Chuck Liddell returns to the Octagon to face off against Rich Franklin in a light heavyweight showdown. Plus Cro Cop is back in action against Pat Barry. 411's Jeffrey Harris checks in with the review of the Ultimate 2 Disc DVD Edition for UFC 115!
-The General Motors Palace, Vancouver, Canada. The UFC holds their first ever event in Vancouver and British Columbia since MMA has recently been sanctioned there. The originally planned main event was set to the be The Ultimate Fighter Season 11 coaches fight between Tito Ortiz and Chuck Liddell. Ortiz ultimately had to dropout due to injuries and because of this coming out during the show, Dana White had Ortiz replaced at the last second with Rich Franklin. And thus our new main event was Franklin/Liddell which granted made a lot more sense since it was a fresh matchup. Ortiz/Liddell had already happened twice with pretty much the same result in Ortiz losing. It wasn't exactly going to be a rubber match.
Disc 2 - PRELIMINARY CARD
Welterweight Bout: Mike Pyle (19-7-1) VS. Jesse Lennox (11-2)
Pyle is coming off a loss to Jake Ellenberger at UFC 108. Lennox lost to Rick Story at Ultimate Fight Nigh 20.
Round 1. Some tentative exchanges to start. Pyle shoots in for the takedowns, but Lennox is able to defend. Lennox starts letting the right hand go and starts rocking Pyle. But Pyle fires back and drops Lennox with a punch. Pyle gets a full mount and applies a guillotine and it almost looks over but Pyle lets go of the choke with just seconds left in the round. Lennox survives. 10-9, Pyle.
Round 2. Pyle starts looking for the submissions. Pyle does a slick type of throw on Lennox to the ground looking for a kimura. Lennox switches and gets top position, but Pyle is able to reverse the position into half-guard. Pyle works in the full guard and Lennox eventually gets to his feet. Lennox gets Pyle to the ground and Pyle turtles up and is able to defend himself enough as the round ends. 10-9 Pyle and 20-18 overall, since I feel Pyle did more effective work in this round.
Round 3. Pyle starts using his counter-striking game and is able to keep Lennox at bay for a while. Lennox starts letting it go and throwing more and backs Pyle into the cage. Pyle goes down and Lennox goes into the guard. Pyle gets the hips and legs up and transitions into a triangle choke. Pyle says Lennox is out and the ref calls the fight.
The Winner: Pyle wins by submission at 4:43 in Round 3. I think Pyle was edging out the fight if it had gone to decision, however his ground game and submissions looked extremely slick here. The fight was a little boring, but the finish was really impressive. This fight later made the PPV broadcast.
Welterweight Bout: Ricardo Funch (7-1) VS. Claude Patrick (11-1)
Funch previously lost to Johnny Hendricks at UFC 107. Canadian Patrick makes his UFC debut here.
Round 1. Patrick clinches Funch against the cage and eventually gets the takedown. Funch pulls full guard and works for an armbar, but the referee breaks up the position because Funch's foot looks like it grazed Patrick's head. Rogan goes on a rant about how Funch wasn't trying to kick Patrick's head. Patrick continues to work in Funch's guard and eventually gets full mount and gets a nice guillotine choke. Funch hangs on and Patrick loses the choke just before the round ends. 10-9, Patrick.
Round 2. They work agains the cage for a while. Patrick jumps into guard and gets a guillotine choke. Funch's neck is out and Patrick pulls on the choke. Funch eventually taps and that is all. Patrick loves making his debut in Canada. Patrick talks about going for the submission and says he's hungry and needs money so please help him out. This fight was also broadcast on the Spike TV prelims special for the card.
The Winner: Claude Patrick wins his UFC debut at 1:48 in Round 2.
Welterweight Bout: James Wilks (7-3) VS. Peter Sobotta (8-2)
Wilks is The Ultimate Fighter 9 winner and is coming off a loss to Matt Brown at UFC 105. Sobotta lost to Paul Taylor at UFC 99 in his UFC debut.
Round 1. Sobotta is able to take down Wilks. Wilks works off his back and looks for an armbar. Wilks rolls the position over and gets the armbar. Sobotta defends and is able to get free. Wilks gets back to his feet and goes forward with some punches. Wilks grabs a Thai clinch and jumps into guard and tries to wrap his legs around Sobotta's arm for an omoplata. Sobotta gets free as the round ends. 10-9, Wilks. Wilks did the most significant attacks and damage of the entire round and nearly finished the fight with the armbar.
