Jenelle Schneider / Vancouver Sun
Published Saturday, June 12, 2010 | 4:46 p.m.
Updated Saturday, June 12, 2010 | 9:30 p.m.
VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA — A sellout crowd turned out at GM Place to see former champion Chuck Liddell return to MMA.
What they saw was likely Liddell’s last trip to the cage.
Liddell (21-8) suffered another knockout loss to Rich Franklin in the final seconds of the first round of their light heavyweight bout at UFC 115. It was the third time in a row Liddell had been stopped by an opponent and his fifth loss in his last six fights.
Surging forward after landing a head kick that appeared to hurt Franklin (28-5), Liddell was caught by a devastating counter right hook that ended his night and likely his career.
Making it all the more impressive for Franklin was that he admitted after the fight he felt he had broken his left arm earlier in the round.
The win will likely keep Franklin in the 205-pound division after he had fought his previous two fights at a catchweight of 195.
In the co-main event, Mirko Cro Cop Filipovic (27-7-2) stunned rising star Pat Barry (5-2)by knocking him down in the final round and going on to submit him via rear-naked-choke.
Chuck Liddell (21-8) vs. Rich Franklin (28-5)
Round One: Liddell with a wide stance and Franklin throws a kick after that front leg. Liddell answers with his own hard leg kick. Franklin throws consecutive hooks that land but don’t seem to faze Liddell that bad. Hard head kick thrown by Liddell. Franklin comes in with a right hand that staggers Liddell a bit. Liddell comes forward aggressively and Franklin, on his way back, awkwardly falls to his back. Liddell follows but Franklin works his way back up. Liddell bleeding from a cut over what looks to be around his left eye. Big overhand left misses from Franklin. Franklin lands another left. Liddell answers with a head kick that staggers Franklin back and the crowd erupts. Another head kick lands for Liddell and he charges forward, letting his hands go. Ten seconds left in the round and Franklin slips a punch and lands a devastating right hook that puts Liddell out cold. That’s the end of it. Liddell is completely out. He was falling forward from the momentum of those punches and got caught flush. Official time of the knockout is 4:55.
Mirko Cro Cop (27-7-2) vs. Pat Barry (5-2)
Round One: Both guys throw out punches right from the start but nothing clean lands immediately. Nice leg kick lands for Brry and then a straight punch knocks Cro Cop down less than a minute in. Barry lets him back to his feet. Another good leg kick from Barry. Barry looking to take Cro Cops legs out of this fight early. A huge right hook from Barry drops Cro Cop again but he doesn’t follow him to the ground. Cro Cop a little slower getting up this time. Identical leg kicks both land simultaneously for both fighters. Cro Cop looks for the hip toss and is able to get Barry down for a second but Barry gets back to his feet and throws a huge head kick that just misses. Cro Cop smiles and acknowledges it and the two stop for a second and hug each other. That kind of kills the action for the last 30 seconds, as both fighters coast to the end of the round.
Round Two: Hard body kick from Cro Cop and then he lets another one loose towards Barry’s head. Cro Cop staying active with the kicks and then comes forward with a flurry. Barry had been smiling again to enter the round but that got his attention. Left hook lands for Cro Cop. Two clinch for about a minute until referee Yves Lavigne separates them. Nice front kick from Cro Cop. Barry swings high with a head kick that sails over Cro Cop’s head and he slips in the process. Cro Cop jumps on him and gets into his half-guard. Now Cro Cop passes his guard ang gets into full mount. Barry rolls over and looks to get up, but exposes his back. Cro Cop takes it and lands a series of punches from his back as the round ends.
Round Three: Fighter hug again at start of final round. Head kick blocked away by Barry. Barry misses on an overhand left and Cro Cop works into the clinch. Cro Cop throws the head kick again and Barry avoids it and sweeps him off his feet with a low kick. Cro Cop back to his feet with three minutes left. Good uppercut, hook combination from Cro Cop. Two go back to a clinch against the fence and Lavigne steps in and breaks it up with 90 seconds to go. Cro Cop lands two hooks consecutively and Barry is down. He latches himself on to Cro Cop but eats a ton of left punches from Cro Cop. Now Cro Cop puts on the rear naked choke and Barry has to tap. Unbelievable finish for Cro Cop and he and Barry hug again. Cro Cop by submission at 4:30 of third round.
