The event is headlined by Frank Mir vs. Mirko Cro Cop, the full match list is as follows:
Main Card (click on the hyperlink for Inside Fights’ preview of the match)
Frank Mir (252) vs. Mirko “Cro Cop” Filipovic (227)
Ryan Bader (205) vs. Antonio Rogerio Nogueira (205)
Matt Serra (170) vs. Chris Lytle (171)
Sean Sherk (155) vs. Evan Dunham (156)
Melvin Guillard (155) vs. Jeremy Stephens (155)
The following bouts will be on SpikeTV at 9pm ET:
Joe Doerksen (186) vs. CB Dollaway (186)
Matt Mitrione (253) vs. Joey Beltran (239)
Pat Audinwood (156) vs. Thiago Tavares (155)
Steve Lopez (156) vs. Waylon Lowe (154)
T.J. Grant (170) vs. Julio Paulino (170)
Mark Hunt (265) vs. Sean McCorkle (263)
Make sure to check out Shawn’s Fox Sports’ preview of UFC 119 and Jon’s new Bettor Breakdown column where he suggests the three bets to make on tonight’s fights. We’ll be following how true the tips are over the course of the night and looking at how much money somebody would win if they followed each tip, putting ten bucks on each match.
Matt Mitrione (253) vs. Joey Beltran (239)
TUF10 veteran Mitrione will have the weight, height and reach advantage over Beltran. He is also the hometime fighter. Mitrione is pushing the action; light on his feet mixing jabs and hooks with the odd kick. Mitrione is pushing the action and swinging wildly but he’s fighting smart, using his reach advantage to stay out of Beltran’s punching range. Mitrione’s is throwing a couple of headkicks, and Beltran looks completely outgunned, being hit at will. Beltran is able to move inside, tags Mitirone with a right hand, pushes the former TUF contestant up against the cage and puts together a flurry of punches. Beltran takes Mitirone down. Mitrione is doing a real good job of stifiling Beltran on the ground, but Beltran is eventually able to move to North-South position. Mitirone gets him back into guard, and attempts a triangle choke. Mitrione escapes and finishes the round in side control. Very much a round of two halves, but I’d give it to Mitrione…just. (10-9)
Mitrione is a cagier in this second round, trying to fight at a distance and avoid being caught as he was midway through the last round. He looks pretty good when on the offense, mixing in leg kicks and head kicks into his boxing, which while it lacks sophistication does make the most of his long reach. Mitrione is starting to look more confident, really throwing his hands down, and he rocks Beltran with a big left hand. He almost follows up by connecting with a big uppercut on the follow-up, but it just misses. Beltran comes back and they’re just standing in front each other swinging for the fences. Beltran tries to take him down, but can’t, and again they just exchange hayemakers. Mitrione comes strong towards the end of the round, connecting with a high kick. Another round to Mitrione (20-18).
Beltran looks dead on his feet, coming across far more hestitant than earlier on. Mitrione is pushing the action, staying on his toes whilst picking apart his opponent with several good kickboxing combinations. He’s having particular success getting the power jab through. He really is doing a great job making the most of his height and reach advantage. Blood is pouring down the face of Beltran, and he is visibly wilting, offering only token offense. Mitrione drops his guard, gets caught by Beltran but is able to stuff the takedown. They end with another flurry and that’s the fight. Great balls-to-the-wall opener. I have it 30-27 for Mitrione. The judges all have him the winner 29-28, presumably giving Beltran the opening round.
Matt Mitrione defeated Joey Beltran by unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
Joe Doerksen (186) vs. CB Dollaway (186)
They’re feeling each other out, Dollaway throws a body kick, Doerksen grabs the leg, goes for the takedown but Dollaway rolls through and lands back on his feet. Doerksen goes for a takedown pushing Dollaway up against the cage. Dollaway drops down for a guillotine choke, and holds the position while waiting for Doerksen to tire. We then get an awesome sequence of rolls as Dollaway tries to improve his position while Doerksen tries to escape. They roll through about four times but Dollaway is able to synch in the guillotine and Doerksen taps at 2:13.
CB Dollaway defeated Joe Doerksen at 2.13 in R1 via guillotine choke submission.
They show the Mark Hunt vs. Sean McCorkle prelim fight, which ends at 1.03 in the first round when McCorkle applies a kimura on Hunt while trying to sweep from the bottom. Hunt’s arm may well have broken, with McCorkle able to attack the elbow. If you had followed Jon’s advice and bet $10 on a McCorkle victory, then you would be $20 richer right now.
They showed another pre-lim, with Thiago Tavares defeating Pat Audinwood at 3:47 in the first round with a standing guillotine choke submission.
