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Mitch Clarke vs. John Cholish
Cholish stays on the outside, looking for his opportunity to shoot, goes for a single leg and is denied. Clarke snaps off quick punches and leg kicks as he walks Cholish down, cracking the American with a hard uppercut. Clarke slips on a punch, but pops right back up and takes Cholish’s back standing. He twice drags Cholish to the mat; Cholish gets up both times, then rolls for a leglock and winds up in Clarke’s open guard. Cholish pushes Clarke to the cage as Clarke keeps busy underneath, throwing up guillotines and triangles. Cholish backs out and lets Clarke to his feet with just over 90 seconds left in the first frame. Clarke keeps pressing forward, but Cholish is more easily slipping away from his strikes now and is beginning to land more of his own.
TJ De Santis scores the round 10-9 Cholish
Freddie DeFreitas scores the round 10-9 Cholish
Chris Nelson scores the round 10-9 Cholish
Cholish slips a right hand through to begin the second and steps out of the way of Clarke’s retaliatory combo. Another right finds its mark and Cholish rushes in behind it, grabbing a waistlock and shoving Clarke into the cage. Clarke fires off a few short knees inside and Cholish backs off. Cholish lands a crisp inside thigh kick and comes over the top with a right hand. The jab of Cholish is working now, keeping Clarke at bay as the Canadian continues to move forward. Clarke is stumbled by the next hard punch from Cholish and swings at air until Cholish drives him to the canvas. Clarke is breathing heavy and is cut on the bridge of his nose as Cholish holds him down. Cholish goes for a kimura and is put on his back in the scramble, but he stays on the arm, takes mount and is glued to Clarke’s back in a flash. Clarke is in deep trouble with 30 seconds to go, flattened out on his belly with Cholish raining down hard shots. Referee John McCarthy is hovering nearby; with Clarke no longer defending himself, “Big John” calls a halt to the contest at 4:36 of round two, giving John Cholish the win via technical knockout in his UFC debut.
Rich Attonito vs. Jake Hecht
From the outside, Hecht gets to work with hard low kicks to the lead leg of Attonito, who dips inside and puts a right hand on his man’s chin. Hecht lets a few go to the body before the “Raging Bull” charges and brings the fight to the ground. Attonito works from half-guard, trying to pass to Hecht’s right side. Hecht stuffs him back to full guard, closes it up and scoots away from the fence. Attonito comes over the top with elbows while Hecht continues to shift and push off the cage. Hecht pushes off Attonito’s hips but can’t get to his feet and instead settles for throwing a few short elbows from the bottom. Hecht is doing well to wrap up Attonito, minimizing damage, but Attonito begins to let loose with punches to Hecht’s body and head as the round enters its final 80 seconds. Attonito keeps the strikes coming and closes out the round on top.
TJ De Santis scores the round 10-9 Attonito
Freddie DeFreitas scores the round 10-9 Attonito
Chris Nelson scores the round 10-9 Attonito
Hecht starts the second with a nice left hook and whiffs on a high kick. He comes inside to tie up and is stuffed by Attonito, who shoves Hecht’s back into the fence. Attonito drops down for a single-leg, can’t find it and goes to his knees for another try. Hecht drills him with a pair of elbows to the temple and Attonito crumbles to his side. Referee Josh Rosenthal is standing nearby, watching as Hecht smashes the fetal Attonito with a dozen or more heavy punches. They’re partially blocked by Attonito’s glove, but Attonito is offering up nothing in return and Rosenthal justly waves off the fight at 1:10 of the second round.
Mark Bocek vs. Nik Lentz
Lentz takes the outside and Bocek slings range-finding punches to the head and body. Bocek puts Lentz on the fence, but Lentz digs an underhook and reverses. They jockey for position and then split, and Lentz goes high with a deflected head kick. Bocek gets off a few more punches before he gets put on the fence again. It’s Bocek who trips Lentz to the floor, though, and the Canadian works from his opponent’s open guard 90 seconds into the round. Lentz grabs a guillotine under his right arm which looks loose at first, then tightens up as Lentz throws his legs up. Bocek postures up and Lentz stays attached even when he’s slammed back to the ground. After a minute, Lentz gives up the choke and Bocek gets busy trying to pass, stacking Lentz up away from the fence. Lentz keeps a long butterfly guard and holds Bocek in place while throwing pesky punches from the bottom. Bocek still can’t pass, stands and just avoids a big Lentz upkick. With 30 seconds left, Bocek nearly passes to Lentz’s right side and gets stuffed back. Bocek stacks up and finishes the close first frame with ground-and-pound.
