The word “legend” gets thrown around a lot in this sport, to the point where it loses much of its meaning. Well, we won’t bother with the cliches. Suffice it to say that two old dudes are going to fight in Portland tonight, and one of them is so old that it’s hard to believe he’s still fighting, and the other is actually more old-looking than old, and maybe it would have been better if they fought like five years ago, in a city where people could actually afford to go see it, but here we are, and what are you gonna do.
Elsewhere on the card, Keith Jardine and Thiago Silva clash in a high-profile light-heavyweight scrap, while Nate Marquardt and Demian Maia fight for what may or may not turn out to be a #1 middleweight contender spot. Live UFC 102 results await you after the jump; refresh the page every few minutes for all the latest. Let’s have a good, clean liveblog. Obey all my instructions, and protect yourself at all times. If you want to order pizza, do it now, and go back to your couches.
Hey, they let Natasha go curly again. All right!
Steve Cofield tells us that the lower bowl is only 60% full, while the nosebleeds are packed. My God this recession.
Brandon Vera vs. Krzysztof Soszynski
Round 1: K-Sos comes in punching, but is brushed back by a body kick. Vera tries some left straights. Leg kick Vera. Hard knee from Vera. K-Sos comes in with a hook. Leg kick Vera. And another. Vera whiffs an uppercut and K-Sos clinches, pushing him against the cage. Knees from Vera. K-Sos separates. Leg kick Vera. Body kick from K-Sos, and Vera returns with a punch. Leg kick Vera, then he tries a high kick. K-Sos clinches again. Vera works the knees. Vera is warned for knees to the groin, but K-Sos doesn’t need a break. They separate, and Vera lands another leg kick. K-Sos shoots and Vera stuffs, firing short elbows. And there’s the horn. Easy 10-9 for the Truth.
Round 2: They trade punches. Inside leg kick and a straight left from Vera. K-Sos lands a 1-2. K-Sos clinches and puts Vera’s back against the fence, but can’t do much with the position, and Vera knees out of it. Now Vera puts K-Sos against the cage. He yanks out. K-Sos bounds in and is thrown off. Vera landing punches from a distance. They clash heads and Vera loses his mouthpiece. Herb Dean lets him put it back in, and the crowd boos for some reason. They clinch, with K-Sos trying to pull Vera down. Vera has none of it. They separate briefly, then it’s back to the clinch. And finally, K-Sos scores a takedown, but Vera quickly gets back to his feet, and puts K-Sos against the fence. Vera throws punches at the horn. A closer round, but probably another 10-9 for Vera.
Round 3: K-Sos throwing leather. Vera fakes the spinning back elbow and lands a body kick. They clinch, and K-Sos tries some weak knees. K-Sos tries for a takedown and almost gets caught in a standing kimura. More clinch, more knees from both sides. Vera throws knees into K-Sos’s thigh, then takes K-Sos to the mat and starts punching. K-Sos gets to his feet and eats a knee. Vera with a knee to K-Sos’s body. Or the balls, apparently. K-Sos takes a 15 second breather from the nut-shot and comes back in for more clinching. Vera with dirty boxing, K-Sos with a knee. Vera lands an uppercut, then a right hook. Vera slips K-Sos’s punches and lands three kicks in succession. Hard leg kick Vera, then another, and the horn. The crowd boos the mostly dull clinch-fest.
Brandon Vera def. K-Sos via unanimous decision (30-27 x 3).
Nate Marquardt vs. Demian Maia
Round 1: Maia throws a body kick. Marquardt catches Maia with a right straight as he was dashing in and knocks him cold. FUCK. Marquardt shows good sportsmanship by not throwing more punches at Maia’s lifeless head. Marquardt def. Maia via KO, 0:21 of round 1.
Marquardt on the possibility of a title shot: “If you want someone who’s gonna get in there and kick Anderson Silva’s butt, then you’ll want to give it to me.” Anderson Silva stands up and grins. You just signed your own death warrant, son.
Chris Leben vs. Jake Rosholt
Despite the steroid suspension, Leben is given a hero’s welcome.
Round 1: Leg kick Rosholt. Leg kick Leben. The crowd chants “Leben.” Leg kick Rosholt. Leg kick Leben. And again. Slow start to the fight. Rosholt lands a right hand. Leben with a takedown, and he lands in Rosholt’s guard. Rosholt kicks off and they’re back on their feet. Rosholt throws a high kick off Leben’s glove. Leg kick Leben. And another. Rosholt returns it. Leben clinches and Rosholt takes him down, and works for mount. Leben gets up and takes a knee. Leben sprints in with a wide left hook, and chases Rosholt around the cage until the horn.
Round 2: Rosholt jabs, then lands a left. Leben lands a punch while Rosholt kicks and he takes Rosholt down. Leben in Rosholt’s half-guard. Rosholt establishes full guard. Leben slugs Rosholt’s body from the top. Rosholt locking down Leben, and successfully forces a standup. Leg kick Leben, and Rosholt returns. Leben throws a high kick and lands a left, then clinches with Rosholt against the cage. Leben with foot stomps. Rosholt escapes, then takes Leben down and throws punches down from the top. Rosholt in Leben’s half-guard. He lets Leben up and they throw punches to the horn.
Round 3: Rosholt shoots, scores the takedown, and lands in half guard. Rosholt looks for the arm triangle, but Leben escapes. Elbow from the top from Rosholt. Rosholt takes Leben’s back, Leben rolls, and Rosholt sinks in an arm triangle. Leben taps, Yves Lavinge doesn’t know what to make of it, and Leben goes out. Finally, Lavigne steps in.
Rosholt def. Leben via submission (arm triangle choke), 1:30 of round 3.
Buffer declares the winner “Jake………………………….Rosholt!”
