumped for this," shouts Rogan. Yeah, we got it.
Couture sticks Coleman with several hard jabs. Apparently head movement isn’t in Coleman’s repertoire. Almost everything Couture throws is landing flush on Coleman’s chin. He won’t last long like this. A hard right from Couture buckles Coleman’s knees. Couture moves into the clinch to rough him up some more, but he might be better served to back off and keep picking Coleman apart. Couture nails him with two uppercuts, bouncing his bald head into the air. Coleman lived in the Palace Station, training with Shawn Tompkins for two months, and this is what his stand-up looks like? Damn, playa.
More facial battery for Coleman to start the second, then Couture moves in for the body lock takedown. At least there’s one FightPicker question I got right. Coleman gives up his back and Couture locks in the rear naked choke. Coleman can’t stop it and also can’t really bring himself to tap, so out he goes. Once again, the music of Ted Nugent proves to be prescient body of work.
Randy Couture def. Mark Coleman via technical submission (rear naked choke) at 1:09 of round 2.
Rogan credits Couture with improving at 46 years-old, but I can’t help but think that a lot of this win had to do with how bad Coleman looked. A battered Coleman looks and sounds like a seventy year-old man when he takes the mic. The interview stops when Tito Ortiz shouts something at Coleman, to which Coleman responds, “Fuck you, Tito.”
Really? Did Ortiz try to pick a fight with a guy who looked terrible in defeat? That guy knows easy pickings when he sees them, doesn’t he?
Well, that’s all for me. We’ll talk in the morning, but I leave you with this: Fucking Chael Sonnen. What the hell?