I’m not sure what sort of pre-fight pep talk was given to the fighters in their locker rooms last night, but I hope somebody recorded it to play at all future events. “Never leave it in the hands of the judges” doesn’t begin to capture the sentiment that most of the fighters carried with them to the Octagon. Last night’s finishes were emphatic and extraordinary. Knocking your opponent out wouldn’t do—it would have to tie for the quickest KO in UFC history. Subbing the previously untapped wasn’t enough—you had to break them or render them unconcious.
If Frank Mir was watching the main event back stage, his heart must have dropped along with Machida’s unconcious body. After all, there are only so many “Submission of the Night” bonuses to go around. Mir has now notched two Nogueira “firsts” on his belt. In their bout at UFC 92, Mir battered Big Nog in the standup, dropping him multiple times before following him to the ground with strikes and becoming the first man to finish the durable Brazilian. Last night, Nogueira nearly flipped the script, rattling Mir with a combination that sent him to the canvas. The writing was on the wall as Nog dropped hammerfists on a dazed Mir, but the black belt switched his attack from bludgeoning to Brazilian jiu jitsu as he attempted a guillotine choke. Mir worked free from the hold and latched on a Kimura. Nogueira rolled to escape, but Mir ended up on top and still in control of the arm. Nogueira would tap for the first time, but not before significant, grimace-inducing damage had been done. A post-fight x-ray revealed a very broken arm which will be repaired with surgery this week. Despite the main event, Mir’s merciless cranking earned him the evening’s $75k “Submission of the Night” bonus.
The smaller of the Nogueira brothers faired much better in his equally short bout. As expected, Rogerio’s hands were superior to Tito Ortiz’s. “The
Huntington Beach Bad Boy People’s Champion” failed with an early single leg takedown, forcing him to trade with Little Nog. “Minotoro” caught him with a left hand before dropping him with a knee to the body eerily similar the knees that folded him in his fights with Rashad Evans and Lyoto Machida. From there Nogueira went to work on Ortiz’s body from the guard, targeting hard punches and elbows on a single spot along his rib cage. Tito turtled up, obviously in pain, and Yves Lavigne waived the Brazilian off. Tito remained on the writhing on ground and clutching his mid-section. Dana White was unsure of Tito’s future following this second loss since his win over Ryan Bader. For Nogueira, it was a bounce back from two consecutive losses and a questionable decision victory over Jason Brilz.
“The Korean Zombie” set the tone for the evening early on. Mark Hominick came out aggressively, swinging away and looking to make short work of Chan Sung Jung, but that door swings both ways. Jung avoided Hominick’s haymaker and landed a beautiful counter that sent “The Machine” careening backwards to the mat. A few blistering follow-up shots on the ground prompted Herb Dean to step in to protect the defenseless Hominick. With his seven-second win, Jung picked up the “Knock Out of the Night” bonus and tied for the fastest ever UFC knock out, though Dana White promised to look into Duane Ludwig’s rightful claim to that record.
Jung wasn’t alone in making quick work of his opponent. Igor Pokrajac drove Krzysztov Soszynski across the cage with brutal punches that knocked him out cold in just 35 seconds.
Constantinos Philippou lit up Jarrad Hamman, dropping him multiple times throughout their fight. Hamman was mostly-unconscious for the duration of their three minute, eleven second bout, before Philippou flipped his switch for good.
Whether motivated by his exposing loss to Ebersole or a tough weight cut that left him low on energy, Dennis Hallman stormed after John Makdessi, quickly dragging him to the canvas. From there he unleashed some heavy blows before sinking in a rear naked choke just shy of three minutes into the bout.
Not all of the evening’s battles fit so neatly in the “Who Won” box, however. Brian Ebersole emerged victorious in a close contest with Claude Patrick. Boos poured out when the split-decision went against the hometown fighter. We also had the bout scored for Patrick, but if anything this bout highlighted the inconsistency in MMA judging criteria rather than outright incompetence.
Full results (via MMAWeekly):
Main Bouts (on Pay-Per-View):
-Jon Jones def. Lyoto Machida by submission (guillotine choke) at 4:26, R2
-Frank Mir def. Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira by submission (kimura) at 3:38, R1
-Antonio Rogerio Nogueira def. Tito Ortiz by TKO at 3:15, R1
-Brian Ebersole def. Claude Patrick by split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)
-Chan Sung Jung def. Mark Hominick by TKO at :07, R1
Preliminary Bouts (on ION Television):
-Igor Pokrajac def. Krzysztof Soszynski by KO at :35, R1
-Constantinos Philippou def. Jared Hamman by KO at 3:11, R1
-Dennis Hallman def. John Makdessi by submission (rear naked choke) at 2:58, R1
-Yves Jabouin def. Walel Watson by split decision (29-28, 28-29, 30-27)
Preliminary Bouts (on Facebook):
-Mark Bocek def. Nik Lentz by unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
-Jake Hecht def. Rich Attonito by TKO at 1:10, R2
-John Cholish def. Mitch Clarke by TKO at 4:36, R2
- Chris Colemon (@chriscolemon)