Paulo Thiago (13-2) vs. Martin Kampmann (17-3)
Round One: Good jab lands for Kampmann to break the ice. Good straight right lands for Kampmann followed by another jab. Thiago fairly hesitant so far. Kampmann lands a straight punch as Thiago was heading in for a body kick. Thiago looks to counter now but Kampmann avoids major damage. Nice combination from Thiago as he brings Kampmann’s hands down with a kick before going high with his left hand. Thiago goes low for a single leg and then kicks out Kampmann’s other leg from under him. Kampmann gets back to his feet though and nearly finishes an anaconda choke before the end of the round.
Round Two: Both fighters very conservative in the first minute of second round. Finally, Thiago moves forward with an uppercut and a hook but Kampmann gets the better of the exchange by sticking with the tight jab. More looping punches from Thiago avoided by Kampmann. Thiago shoots, Kampmann defends and then quickly spins him around and takes his back. Long stalemate on the ground now as Thiago looks for kimora attempt and Kampmann lies on top of him, unable to free his arm. Fighters back to their feet at end of round but neither can land much.
Round Three: Thiago throws that hard looping right hand but Kampmann ducks under and takes him down. Kampmann outwrestling Thiago, tries to take his back but Thiago rolls over and gets back to his feet. That lasts for about a second, as Kampmann stays right on him and takes him down again. With 1:20 to go, fighters get back to their feet and move to center of octagon. Thiago goes for a takedown and it almost looks like he’s given up. Kampmann defends it and throws him down and gets in top position again to finish the fight. He earns the unanimous decision.
Ben Rothwell (31-7) vs. Gilbert Yvel (36-15-1)
Round One: Rothwell lands a huge straight right hand to start off the fight then takes Yvel down. Rothwell moves into full mount but Yvel kicks him off and gets back to his feet. Rothwell right back on him and ends up slamming him back to the ground. Rothwell in side control, he looks for an armbar but then changes his mind. Rothwell looks to move into a crucifix poition but Yvel wrestles him off. Rothwell again with a takedown and into full mount. His wrestling is just too much for Yvel so far. Now Rothwell gets into the crucifix position he’s been looking for, but Yvel is too strong again, reverses it and gets back to his feet. Now Yvel starts teeing off and Rothwell’s legs start to shake but he finishes the round.
Round Two: Rothwell shoots in immediately to start the round and he gets the takedown. Yvel again nearly gets to his feet when Rothwell looks to pass his guard but Rothwell drags him back down. Rothwell gets into full mount and lands a big right elbow. Yvel is able to get out of it and back to his feet but he’s looks pretty exhausted and Rothwell is giving him no time to catch his breath. He stays low and brings him down to the floor again. Yvel reverses the position though and starts landing some big shots from top position. Rothwell is in trouble. He’s trying to cover up but Yvel is landing one big punch after another and there’s still 90 seconds to go. Rothwell is able to get to his knees, push Yvel to the fence and lift him up for another takedown and move back into full mount.
Round Three: Yvel suprises Rothwell with an immediate takedown attempt to start the round. He’s gassed though and it’s got nothing behind it. Rothwell reverses it and ends up in side control and then into mount. Rothwell looking for a kimora attempt now, doesn’t get it and there’s two minutes left to go. Now he works into the crucifix again and Yvel can do nothing but lie there and take elbows. Yvel’s corner yelling he’s only got one minute, but he’s just nothing left in the gas tank. Fight ends, Rothwell takes a unanimous decision win.
Carlos Condit (25-5) vs. Rory MacDonald (10-1)
Round One: MacDonald catches a body kick right off the bat and drops Condit with a counter punch. Condit looks alright though and gets back to his feet. The two clinch in the middle of the octagon and MacDonald trips Condit to the ground. Condit is good off his back though and he gets his left leg up around MacDonald’s neck and lands some elbows. MacDonald lets Condit back to his feet with three minutes to go. Big counter right hand lands for MacDonald and Condit stumbles back to the fence. Another takedown for MacDonald. Condit so dangerous off his back though, he looks for several submissions and ends up back on his feet as MacDonald breaks from a leglock. Condit trying to get something going on the feet but MacDonald is blocking everything he throws. Condit tries to put together a last-second combination but MacDonald sees it coming and bodyslams him to finish the round.
Round Two: Condit still with plenty of bounce in his step despite being handled in the first round. He catches a body kick from MacDonald and lands a right hook. He tries to hip toss MacDonald to the ground but MacDonald shows terrific strength and ends up putting Condit on his back. Back on the feet, MacDonald lands another left hook. Condit looks for a takedown, gets MacDonald on the ground but MacDonald kicks him up in the air and ends up reversing the position. MacDonald lets Condit up while the crowd chants loudly for him. Another takedown defended by MadConald but Condit makes him eat a knee on the break. Condit ends the round with an enormous front kick that tags MacDonald’s head. Round ends and the place is going crazy.
