Last night mixed martial fans were treated to one of the better cards in awhile. Top to bottom there were a lot of action packed fights, included a main event that was years in the making.
Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira looked like his old self in a very decisive victory the legend Randy Couture. "Big Nog" was impressive on his feet and his top notch ground game was superior. Couture was able to land some decent shots but looked overmatched in every aspect.
Randy Couture is 46 years old and signed a six fight contract with the UFC before last night's contest. This guy has nothing else to prove in the sport. He has been a UFC champion five different times in two different weight classes. He has fought a who's who. The guy loves to compete but he just can't hang with the top notch fighters anymore.
With the dominating victory, Nogueira will probably get the winner of the heavyweight title fight between Brock Lesnar and Shane Carwin that takes place at UFC 106. I wouldn't count him out against either one of those guys.
The highlight of the night was Nate Marquardt living up to his nickname. "The Great" scored one of the best knockouts in recent memory. He landed a perfectly timed right hand to the jaw of Demian Maia. Marquardt literally sent Maia flying with the monster shot. The fight lasted twenty one seconds. In a battle of top contender at 185, Maia never had a catch to get the fight to the ground like he needed to do.
Nate Marquardt deserves a rematch with Anderson Silva. After the fight, Silva's camp said Marquardt needs to fight Dan Henderson, and the winner of that would earn the shot at Silva's title. If that's what Nate needs to do, I see him defeating Henderson and then moving on for his second shot at "The Spider."
My sleeper pick for fight of the night lived up to hype. Jake Roshalt and Chris Leben fought a close back and forth battle for the first ten minutes. In the third round, Roshalt worked his ground and pound and put Leben to sleep with a beautiful arm triangle choke.
In the victory, Roshalt looked very impressive. I expect him to be one of those fighters that improves every time we see him in the octagon. His first loss a few months back lit a fire under him and great things are to come. Keep an eye on Jake Roshalt.
On the preliminary card, we saw the fastest knockout in UFC history. UFC newcomer Todd Duffee needed just seven seconds to finish off Tim Hague. Wow.
Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira def. Randy Couture via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28)
Thiago Silva def. Keith Jardine via TKO (strikes) - Round 1, 1:35
Jake Rosholt def. Chris Leben via technical submission (arm-triangle choke) - Round 3, 1:30
Nate Marquardt def. Demian Maia via knockout (punch) - Round 1, 0:21
Brandon Vera def. Krzysztof Soszynski via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
Aaron Simpson def. Ed Herman via TKO (injury) - Round 2, 0:17
Gabriel Gonzaga def. Chris Tuchscherer via TKO (punches) - Round 1, 4:27
Mike Russow def. Justin McCully via unanimous decision (29-28, 30-26, 30-27)
Todd Duffee def. Tim Hague via knockout (punches) - Round 1, 0:07
Mark Munoz def. Nick Catone via split decision (28-29, 30-27, 29-28)
Evan Dunham def. Marcus Aurelio via split decision (29-28, 28-29, 30-27)
Another UFC event has come and gone and I can't wait for the next one. UFC 102 was a very exciting fan friendly card. Those that tuned in saw two legends go at it for fifteen minutes. We also saw highlight knockouts and hotly contested decisions. A great night to be a fan of mixed martial arts.