UFC 95 “Sanchez vs Stevenson” took place earlier today at the O2 Arena in London, England.
In the night’s main event, Diego Sanchez made his lightweight debut against fellow TUF alum Joe Stevenson.
England’s Dan Hardy took on Rory Markham in a welterweight bout.
Chael Sonnen faced off against Demian Maia in his first fight since transitioning over from the WEC.
Nate Marquardt and Wilson Gouveia squared off in an exciting middleweight bout.
Paulo Thiago looked to pull off the upset of the night against UFC veteran Josh Koscheck.
Results and wrap-up after the jump.
- Diego Sanchez defeats Joe Stevenson via Unanimous Decision
- Dan Hardy defeats Rory Markham via Knockout in Round One
- Nate Marquardt defeats Wilson Gouveia via TKO (Strikes) in Round Three
- Demian Maia defeats Chael Sonnen via Submission (Triangle Choke) in Round One
- Paulo Thiago defeats Josh Koscheck via Knockout in Round One
- Terry Etim defeats Brian Cobb via TKO (Strikes) in Round Two
- Junior dos Santos defeats Stefan Struve via TKO (Strikes) in Round One
- Evan Dunham defeats Per Eklund via Knockout in Round One
- Mike Ciesnolevicz defeats Neil Grove via Submission (Heel Hook) in Round One
- Paul Kelly defeats Troy Mandaloniz via Unanimous Decision
Opening thoughts:: The Spike people handling the broadcast are either stupid or just blatantly misrepresenting the time this event took place. In the top right corner of the screen right under the Spike logo is “Live from London.” Yeah, live from London my ass. Nice try Spike.
Josh Koscheck vs. Paulo Thiago: Wow, that came out of nowhere. Both fighters spent most of the first round feeling each other out on the feet. Koscheck wasn’t picking Thiago apart per say, but he was landing the majority of the strikes. Then, all of a sudden Paulo lands a wicked uppercut dropping Koscheck ending the fight. It was hard to tell at first if Josh was merely waiting for Paulo to jump on top of him or if he was out, but after seeing the replay, it looked like Kos wasn’t all there for a few seconds. Bad stoppage? I don’t know, I’m sure some will complain. I would have rather the ref let Paulo jump on him to finish it, but it’s definitely not the worst stoppage I’ve ever seen.
Chael Sonnen vs. Demian Maia: Demian Maia is the man. In the opening minutes of the first, Maia made several attempts to get Sonnen on the ground, and even succeeded once or twice pulling guard. While they were on the feet, I was sitting there just waiting for Maia to get clipped. He may be training with one the most vicious strikers this sport has ever seen, but his stand up still appears relatively weak. That didn’t matter though because Maia was able to clinch up with Sonnen late in the first, and executed a beautiful trip takedown almost instantaneously transitioning to a fight-ending triangle. Another awesome submission victory from Demian Maia.
Junior Dos Santos vs. Stefan Struve: Struve obviously had no business being in the cage with Dos Santos. Junior backed Stefan up against the cage and just teed off on him, ending the fight in about the same amount of time it took me to type this sentence. Dos Santos is definitely making a name for himself in the UFC’s rather thin heavyweight division.
Nate Marquardt vs. Wilson Gouveia: Slowly, but surely, Nate Marquadt gave Wilson Gouveia a good old fashioned beat down. The first was clearly the closest of the three rounds. Marquardt really starting taking over in the second though. Everywhere the fight went Nate got the best of Gouveia. By the end of the second, Gouveia didn’t appear to have anything left. Then, in the middle of the third, Marquardt put a final stamp on the fight ending it with a wicked flying knee followed by a few kicks, a spinning back fist, a few more shots, and one final knee. Marquardt vs. Maia, anyone?
Dan Hardy vs. Rory Markham: Wasn’t much to this one. Hardy and Markham danced around each other in the opening minute or so of the first round. There were a few short exchanges, but in the final one Hardy clipped Markham’s temple with a left hook putting him out. Another solid performance from Dan Hardy who is quickly becoming a staple for the UFC’s overseas events.
Diego Sanchez vs. Joe Stevenson: With all the weight Diego lost, he looked much younger, and appeared to actually be smaller than Stevenson. It didn’t matter much though. Diego was clearly the superior striker varying his attacks while Joe just tried to box. Diego landed more taking the decision. Looking forward to seeing Diego again at 155lbs. He may have found a new home.
Final thoughts: All things considered, it was a pretty good event. All the fights were good with a lot of great finishes. All it was missing was that one big fight. But hey, it was free, so who are we to complain?
Submission of the Night: Demian Maia
Knockout of the Night: Paulo Thiago
Fight of the Night: Diego Sanchez & Joe Stevenson ($40,000 each)
Bonus info courtesy of MMA Weekly
Live Gate & Attendance
Live gate: $1 million
Live gate courtesy of MMA Weekly