Round Three: MacDonald catches a kick and then lands a head kick of his own. He’s teeing off on Condit but Condit is a tough guy and letting his hands go too. Condit ends up with a takedown after an exchange. He lands a hard right hand while standing over MacDonald and then passes guard into full mount. MacDonald gets out of the top position but Condit is battering him from the top. MacDonald survives the beating though and gets back to his feet. Condit lands another string of punches and MacDonald has to latch on to his leg. Condit pushes his back to the ground and continues to posture up and land shots. MacDonald’s face bleeding badly but he’s surviving. Forty seconds to go. Ten seconds left and the referee stops it. What a win for Condit. Fans are booing the stop as it looked like MacDonald would have stayed conscious to the end of the fight. Condit with TKO win.
Tyson Griffin (14-3) vs. Evan Dunham (11-0)
Round One: Dunham lands the first shot when he throws a good knee as Griffin comes forward. Griffin tries to answer but nice defense by Dunham as he blocks away a combination. Dunham looks for the single leg, he lifts Griffin’s left leg up high but Griffin shows terrific balance and lands a few hard shots to Dunham’s exposed head. Good right hook lands for Griffin. Dunham seems slightly gun shy after getting rocked when he had Griffin’s leg. Good left counter lands for Dunham and now a counter head kick but Griffin just keeps on coming forward. Griffin misses on a left hook and Dunham is able to capitalize on the big punch with a takedown. He takes Griffin’s back and starts looking for the finish. One minute to go and Dunham looking for a rear naked. Great submission defense from Griffin though and we’ll see a second round.
Round Two: Dunham lands a few punches to start the round but it doesn’t even look like Griffin feels them. He’s stalking Dunham around the octagon just like the last round. Dunham goes for a takedown and Griffin catches him in a guillotine. Dunham clears his neck though and now has Griffin on his back. Griffin works back to his feet though with three minutes to go. Very active fight so far. Griffin looks to string together a combination of hooks but Dunham ducks under and takes him down. Griffin tries to get back to his feet, Dunham rolls him over and takes his back beautifully. Griffin stands now with Dunham still on his back and walks over to the cage where the round ends.
Round Three: Both guys come out swinging to start the final round. Dunham looks to shoot but Griffin sprawls and defends. Nice right hook lands for Griffin. Dunham comes forward with punches and Griffin covers up. Now Griffin actually goes for the single leg takedown and Dunham stays on his feet and backs up to the cage. Right hook again lands for Griffin. Dunham kicks out Griffin’s leg, Griffin gets up and comes at him aggressively but Dunham moves around him and takes his back for the third round in a row. Griffin stands again and walks to the same place he did in the last round, next to his corner where he looks for advice. Griffin survives to the horn and Dunham adds a split decision win to his perfect record.
Mac Danzig (20-8-1) vs. Matt Wiman (12-5)
Round One: Fighters come out and touch gloves to begin the action. Both guys come out aggressive. They both get a few shots in before Danzig wrestles Wiman to the floor. Wiman works into a guillotine choke, Danzig rolls onto his back and Yves Lavigne calls the fight saying Danzig was out. Danzig gets up immediately and says he was fine and even puts his hands up like he wants to continue the fight. Now there’s some confusion as to if the fight is even over as Wiman is even signaling he doesn’t want it to be over. But once it’s called, it’s called. Lavigne stops the fight 1:45 into the first round.
David Loiseau (18-10) vs. Mario Miranda (12-1)
Round One: Miranda wasting no time here, latches onto Loiseau’s back and slams him immediately. Miranda in top position in Loiseau’s half-guard and making him eat lots of elbows. Miranda just relentless since the start. Loiseau tries to work to his feet, Miranda lifts him momentarily and shoves his body up against the fence. Finally Loiseau gets back to his feet but he’s still pressed up in the clinch and you can see the elbows took their toll on his left eye. The crowd is chanting for him but Miranda wrestles him to the ground again. Loiseau gets to his feet again and they clinch until referee Tony Williamson breaks them up.
Round Two: Loiseau starts the second round with two hard head kicks but Miranda blocks them both. He doesn’t block a hard right hook thrown by Loiseau though. Miranda weathers the shot well though, closes the gap and takes Loiseau down again. Miranda lands a hard elbow to the side of Loiseau’s head that opens a cut. Loiseau not doing much besides curling up and covering his head now. Miranda landing elbow after elbow. Loiseau is doing nothing but putting on earmuffs but Williamson won’t call it. Miranda now looking at Williamson, to ask for a stop. Finally, Willaimson call the fight at the 4:07 of second round giving Miranda the TKO win.