TJ De Santis scores the round 10-9 Bocek
Freddie DeFreitas scores the round 10-9 Bocek
Chris Nelson scores the round 10-9 Bocek
Bocek lands a hook to the body but eats a right from Lentz as he comes forward. He looks for a takedown, can’t find it from his knees and slips moments later. Lentz follows him to the floor, considering a guillotine at first before going over the top, possibly going for head scissors or an inverted triangle. Bocek shakes him off and winds up in the same position as last round, in Lentz’s open guard. Lentz is keeping busy, twisting and rolling for a knee to keep Bocek in his guard. Bocek drops some heavy offense before Lentz goes for another guillotine. It’s deep and Lentz again stays latched on as Bocek stands and slams him back down. Bocek pops his head out with 50 seconds left in the middle round and ref Herb Dean stands them up with 20 seconds to go. Lentz lands a flurry of solid punches and Bocek gets the last say in the round with a knee to the body.
TJ De Santis scores the round 10-9 Bocek
Freddie DeFreitas scores the round 10-9 Bocek
Chris Nelson scores the round 10-9 Bocek
Twenty seconds into the final round, Bocek has Lentz on his back again, pressed into a cage post. Bocek scoops him away from the fence and keeps busy with short punches to the body and head. Lentz stays active from his back, too, but can’t get much behind his punches. Lentz grabs a loose guillotine and uses it to get back to his feet with three minutes to go. A lead uppercut from Lentz snaps back Bocek’s head; shortly thereafter, Bocek is shooting again and putting Lentz on his back. Lentz keeps Bocek in his open guard again while Bocek drops intermittent ground-and-pound. Bocek postures up and drops hammerfists with a minute left, then goes back to pass attempts. He stands and drops an axe kick on Lentz’ midsection. Lentz stands with seconds to go and gets off a few final punches before the horn.
TJ De Santis scores the round 10-9 Bocek (30-27 Bocek)
Freddie DeFreitas scores the round 10-9 Bocek (30-27 Bocek)
Chris Nelson scores the round 10-9 Bocek (30-27 Bocek)
Official result: All three judges score the bout 30-27 for the winner by unanimous decision, Mark Bocek.
Yves Jabouin vs. Walel Watson
The smaller Jabouin keeps a good distance, avoiding the long kicks of Watson as they’re flicked out. Jabouin charges with a left hand and eats a counter-left for his trouble. A heavy right hand from Jabouin finds its mark and Watson can’t find his opponents as he swings to counter. Watson whiffs on a spinning backfist and is zapped by a nice right hand from Jabouin. They tie up along the fence, Jabouin in the outside position and then slamming Watson to his back. Watson pops up and Jabouin latches onto a single-leg, taking some elbows from the “Gazelle” in the process. Watson shucks Jabouin off and they’re back to long-range striking with one minute to go. Watson comes forward with a three-piece combo and a high kick, all of which are dodged by Jabouin, who gets the last offense of the round with a pair of winging punches.
TJ De Santis scores the round 10-9 Watson
Freddie DeFreitas scores the round 10-10
Chris Nelson scores the round 10-9 Jabouin
Jabouin catches a kick and comes over the top with a right hand for Watson, who extracts the limb and goes back to throwing volume from the outside. A thudding outside kick to the knee of Jabouin backs him off. Watson has a high kick blocked and follows up with a left which sneaks through. Jabouin puts a hard kick on the body of Watson, then goes to the leg with another. Watson misses another spinning backfist and moments later appears to graze Jabouin low with a turning kick. Jabouin keeps going, though, and misses with a spinning kick of his own. Watson comes underneath the punches of Jabouin and lands a few of his own, then sends the Canadian halfway across the cage with a push kick. Jabouin uncorks a spinning backfists which stumbles Watson. He drives Watson to the ground, but gets caught in a guillotine on the way down. Jabouin pops his head out with seconds to go.
