The Smark Rant: UFC 37.5

– Your hosts are Mike Goldberg & Jeff Osborne, with special guest Joe Rogan.

– Big one for the UFC, as they debut on Fox Sports Net and get some big exposure. Well, bigger than they had at the time, although it would take the Tito-Shamrock war to really blow it wide open.

Lightweights: Joao Pierini v. Yves Edwards

Cecil Peoples is the REFEREE?! Hope no one uses any leg kicks. They do some boxing, and then Edwards absolutely levels Pierini out of nowhere with a high kick and dives in for the kill. Pierini asks for time because his shoulder is injured, so they stop the fight at 1:19 and award it to Edwards. Kind of a disappointing ending to their first fight on network TV, but that kick was highlight reel material.

Middleweights: Tony Fryklund v. Rodrigo Ruas

I didn’t even know that Marco Ruas had a younger brother, but there you go. Fryklund is from the dark dying days of SEG, but now he’s part of Team Miletich. They engage in some fisticuffs and Ruas shows good hand speed, but Fryklund knocks him down with a right. Surprisingly, Ruas chooses to throw punches from his back rather than go into the guard, and Fryklund shows no hurry to pass guard either. Fryklund just goes with brute force, throwing combinations and totally ignoring position. The beating continues until the round expires. 10-8 Fryklund, as Ruas was beaten to within an inch of his life.

Second round and Ruas continues his attempt to stand with Fryklund, and he gets beaten down again. He’s not even defending himself, as Fryklund unloads at will and tries for a wacky choke. I think punching Ruas in the face was a more effective strategy. Ruas makes a half-assed attempt at a kneebar, but Fryklund gets full mount and the ref stops it at 3:37. That would have been a 10-7 round had Ruas survived. Just a total mauling by Fryklund.