We’re coming up on 3 p.m. East Coast time, and I gotta tell you, it’s a little weird to be up this early on a Saturday. But no worries, because I’ve got a six of Guinness, a half-bottle of Jameson, Thin Lizzy blasting on the stereo, and I’m pretty much ready to liveblog the crap out of the UFC’s first event in Dublin. We may not all be Old and Bald, but just for one afternoon, can’t we all be a little Irish? Hit that "Read More" link and refresh the page every few minutes to get round-by-round updates and commentary for UFC 93. Sláinte…
Over/under on how long it takes Mike Goldberg to say the phrase "Emerald Isle": 8 seconds.
Marcus Davis vs. Chris Lytle
Chris Lytle welcomes the chance to "silence the hometown guy." Damn, Chris, hasn’t Tom Egan suffered enough tonight? Very warm welcome for the Irish Hand Grenade. Davis comes out to House of Pain’s "Jump Around," and the Dublin crowd immediately does so. Chris Lytle gets booed during his introduction. Not a strong Indianapolis contingent in the audience, apparently.
Round 1: Soccer chants immediately. Huge right from Lytle, and Marcus Davis bounces off the fence and dodges the oncoming swarm. Leg kick Lytle, then a body kick. 1-2 from Davis, then a kick. Davis lands some punches moving backwards. Davis slips in a nice left counterpunch. Body kick Davis, who then skips backwards to escape retribution. Leg kicks exchanged. The crowd is INSANE with the chanting. Davis catches a kick but doesn’t capitalize. Lytle lands a nice left hook. Davis catches Lytle with a shot and drops him, but Lytle immediately gets back up. Teep from Lytle. Davis is already cut underneath his left eye. Lytle rushes in but gets nothing. Solid body kick from Lytle. Horn sounds with Lytle rushing in and throwing.
Round 2: Leg kick Lytle. Lytle starts throwing an insane punch barrage at Davis, and Davis has to literally run away to escape it. Then Davis knocks Lytle on his ass, and lets him up. Knee from Davis, who gets in a couple more in the clinch. More wild punches from Lytle, putting Davis on the defensive. Davis shoots in with another knee, then some punches and a body kick. Lytle throws a haymaker and gets hit in the face. Good counterpunching from Davis. Straight right from Lytle. Lytle lands a body kick, Davis comes back with a flying knee. Lytle pushes Davis against the cage, but Davis slips out. High kick Davis. They throw punches until the horn.
Round 3: They hug in the center of the cage to start. Body kick from Lytle, and another. Davis returns it. Davis misses a knee, but lands a left hook. Leg kicks from Davis, and a body kick. They clash with punches but don’t land any big ones. Sharp body kick from Davis. The pace is slowing. This fight isn’t quite as epic as they hoped. Lytle comes forward with punches. Davis is sniping with kicks and counterpunches, then a knee. Lytle swinging at air. Big punch exchange which backs Davis to the fence, but he wisely disengages and moves away. Right hand lands from Lytle. Overhand left from Davis. Lytle slips after a punch exchange and the final horn sounds shortly after.
Close fight, but Davis fought a lot cleaner, and the judges will be kind to him.
29-28 Davis, 29-28 Lytle, 29-28 Davis. Irish Hand Grenade takes the split decision, and Lytle gets his ninth UFC loss, putting him one L away from tying Tank Abbott‘s record of most losses ever in the UFC (10). Davis is overcome with emotion, and thanks everyone from Bangor, Maine, to Bangor, Ireland. He’s got quite a mouse under his left eye. I called it, Fowlkes. You owe me $500.
Davis/Lytle might end up taking Fight of the Night, but Fight of the Year? Not so much.
Denis Kang vs. Alan Belcher
Alan Belcher’s Johnny Cash tattoo is terrifying. Whoa, they shipped Dan Miragliotta all the way out to Dublin? Why?
Round 1: Kang whiffs a straight right, then tries again and lands a punch combo. Kang shoots for the takedown and gets it easily. Kang trying to pass to side control, gets it after a brief stalemate, then moves into Belcher’s full guard. Belcher kicks him off and gets up. Big right hands from Kang. Kang shoots in when Belcher throws a kick and lands in Belcher’s guard again. Belcher pushes him off again, but Kang dives back in. Kang works for a choke but Belcher rolls out and tries for a kimura. Belcher defends it. Kang in side control, throwing knees to the body. The horn sounds, and Denis Kang wins his first round in the UFC.
Round 2: Belcher pushes Kang against the cage after a punch exchange. Kang tries to trip Belcher down, and gets off the fence. Body kick Belcher. Both guys land right hands. Kang shoots and takes down Belcher, and immediately starts slugging Belcher in the ribs. He gets some distance and fires down a couple more punches. Belcher tries to buck but Kang hands on in half-guard. Kang looks for a head-and-arm choke, but Belcher slips out. Miragliotta stands them up after a lull. Belcher misses a kick. The crowd boos heartily. Kang shoots…directly into a guillotine choke, and taps. Belcher def. Kang via submission, 4:36 of round 2.