Melvin Guillard (155) vs. Jeremy Stephens (155)
Guillard swings wildly but gets caught by Stephens with a right hand that knocks him on his ass. Guillard is trying to push the action by using the threat of his kicks to set up his punches. Guillard connects with a couple of leaping punches. They both connect with low kicks at the same time. Guillard is staying light on his feet while Stephens’ feet are more planted. Stephens just misses with a wild left hook. Guillard tages him with an explosive right hand. Stephens misses with a couple of high kicks. Guillard is making Stephens looking foolish with his footwork on the outside, with Stephens missing with several wild kicks. Guillard connects with a leg kick, Stephens respond with one of his own. Guillard throws a big right hand, but its blocked. Guillard moves in but gets tagged. Round ends with Stephens throwing another wild kick. Difficult round to score, pretty even with a lot thrown but not much connecting. Hmmmm, I’d give it to Stephens as that early right hand was the one really significant shot that landed cleanly in the round.
Guillard is pushing the action, throwing several big jabs and hooks. Total kickboxing match, with neither interested in taking it to the ground. Stephens connects witha leg kick, and then follows it up with one to the body. Guillard catches Stephens low, whilst tying to kick the inside leg. Guillard tries to land the jab, but Stephens is just getting his head out of the way. Stephens throws a body kick that catches Guillard low. Guillard comes close with a big overhand right. Guillard is showing better footwork and speed around the Octagon, but nothing is really connecting at the moment. Stephens is having a lot of success with his leg kicks and body kicks, and towards the end of the round is having some success with the left hook on the counter. Another difficult round to score…I’d say Guillard takes that round due to superior movement around the Octagon (19-19)
They feel each other out at the beginning of the round, and the crowd grows restless as they fight at distance. Stephens is focusing on his leg kicks whilst trying to stay out of punching range. Guillard is having success with a leaping right jab, landing a couple of shots to the body of Stephens. Despite its pre-fight billing as the likely “fight of the night” this hasn’t caught fire, with neither being able to cut the ring off in a way to really impose themselves. Stephens catches Guillard wth a big hook shot that rocks him, tries to follow up with a flying knee but it just misses. Guillard has slowed down and is putting together a late flurry that on my scorecard gives him the round and the fight, 28-29. The judges have it 28-29, 29-28, 30-27 for Melvin Guillard.
Melvin Guillard defeated Jeremy Stephens by split decision (28-29, 29-28, 30-27).
This is Seank Sherk’s first fight back after a lengthy absence following his defeat to Frankie Edgar last year. A longtime fixture in the UFC, he has only lost to champions – Edgar, Penn, St. Pierre and Hughes are the only four men that have been able to defeat him. Evan Dunham is a fighter on the rise, undefeated with a perfect record of 11-0. This is fight is clearly designed to be a milestone moment for a fighter that has put together a stellar run of victories in the UFC without capturing the attention of fight fans. If he can defeat the former world champion, then it will go a long way to proving that Evan Dunham is for real.
They feel each other out to begin, Dunham trying to use his height and reach advantage to outbox Sherk. Dunham connects with a jab. Sherk takes Dunham down but gets trapped in a guillotine. His head is turning red but he’s able to pop out. Sherk moves to half-guard and starts working his ground and pound. Dunham gets back up, but eats an uppercut. Sherk slams Dunham down again, this time protecting his chin to avoid the guillotine choke. Dunham gets back up on his feet. They’re up against the cage and Sherk wants to throw a knee to the head but Dunham won’t take his hand off the floor. Sherk goes for another takedown and almost gets trapped in a guillotine (to the point that Goldberg calls the tap) but is able to escape. Dunham becomes the first man to take Sherk’s back and gets the body triangle. Sherk spins into his guard, works his ground and pound and cuts Dunham open with a nasty elbow. Sherk is targeting the cut. They stop to check the cut, but its allowed to continue. The round ends before they can re-engage. Difficult round to score with both guys looking great in a very eventful, even round. I’d probably give it to Sherk due to just how nasty that cut is. 10-9 to Sean Sherk.