Round 2. They work against the fence. Sobotta tries to go for a takedown, but Wilks is able to defend. Wilks gets a knee to the head and reverses the position. Wilks gets a takedown and transitions into full mount. Wilks tries for an arm triangle choke but Sobotta gets out. Sobotta nearly gets a leglock, but Wilks stays in close and transitions into a guillotine choke again and rolls over trying for perhaps an anaconda choke, but Sobotta is able to get out. 10-9, Wilks. 20-18 overall.
Round 3. Wilks makes an error on the ground trying for a kimura and Sobotta is able to get Wilks' back. Sobotta gets a body triangle and attempts a RNC. Wilks hangs on and tries to roll through the pressure. Sobotta lets go of the body triangle and Wilks is able to roll the position over to full-guard. Wilks works on top and gets some elbow strikes in as the round ends. I'll call it 10-10 since Wilks was able to finish the round on top but Sobotta was dominating most of the round until that part. 30-28 overall.
The Winner: Wilks wins the fight by unanimous decision. This was a decent and much needed win for Wilks. Wilks ground skills are impressive and he's got some decent kickboxing, but at this rate I don't ever see Wilks being a top level contender or all that relevant of a fighter.
Middleweight Bout: David Loiseau (19-9) VS. Mario Miranda (12-1)
Loiseau had returned to the UFC at UFC 94 losing by decision to Ed Herman. Being a Canadian fighter, he gets another shot here. Miranda lost his UFC debut to Gerald Harris at Fight Night 21.
Round 1. Miranda starts out with a waistlock into a takedown. Miranda absolutely smothers Loiseau on the ground and does not give him any room to breathe. Miranda moves Loiseau over to the fence and continues the punishment. Loiseau is eventually able to get back to his feet and his left eye is swelling. They clinch against the cage and Miranda hits an elbow as Loiseau misses a kick as the round ends. 10-9 for Miranda.
Round 2. Loiseau starts throwing the right hand but Miranda retaliates with another takedown. Miranda basically turtles up and decides not to come out of his shell. Loiseau and gets and starts bleeding. Miranda ground and pounds the hell out of Miranda and all Loiseau can do is put his hands up. Miranda gets full mount on the back and starts letting go with side punches and elbows. Rogan properly points out this is not intelligent defense. The ref finally stops the fight way too late despite the crowd desperately trying to rally for Loiseau.
The Winner: Mario Miranda wins at 4:07 by TKO in the second round. A strong and impressive win against Loiseau who seemed to wilt when Miranda started pressuring him on the ground.
Lightweight Bout: Mac Danzig (19-7-1) VS. Matt Wiman (11-5)
And now we move along to the Spike TV card. Danzig finally ended a 3 fight losing streak by defeating Justin Buchholz at UFC 109. Wiman beat Shane Nelson at UFC 107.
Round 1. Danzig goes after Wiman and gets him to the ground. Wiman tries for a leglock, but Danzig gets out. Wiman postures up and is able to grab on a guillotine choke. Wiman rolls the position over. Wiman keeps holding on and Yves Lavigne says Danzig is out and calls the fight. But uh-oh doesn't look like Danzig was out. Rogan is furious over this.
The Winner: Wiman is declared the winner at 1:45 in Round 1. Whatever, it is what it is. Wiman did nothing wrong. I think this is really Yves Lavigne's and another in his long list of screw-ups. I think Lavigne should've probably tried to ask Danzig if he was conscious or checked the other side. I can kind of see why Lavigne made the call and you have to be cautious and protect the safety of the fighters, but again whatever. I think the rematch will see pretty much the same result.
Lightweight Bout: Tyson Griffin (14-2) VS. Evan Dunham (10-0)
Tyson Griffin knocked out Hermes Franca at UFC 103. Evan Dunham submitted undefeated TUF winner, Efrain Escudero, at Ultimate Fight Night 20 and is on a 3 fight winstreak.
Round 1. Dunham grabs a leg off a kick and pressures Griffin against the fence. Back to the feet. They exchange standing. Dunham has a really good right and left hook combination. Dunham uses his height and reach advantage well against Griffin. Dunham gets Griffin down and up against the fence and starts landing punches and then gets Griffin down and gets the hooks in. Dunham goes for the RNC which Griffin is able to defend until the end of the round. 10-9 Dunham.
Round 2. Griffin gets a guillotine choke off a takedown attempt and Dunham gets out and work in the half-guard. Dunham lands some strikes and tries for a Darce Choke. Griffin escapes. Dunham gets the takedown and is able to take Griffin's back again. Griffin is able to defend against the RNC again and stands up with Dunham on his back. Griffin looks like he wants to do the face-plant but it doesn't work and Dunham holds on. Griffin stands up and Dunham still hangs on to the body-scissors. Griffin motions for the ref for a break-up which doesn't happen but the round ends anyway. 10-9 for Dunham again and 20-18 overall.
