© Marc Wickert
July 5, 2008
All photos copyright 2004 Zuffa LLC
Photography by Joshua Hedges
What an incredible card: chock-a-block with hard-ass, toe-to-toe banging, and blood’n’guts ground warfare.
Before this event, there was a lot of internet chat concerning the threat to the UFC of the upcoming Affliction Banned event, and now there’s the shock regarding two gay cage-fighting events in the States, believed to have been masterminded by Borat. If ping-pong or darts had been the fastest growing sport in the world, Borat would have staged his stunts at those events.
But mixed martial arts is the fastest growing sport on the planet, and surely any attention to MMA is good. When boxing was big, Curly from The Three Stooges used to get in the boxing ring for a laugh. Today he’d be in the Octagon. And while the UFC keeps providing quality cards like UFC 86, and Affliction continues to organize shows such as the highly anticipated Affliction Banned, our sport can only continue to grow.
Although UFC and Affliction may be perceived as being in competition with one another, the real competition is with other sports and activities. Having two or more major players out there should only hasten MMA’s race to the top of the sporting ladder. But then as Arnold said in Pumping Iron, staying on top of the mountain is the real challenge. And having more than one big iron in the furnace will help to keep the fire blazing.
In earlier matches:
Gabriel Gonzaga def. Justin McCully by kimura – 1.57, Round One.
Cole Miller def. Jorge Gurgel by triangle choke – 4.48, Round Three.
Justin Buchholz def. Corey Hill by rear naked choke – 3.57, Round Two.
Melvin Guillard (5’9” 155 lb) vs. Dennis Siver (5’7” 155 lb)
Referee: Herb Dean
Melvin came out saddled to a hurricane. He whipped up a storm of leather loops, sledge-hammered Dennis with a right hook, and sealed the deal with g’n’p.
Result: Melvin Guillard by KO – 0.36, Round One.
Tyson Griffin (5’6” 155 lb) vs. Marcus Aurelio (5’10” 155 lb)
Referee: Herb Dean
Marcus had a six-inch reach advantage over Tyson, so Tyson had to close the gap on his taller opponent. But like the other Tyson, Griffin was a master at this.
4.43: Griffin threw a right fist to the body.
4.32: He ducked under a left from Aurelio and delivered a right to the midsection.
4.10: Tyson landed another body shot and Marcus answered with a left.
3.23: Tyson fired an overhand right.
3.20: Marcus dropped to the floor voluntarily after Tyson dispatched more shots to the solar plexus.
3.02: From his back, Marcus seized Tyson’s right arm to set up a submission, but Tyson stood in Marcus’s guard and rained down overpowering fists. Tyson caught Marcus with a series of vicious blows around the eyes.
2.40: Aurelio grabbed Griffin’s wrists and looked to set up a triangle choke or arm bar. This position would normally suit Aurelio, but the powerful Griffin shrugged off the submission attempts and continued his brutal g’n’p-ing.
1.31: Both men stood as Aurelio sported cuts around his right eye.
1.08: Griffin inside leg-kicked.
0.51: Griffin leg-kicked. Aurelio was jabbing, but the strikes carried little power. It would take an A-10 to stop the fired-up Griffin.
0.39: Tyson drove a right hook into the body, then sent in an uppercut.
0.25: He dispatched consecutive leg kicks.
0.10: Marcus attempted a shoot which Tyson warded off, and they clinched.
In the first five minutes, Tyson had varied his assault, attacking Marcus’s head, body and legs.
Aurelio came out with a jab that Griffin ignored, before letting loose with fists that ripped into Aurelio’s body, followed by a solid kick to his lead leg.
4.46: Griffin buckled Aurelio’s left leg with a kick, before unleashing a knuckle combo. Whilst Griffin continued to vary his weapons, Aurelio’s only standing strategy was to jab, which wasn’t enough to penetrate Griffin’s titanium armor.
