Overall, the UFC 98 card was decent. While the co-main event between Matt Hughes and Matt Serra didn’t quite live up to the hype created by the seeming hatred between the fighters, the main event between Rashad Evans and Lyoto Machida did not disappoint – a much needed result following the awful UFC 97 main event between Anderson Silva and Thales Leites. Here’s how it went down:
Evans vs. Machida
The UFC 98 main event featured two undefeated fighters competing for a title for the first time ever in the UFC, defending light-heavyweight champ, Evans and challenger, Machida. Machida entered the octagon full of piss and vinegar – literally – and never having lost a single round in his UFC career. When all was said and done, Machida had still never lost a round in the UFC, winning the first round and finishing Evans in round 2 with an impressive knockout. Evans, who crawled into the ring like an animal, left the ring with his tail between his legs. In a division where the title has frequently changed hands as of late, it’s a safe bet that it will remain firmly in the grasp of Machida for a long time. This guy is incredible.
Hughes vs. Serra
In a long awaited grudge match – these guys truly do not like each other – Serra, coming to the ring to the Rocky theme song, almost knocked Hughes out early in round 1 via a head butt to the chin followed by a blow to the top of the head. Hughes even asked his corner between rounds: “did he knock me down?” Not a good sign. Nothing overly exciting occurred during the rest of the bout with a unanimous decision going to Hughes who tied Chuck Liddell’s record for wins in UFC with 16. Hughes now has a 48-3 record in 51 professional fights – impressive. Declaring himself now a free agent, but in the next breath saying he won’t fight anywhere else, Hughes would like to fight once more in his home town before hanging it up.
McFedries vs. Foupa-Pokam
Drew McFedries made quick work of Professor X, scoring a technical knockout in the 1st round. McFedries is quickly working his way up in the power rankings and could make the next edition of my list of the most powerful strikers in the UFC. And he would like you all to know he’s “thankful for you guys’s support”.
Miller vs. Sonnen
Not much to say here. Chael Sonnen dominated Dan Miller through three rounds of ground and pound to earn a unanimous decision win.
Sherk vs. Edgar
Frankie Edgar looked very good in the biggest win of his career against Sean Sherk. Sherk was too predictable, coming straight forward through the entire fight while Edgar used his movement and quickness to pick away at the former lightweight champ earning him the unanimous decision victory.
Larson vs. Pyle
Brock Larson looked impressive in his submission victory (arm triangle) over Mike Pyle early in round 1. Now 3-1 in the UFC and 26-2 overall, we can expect to see more good things from Larson in the near future.
Barry vs. Hague
Pat Barry had Tim Hague reeling early in the 1st round, but couldn’t finish him. Hague was able to take Barry down and sink a guillotine choke for the win. Hague then invited his defeated opponent for beers. Good Canadian boy.
Nover vs. Bradley
After two straight losses by KO/TKO, Kyle Bradley turned the tables and scored a 1st round TKO against Phillipe Nover, handing Nover his second straight UFC loss.
Soszynski vs. Gusmao
After trading low blows early on, Krysztof Soszynski used a flurry of combinations to score a nice TKO over Andre Gusamo in the 1st round. Soszynski is proving to be a great finisher – now 3-0 in the UFC with 2 submissions and a TKO.
Yoshida vs. Wolff
Yoshiyuki Yoshida finished Brandon Wolff with a guillotine choke in the 1st round.
Kaplan vs. Roop
George Roop was able to pull out a split decision victory over a once again unimpressive Dave Kaplan.
MMATraining.com’s Unofficial Awards Presentations:
KO of night – has to go to Machida as he finished an undefeated Evans to win the light-heavyweight title
Submission of the night – From the undercard, Larson’s arm triangle submission over Pyle
Best entrance music – Machida – Linkin Park, Bleed it out
Worst entrance music – Serra – Rocky theme (unoriginal)