Heavy.com is cageside at the Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas for tonight’s UFC 106 event. The show features a main event rematch between Tito Ortiz and Forrest Griffin, and we’ll bring you results (and commentary from Jonathan Snowden) throughout the entire card.
George Sotiropoulos d. Jason Dent (2nd round, submission): Dent was saved by the bell at the end of the first, but wasn’t so lucky in the second. Sotiropoulos displayed some excellent jiu-jitsu prowess, moving from a spider web position into an armbar. Dent fought it, but Sotiropoulos is a jiu-jitsu master and the ending was inevitable.
Jonathan Snowden: George is a legitimate top level jiu jitsu wizard, so it comes as no surprise that he was able to control Dent. Fairly easily on the ground. He got mount in the first round, but with only 45 seconds to work, the fight saw a second round. There George got the mount again and looked for an armbar. Dent’s defense was right out of pro wrestling. He grabbed his arm with his other hand like he was Nobuhiko Takada, but that defense only works in the UWFi. George by armbar.
Caol Uno drew Fabricio Camoes: Camoes looked like a force to be reckoned with early in the fight, but it was a point deduction from an illegal upkick to a downed Uno that ultimately cost him a win tonight. Uno controlled much of the second and third rounds and should have won the fight, but we’ve seen lately that allowing a fight to go to the judges is risky business.
Snowden: I met Caol Uno yesterday and he is like a little Japanese angel. His features are delicate, like a rough and tumble china doll. Perhaps I share too much? Uno has been one of my favorites since he worked as a waiter while battling the likes of Rumina Sato in SHOOTO. Now at the end of a hall of fame worthy career, Uno is stuck opening UFC cards. I cannot be sad though. I’m just happy to see him again.
Uno was almost immediately on the defensive. It looked like Camoes had a rear naked choke in solid, but Uno survived. This is the Uno story. He famously survived a Sato RNC to make his name a decade ago. It was an interesting change for Uno. Normally he is the grappler, looking to take things to the mat. Here he was the striker. Round ends with Uno on top pounding away. Good round, although tough man fans may not love it.
Uno gets top position and Camoes is penalized a point for an illegal upkick. That could be a fight changer, as close as these guys seem to be in skill. Uno controls most of the fight on the ground, with Camoes scoring occasionally standing, taking it to an older, slower Uno. Camoes comes close to finishing with an armbar, but can’t lock the elbow and the wilely Uno escapes. Close round but…
Third round was all Uno. He controlled Camoes, maintaining top position and pounding away with punches and elbows. With the point taken away from Camoes, I think we might be looking at a rare UFC draw. Majority Draw (29-27; 28-28, 28-28) Majority Draw.
Brian Foster d. Brock Larson (TKO, round one): This is one bizarre evening thus far. Brock Larson was deducted one point early in the first round for kicking Foster in the face while both were on the ground. Foster appeared badly hurt, but recuperated enough for the fight to continue. Larson then landed two knees to Foster’s face while he had three points of contact, which is also illegal. Larson was deducted yet another point, but it didn’t figure into the finish of the fight as Foster battered Larson in the second and scored a TKO victory.
Snowden: Larson is an incredibly tough guy, one with the bad fortune of being the UFC ‘s (and his own camp’s) second best Brock L. Brock Lesnar will make becoming the top Brock hard, but Larson is a prospect with real potential at 170. Coming off a surprising loss to Mike Pierce at UFN 19, Larson needs to get back on track here.
Larson spent the whole first part of the round trying for a takedown that he couldn’t see to finish. Foster got mount twice and had some vicious ground and pound. Larson nailed Foster with an illegal kick to the face while he was down, knocking him silly and losing a point. Larson finally took control and landed some knees. Unfortunately, Foster had a hand on the ground-another point gone. With the deductions, likely 10-7 Foster.
Both fighters tentative to start round two, Foster because he is probably afraid a shot to the nuts is next, Larson because he is getting walloped. Two minutes of my life-gone in an instant. Foster finally lands a spinning back kick and a right hand, but a spinning back fist was too far. But he defends the Larson takedown and gets Larson down-vicious GNP follows. Holy crap, who is Brian Foster? He knocks Larson silly with an uppercut and wins when Larson taps to strikes at 3:22 of the second round.
