10 Things We Learned: UFC 115

The Ice Age is Over

That was Chuck Liddell’s last fight, and as Dana White said in the post-fight press conference, he went out with a typical Chuck Liddell performance. Unfortunately for “The Iceman,” that included an all too familiar ending of late, a very bad defeat.

For the fourth time in six fights, Liddell was left looking up at the lights, as Rich Franklin landed a perfect right right on Chuck’s chin to emphatically end the UFC’s only Ice Age.

Liddell is one of the Top 10 fighters in UFC history and will always be loved, but for now, he needs to hang up his gloves and enjoy the spoils of being a superstar.

Rich Franklin Has Brass Ones

Who fights on with a broken arm? Honestly?

It takes a good set of stones to keep standing in there with Chuck Liddell throwing bombs in your direction with two working arms, so doing it with one makes Rich Franklin completely nuts and awesome all at the same time.

For now, this fight will be referenced as Liddell’s final fight, but as the impact wears off, people will remember Franklin fighting with a busted arm and maybe give him the due he’s long deserved as one of the best in UFC history.

Cro Cop 2.0 – Personality Now Included

Something changed in Mirko Cro Cop this week, and it was a change for the better. The usually quiet/shy/sullen southpaw opened up to the media beginning at Wednesday’s workouts and was a different man all week, showing charisma, a good sense of comedic timing and a side never before seen in all his years competing.

He also earned a submission win for the first time in more than five years, securing a rear naked choke on Pat Barry in the third round of their highly anticipated – and enjoyable – battle.

Cro Cop remained engaging after the fight, joking with Barry backstage that he should feel embarassed for making Mirko’s eye look as bad as it does. Like Dana White, I too enjoy this new version of Cro Cop… let’s hope he sticks around.

Pat Barry Better Develop a Killer Instinct… Fast

The lovable New Orleans native admitted prior to fight week that he doesn’t have that killer instinct to just keep hammering his opponent when he’s hurt. Well, if he wants to be successful in the UFC, that needs to change.

One at least three instances, Barry dropped Mirko Cro Cop with a big right hook. All three times, he let him back up. Jumping in for the kill never seemed to cross his mind.

It needs to, because if it doesn’t, what happened tonight will keep happening, and no amount of adoration from the fans is going to keep you around if you keep losing fights.

Lesson learned… hopefully.

Carlos Condit Hates Easy Fights

That’s my new theory. Well, not really, but it sure does seem that way when you look at his last three effort. This one was headed towards a split decision – one that Rory MacDonald would have won 2-1 – before “The Natural Born Killer” earned a TKO win with ten ticks left on the clock.

After splitting a pair of split decisions to start his UFC run, Condit was in another dogfight Saturday night, as MacDonald controlled rounds one and two before Condit poured it on in the final frame. On one hand, his unbreakable will and warrior spirit is commendable and impressive. On the other hand, you can’t always wait until the last round to find your stride and pull out a win.

MacDonald Will Be a Star and a Champion

You have to know what defeat tastes like to become great, and Rory MacDonald now knows the bitter taste a loss leaves in your mouth. He’ll be better for it in the future.

For two rounds, MacDonald earned ovations and applause from the partisan crowd, taking the fight to Carlos Condit and getting the better of each exchange. Unfortunately, he could put Condit away, ran a little low on fuel in the final round and was beaten by a more experienced opponent.

MacDonald will learned from his mistakes and come back stronger. He’s just 20-years-old and already this good. It’s scary how impressive he could become.

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