3.28: Marcus went for a shoot. Tyson resisted and they clinched.
3.13: Tyson shoulder-shrugged from the tie-up, then foot-stomped and kneed to the legs.
2.03: He body-slammed Marcus into the canvas.
1.54: Marcus latched onto Tyson’s left leg, and as they climbed to their feet, Marcus tugged Tyson back down.
1.40: Marcus went for Tyson’s back and they fought for dominance on the floor. Tyson won the battle and was back g’n’p-ing from above.
1.02: Marcus tried for a series of triangles; however Tyson was too strong and broke free each time.
They stood and banged. Aurelio was outgunned by Griffin, who mixed up his line of fire and delivered every blow with bad intent.
4.31: Aurelio failed with a shoot.
3.02: And again. Griffin was unrelenting in his toe-to-toe warfare. Aurelio bravely fought back, but he couldn’t match Griffin’s polished game. The one thing saving Aurelio was that both men were now running low on gas.
1.42: Tyson took Marcus down. Marcus’s only game plan for this fight seemed to be to go for a triangle or arm bar. This was an extremely convincing display from Tyson.
Result: Tyson Griffin by unanimous decision.
For more on Tyson Griffin: www.knucklepit.com/mixed-martial-arts-tyson_griffin.htm
Josh Koscheck (5’10” 170 lb) vs. Chris Lytle (5’11” 170 lb)
Referee: Yves Lavigne
Chris kicked off their bout with flying fists and feet, but Josh danced out of range.
4.12: Chris inside leg-kicked.
4.05: Josh high-kicked, and Chris replied with fists and a kick. They were launching bombs, but few detonated.
3.17: Josh missed with a ballistic kick and slipped to the floor, before bouncing back up.
2.52: Chris launched another assault and Josh took him down, only to have Chris wrap on a guillotine.
2.44: Josh’s head popped out of the choke and he pounded from half guard. He shut down Chris’s game and delivered more g’n’p up to the bell.
They were slinging punches and kicks until 4.26, when Koscheck took Lytle to the mats.
4.13: They stood up – Koscheck landing knees and elbows during the transition.
4.02: Lytle took Koscheck down in a guillotine.
3.42: Koscheck was out of the hold and g’n’ped from half guard. He sliced Lytle with heavy elbows. This was a ferocious attack that left the canvas around Lytle’s head looking like Howlin’ Wolf’s Killing Floor.
4.16: Josh opted for the takedown. Eventually he had his way and took Chris to the ground. Chris went for a kimura and twice attempted guillotines, but Josh was having none of it.
3.21: Josh g’n’ped from half guard. Chris’s face was a bloody mess.
1.33: Yves Lavigne intervened. But it was only to stand the fighters back up – not to stop the onslaught. If Freddie Krueger had seen Chris like this, he would have run for dear life.
0.50: They clinched.
0.20: Yves broke them up. They slugged it out till the round’s end.
Result: Josh Koscheck by unanimous decision.
Joe Stevenson (5’7” 155 lb) vs. Gleison Tibau (5’10” 156 lb)
Referee: Steve Mazzagatti
This was yet another great bout.
4.37: Joe pumped out a jab and southpaw Gleison slammed back a right.
4.27: Gleison let fly a body kick.
4.20: Joe put Gleison down with a right hand. Gleison rushed to get back up, only to be taken in a guillotine by Joe.
4.11: Gleison broke out of the hold.
4.02: He went for Joe’s back.
3.50: They scrambled to their feet and clinched.
3.13: Tibau took Stevenson down.
3.00: Stevenson worked his way back up in a clinch.
2.40: Stevenson caught Tibau with an elbow and they separated.
2.28: Stevenson took Tibau to the floor.
2.09: Tibau slipped on an uma-plata whilst fighting from his back.
0.35: Joe tried to look bored as he resisted the submission, and asked Steve Mazzagatti if he’d like to stand them up, but Steve declined the invitation. Joe hung tough for two minutes before the bell sounded.