Round 3. Griffin tries for more aggression. Dunham stuff's Griffin's takedown shots. Dunham keeps up with the striking and gets a knee strike off of a clinch separation. Dunham gets the fight to the ground again and gets the back of Griffin. Dunham however goes for the RNC with one of his arms hooked UNDER Griffin's shoulder. Why he does that when trying for an RNC I have no idea. Griffin once again stands with Dunham on his back. Griffin drops and once again fails with the face-plant counter. Dunham still has the back as the round comes to a close. 30-27 for Evan Dunham.
The Winner: Ridiculously enough the fight is ruled a split freaking decision but thankfully still in favor of Dunham. Why I have no idea. Dunham dominated mostly the entire fight. Griffin was powerless on the ground and had no answer for Dunham there except trying to act like the hold should be broken when he stood up with Dunham on his back. In critique of Dunham it was ridiculous trying to RNC Griffin by hooking under the shoulder and it looked ridiculous too. Still Dunham won the fight and the right guy got the decision at least even though one judge was a moron. Dunham is on a 4 fight UFC winstreak now and is set to fight Sean Sherk next.
Disc 1 - MAIN CARD
-The traditional gladiator opening, black and white interview segments, and "BRING THE PAIN" music video montage. Barry says he doesn't hit hard, he hits SCARY! Chuck Liddell says he's in the best shape ever and he's ready to be back in the Octagon.
Welterweight Bout: Carlos Condit (24-5) VS. Rory MacDonald (10-0)
Rory MacDonald is only 20 years old and 10-0, perfect so far in MMA. He submitted "Joker" Mike Guymon at Ultimate Fight Night 20 in his UFC debut. MacDonald is also from British Columbia so he's definitely the hometown boy tonight. Carlos Condit won a close split decision over Jake Ellenberger Ultimate Fight Night 19.
Round 1. MacDonald gets Condit down quickly off a kick. Condit gets back up and taken down. Condit works back up and rocks MacDonald with a punch. MacDonald fires back and takes Condit down again. They exchange leg kicks standing. MacDonald more aggressive with the strikes. MacDonald takes Condit down again right before the round ends. 10-9 for MacDonald. He edged out Condit with the successful takedown attempts and was more aggressive with his strikes and seemed to land more.
Round 2. Condit tries to move around a bit more but MacDonald is able to still catch his legs off kick attempts. Condit tries for a takedown but MacDonald reverses and gets the takedown on Condit. Condit fights to his feet. Condit is able to get to a takedown this time, but MacDonald is able to sweep and reverse position. Condit tries to position his legs but MacDonald slips out. Condit tries staying on the outside. MacDonald lands some nice striking combinations. Condit stays active and gets some legkicks and some knee strikes. Condit jumps in with a front kick which lands but MacDonald gets his leg up and kicks Condit in the shoulder and Condit lands on the ground right at the end of the round. 10-9 for MacDonald again and 20-18 overall. MacDonald dominated most of the round yet again with his takedowns and striking. Though the end of the round wasn't as bad as it looked at first because Condit also landed with that kick but it looked worse for him since he fell on his back even though he got grazed mostly in the shoulder area.
Round 3. Jackson is really angry and trying to get Condit's blood up inbetween rounds telling him he needs to finish. Condit goes for the arm and gets a takedown into stop position. Condit starts laying in elbow strikes on the ground. MacDonald is able to stand back up. Condit starts letting the strikes go and stuffs a takedown. MacDonald looks like he's starting to fade. Condit continues to use the elbow strikes, and MacDonald's right eye is swelling badly. Condit continues swarming on MacDonald and dropping the punches. MacDonald's face is all messed up. The referee tells MacDonald to fight back and Condit gets in another punch. The referee moves in and stops with just like 10 seconds left.
The Winner: Condit pries back victory from the jaws of defeat at 4:53 in Round by TKO. Hey good job from Greg Jackson egging on Condit to get the job done. It was a proper stoppage. MacDonald looked great in the first two rounds but was starting to gas in round 3 and Condit came back big time. It was a fun fight and MacDonald looks very polished for his age and time in MMA, but he still clearly needs a little work. Still that he's like 20 and fighting at this level is nothing short of amazing. MacDonald in the post-fight interview says it was a just stoppage and Condit was hurting him from the start of the fight.
Heavyweight Bout: Ben Rothwell (30-7) VS. Gilbert Yvel (35-14)
Oy vey, this is not going to be pretty at all. Rothwell got spanked by Cain Velasquez in his UFC debut at UFC 104. Yvel got smashed by JDS at UFC 108 earlier in the year.