TJ De Santis scores the round 10-9 Watson
Freddie DeFreitas scores the round 10-9 Jabouin
Chris Nelson scores the round 10-9 Jabouin
Both men come out throwing, Jabouin appearing to get the better of the exchange on the inside. He puts a high kick on Watson’s solar plexus and Watson answers with some hard body kicks of his own. A vicious leg kick from Jabouin gives Watson pause before moving forward again. Jabouin lands another, then goes to the other leg. Jabouin pushes in and brings Watson down. Watson adjusts on the way to the mat and lands in good position for an armbar. Jabouin gets out trouble there, but winds up on his back. Watson works from half-guard and sets up a deep brabo choke. He looks to have it as he rolls Jabouin over, even telling referee Yves Lavigne that his opponent has stopped moving, but Jabouin hangs tough and gets out. Both men grin as they stand and it’s Jabouin turning on the heat in the final seconds, cracking Watson with a left hand and a stiff kick. Both men raise their hands at the horn; this one could go either way on the scorecards.
TJ De Santis scores the round 10-9 Jabouin (29-28 Watson)
Freddie DeFreitas scores the round 10-9 Watson (29-29 Draw)
Chris Nelson scores the round 10-9 Watson (29-28 Jabouin)
Official result: One judge sees it 29-28 Watson, while a second has it 29-28 Jabouin. The third and deciding judge scores the bout 30-27 for the winner by split decision, Yves Jabouin.
John Makdessi vs. Dennis Hallman
Hallman ties up immediately and stays glued to Makdessi as they stumble along the cage. Makdessi is twice warned for grabbing the cage; after the second warning, Hallman gets him down. Makdessi is turtling up already as Hallman socks him in the face on the ground. As Makdessi gives up his back, Hallman immediately jumps into position and flattens him out. Hallman smashes the cowering Makdessi with hammerfists, loosening the Canadian up before grabbing for a rear-naked choke. Makdessi twists around but Hallman still has full mount, and “Superman” lays his forearm on Makdessi’s throat in between punches and elbows. Hallman drops brutish elbows on Makdessi’s jaw, causing Makdessi to give up his back again. Hallman has a deep rear-naked choke almost instantly and the bloodied Makdessi is forced to tap out.
Jared Hamman vs. Constantinos Philippou
Hamman is active with leg kicks early but Philippou is able to lob a few right hands over the top to his taller opponent. Hamman rushes for a single-leg but gets nothing and is tagged with a pair of shots before wading back out. A chopping leg kick stumbles Philippou and Hamman keeps going to the thigh and body. Philippou drops Hamman to the ground with a perfectly timed left-right combo, then another right. Hamman stands, only to be greeted by another right; he’s in deep trouble as Philippou wrenches a no-hooks rear-naked choke. Hamman escapes danger and gets back to his feet, then goes down again from another big right. Hamman looks completely dazed as Philippou bashes him on the floor. Just as Hamman gets to his feet for the final time, one last right hand from Philippou ends the night. Hamman slumps to the ground and referee John McCarthy steps in to save him from further punishment at 3:11 of round one.
Krzysztof Soszynski vs. Igor Pokrajac
Soszynski is getting the better of the striking right away, placing hands on the “Duke,” but the tide turns quickly and viciously. Pokrajac jacks Soszynski’s jaw with a short right hook and the “Polish Experiment” stumbles backward. Pokrajac keeps the pressure on, drilling hard punches against the cage until a right hand to the temple sends Soszynski to the floor. A few follow-up punches on the floor blast Soszynski into another universe and referee Yves Lavigne waves it off. After just 35 seconds, it’s an impressive knockout victory for Igor Pokrajac.
Mark Hominick vs. Chan Sung Jung
As soon as the featherweights touch gloves, Hominick swings a left hand with bad intent. Jung’s first punch, a straight right, sends Hominick to the ground. The “Korean Zombie” pounces with another half-dozen punches and turns out Hominick’s lights. Referee Herb Dean steps in and this one is over in just 7 seconds.