Kendall Grove d. Jake Rosholt (triangle choke, round one): Jake Rosholt manhandled Kendall Grove for almost the entire first round and nearly had an arm triangle submission for the second fight in a row. Out of nowhere, Grove secured a lightning-fast triangle choke and forced the submission.
Snowden: Kendall Grove, to date, is famous mostly for being a reality show standout. After winning the third season of The Ultimate Fighter, Grove has struggled in the UFC proper. The road didn’t get any easier against wrestling standout Jake Rosholt. Rosholt is not just good: he’s a three-time NCAA champion at Oklahoma State.
Rosholt got a huge slam early and was also aggressive standing. But Grove was able to do well when he created scrambles, even ending up on top of Rosholt. Rosholt was sailing through the round when Grove baited him into defending an armbar attempt, switching quickly to a triangle, tapping Rosholt out at 3:59 of round one.
Ben Saunders d. Marcus Davis (KO, round one): Ben Saunders has one of the most effective clinch games in the division, and he used it effectively tonight in defeating Marcus Davis. Davis has been consumed with his loss to Dan Hardy and may have looked past Saunders to a rematch with the number-one welterweight contender. Saunders clinched Davis against the cage and landed two vicious knees to the chin, putting Davis to sleep for the first time in his UFC career.
Snowden: Ben Saunders was supposed to be too slow for Marcus Davis. that just didn’t end up being true. Saunders controlled the fight in the clinch, nailing Davis over and over again with knees, before finally turning his lights off with a wicked knee right to the chin. Five inches in height ended up being too much as Davis was just short on his punches time and time again. Fighters lose it real quick, goign from contenders to helpless in mere months. At 36, Davis may have had his last significant fight in the UFC.
Amir Sadollah d. Phil Baroni (unanimous decision): Sadollah and Baroni put on what will almost certainly be the fight of the night, an all-out brawl that harkened back to the epic Griffin/Bonnar slugfest that kickstarted the UFC’s drive to the immense popularity they currently enjoy. Baroni had a very strong first two minutes, but quickly gassed and began taking a beating from the Ultimate Fighter winner. Baroni can take a punch with the best of them, and he continued to do so for the rest of the fight despite barely having enough energy to stand.
Snowden: A lot of fighters are miserable in the days leading up to a fight. I’ve seen a lot of them, guys struggling with their bodies to cut 10 or 15 pounds to make weight. They aren’t eating and are generally not loving life. That said, I’ve never seen a fighter suffer quite like Phil Baroni before his fight with Amir Sadollah. Baroni made his cut and was looking to make a comeback that would shock fans and pundits alike. Amir is Baroni’s polar opposite, as likable and friendly, as quick with a smile as Baroni is with a sneer.
Baroni came out blazing, throwing winging bombs to the body. Amir tried to control him with a clinch and knees, but couldn’t seem to keep the furious “New York Bad Ass” off of him. I gave Phil the first round, be he was utterly exhausted when the bell rang. Round two may be Sadollah time.
Baroni was too tired to do much more than defend. As Amir pounded away, Baroni barely had the energy to throw huge bolo punches designed to keep his opponent at bay. No matter what you say about Baroni, he is as tough as they come, taking a brutal beating here and coming back again and again for more. More of the same in the third as Baroni just hangs on, hoping for a miracle knockout. the pounding on his lead leg has taken a toll and he’s limping around the ring, covered in his own blood, desperately waiting for the bell to end the round. Baroni looks lost as he sinks to the ground after the round ends. This has been his life for nine years, but losing to a fighter with a 1-1 pro record is maybe a sign that this is the end of the road for Phil.
