Courtesy of UFC
Sunday, June 26, 2011 | 9:50 p.m.
- Dana White ‘disgusted’ with Nate Marquardt, but reasons still unclear
- Nate Marquardt cut from UFC after failed medicals leading up to Sunday bout
- UFC on Versus 4 betting odds and picks
- Tyson Griffin moving on to new phase of career at UFC on Versus 4 card
- Rick Story had no reservations about taking UFC bout on short rest
- All MMA/boxing coverage
The last-minute cancellation from Nate Marquardt may have proved as a blessing in disguise for Sunday’s UFC on Versus 4 card in Pittsburgh.
Failed medicals forced Marquardt out of his fight and promoted a heavyweight tilt between Cheick Kongo and Pat Barry into the main event. The way Kongo vs. Barry ended, the fight wouldn’t have felt right anywhere else on the card.
Kongo knocked Barry unconscious with a combination right hook and uppercut at 2:39 of the first round for the victory. It came mere seconds after Barry floored Kongo twice and appeared on the verge of his own knockout win.
“I couldn’t imagine what was going on,” Kongo said afterward in a televised interview. “I just remember saying, ‘wow, you dropped me, so I have to come back up now.’”
The reaction from some notable UFC personalities summed up the moment. UFC President Dana White posted a strung-out expletive on his twitter account less than a minute after the fight. The replay showed the UFC’s three octagon girls covering their mouths and turning away in terror as Barry’s eyes rolled into the back of his head.
Anyone who watched had a similar response, just not Kongo. The 6-foot-4 Frenchman remained stoic and answered questions in his normal demeanor.
“It was perfect,” Kongo said. “I just saw the opportunity to give him the uppercut. I just saw the chance to finish the fight at this moment with one shot.”
Kongo’s potential Knockout of the Year outshined another potential award-winning performance. In the co-main event between welterweights, 5-to-1 underdog Charlie Brenneman defeated Rick Story via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28) in what is probably the Upset of the Year to this point.
Brenneman, who grew up two hours away from Pittsburgh, accepted the fight against Story on a day’s notice after Marquardt pulled out. Story was on a six-fight winning streak and nearing title contention before Brenneman stunned him by taking him to the ground repeatedly in the first two rounds.
“I came here this week to fight T.J. Grant, but it turned out he wasn’t able to fight,” said Brenneman, who was supposed to be on the preliminary card until earlier this week. “Thanks to (UFC matchmaker) Joe (Silva) and the gang, I got a fight.”
Brenneman could barely speak and was on the verge of tears after his victory. After only four career UFC fights, Brenneman should now spring up the rankings ladder.
Heavyweight Matt Mitrione continued a rise of his own. Mitrione defeated Christian Morecraft via second round TKO to improve to 5-0 in his young career.
Mitrione is expected to face a top-tier heavyweight the next time he enters the octagon.
“I love challenges,” Mitrione said. “I think Morecraft was a challenge. It was a totally different dimension than what I’ve seen. Whatever the boss says is what I’ll say yes to.”
In the only other televised bout of the evening, welterweight Matt Brown secured his spot on the UFC roster by snapping a three-fight losing streak and upsetting John Howard by unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28).
Check below for full results from the UFC on Versus 4 preliminary card.
Las Vegas-based Tyson Griffin won the final two rounds of his bout to beat Manvel Gamburyan by unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28). Griffin snapped a three-fight losing skid to win in his featherweight debut.
“The Ultimate Fighter” season 2 champion Joe Stevenson may have appeared in the UFC for the last time after losing his fourth straight. Javier Vazquez defeated Stevenson, who dropped to featherweight from lightweight, by unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28).
Joe Lauzon, who had dropped two of his last three, got back to his winning ways in a lightweight contest against Curt Warburton. Lauzon knocked Warburton down with strikes and submitted him with a kimura at 1:58 of the first round.
Rich Attonito wore Daniel Roberts down en route to a unanimous decision victory (30-27, 29-28, 29-27). The first round was a back-and-forth striking exchange, before Attonito, who dropped to welterweight from middleweight in the bout, used his strength to exhaust Roberts.
Lightweight Charles Oliveira defeated Nik Lentz by second round submission, but the win could be changed to a no contest. The referee missed an illegal knee by Oliveira that dazed Lentz and led to the stoppage.
“I promise you guys, it was not intentional,” Oliveira said in the octagon after the fight through a translator. “I’m sorry this happened. I feel terrible.”
Ricardo Lamas beat Matt Grice by TKO at 4:41 of the first round in their featherweight contest. In a dominating performance between two first time 145-pound fighters, Lamas out-classed Grice from the beginning.
Michael Johnson defeated Edward Faaloloto via first round TKO in their lightweight bout. Johnson gets his first UFC victory after falling to Jonathan Brookins in “The Ultimate Fighter” season 12 finals.