Belcher actually says that he’d be asking for a title shot if he’d only been more dominant, but he’ll wait for another one or two fights. Smart boy.
Jeremy Horn vs. Rousimar Palhares
Rousimar Palhares is already crying, during his cage entrance. That’s…interesting. Mike and Joe remind us that Horn has over 100 pro fights under his belt, 50 submission wins, and victories over Chuck Liddell and Forrest Griffin. And there’s Michael Bisping, who’s identified as a coach on the next season of TUF. As for his opposing coach…
Round 1: Palhares dashes in for a takedown and Horn sets up a butterfly guard. Horn kicks him off, but Palhares shoots back in, takes Horn’s back and starts throwing punches to the side of his head. Horn rolls, Palhares takes side control. Horn rolls again, Palhares takes his back. Horn rolls, and Palahres winds up in his guard. Palhares tries for a leglock, but Horn shakes out. Horn tries for a traingle, then gets to his feet when it doesn’t pan out. Palhares quickly takes him back down, transitions to his back. Horn is turtling under an assault of punches. Horn rolls before the fight is stopped. Palhares sticks on him, and transtitions to a kneebar, but Horn defends. Palhares takes Horn’s back again and Horn covers his head until the round ends.
Round 2: Horn takes a punch to the face while throwing a kick, and Palhares shoots in and body slams Horn. Miragliotta gives Palhares a second warning for fence-grabbing. Palhares takes Horn’s back and throws punches into the side of his head. Horn has no answer. Horn stands up from the position, and trainsitions to the top. Horn in Palhares’s half-guard and sets up the arm triangle, but loses it. Palhares escapes and they go to their feet. Spinning back kick from a gassing Palhares. Horn stalks Palhares. Palhares shoots and Horn stuffs. Horn lands a nice left hook, but Palhares scores a takedown and lands in Horn’s full guard. Horn tries for a traingle but loses it. Palhares throwing punches down from the top as the round ends.
Round 3: Palhares suplexes Horn after a clinch. Horn gets to his knees but Palhares sticks on his back. Horn gets up and Palhares lands a punch and gets another takedown. Palhares is in Horn’s full guard again. Horn rolls and turtles. He tries to get up, but Palhares drags him back down. Horn gets up, takes a knee to the body, and is dragged down yet again. Palhares not making much happen from the top. The ref stands them back up. Horn with a high kick. Horn sprawls a little too early on a takedown and hits the deck. Palhares gets on top and the round ends. Booooooooooo.
30-27×3 for Palhares, and oh look, he’s crying again. Translating for Palhares in the post-fight interview is Brazilian Top Team co-founder Murilo Bustamante. Palhares apparently broke his hand in the first round. And that’s about it. Rogan mercifully ends the telephone-game interview as quickly as possible.
Tom Egan vs. John Hathaway (from the undercard)
Round 1: Hathway slams Egan down and mobs him on the ground. Egan gets to his feet to a roar of applause. Hathaway gets his man down again, but Egan kicks him off. Hathaway jumps back in and fires more punches. Hathway punches the mat as Egan rolls to the side and gets up. Hathaway bulls Egan down with a single-leg, and Egan gets up. Hathway is relentless with the single leg and lands in Egan’s full guard. Punches from top from Hathaway, then some elbows. Hathaway takes Egan’s back and drops elbows into the side of Egan’s skull until the ref stops it.
Does anybody know what Egan said at the end of his interview?
Why are they showing the first five minutes of the UFC Primetime premiere? We already saw this shit, bro. I know, I know, to the death, and you’re not joking about this, I know.
Rua comes out to some fruity dance music. Him and Wandy probably go clubbing together. "Too much girls! Too much party!" I’d imagine them shouting to each other, clinking their capirinhas. Mark Coleman on the other hand, has chosen "Back in Black," which the Irish crowd responds a little better to. Coleman is "The Godfather of Ground and Pound." Coleman is so amped he shoves Stitch Duran aside in the Harley Davidson prep spot, then apologizes. He stalks around the cage, filled with nervous energy. Phil Baroni hangs over the side of the cage screaming "yeah baby yeah!" Shogun doesn’t make eye contact in the face-off.
Round 1: Coleman lands a right hand and scores a takedown, pushing Rua against the cage. Rua gets to his feet, put Coleman grabs a leg and drags him down. Rua is looking for a footlock, but Coleman gets out and Shogun gets to his feet. Shogun lands a punch and a knee, but Coleman gets another takedown. Rua reverses and winds up on top in side control. Rua with a knee to the body and and elbow to the head. Coleman slugs from the bottom and gets to his feet but takes a hard kick, then more leg kicks. Both men land punches. Coleman looks wobbly, and eats a knee. The fight goes to the ground briefly. They’re back up. Rua knocks Coleman down with a big right hand, but Coleman struggles to his feet. Body kick Rua. Both men throw punches in the round’s final seconds. Rua lands some knees as the horn sounds.
