UFC 92 “The Ultimate 2008″ took place earlier this evening at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Forrest Griffin put his UFC Light Heavyweight title on the line against Rashad Evans.
Frank Mir challenged Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira for the UFC Interim Heavyweight Championship and the opportunity to fight Brock Lesnar sometime in 2009.
Wanderlei Silva and Quinton ‘Rampage’ Jackson met for the third time in a legendary grudge match. Did it live up to the hype?
Results and thoughts after the jump.
- Rashad Evans defeats Forrest Griffin via TKO (Strikes) in Round Three
- Frank Mir defeats Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira via TKO (Strikes) in Round Two
- Quinton Jackson defeats Wanderlei Silva via Knockout in Round One
- Cheick Kongo defeats Mustafa Al-Turk via TKO (Strikes) in Round One
- CB Dollaway defeats Mike Massenzio via TKO (Strikes) in Round One
- Yushin Okami defeats Dean Lister via Unanimous Decision
- Antoni Hardonk defeats Mike Wessel via TKO (Strikes) in Round Two
- Matt Hamill defeats Reese Andy via TKO (Strikes) in Round Two
- Brad Blackburn defeats Ryo Chonan via Unanimous Decision
- Pat Barry defeats Dan Evensen via TKO (Strikes) in Round One
The last UFC event of the year is in the books, and the best way I can think to describe it was entertaining, yet disappointing all the same. No one’s fault really, just a couple fights didn’t go the way I expected them to or at least hoped they would.
Starting out with the second fight of the night, Wanderlei Silva and Quinton Jackson met for the third time in what many, myself included, hoped would turn into a war reminiscent of their first two encounters. That’s not how it played out though. I wanted to see Wanderlei come out aggressive and bring the fight to Quinton, but instead he looked cautious and tentative playing the counter-striking game. Rampage did the same which led to short exchanges through the first few minutes of the opening round. They both landed shots, but in the last exchange Rampage caught Silva with a left hook that put his lights out. Rampage is clearly a better striker than he was four years ago and it showed against Silva who tends to leave himself open with his wild looping style of punching. It’s exactly what I was afraid was going to happen and it did. Truth be told, I love Rampage, but Wandy is one of those fighters that just makes me sick to my stomach when he loses, and it wasn’t any different this time. I’m not sure where Wanderlei goes from here. He’s lost four out of his last five, and I’m sure many will say he’s done. I’m not one of those people, but I’m not nearly as hopeful as I was before tonight that Wanderlei Silva will ever wear UFC light heavyweight gold. Rampage, on the other hand, has a real good chance to be the champ again. I still think he beat Griffin and after tonight, I think he should get the next title shot, and probably will. If so, Rampage vs Rashad will be a hell of a fight.
Frank Mir beat Nogueira. I’m still not sure that’s sunk in yet. Who would have thought? Judging by everything I read and heard, I don’t think anybody. He didn’t just beat him though, he dominated him…on the feet. Mir’s striking looked leaps and bounds better than I can ever remember seeing it. Nogueira didn’t have an answer for anything, and basically took a beating like he always does. I’m sure there will be some controversy surrounding the stoppage. I’m not sure how I feel about it at the moment. On one hand, it’s Nogueira so you know he can take unreal amounts of punishment and come back, but at the same time, no one would be arguing about that stoppage if it was anybody else. I would have rather seen Herb Dean let it go a few more seconds, but I’m not going to complain about it either. Now Brock Lesnar gets his rematch and Mir gets his chance to send Brock back down the ladder where he thinks he belongs. Kudos to Mir, that was one hell of a performance for finishing a living legend who’s never been finished.
The main event played out pretty much how everyone thought it would. Forrest and Rashad kept it on the feet for most of the fight, at least until the end. Forrest punished Rashad with leg kicks and an assortment of other strikes, while Rashad landed a few of his own as well. The first round was a tough one to call for the judges. Forrest clearly won the second, but Rashad wasn’t about to let it go to the judges. He landed a shot that put Forrest on his back in the third and nearly finished it, but Forrest held on and secured guard. Forrest was apparently still seeing stars though as I think he mentioned in the post-fight interview. Rashad was able to create distance and finish the fight. Both fighters put on great performances, and Rashad’s win will likely set up an entertaining title fight against Rampage sometime late spring/early summer. As for Forrest, I do want to mention that everyone says Forrest isn’t great at any one aspect of the game. While that may be true, I think we can say he’s at least great at leg kicks. I can’t remember seeing a fighter use them as effectively as Forrest has this year, well, I guess that’s unless you count Patrick Barry, who literally won tonight with leg kicks.
All in all, it was a good show to end the year with. No rest for the weary though. UFC 93 is just around the corner. January is going to be a big month for mixed martial arts.
Submission of the Night: No bonus (no submission victories)
Knockout of the Night: Quinton Jackson
Fight of the Night: Rashad Evans and Forrest Griffin ($60k each)
Bonuses courtesy of MMA Junkie
Live Gate & Attendance
Live gate: $3.47 million
Live gate courtesy of MMA Junkie