Antonio Rogerio Nogueira d. Luiz Cane (TKO, round one): Pundits said that Little Nog’s hands aren’t what they used to be. The pundits were wrong. Nogueira rocked the feared Brazilian striker with a strong left hand that sent Cane fleeing across the ring, obviously having second thoughts about trying to strike with Nogueira. Nogueira chased Cane down, knocked him to the canvas with another strong left and then landed two punches before Steve Mazagatti could stop the fight. Nogueira instantly made an impact in the light heavyweight division. He beat one of the top contenders in the division and did it with impact.
Paulo Thiago d. Jacob Volkmann (unanimous decision): Paulo Thiago dropped Jacob Volkmann three times during this bout, but “Christmas” was able to stick around and make a fight of it in the third round. The third was the only round he won, however, as Thiago earned a unanimous decision in a fight that the usually-educated Mandalay Bay crowd hated. It wasn’t the most exciting fight of the night, especially what we’ve seen on the rest of the card, but it wasn’t terrible.
Snowden: Jacob Volkmann and Paulo Thiago was a filler fight of sorts, the one bout on the main card that didn’t really feel like a main card bout. That’s exactly how Volkmann fought for the entire first round, almost never engaging. Thiago is a scary guy. He’s amazing on the ground and proved against Josh Koscheck that he had knockout power in his hands. He showed it again at the end of the round-putting Volkmann on the canvas where he was literally saved by the bell. Steve Mazzagatti checked on him after the bell, but decided he was able to continue. Volkmann did better in the second, but eventually couldn’t get off his back. Thiago’s GNP was mostly tepid and ordinary, until he landed the one shot that made Volkmann wince at the end of the round. The third was more of the same. Thiago was clearly better in all phases of the fight, but couldn’t quite seem to finish him.
Volkmann took over briefly after the crowd’s boos inspired Thiago to try for an ill advised stomp to the body. The lesson: always ignore the crowd. It was a spirited fight at the end, with Volkmann doing well for himself, but Thiago ended the fight on top and he was on top of all three judges scorecards.
Josh Koscheck d. Anthony Johnson (submission, round two): On a night filled with illegal strikes to downed opponents, this one takes the cake. Yes, Anthony Johnson threw a knee at Josh Koscheck while both of his knees were on the ground. Kosheck sold it like he’d been killed, writhing in agony while holding his head. The instant replay seemed to indicate that Johnson’s knee made contact with Koshcheck’s arm, but Koscheck held his eye like he’d gotten poked.
The fight went into the second round, where Kosheck poked Johnson in the eye. Twice. Koscheck finally tired of trying to trade punches with the feared striker and took him down. From there, it was elementary, as Koscheck secured a rear naked choke for the victory.
Snowden: What an amazing fight between Koscheck and Johnson. Koscheck stood toe-to-toe with Johnson and when things got tough, was able to take him down to the mat. In a weird night filled with foul after foul, this had an illegal knee and two eye pokes. In the end, the fouls didn’t matter as much as Koscheck’s superlative ability. After the fight he called out Dan Hardy. Koscheck continues to be one of the sport’s great personalities and he marries that with skills second to one (that one, of course, is Georges St. Pierre).
Tito Ortiz v Forrest Griffin
Round One: The Mandalay Bay Events Center was electric here. Ortiz landed a few good punches, but Forrest was able to shake them off. What Griffin could not shake off, however, was Tito’s first takedown attempt, which looked fluid and easy. Ortiz landed some signature elbows before Griffin could escape. I’m giving the first round to Ortiz, but just barely.
Round Two: Ortiz quickly gets another takedown and lands a couple of elbows. Griffin escapes when Ortiz tries to transition to side control. Griffin lands a big front kick that knocks Tito’s mouthpiece out. You don’t see that very often. The action is stopped and the ref grabs the mouthpiece. Ortiz gets another takedown. Tito lands an elbow that cuts Grtiffin open. He lands unprotected elbows, but Griffin reverses it and moves to the top position! Forrest is bleeding badly.
Round Three: Griffin is winning the striking battle tonight. He’s landing a ton of unprotected shots, and Ortiz is just absorbing them. Tito seemns exhausted and hasn’t even tried for a takedown. They exchange punches and an embrace as the round and the fight ends.
Forrest Griffin d. Tito Ortiz (split decision)