Boxing

UFC 64: Unstoppable at Mandalay Bay Event Center Las Vegas

bob15.10.06 - By Vanessa McConnell -Photos by Robert Powley - When Tito “The Huntington Beach Bad Boy” Ortiz knocked out Ken “The World’s Most Dangerous Man” Shamrock, on October 10th at the Hard Rock Live at Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Hollywood, FL, the UFC witnessed first hand the “turning point for the UFC” according to Dana White, UFC President. With 2.8 million homes tuned into the anticipated grudge match of the archenemies, Tito Ortiz dominated Shamrock in the first round and shortly after the round, Shamrock announced his retirement from the UFC. Fans, no doubt, were disappointed but happy to see the legend defend his honor one more time and become a part of UFC history forever.

UFC 64: Unstoppable was held last Saturday at the Mandalay Bay Event Center, with an even more impressive fight card. Two championship titles were up for grabs, one of which has been abandoned and left in the vault for the past 4 years.

Rich Franklin and Anderson Silva fought in the Middleweight Title bout, while Kenny Florian and Sean Sherk fought for the vacant Lightweight title. Both fights were edge of the seat pure excitement. Just before the first championship bout, there was a fight in the crowd because someone’s girlfriend was smacked but no charges were pressed against anyone.

May as well get right down to it, in the main fight between Rich Franklin and Brazilian Anderson Silva, everyone but Silva went into the fight with their doubts. The legend, Randy Couture, Tito Ortiz and Ken Shamrock, all felt that, although Franklin was a seasoned and undefeated champion, he was in for the fight of his life with the mysterious Brazilian. Franklin is coming out of a serious injury suffered to his left hand during his fight in March against David Loiseau where he needed surgery to place a metal plate and screws.

bobJorge (Guimarabs), Silva’s manager, was confident in his fighter but also nervous for Silva because he knew Franklin was a good fighter. But soon as the fighters touched gloves and his boxer took a southbound stance, he knew Franklin would be confused and his fighter would dominate the fight. That said, no one had a clue it would happen in 2:59 of the first round. Silva never threw a punch, as he, instead, grabbed Franklin’s head and jabbed him with knees to the face and body until Franklin stumbled and fell, giving him a chance for a quick blow and even more knee shots. That was it, the fight was over, and it was bitter, sweet and swift.

In the Lightweight championship bout against Kenny Florian and Sean Sherk, it was a bloody battle to the belt, but in the end, Sherk won by unanimous decision. Sherk dominated the entire fight by taking Florian to the ground and keeping him there. By the end of the fight, Florian was running from Sherk. Though, Sherk suffered a cut in the second round and bled profusely throughout the entire fight, it did not seem to bother him at all. He admitted that his vision was a little blurred but he proved to be the best ground and pound fighter of the night.

In the Welterweight Swing bout against Kuniyoshi Hironaka and Jon Finch, Finch suffered a broken nose during the fight but he slammed Hironaka around the Octagon and kept him on the ground nearly the entire fight. There was a minute during the fight where Hironaka contained Finch in a triangle choke but he never seem to keep him bound for too long. Finch was definitely more aggressive and skilled in the cage that night, he ended up winning the bout by unanimous decision.

bobIn the Heavyweight Bout against Carmelo Marrero and Cheick Kongo, many were not happy with the decision. Marrero won the fight by unanimous decision, even though he was taken down and locked in Kongo’s clutches most of the fight. Marrero was taking Kongo down every chance he got but Kongo made sure it was a close fight, keeping Marrero close to him and in a head lock as much as possible. This was the only way he seemed to defend himself against Marrero. Marrero never waisted an opportunity to take Kongo down and that’s what worked in his favor and won him the fight. He is surely a ground fighter.

Dan Lauzon, who is Joe Lauzon’s younger brother, fought Spencer Fisher in the Lightweight Bout also on the main card. Lauzon took Fisher down early in the first round and Fisher laid on his back kicking at Lauzon while he was trying to keep Lauzon from pouncing on him, but it didn’t work. It didn’t take long for the tables to turn. Fisher ran into Lauzon with a knee up and stunned Lauzon. As the clock hit 25 seconds to end the first round, Fisher punched Lauzon sending him falling to the ground and that would be the blow to end the match.

In the preliminary Lighweight bout, Kurt Pellegrino beat Junio Assuncao in 2:04 of the first round by making him tap out due to a rear naked choke. “I was looking to take his back and submit him, just how I did,” said Pellegrino after the fight. “A lot of my fights I envision the outcome. I envisioned beating him. This fight I lost a lot of weight, enough to feel great. My confidence level was unreal in the Octagon. I was never in trouble during the fight.”

In the Lightweight bout against Justin James and Clay Guida, Guida forced James to tap out in 4:42 of the second round from a rear naked choke. “I feel awesome right now,” said Guida after the fight. “I’m ready for round three. All my training partners know I’m a tough guy. I work hard at the gym. Winning in your UFC debut feels great.” In the Middleweight prelim bout between Yushin Okami and Kalib Starnes, Okami won by TKO in 1:40 of the third round.

The Light Heavyweight bout between Mike Nickels and Keith Jardine was cancelled, but fans couldn’t tell with all the other exciting bouts going on that they could have been in for three more rounds of pound and ground. UFC 65 featuring Tim Sylvia, who was ringside at UFC 64, will be held on Nov. 18 from Sacramento, CA. Log on to www.ufc.com for more information and ticket sales.

Article posted on 16.10.2006



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