4.44: Gleison connected with a right and a left.
4.35: Joe looked for a takedown after rushing Gleison and exchanging fists. Gleison resisted being taken down and they tied up against the cage.
3.56: Tibau wrestled Stevenson to the floor; however Stevenson sprang back to his feet and they banged away.
3.40: Tibau ducked under Stevenson’s right and scored another takedown.
3.32: Tibau had side control.
3.10: Gleison got the mount and Joe appeared to be in trouble.
2.59: Joe kicked off the cage and twisted his body to topple Gleison. They scrambled furiously.
2.50: The pair stood and banged.
2.24: Joe momentarily thought about switching to southpaw before giving the idea away.
2.16: He blocked a high kick.
2.12: Stevenson closed the gap, so Tibau opted for another takedown. But Stevenson whacked on a powerful guillotine. It contained Tibau’s left arm; however the hold was on tight, and Tibau tapped.
Result: Joe Stevenson by guillotine – 2.57, Round Two.
Patrick Cote (5’11” 185 lb) vs. Ricardo Almeida (6’0” 185 lb)
Referee: Herb Dean
4.42: BJJ exponent Ricardo missed with a takedown, so he jumped up on Patrick, wrapped his legs around the Canadian, and appeared to be looking for a standing guillotine. Patrick shrugged it off and fell into guard as they dropped to the floor.
4.07: Cote stood and Herb Dean ordered Almeida up.
3.51: Almeida fell short with a leaping front kick.
3.42: He ducked under a right from Cote, and tried for a shoot. Cote warded off the takedown and the pair tied up.
2.16: After a long struggle, Ricardo eventually got the takedown and wound up in half guard.
1.52: He stood to rain down blows. Patrick temporarily took Ricardo into guard before Ricardo regained half guard. Almeida worked his g’n’p up to the hooter.
4.50: Ricardo closed in and Patrick narrowly missed with a right uppercut.
4.22: Ricardo failed with a shoot, but succeeded in dropping down and pulling Patrick into guard.
3.55: Cote had them back standing. They danced until 3.03, before clinching.
2.27: Cote flung out a right and they separated. They danced until clinching at 1.03, without much being achieved. The crowd grew restless at the only lull in the program.
This round showed why audiences have grown bored with boxing.
Result: Patrick Cote by split decision.
For more on Patrick Cote: www.knucklepit.com/mixed-martial-arts-patrick_cote.htm
Forrest Griffin (6’3” 205 lb) vs. Quinton ‘Rampage’ Jackson (6’1” 205 lb)
– Light Heavyweight Title
Referee: Yves Lavigne
They face off with enough electricity in the air to power all of Vegas and Nellis AFB.
4.53: Forrest taps Rampage with an inside leg kick.
4.46: Forrest leg-kicks.
4.40: They bang, and Rampage misses with a loaded right uppercut.
4.27: Rampage blocks a high kick.
4.12: Forrest follows an inside leg kick with an outer kick – each targeting Rampage’s lead leg.
3.54: Griffin kicks to the body.
3.26: Jackson comes at Griffin with bombs blasting, but Griffin counters with a knee to the body.
3.03: Griffin kicks to the leg and body. He picks away with jabs and crosses, and Jackson replies with a big left. Jackson is throwing fewer punches, but they’re all nuclear tipped.
2.38: Forrest lands consecutive kicks on Rampage’s outer thigh.
2.25: Rampage shakes Forrest with a knuckle combo, then fires off a leg kick. Forrest charges back with a volley, and Rampage clinches. Forrest unloads knee strikes and they break free at 2.01.
1.50: Forrest attacks Rampage’s lead leg with another kick.
1.31: They exchange and Forrest tags Rampage with a left hook to the jaw.
1.18: Forrest inside leg-kicks.