Round 1. Rothwell takes down Yvel and gets side control and full mount. Yvel slips out and starts swinging down but Rothwell gets up and slams Yvel down and passes into side mount. Rothwell maintains the dominant positions and mounts but does little damage. Yvel is able to fight back to his feet and tries to stand with Rothwell. Rothwell clinches and hangs on. 10-9 for Rothwell for the takedowns and passes. Rothwell is able to takedown and pass guard over Yvel but he does little with it.
Round 2. Rothwell gets Yvel to the ground again. Rothwell already looks tired and his ground and pound is atrocious and hardly has enough energy to try anything. Yvel is eventually able to sweep and gets top position and starts dropping punches. Yvel however is already gassing and can't sustain enough punches to get the fight stopped. Rothwell is able to hang on in the guard. Rothwell pushes back up and is able to get on top of Yvel again but gets little damage with his punches. Eh I'll give it 10-9 for Yvel and 19-19 even so far. Yvel seemed to score the most punches and get the most damage in the second round. Both guys are already looking tired and lacking in power now that the fight has gotten past the first round.
Round 3. Yvel shoots in for a takedown. Rothwell stuffs it and gets Yvel down. Rothwell passes and is able to get side mount but unable to finish because he's gassed beyond all belief. One of the most eventful rounds ever and proof of why Rothwell and Yvel are so mediocre. 10-9 for Rothwell, 29-28 overall for Rothwell.
The Winner: Ben Rothwell wins by unanimous decision in one of the lamest, sloppiest, most boring UFC fights ever. No post-fight interview for Rothwell probably because of his performance that stinked up Vancouver.
Welterweight Bout: Paulo Thiago (13-1) VS. Martin Kampmann (16-3)
Kampmann submitted Jacob Volkmann at UFC 108. Thiago submitted Mike Swick at UFC 109. Thiago's only loss in the UFC so far is by decision to Jon Fitch. The winner makes a good case for being in the mix of welterweight contendership.
Round 1. Some light exchanges. Kampmann uses straight jabs and punches. Thiago gets rocked up against the cage. Kampmann sprawls over the takedown attempts. Thiago is able to get a leg trip takedown but Kampmann goes for a guillotine attempt. Thiago escapes and tries for another takedown and a guillotine. Kampmann gets out and tries for an Anaconda choke. Thiago is able to roll over and get out. Kampmann passes guard with another choke attempt as the round ends. 10-9 round for Kampmann.
Round 2. Kampmann shuts Thiago down standing and on the ground. Kampmann gets Thiago's back and starts working Thiago over but can't get a submission hold in. Thiago is able to sweep to side mount. Kampmann works back to his feet and is able to get Thiago back to the ground before the round closes. Another 10-9 round for Kampmann. Thiago was almost able to reverse the round in his favor, but Kampmann's ground defense keeps that from happening.
Round 3. Kampmann continues to dominate Thiago and takes him down. Kampmann gets the back again but is unable to finish a RNC or arm triangle choke attempts. Kampmann gets Thiago into the middle of the mat and nearly locks in an arm triangle but the round ends. 10-9 for Kampmann and 30-27.
The Winner: Kampmann gets the victory by unanimous decision. This was a solid win for Kampmann over Thiago who was getting a lot of buzz at the time. Kampmann pretty much shut down the Paulo Thiago war wagon here. Kampmann's wrestling and ground training at Xtreme Couture clearly paid off in this fight, and he stayed away from Thiago's big power shots.
Heavyweight Bout: Mirko Cro Cop Filipovic (26-7-2, 1NC) VS. Pat Barry (5-1)
Co-main event of the evening. Barry is coming off a win over Antoni Hardonk at UFC 104. Barry really wanted a fight with Cro Cop who was his idol, and Barry also declared he wanted Cro Cop's autograph before the fight.
Round 1. Barry drops Cro Cop with a right. Cro Cop gets back up. Barry is able to drop Cro Cop again and doesn't really do anything and lets Cro Cop back up. Cro Cop's face starts to swell and Barry doesn't decide to try and step it up a little bit. Instead the two start high fiving and hugging it out and basically having a lovefest in the cage. Save that for a sparring match fellows. Give it 10-9 for the two knockdowns and more significant damage by Barry but Barry is already wilting under the pressure of fighting his hero.
Round 2. Barry falls off of missing a kick attempt. Cro Cop swarms on him and tries for a guillotine. Barry gets out, but Cro Cop remains on top and is able to get Barry's back. Cro Cop works for the RNC but can't quite finish it. Round ends. 10-9 for Cro Cop since he controlled most of the fight on the ground.