James Wilks (8-3) vs. Peter Sobotta (8-3)
Round One: Wilks presses the action early, letting his hands go. Sobotta lands a few leg kicks, followed by a series of body kicks. The two clinch and Sobotta lands a nice left hand off the break. Sobotta shoots and gets Wilks to the ground. Wilks showing his flexibility, working to get his legs up into rubber guard and rolls into an armbar attempt. Sobotta in danger but he breaks away and now stands over Wilks. Wilks back to his feet.
Round Two: Sobotta lands a combination to start the round. Wilks latches on the Muay Thai clinch but Sobotta keeps his hands moving and lands a series of uppercuts before Wilks can create any action out of it. They break away and Wilks comes forward with a flurry that lands several punches and Sobotta clinches again. Wilks finally wrestles Sobotta to the ground and lands in full mount. Bad spot for Sobotta, but he gets out of it when Wilks tries to take his back.
Round Three: Wilks looking for the takedown early in final round, Sobotta defends. Wilks lands a hard straight left as Sobotta throws a front kick. Sobotta catches a body kick and looks to take Wilks down. He does and immediately takes his back. Bad spot here for Wilks, as Sobotta locks in the body triangle with plenty of time to go in the round. Time winds down to two minutes to go. Wilks defending the rear-naked but hasn’t been close to getting out of the position. With 1:15 to go, Wilks rolls into Sobotta and finally regains top position. Fight ends up going the distance, Wilks takes it by unanimous decision.
Ricardo Funch (7-2) vs. Claude Patrick (12-1)
Round One: Patrick looks for the early takedown and shoves Funch’s back to the cage. Patrick eventually uses a hip toss to put Funch on his back towards the middle of the octagon. Patrick postures up and lands a good elbow. Funch lands an illegal kick as Patrick’s knee is on the ground and the referee stops action to chastise him. Action resumes and Patrick lands a series of hard right hands from top position. Patrick ends a dominant round with a guillotine attempt and a hard left hand with Funch still on his back.
Round Two: Patrick starts the round the same as the last, closing the distance and looking for the immediate takedown. Much like the first round, Funch defends and tries to reverse into a takedown of his own. Patrick latches on to the neck and looks for the guillotine. Funch tries to break it but can’t get free. Patrick wins his UFC debut by submission at 1:48 of second round.
Mike Pyle (19-7-1) vs. Jesse Lennox (15-3)
Round One: Crowd pretty electric for first fight of the night. Pyle sticking his jab out trying to find his range. Lennox lands a good leg kick and Pyle responds with a nice jab. Lennox throwing more leg kicks. Pyle shoots in but Lennos gets his arms low and stays on his feet. Nice left hook lands for Pyle, Lennox responds with a right hook. Pyle continues to use the jab as his main weapon, Lennox mixing up a variety of strikes. Pyle closes the distance, looks to clinch but Lennox shrugs him off. Now Lennox lands a nice hook, Pyle stumbles but answers with a straight right and then a knee. The knee sends Lennox falling back and Pyle ends the round in top position.
Round Two: Great straight right by Pyle starts off the round with a bang. Lennox bleeding from the nose from that shot. Pyle throws a right hand, goes hard for the takedown but Lennox shows great takedown defense. Pyle drags Lennox to the ground in a kimora attempt. Lennox avoids the submission but Pyle finally has the fight on the ground where he wants it. Pyle lands some good strikes on the ground until Lennox is able to work to his feet at the 1:45 mark. Now Lennox gets the takedown and puts Pyle on his back.
Round Three: Lennox lands a nice left hook and is starting off the third very aggressive. Good leg kicks by Pyle backs Lennox off. Straight right lands for Pyle. More jabs by Pyle and he looks to be finding his groove while Lennox has gone to trying to set up a big punch. Spinning back kick by Pyle is blocked. Another straight right lands for Pyle. Pyle picking a tired Lennox apart now with jabs and counters. Lennox coming forward with one minute left and he lands a solid left that staggers Pyle against the fence. Pyle latches on and looks for a takedown. The two go to the ground and Pyle works into a triangle. It’s pretty tight. Lennox taps but the referee doesn’t see it at first, but now calls it. Pyle wins via submission at 4:44 of third round.
Brett Okamoto can be reached at 948-7817 or [email protected].