The cut above Dunham’s eye immediately reopens. Sherk gets a takedown but once again gets caught in a guillotine. But AGAIN he manages to escape. Dunham gets back to his feet, goes for another guillotine choke but Sherk is once again able to escape. Sherk is pushing Dunham up against the cage, leaving his neck exposed again. Dunham is a bloody mess. Dunham drops down again for a guillotine but Sherk is easily able to get out. Sherk pushes Dunham up against the cage, but again Dunham keeps a hand down to stop Sherk throwing knees. Dunham is able to escape off the cage and brings his significant size advantage to bear on the feet with Sherk unable to cope with the punches and kicks. He ends the round with a couple of big knees to the head of Sherk. Difficult round to score, both guys look really good. The submission attempts plus the minute of dominate standup just, and I meant just, gives Dunham the round. (19-19)
Dunham drops Sherk with a head kick, Sherk jumps back to his feet but he looks like he’s on glass legs. Sherk quickly recovers to go for a takedown, holding Dunham up against the cage and eventually getting him down. Dunham quickly gets back up but Sherk doesn’t let go of the single leg. Sherk is holding the single-leg against the cage but Dunham is able to push him off. They are exchanging standing again, but Sherk is just too small to be competitive against Dunham standing. Sherk tries for another takedown but Dunham counters with another guillotine submission attempt and then a knee to a head. The final minute sees Dunham brutalize Sherk, unloading on Sherk with punches, kicks and several big knees. And Sherk cannot get past Dunham’s reach advantage to connect with anything. The fight ends as Dunham just misses with another high kick. You have to give that round to Dunham, and so on my scorecard Dunham takes that fight 29-28. The judges scores are 29-28 to Sherk, 29-28 to Dunham and 29-28 to the winner, Sean Sherk. I wouldn’t agree with that to be honest but it was still a great fight. Btw if you followed Jon’s advice and bet $10 on Sean Sherk, that will have earned you $19.
Sean Sherk defeated Evan Dunham via split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)
This is the rematch of the TUF4 welterweight final, with Serra and Lytle trying to put on the all-action, exciting fight that they absolutely did not give us in 2006. Serra is looking to build on his comeback victory against Frank Trigg while Lytle is seeking to impress in front of his hometown crowd. Lytle is significantly bigger than the former lightweight Serra. Serra adopting a low boxing stance to punish the body of Lytle. Lytle trying to counter with uppercuts. Lytle threatening with the jab, but Serra doing well to duck under Lytle’s punches. Serra is cut, but catches Lytle with a right hand. Follows up with some body shots. Serra goes close with an uppercut, connects with a second. Serra tries to grab a clinch but eats a right for his troubles. Serra is troubled by a cut above his right eye, which is exactly where most of Lytle’s punches are landing. Lytle is getting real success with that right hand and because of that Serra’s face is starting to look a mess. Good round, Lytle takes it 10-9.
Lytle catches Serra with another right hand, which cause Serra’s legs to buckle. Lytle tries to move in and finish, but Serra counters and earns the time to recover. They stand in front of each other and just exchange. This is almost entirely a boxing match, with the two just swinging for the fences and not considering throwing a kick let alone going for a takedown. Lytle hurts Serra with a right hand, followed up by a right hand. Serra quickly shakes it off, and goes on the offensive with a body shot. Serra is looking very tired. Lytle opens up on Serra, a combination that has the former world champion reeling. Serra tries to go back on the offensive but Lytle again connects with an uppercut. Lytle comes close to finishing the fight towards the end of the round, connecting at will with a barrage of punches until Serra can grab the clinch. Dominant round for Lytle who is ahead on my scorecard 20-18.
Lytle slips early, Serra rushes in to capitalize and eats an uppercut. Serra tries for a takedown but Lytle is about to evade it. Lytle again pushing the action with his punches, whilst Serra is starting to throw leg kicks. Lytle is connecting with that right hand, Serra is looking extremely tired. Serra attempts to trip Lytle but quickly gives up the attempt when its blocked. Serra has more success with leg kicks, but can’t seem to get any power behind his punches. Lytle connects with a big hook, which staggers Serra. Serra attempts a spinning back fist, which misses. Lytle seems fresh and puts together a good boxing combination at the end. Another round for Lytle and on my scorecard is taken the fight 30-27. All three judges agree, giving Lytle the hometown victory.
Chris Lytle defeated Matt Serra via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27).
Light Heavyweight Match
Bader tries to put Nogueira under pressure from the very start, moving forward and trying to throw big right hands down the pipe. Nogueira seemingly happy to box off the backfoot, putting combinations together. Bader takes him down and unloads some BOMBS on Nogueira and is very close to finishing the veteran. Nogueira gets Bader into his guard, but that doesn’t stop Bader working his ground and pound with Bader landing numerous shots to the body and head. He keeps his head on the chest of Nogueira to avoid getting caught in a submission. Nogueira scrambles back to his feet. Nogueira connects with a kick. Shrugs off two takedown attempts and connects with a right hand that hurts Bader. Bader shoots for a takedown but Nogueira is quickly back to his feet. Looks to push the action standing but the buzzer sounds. Bader’s round 10-9.