Round 3. Cro Cop brings back old school axe kick on Barry. Barry gets a leg sweep off a kick attempt by Cro Cop. Cro Cop eventually starts throwing more with the hands and drops Barry to the ground. Cro Cop swarms on Barry agains the cage and hooks on a rear naked choke without the hooks. Barry taps and that's all.
The Winner: Cro Cop wins by submission at 4:30 in Round 3 and gets 2 straight wins in the Octagon for like the first time. Cro Cop and Barry have another hugfest. I don't care what Barry says, he was clearly star-struck by fighting Cro Cop and basically gave up on winning when he had the chance. Barry clearly did not want to beat up or hurt his hero. Cro Cop talks about the fight and thanks the fans for the support. Cro Cop tells Dana White not to be stingy and to give him the submission of the night bonus or the fight of the night bonus as well.
Light Heavyweight Bout: Rich Franklin (27-5, 1NC) VS. Chuck Liddell (21-7)
This is the makeshift coaches fight for season 11 of The Ultimate Fighter. Dana White wanted Liddell to retire after his most recent loss to Shogun at UFC 97. Liddell took some time off and made a deal to fight Tito Ortiz one more time after both would coach their own teams for The Ultimate Fighter. Tito being Tito ultimately had to drop out and this fight was made as a result. Franklin wants to fight at 205 anyway. Liddell to his credit does look in some of his best shape ever here and even worked off most of the Chuck gut. Franklin's last fight was a knockout loss to Vitor Belfort in a catchweight fight. Both men get entrances with canned music here. Both men touch gloves after the introductions. Here we go.
Round 1. They trade leg kicks. Liddell is being a little more aggressive and Franklin tries to stay in the pocket. Chuck is able to hit Franklin with a head kick. Chuck goes in and gets a takedown on Franklin. Franklin gets back up. Chuck goes in and rocks Franklin with a right hook. Franklin stays in it and starts letting the hands go a little more. Liddell gets more aggressive and gets an elbow strike on Franklin against the fence. Liddell misses with a right swing and Franklin catches Liddell right on the chin and Liddell goes down. Liddell is out and that is it.
The Winner: Franklin gets the win by Knockout at 4:55 in the first round. Franklin's arm was broken when Liddell threw a kick earlier in the fight and Franklin talks about when it happened during the fight. Franklin said the gameplan was to not stay in front of Chuck which he ended up doing during the fight. Franklin said he wouldn't have quit. Good win by Franklin who had Liddell chasing after him.
-Some video highlights of the event close the show. We don't get all the good footage from the PPV of Liddell leaving the arena and Rogan talking about how its time for Liddell to retire on a high note.
DVD BONUS FEATURES
UFC 115 Countdown Show - This is the full 40 minute UFC 115 Countdown Show that was also broadcast on Spike TV. They did put together a good package for Liddell/Franklin. Barry/Cro Cop and Thiago/Kampmann are also highlighted.
UFC 115 Weigh-in Show - This is the full 20 minute weigh-in show broadcast on UFC.com.
UFC.com Featurette - This is a 29 minute video compilation of pre-fight interviews from UFC.com with some brief post-fight comments thrown in from the winners of all the fights. Unfortunately nothing from Evan Dunham about the heinous split decision in his fight. Wiman is very sad and upset about the way the fight with Danzig ended. The post-fight comments from Barry/Cro Cop are with Barry. Barry says he didn't go after Cro Cop on the ground because of his weak ground game and didn't want to enter his danger zone and Cro Cop didn't look out on the ground. That still sounds like a weak excuse in an MMA fight when you really need to seize those openings and exploit them. I know Barry is a former kickboxer, but he's in MMA now.
UFC Promos - A 4 minute group of promos advertising UFC Undisputed, DVDís, and Blu-Ray releases. The same Undisputed commercials with BJ Penn from previous DVD releases are also here.
BSN Promo - This is yet another BSN supplement commercial featuring Forrest Griffin.
The 411: This is a somewhat solid if unspectacular card. This is basically a transitional card of sorts sandwiched between much bigger cards like UFC 113 and 114 and then 116 afterward. Its mostly momentuous if it is in fact the final Octagon appearance for Chuck Liddell which it should be. There were some other good fights and battles on here like Dunham/Griffin and Condit/MacDonald. Liddell/Franklin was fun while it lasted, but I think Liddell really needs to call it quits at this point since his chin just is not there anymore and he's not going down from hard shots. I understand this is not an easy thing for Liddell to do but he has a lot to be proud of and to hang his hat on this sport already. He should be proud of that.