In what was to be Matt Hughes comeback, UFC 85 served to be more of a coming out party for Thiago Alves. Alves delivered a 2nd round KO of the former champion with a viscous knee, a fight that was largely carried by Alves. It was Hughes’ 2nd straight loss to a top opponent. Hughes looked for the takedown early, setting up in a south paw stance, but was unable to take the American Top Teamer down. Alves’s Muay Thai proved to be too much for Hughes and he was hurt badly with the knee and the fight was called at 1:02 of round 2.
After the fight, Alves asked Dana White for a title shot and explained he had a sprained ankle, just weeks before the fight and couldn’t try and that was the reason he weight in 4 lbs over the limit of 170 lbs.
Michael Bisping vs. Jason Day
Bisping dominated the fight from start to finish getting the Canadian down and pounding him out. It wasn’t Day’s fight, and Bisping looked as good as he has ever inside the cage. Bisping said after he probably needs a couple more fights at 185 lbs, before he would want a title shot. It will be interesting to see how Bisping can do against an upper tier guy at 185 lbs. Rich Franklin anyone? It was halted at 3:42 of round 1 and scored a TKO.
Mike Swick vs. Marcus Davis
Swick’s plan was to strike with Davis, but not box with the former pro boxer. He wanted to use his kicks and then take Davis down. He executed his game plan perfectly. He was able to hit Davis with some kicks and use some ground and pound once the fight went there. Swick was penalized in the 3rd round and deducted 1 point for holding onto the cage and later said he never received a warning. It didn’t matter as he was awarded the unanimous decision.
Brandon Vera vs. Fabricio Werdum
Werdum was able to take mount on Vera with about 45 seconds to go in round 1 and was raining down punches. Referee Dan Murgliotta jumped in to ‘save’ Vera, albeit too soon for Vera’s liking. Vera protested the ending, but to no avail. It was scored at TKO at 4:40 in round 1. After, Vera said he kept telling the ref “I’m okay, I’m okay” and said “that ref sucks”. In the post fight press conference, Werdum said Vera had to get back in line and that he would not get a rematch from him, which disappointed the American heavyweight even more.
Thales Leites vs. Nate Marquardt
In a match that will surely be talked about for some time, Marquardt was deducted 2 points in the fight: 1 for kneeing Leites when he was on the ground, which was an obvious call and one for a shot to the back of the head that was very questionable. The fight went to the score cards and it was 2 judges for Leites, 1 for Marquardt. Near the ending of the fight Nate also picked Thales up and slammed him on his head. Is that not a foul too? The fight will certainly be considered for a rematch.
Martin Kampmann def. Jorge Rivera by submission (guillotine choke) at 2:34, R1
Look for big things from Kampmann as he recovers from his knee injury suffered over a year ago. He was able to out technique Rivera in taking the win.
Matt Wiman def. Thiago Tavares by KO at 1:57, R2
In what was the “fight of the night” the former TUF alumni beat Tavares by KO, after Wiman was rocked in the first round. The happiest guy after the fight? Chuck Liddell who was seen cheering and ran to get Wiman post fight shirt from the stands.
Kevin Burns def. Roan Carneiro by submission (triangle choke) at 3:56, R2
The less experience Burns chocked out the Brazilian in what may have been the biggest upset of the night.
Luis Cane def. Jason Lambert by TKO at 2:07, R1
Cane caught Lambert flush in round 1. After some chasing down, he caught him again and put him away near the 2 minute mark.
Paul Taylor def. Jess Liaudin by split decision, R3
The rematch between the two Europeans went Taylors way, as he notches his second UFC win.
Antoni Hardonk def. Eddie Sanchez by TKO at 4:15, R2
Sanchez won round 1, but it was the former world champion kickboxer who came back in round 2 to TKO the young American Heavyweight.
Thoughts from the Kage
The UFC is set to make a big announcement on Thursday in what Dana White said will “blow your mind”.. rumours of this have been from Anderson Silva vs. Chuck Liddell, Floyd Mayweather joining the UFC, to a new TV deal. Here’s hoping it a new TV deal. I’m glad the UFC is going to promote the Patrick Cote – Ricardo Almeida fight heavily on the next UFC card, both deserve it, and would be worthy title challengers. Was it just me, or did Hughes not seem fired up whatsoever during the pre fight intros inside the cage? Here’s hoping he can come back and be the Matt Hughes of old. He was a great champion and great for MMA.