The King of MMA is on the top of his game.
Chuck “The Iceman” Liddell is the baddest mother around right now in the world of mixed martial arts, and it's not even debatable. Last night in Las Vegas he made a top notch fighter who has won 17 out of his last 18 fights look silly.
For the second time is as many tries Liddell knocked out the feared Renato “Babalu” Sobral in less than 2 minutes. This time was a little different than the first.
At the outset, it looked as if Babalu stunned Chuck with a left hook. Actually, he was just getting suckered into Chuck’s gameplan. Babalu started to chase Chuck and “The Iceman” caught his opponent with a perfect uppercut that started the assault that would end his evening. Liddell went on to land over twenty unanswered punches, ending the upset bid of the challenger Sobral. Babalu made a vital mistake thinking he had Chuck hurt. Instead of waiting back and countering he charged ahead and got his lights knocked out.
The ref jumped in and ended the bout right under the 2 minute mark of the first round. He was so out of it, when the ref jumped in to stop it, Babalu started to go for the take down on the official.
I honestly thought Babalu had the skills to beat the face of the UFC last night. After seeing that performance, I’m not sure there is anyone in the sport today better than Chuck Liddell. He continues to get better and will fight all comers.
In the co-main event, we saw another action packed fight between Forrest Griffin and Stephan Bonnar.
It would be hard to duplicate the fight they had in April of 2005. These two warriors did what they could to make sure the crowd went away happy. It lasted all three rounds with Griffin getting the win again. This fight was toe to toe action for fifteen minutes. No take down tries, no submission attempts, just balls to the wall action. Forrest clearly won the fight, landing the much better combos and punches. Bonnar has nothing to be ashamed of with his performance.
On the undercard, Nick Diaz showed why he is one of the top fighters to watch in the future. He beat up Josh Neer for three rounds, finally forcing a submission with just a couple of minutes left. That might have been the fight of the night.
All other results:
-Yushin Okami def. Alan Belcher by unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28)
-David Heath def. Cory Walmsley by submission (rear naked choke) at 2:32 of Round 1
-Wilson Gouveia def. Wes Combs by submission (rear naked choke) at 3:23 of Round 1
-Eric Schafer def. Rob MacDonald by submission (arm triangle choke) at 2:26 of Round 1
-Hermes Franca def. Jamie Varner by submission (armbar) at 3:31 of Round 3
-Cheick Kongo def. Christian Wellish by KO at 2:51 of Round 1
UFC 63 is only a few weeks away. The main event on that card is another HUGE rematch between Matt Hughes and BJ Penn. Penn is the only guy to beat Hughes in the last few years.
September 23rd in LA, mark your calendars.