Sanchez Moves Closer to UFC Welterweight Title Shot
(Pictures) cleared a major hurdle
Thursday evening towards getting a UFC welterweight title shot,
winning a unanimous decision over Karo Parisyan (Pictures) at the Red Rock Casino Resort Spa
in Las Vegas, Nevada.
The hard earned victory wasn’t easy for the Albuquerque, New Mexico
native, who sampled a taste of the canvas several times in the
contest after being on the wrong side of Parisyan’s amazing judo
It wasn’t the Ultimate Fighter’s widely respected wrestling
game that propelled him to the win — it was his underrated stamina
that laid the foundation for his hand being raised in the most
important main event of the scrappy welterweight’s career.
Entering the third stanza (with Sherdog.com scoring the fight a
round apiece) Sanchez simply out-hustled Parisyan, digging deep
with a workmanlike effort to solidify his name in the UFC’s
170-pound title picture.
Starting the final period with more gas in his tank than the man
across from him, the fresh Sanchez went right to work with a
straight right to the chin that briefly buckled Parisyan’s
Never a fighter to show any weakness, Parisyan plugged forward and
scored a double-leg takedown against the cage. In the defining
moment of the bout, Sanchez quickly rose to his feet and executed a
brilliant trip that put him in position to hop on his opponent’s
After dishing out some punishment to the back of Parisyan’s head
and nearly securing a rear-naked choke, the TUF veteran
found himself back on his feet after a skilled reversal courtesy of
Sensing his stamina advantage, Sanchez pressed forward with crisp
punches and four consecutive shots to the midsection before a knee
ejected a tooth from the California fighter’s mouth into the
After being thrown to the floor by a judo technique for the fourth
time in the bout, Sanchez hustled to gain top position and pound
out a decision on the judges’ scorecards.
Nelson Hamilton and Marcos Rosales called it 29-28 and the often
mentioned Glenn Trowbridge absurdly scored it 30-26.
“I believe I’m the best in the world. I still haven’t got to go out
there and perform at my best, but I do think when the time is
right, that’s when it’s right for me,” said Sanchez when asked if
he was ready for a shot at the title.
Chris Leben (Pictures) took to the cage for the first
time since his brutal defeat at the hands of Anderson Silva less than two
months ago, needing a win to reestablish his name in the stacked
UFC middleweight division.
His opponent, American Top Team’s Jorge Santiago (Pictures), had other plans for their
meeting, taking it to the popular Oregonian in the first round by
landing a stiff right cross to the chin that sent Leben a step
backwards. Santiago followed with a takedown into side-control on
his wild-swinging foe.
Seemingly in control to begin the second period, Santiago got
reckless with his strikes and, with his eyes closed, ate a heavy
counter left hook. Leben pounced on Santiago, now face down and
unconscious, throwing in two lefts for good measure before referee
Herb Dean (Pictures) showed mercy and halted the
action at 0:35 of the second round.
“I couldn’t feel better,” said a jubilant Leben after the
much-needed victory. “I hate hanging around on the losing side of
things, if you know what I mean. I’m going into Starbucks and the
guy giving me coffee is telling me how I should have fought. You
know I hate that. I’m a fighter. I deserve to be in the
Dean Lister (Pictures) was impressive in the early
stages of his bout with PRIDE veteran Yuki Sasaki (Pictures), before coasting on an empty tank
to gain a unanimous decision win.
It looked as though early in the contest Lister’s slick ground game
would be too much for the Japanese journeyman, but the GRABAKA
fighter patiently escaped the torrent of submissions thrown his way
from the ADCC champion’s guard.
It was midway through the second phase that Lister started to shows
signs of fatigue, with the San Diego native barely able to hold his
hands up to defend incoming strikes.
Lister survived the next seven minutes and ultimately took home a
unanimous decision nod from the judges.
Much like his TUF adversary Diego Sanchez (Pictures), Josh Koscheck (Pictures) has become a force to be reckoned
with in the welterweight division.
Showing a greatly improved stand-up game and revamped footwork,
Koscheck was impressive in scoring a first round stoppage over
Landing a crushing right hand that was set up with a crisp jab,
Koscheck worked to finish the fight with a guillotine choke from
top ground position, but settled on half-guard after the Canadian
escaped the hold.
Still in control, the four-time NCAA wrestling All-American blasted
away with elbows, then later moved to mount, forcing his opponent
to turn his back.
Koscheck wasted no time there, forcing a tap at 4:10 of the first
stage after landing a barrage of unanswered punches to Goulet’s
Joe Riggs (Pictures) outclassed Jason Von Flue (Pictures), securing a triangle choke at
2:01 of the first.
Taking a page out of Parisyan’s book, “Diesel” scored early with a
beautiful judo throw that sent the TUF welterweight hard to
the canvas. After briefly working in side-control, then countering
a Von Flue Kimura attempt by taking the back with two hooks, Riggs
lost the position and applied the finishing hold from the
Just before tapping out, the San Luis Obispo native took the
opportunity to show some sportsmanship, giving Riggs the one-finger
salute before crying uncle.
(Pictures) dispatched Crafton Wallace (Pictures) in the opening round of their
prelim bout, locking in a rear-naked choke at 2:59 of the
Jake O'Brien (Pictures) dominated Kristof Midoux (Pictures) throughout their un-televised
contest, forcing "Big" John McCarthy to halt the action at 0:52 of
the second round due to strikes.
Cleveland Ohio’s Forrest
Petz (Pictures) made the most of his UFC debut,
handedly defeating TUF season two veteran Sammy Morgan. In
one of the most lopsided scores in recent memory, the judges scored
the duel 30-26, 30-27 and a whopping 30-23.
Anthony Torres needed
less than three minutes to defeat Pat Healy (Pictures), ending the battle with a
rear-naked choke 2:37 into the match.
SpikeTV will air the UFC 62 weigh-in event live on a new program
block titled Live and Inside, set to debut on August 25 at
10 p.m. EST … Also on Live and Inside, the UFC will announce
the “Ultimate Grudge Match,” presumably making official Tito Ortiz (Pictures)-Ken Shamrock (Pictures) III, which Sherdog.com’s Greg
Savage first reported on August 8.
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