The Ultimate Fighting Championship returns to the States after last weekend’s showing in Sweden with the Philips Arena in Atlanta, Georgia hosting UFC 145: Jones vs. Evans this Saturday night. Journeyman “The Natural” John Alessio (34-10) returns to the UFC for the fourth time to challenge Jiu-Jitsu artist Mark Bocek (10-4). “The Filipino Phenom” Eddie Yagin (15-5-1) will match up against fellow featherweight “The Machine” Mark Hominick (20-10). Heavyweight action graces Atlanta when “The Hybrid” Brendan Schaub (8-2) stands opposite IFL veteran “Big” Ben Rothwell (31-8). The welterweight division is bound for a change in scenery when “Ares” Rory MacDonald (12-1) meets British sensation “Beautiful” Che Mills (14-4) in the co-main event. Closing out the night is a long-awaited fight as friends-turned-foes collide as current light heavyweight champion “Bones” Jon Jones (15-1) takes on another former champ in “Suga” Rashad Evans (17-1-1). Bantamweight action anchors the main card with “Mayday” Michael McDonald (14-1) battling former WEC 135lbs. king “Angel” Miguel Torres (40-4). McDonald has been making serious waves in what is considered a young career while the tested Torres has always been a big dog in the bantamweight division’s yard. McDonald has the weapons needed to get the job done but Saturday night will be presented his stiffest challenge to date.
—MAIN CARD (on Pay-Per-View)—
Nick Diaz vs. Carlos Condit: Condit via Unanimous Decision (48-47, 49-46, 49-46), Round 5, 5:00
Roy Nelson vs. Fabricio Werdum: Werdum via Unanimous Decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27), Round 3, 5:00
Josh Koscheck vs. Mike Pierce: Koscheck via Split Decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28), Round 3, 5:00
Renan Barao vs. Scott Jorgensen: Barao via Unanimous Decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27), Round 3, 5:00
Ed Herman vs. Clifford Starks: Herman via Submission (Rear Naked Choke), Round 2, 1:43
So, here it is. Monday. I sit down to write a “Spilled Bag of Fights”. Black coffee, Black Sabbath and my pup by my side. Deep breath. Man, what a roller coaster of a weekend for MMA… for me at least.
First off, I’d be remiss if I didn’t pay condolences to coach Shawn Tompkins. I didn’t know him personally but he’s obviously had a great impact on his students and the sport and his death comes way too young. Sad for his friends, family, and MMA.
Let’s start with Friday when I was unexpectedly given a ticket to Strikeforce Challengers: Gurgel vs. Duarte. When I showed up I was surprised to be sitting next to MMA Valor’s own Dylan Horner. I also went to UFC 125: Edgar vs. Maynard with him. For some reason whenever I sit next to Dylan there’s a drunken moron yelling really dumb shit. Last time it was the guy who was yelling “Flip ‘em over!”, “Don’t take that bullshit!” and insisting that Asians can fly and that Clay Guida looks like Dog the Bounty Hunter. This time it was a guy who looked like John Denver with a mustache. He looked like he stepped out of his time machine from 1978 and sat down in front of us. Some of his gems included: “Kick ‘em in the balls!”, “You hit like a girl!” and as soon as the fight went to the ground, “C’mon ref, Stand ‘em up!” and “Kick ‘em in the head!”. Clearly, this gentleman that people in our section dubbed “Shaggy” had a less-than-educated understanding of the rules of mixed martial arts.
Dan Hardy vs. Chris Lytle: Lytle via Submission (Guillotine Choke), Round 3, 4:16
Jim Miller vs. Ben Henderson: Henderson via Unanimous Decision (30-27, 29-28, 30-26), Round 3, 5:00
Charles Oliveira vs. Donald Cerrone: Cerrone via TKO (Strikes), Round 1, 3:01
Amir Sadollah vs. Duane Ludwig: Ludwig via Unanimous Decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28), Round 3, 5:00
—MAIN CARD (on Spike TV)—
Antonio Rogerio Nogueira vs. Phil Davis: Davis via Unanimous Decision, Round 3, 5:00
Dan Hardy vs. Anthony Johnson: Johnson via Unanimous Decision, Round 3, 5:00
Amir Sadollah vs. Damarques Johnson: Sadollah via Submission (Strikes), Round 2, 3:27
Leonard Garcia vs. Chan Sung Jung: Jung via Submission (Twister), Round 2, 4:59