Round 2: Coleman looks slow as shit now and takes a couple leg kicks. Nice left hook from Rua. Big takedown from Coleman, but Rua gets up before taking any damage. Rua tries a takedown which doesn’t work out. Close elbow from Rua. Uppercut Coleman. Rua looking slow as well. Rua lands a 1-2 and Coleman is barely keeping his hands up. The crowd chants "Coleman." Good jab from Coleman and Rua answers with a body kick. Knees from Rua in the clinch, but the fighters fall and they get back to their feet. Coleman with the takedown. Rua locks in an omoplata and Coleman is stuck. Rua sits up and Coleman is basically defenseless. Rua throwing punches into Coleman’s face. The horn sounds.
Round 3: Stiff jab from Coleman, and Rua answers with punches and knees. Coleman pushes Rua against the cage, trying for a takedown, and gets it. Coleman lands some punches from the top. Now a big elbow and punches to Rua’s body. Rua rolls and tries to set up the leg lock. Coleman powers out and takes Rua’s back. Coleman with some punches to Rua’s head. Coleman still on Rua’s back. Rua gets out and throws a knee to Coleman’s head while Coleman was on his knees. This ain’t PRIDE, you joker! A replay shows that it actually landed on the body. Ah well. They’re standing again and they both throw some exhaustesd power punches. Coleman gets clocked with an uppercut and sinks to the mat and the ref immediately stops it, while Coleman tries for a single leg takedown. Unfortunate…give the man his dignity and let him get his ass kicked until the round ends. Rua def. Coleman via TKO, 4:36 of round 3. The crowd is furious. Coleman and Rua hug it out after Rua does his interview with Rogan. Coleman is about the lumpiest motherfucker I’ve ever seen. He politely requests a rubber match with Rua. Yeah, we definitely want to see that mess again.
Rich Franklin vs. Dan Henderson
Stat alert: Henderson throws 3.5 power punches for every jab. And that’s the way it should be. The crowd loves Rich. "For Those About to Rock" never fails to pump my nads, so to speak. Miragliotta gets the honor of fucking up the main event.
Round 1: Leg kick Hendo. Body kick Franklin. Huge right hand from Henderson, who follows it with a head kick, but slips. He manages to wind up on top when the fight goes to the ground. Henderson gets in some short elbows from the top. Franklin tries to get to his feet but Henderson is throwing heavy leather into Rich’s face, and drags him back down. Franklin gets up and out. Body kick from Franklin. A leg kick from Hendo wobbles Rich. Body kick Rich. Rich dashes in with a punch, but doesn’t land. Leg kcik Franklin. Solid left from Franklin, but Henderson answers with a short right hook. Nice body kick from Franklin. Rich charges forward as the round ends. Very even round…
Round 2: Rich has two big gashes on his forehead, at least one from an accidental headbutt. Both men clash with leg kicks and punches. And for the first time they announce that the winner of this one is a TUF coach. Sucks. Franklin gets in a knee. It’s a dogfight, but few strikes are landing cleanly. Glancing right hook from Hendo. They clinch against the fence and Hendo gets the takedown. Henderson in Franklin’s full guard. Lotta blood on Rich’s forehead. Henderson trying to land shots from the top where he can. Hendo riding the round out on top of Rich, and there’s the bell. A clear 10-9 for Henderson.
Round 3: 1-2 from Franklin and then a body kick. Henderson scores a takedown and pushes Franklin against the fence. Franklin trying to walk up the cage. Franklin escapes and they get to their feet. Knees from Rich. Rich punches out of a clinch and slips in a left straight. Body kick and a punch from Franklin. They clinch on the fence, and Franklin lands a knee to the body. Henderson slips while throwing a kick and Franklin tags him once before he gets up. Franklin gets poked in eye badly; Henderson throw his hand out with his fingers completely extended. Bullshit. You get a two minute break for an eye poke, and five minutes for a groin strike? Anyway, they’re back fighting. Hendo with an overhand right. Both guys throw punches as the round ends. That round was Rich’s. It really depends on how the judges score the first round…
29-28 Henderson, 30-27 Franklin, 29-28 Henderson. Hendo gets the split decision. He’ll also be coaching opposite Bisping on TUF 9. And that’s that. Henderson shouts out his daughter, whose 10th birthday he just missed. (Dick!) Alan Belcher gets the sub of the night. No word yet on who took the other bonuses.
I just puked, so I guess this liveblog is over. Between the three decisions, Kang’s failed UFC debut, and the Rua/Coleman shitshow, this was a very unsatisfying main card. And now I’m out of corned beef and cabbage. Can this night get any worse?
So how’d you do in our fight-picking contest? I scored 12 points, Fowlkes edged me out with 13. Surely one of you did better than that…