1.14: Griffin throws a lazy jab, and Jackson counters with a right uppercut that puts Griffin on his butt. Jackson moves into guard and drags Griffin across the Octagon, forcing him into the fence like a tiger at mealtime after capturing its prey.
0.24: Griffin absorbs a fist dust-up and stands in the clinch. They trade up till the bell. Juanito Ibarra (www.knucklepit.com/mixed-martial-arts-juanito_ibarra.htm) psyches up Jackson between rounds.
4.53: Forrest buckles Rampage’s left leg with a crushing kick. He follows it with a second, less powerful kick. Rampage is expecting the third kick and catches it, using it for a takedown; however Forrest fits Rampage with a guillotine and drives knees into Rampage’s body.
4.37: Forrest bulldozes Rampage into the mats before taking half guard.
3.17: Griffin gets side control and continues to dust-up Jackson with right elbows. On his back and underneath Griffin is not really where Jackson would choose to be.
2.16: Griffin takes the mount and is looking for a keylock or americana. Jackson wears two minutes of g’n’p before the hooter blows.
Surprisingly, Rampage walks out a little tentatively, but otherwise okay.
4.40: Forrest tests the water with low sweeps and high kicks.
4.26: He jabs and Rampage replies with a left and a right.
4.08: Rampage blocks a high kick.
3.37: Forrest fires off an inside kick, then a high kick.
3.23: Jackson detonates a hard and furious salvo.
3.02: Griffin closes in and Jackson greets him with a thumping left hand. The pace in this round has eased; however Griffin keeps niggling with jabs and kicks, and any one of Jackson’s heavy-duty punches could end the fight instantly.
1.16: They’re toe-to-toe as Jackson slams a right into Griffin’s left side.
0.10: They put on a spurt before the round ends.
Forrest comes out kicking and the pair exchange knuckles.
4.31: They trade and Rampage shakes Forrest with a combo that draws an anxious cry from the crowd.
4.23: Rampage unloads a series of left hooks and right uppercuts that persuade Forrest to tie his attacker up.
4.17: He sweeps Rampage’s left leg, but Jackson falls into guard.
3.35: Griffin’s right eye is red from the punishment. He tries to fit Jackson with a triangle.
3.20: Jackson stands whilst still in the hold, drops Griffin on his back, then resumes working from guard.
2.01: They stand after scrambling on the floor.
1.30: Jackson is dancing: showing no signs of trouble with his left leg. They swap shots up to the bell.
4.35: Forrest leg-kicks.
4.19: He kicks to the body.
4.13: Rampage lands a right hook. They stand and bang, with Forrest dispatching more fists and kicks.
1.13: Forrest pumps out a big right and Rampage returns it.
Rampage has been great, but Forrest has worked harder in this epic battle. What an incredible shootout. At the end of 25 thrilling minutes, the judges award the bout to Griffin. He offers Jackson a rematch. Can’t Wait!
Result: Forrest Griffin by unanimous decision.
For more on Forrest Griffin: www.knucklepit.com/mixed-martial-arts-forrest_griffin.htm
For more on Rampage: www.knucklepit.com/mixed-martial-arts-quinton_jackson.htm
UFC 87: Seek and Destroy
August 9, 2008, at the Target Center, Minnesota.
Georges St-Pierre vs. Jon Fitch (Welterweight Championship)
Brock Lesnar vs. Heath Herring (Heavyweight)
Kenny Florian vs. Roger Huerta (Lightweight)
Manny Gamburyan vs. Rob Emerson (Lightweight)
Jason McDonald vs. Demian Maia (Middleweight)
Luke Cummo vs. Tamdan McCrory (Welterweight)
Cheick Kongo vs. Dan Emensen (Heavyweight)
Tomasz Drwal vs. Andre Gusmao (Light Heavyweight)
Chris Wilson vs. Steve Bruno (Welterweight)
Ben Saunders vs. Jared Rollins (Welterweight)
For more info: www.ufc.tv.