Leben was convulsing a bit after the stoppage. Kinda gruesome.
They show the Todd Duffee/Tim Hague fight from the undercard. Duffee lands a hard jab off the bell that floors Hague, then puts him to sleep with punches from the top. 7 seconds, the fastest knockout in UFC history.
Says Duffee to the camera: “It’s called hard work. Hard work, baby. That’s all it takes. That was an appetizer, Dana. Let me eat.” That is one big, confident, jacked young man.
Keith Jardine vs. Thiago Silva
Silva comes out to “Ratamahatta” by Sepultura. That used to be my jam; good pick, Thiago. Joe Rogan laments the lack of Techno-Viking entrance for Jardine.
Round 1: Jardine comes out throwing long, straight punches, then lands a leg kick. More punches from Jardine, then a body kick that Silva catches. Silva takes Jardine down. Jardine with a nice escape and they’re back on their feet. Jardine comes forward with punches, but Silva catches him with a left hook and knocks him to the mat. A couple more punches from the top, and Jardine is out cold.
Silva def. Jardine via KO, 1:35 of round 1.
Damn. Where does the Dean go from here?
An emotional Silva in the post-fight interview: “The fight was very important for me, because I love fighting too much here, fighting is my life.”
Now, the Herman/Simpson fight from the undercard…Aaron Simpson knocks Ed Herman to the ground, and Herman tries to keep him at bay with frantic bicycle kicking from his back. He gets up and Simpson scores a high-altitude slam. Herman knocks Simpson dizzy with upkicks, then Simpson knocks Herman back down. Herman gets up and Simpson lands a great punch combo and puts Herman back to the mat. Herman tries for an armbar. Simpson gets up and Herman tries the upkicks again. Herman gets to his feet. Simpson shoots and takes Herman down hard. Simpson with heavy blows from the top. The horn sounds and Herman limps badly back to his corner. The replay shows Herman in agony during the last takedown.
In round two, Herman fires a kick, Simpson catches it and shoves Herman down and Herman clutches his left knee in pain. The fight is waved off at 0:17 of round 2.
Randy Couture vs. Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira
Big Nog comes out to “Gimme Shelter” by the Stones, with his twin brother and Anderson Silva in his corner. Mike Goldberg makes a convoluted metaphor about Nogueira being like a brand new Bentley with 100,000 miles on it. Couture gets mad love from his adoring fans during his walk-out. Time to do the (old) man dance. Randy’s cauliflower ear has its game-face on. Anderson Silva tries to get the crowd a little more hyped behind Nogueira, but they’re clearly here for Captain America. Buffer almost passes out listing all of Randy’s accomplishments.
Round 1: They trade punches. Nog clinches and is shook off. Nog jabs.Nog lands a right. Randy lands some punches, and Nog tries to pull guard. Randy ain’t having it. Nog clinches after some punches from Randy. More clinching. They separate, and Nog lands some heavy punches that knock Randy to the ground. Nog immediately sets up a darce choke that’s deep, but Couture somehow survives it and escapes. Back on the feet, they trade punches. Nog goes body-body-head, but Couture comes back with punches of his own. Nog slugs back, and Randy lands a right. Both guys throw bombs, and Randy grabs Nog’s head with his left arm and starts hockey-punching. The crowd goes nuts. They clinch against the fence and take a breather. And there’s the horn. Amazing first round. Randy has a lump under his left eye, and Nogueira is cut over his left eye.
Round 2: Randy lands a jab then right straight. Nog lands a hard left. Nog slips to the ground and Randy follows him down. Randy in Nogueira’s guard; never the safest place to be. Nice elbow from Randy. And another. Nogueira reverses and lands in mount, but Randy establishes half-guard. Nog sets up the arm-triangle from mount. Nogueira with punches to Randy’s body, and Randy shakes out of the choke. Randy escapes and gets to his feet. More boxing. Randy sticks the jab, and lands a left hook. Knee from Nogueira. Leg kick Nog. Right from Randy, and the round ends.
Round 3: Randy with a punch combo. Nog staggers Randy with punches, and charges forward with another punch that floors Randy. Nog with some Lesnar-style hammer fists, but Couture survives and tries to lock Nog’s head down. Hard punches from the top from Nogueira. The crowd boos the abuse. Randy tries to kick off Nogueira. He gives up his back trying to get to his feet. But he reverses Nog and gets on top. Couture with elbows. Nogueira wriggles out as the fight comes to an end.
Nogueira def. Couture via unanimous decision (30-27 x 2, 29-28). I blame Kim.
Nogueira gives respect to Handy, and says he loves the city of Portland. He says his loss to Frank Mir was due to his staph infection and other injuries, and now I’m inclined to belive him.
Randy Couture says he’s ready to keep fighting, and will decide on his next step after the dust settles.
Now they’re showing the Aurelio/Dunham fight from the undercard…Dunham outstriking him easily in the first round. Rogan calls Aurelio out on his weak-ass arm punches. Aurelio gets on top of Dunham in the second round, and starts landing more punches when Dunham gets to his feet. But Dunham gets back into it. Great striking display from Dunham, who switches up his attacks nicely. Aurelio rallies back in the third, taking Dunham down again and doing some damage from the top. Aurelio tries an anaconda choke when Dunham gets to his feet, but fails to tap him and Dunham escapes. Another takedown from Aurelio and another escape from Dunham. Dunham goes back to striking as the round ends. (29-28 Aurelio, 29-28 Dunham, 30-27 Dunham…the Oregon boy takes the split.)
And that’s the show. Nogueira, Marquardt, and Silva are big winners. Maia and Jardine are big losers. Couture’s still a legend. Brandon Vera is still kinda mediocre, as far as we’re concerned. Sleep well, Potato Nation…