Claude Patrick vs. Brian Ebersole
The welterweights move cautiously until 30 seconds in, when Ebersole shoots long and is stuffed. Patrick gets an underhook and the men work for position on the cage, Ebersole on the outside, kneeing Patrick’s thighs. They get away from the fence and Ebersole shoots a knee up the middle, then gets shoved into the cage. Ebersole reverses and Patrick grabs a guillotine, falls into guard. It’s deep, but Ebersole is stacking up, staying calm as Patrick wraps his legs around him. Patrick abandons the choke midway through the round and Ebersole works to pass as he pushes Patrick into the fence. Patrick uses the cage to stand and gets his space from Ebersole, comes inside with a hard left. Ebersole comes forward now with a pair of hooks to the head, one to the body, then a shot. Ebersole goes for a high double, can’t find it and instead presses Patrick into the cage as the last half-minute ticks away. Patrick lands a few knees in the clinch and reverses the position just before the horn.
TJ De Santis scores the round 10-9 Ebersole
Freddie DeFreitas scores the round 10-9 Ebersole
Chris Nelson scores the round 10-9 Ebersole
Patrick is the aggressor as round two begins, chasing Ebersole around the cage. He gets inside and puts a pair of knees in Ebersole’s gut, misses with a follow-up shot. Patrick comes inside and gets Ebersole’s forearm under his throat, then lands a punch before being shoveled into the cage again. Ebersole breaks off with a nice elbow over the top, shoots straight back in. Patrick stifles the single-leg again but can’t slip away from Ebersole. Patrick lands a knee inside and an elbow on the American’s face, still pinned to the fence. They’re separated for only a second before Ebersole presses in again. Referee Josh Rosenthal asks the fighters to advance as the bout hits the midway point. Patrick gets away and backs Ebersole off with a front kick. He catches an Ebersole low kick and takes his back standing, but Ebersole turns around as they go to the cage again. Patrick has his hands clasped with one underhook, lets it go and gets turned around. Neither man is mounting any significant offense in the clinch, and they split. With 20 seconds left, Patrick fires off a solid combo, but gets tied up for the remainder of the round.
TJ De Santis scores the round 10-9 Patrick
Freddie DeFreitas scores the round 10-9 Patrick
Chris Nelson scores the round 10-9 Patrick
Ebersole starts the final round with a long single-leg and Patrick denies him. Ebersole is determined and keeps after it until Patrick pulls guard about 30 seconds in. Patrick slaps the side and back of Ebersole’s head with palm strikes; Ebersole works to pass and offers a few short punches to the body. They stand and Ebersole keeps control, lifting Patrick into the air and slamming him back down awkwardly. Patrick turtles and stands with Ebersole still on his back. Ebersole pressures him back down to his knees, their left sides to the cage, and tries to put his hooks in. Patrick defends well, so Ebersole drills a hard knee into the back of his thigh. Patrick stands and gets his back to the fence, but Ebersole still has underhooks with two minutes left. He switches to a single-leg and spins Patrick down. In the process, Patrick grabs on to an arm and threatens with a kimura. Patrick winds up on top and slaps on a brabo choke, which Ebersole twists out of. Patrick mugs Ebersole with an uppercut, a punch to the body and a knee. He stuffs Ebersole’s long shot with 30 seconds to go and tries an anaconda choke. In his attempt to roll, Patrick winds up on the bottom, and that’s where it ends.
TJ De Santis scores the round 10-9 Ebersole (29-28 Ebersole)
Freddie DeFreitas scores the round 10-9 Ebersole (29-28 Ebersole)
Chris Nelson scores the round 10-9 Patrick (29-28 Patrick)
Official result: One judge scores the bout 29-28 Ebersole, while a second sees it 29-28 Patrick. The third judge gives a 29-28 scorecard and the split decision victory to Brian Ebersole.
Antonio Rogerio Nogueira vs. Tito Ortiz
Ortiz strikes first, stepping into the pocket with punches and taking return fire from the southpaw Nogueira. Shooting in, Ortiz gets an underhook and muscles “Minotoro” into the cage, connects with a few knees up the middle. Both men are winging punches in the clinch, but it’s Nogueira who scores big when they disengage. Ortiz is covering up from a left hand, his back to the fence, and Nogueira will not relent. A nasty knee to the body sends Ortiz to the canvas, where Nogueira pounces and Ortiz is able to recover. Ortiz throws up his legs for a triangle but can’t find anything as Nogueira continues the onslaught of punches to the body, hammerfists and elbows to the head. Ortiz is covering up, shrimping away, but not throwing back. Nogueira drops a dozen or more punches to the body as referee Yves Lavigne instructs Ortiz to fight back. Ortiz has nothing to offer and Lavigne calls it at 3:15.
Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira vs. Frank Mir
Nogueira pushes forward with punches, ducks one from Mir and gets an underhook against the fence. The Brazilian uses his free right hand to sock Mir with short shots until Mir spins him around. Mir scores with a couple nice punches to the body as they spin along the fence and Nogueira answers with inside knees. Mir trips his man to the canvas and Nogueira uses underhooks to pop back up. Nogueira puts Mir’s back on the fence and drills him with a pair of hard, level elbows and a knee up the middle. A right hand behind the ear has Mir on wobbly legs against the cage and Nogueira goes to finish on the floor. Ref Herb Dean warns Nogueira of striking to the back of the head, and “Minotauro” changes to an anaconda choke. Mir reverses to top position, Nogueira nearly takes his back, and Mir latches on a nasty kimura. Nogueira sits up and it looks like he’ll be able to roll free, but Mir impressively stays on top. Mir wrenches the kimura one more time, and that’s all it takes. The submission comes at 3:38 of round one and Nogueira’s arm looks badly broken.
UFC Light Heavyweight Championship
Jon Jones vs. Lyoto Machida
Referee John McCarthy is the third man in the cage for this 205-pound title bout, with judges Sal D’Amato, Richard Bertrand and Jeff Blatnick scoring at cageside should it go the distance. Jones crouches in his corner and, just as in his last bout, crawls to the center of the Octagon to meet Machida. The champion quickly stands and assumes the orthodox stance against southpaw Machida, who circles the outside slowly. Machida bounces out of the way of Jones’ long punches and turning kicks. Jones changes to southpaw and thuds a kick off Machida’s lead leg. Machida comes inside and stumbles as the men get tangled up, then circles out. Jones lands another leg kick, but this time Machida comes over the top with a counter left. Machida winds up on a left hand and charges in, doesn’t find his mark. The Brazilian is doing well to slip Jones’ rangy kicks, then he steps in the pocket and cracks the champ with a hard left. Jones airmails a right and Machida makes him pay with a pair of punches. Another flurry has “Bones” stumbling backward, though more off-balance than injured.
TJ De Santis scores the round 10-9 Machida
Freddie DeFreitas scores the round 10-9 Machida
Chris Nelson scores the round 10-9 Machida
Machida quickly returns to his hit-and-run tactics, slapping Jones with a kick to the thigh before circling away from multiple kicks by the champ. Catching a kick from Jones, Machida lobs a hard right over the top. Midway through the round and this one is still very much up for grabs. Jones lands a solid right hand and takes a counter left in return. Bones rushes Machida on the cage and scores a big takedown; when they hit the ground, Machida is bleeding badly from his forehead thanks to a Jones elbow. Referee McCarthy gets a good look at the cut and calls for the doctor, who quickly gives Machida the go-ahead. They resume in the clinch with 90 seconds left in the round, Jones on the outside, throwing knees. Machida twists him around and disengages, and they’re toe-to-toe again. Jones drops the Brazilian with a short left and follows up with knees to the gut. Machida stays on his feet but Jones locks up a deep standing guillotine. Almost as soon as the choke is in, Machida goes to sleep. When McCarthy peels the champion off, Machida crumbles lifelessly to the canvas and Jones coolly strides away. Jones officially retains his UFC light heavyweight title via technical submission at 4:26 of round two.