Both exchanges kicks. Nogueira’s footwork seems more aggressive than in the first round. Nogueira looks for the left hand, but may be guilty of head hunting. Nogueira again connects with a right hand, but misses with a wild left hook. Bader goes for a takedown but its shrugged off. Bader tries to put some punches together, but Nogueira has his hands up. Bader gets the takedown, but Nogueira quickly establishes wrist control and actually lands the better of the punches off his back. Nogueira lands a couple of jabs and stuffs another takedown. Nogueira connects with a knee but Bader responds by muscling Nogueira into the cage. Nogueira finishes the round with a kick. Difficult round to score. I’d expect many judges to give it to Bader due to the takedown, but he failed to actually do anything with it. I think Nogueira’s superior boxing throughout that round earns him the round and levels my scorecard 19-19.
At the start of the round, Bader gets caught in the eye by Nogueira. Bader connects with a kick, goes for a takedown but Nogueira is able to stuff it. Nogueira pushing the action with his boxing, and showing superb takedown defense. Nogueira connects with a knee to the body. Bader gets Nogueira down, but Nogueira gets back onto his feet without taking any damage. Nogueira controlling the centre of the Octagon and pushing the action with his jab. Bader tries to put a combination together but he’s punches like power. Still very even this ruond. Bader landing more punches, but Nogueira lands a great left jab. Nogueira puts together a good combination, but Bader is able to take him down. Bader is doing nothing in terms of ground and pound. I give that round to Nogueira – showed tremendous takedown defense stuffing numerous takedown attempts, stopped Bader doing anything with him whenever he got him down and was the better standing. Therefore I have it 29-28 to Antonio Rogerio Nogueira. All three judges give it to Ryan Bader 30-27 which is quite frankly absolute nonsense – in both Round Two and Round Three Bader was clearly second best in the standup game and his takedowns were frequently blocked.
Ryan Bader defeated Antonio Rogerio Nogueira by unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27).
This is it, tonight’s main event. Frank Mir is the favorite in this fight, but I wonder whether his year long experimentation with his weight will cause him problems. The human body is not meant to bulk up to 270Ibs and then go down to 228Ibs to then go back to 255Ibs in the space of one year. That is going to play havoc with his already suspect stamina. If Cro Cop can survive the early barrage then he has a chance to really impose himself on the fight as Mir tires.
Mir starts off aggressively, but Cro Cop lands a jab. Cro Cop comes in with a combination. Mir goes for a takedown, blocked by Cro Cop. Mir has Cro Cop up against the cage, lands some good knees. Cro Cop throws a knee in counter and it lands low. Mir tries to rush in but Cro Cop evades the punches. Cro Cop tries to flick out a jab, and throws a hook. Mir again pushes forward, but Cro Cop moves out of the way. Cro Cop throws another left hand, but doesn’t land. Mir goes for a takedown, pushing Cro Cop up against the cage. While he can’t get the takedown, Mir does connect with knees and elbows, plus gets to wear Cro Cop down by leaning on him. They seperate but Mir quickly pushes Cro Cop up against the cage. Cro Cop connects with a leg kick, Mir again pushes Cro Cop up against the cage. Mir takes the round 10-9 and its like watching Randy Couture.
Cro Cop whips in a hook, but it lands on Mir’s arm. He goes for another hook but it misses. Cro Cop flicks out another jab. Mir is in the centre of the ring but is being oddly passive. Goes for a takedown, pushes Cro Cop up against the cage and leans on the Croatian. The crowd gets restless and Herb Dean seperates them. Match is lacking in intensity. Mir again pushes Cro Cop up against the cage and the crowd is getting restless again. Mir throws some knees to the mid-section. Goes for another takedown but can’t get. Another seperation called. Cro Cop connects with a high kick and a leg kick. Throws a head kick but it misses. Round ends and the crowd boos the hell out of the fight. God knows how you score that round. Mir takes it I guess. 20-18 on my scorecard.
Crowd is booing this fight heavily now. Mir goes for a takedown but is shrugged off twice. Mir tries a trip but Cro Cop evades it. Cro Cop pushes with his boxing but nothing is clicking. Cro Cop put together a good combination that snapped Mir’s head back. Mir goes for a takedown but eventually just pushes Cro Cop into the cage, and leans on him some more. Crowd is booing like crazy. They’re separated by Herb Dean. The fight is drifting to a decision, until Mir connects with a big knee straight to the head of Cro Cop. Mir dives in and finishes the fight is over at 4:02 in the third round.
Frank Mir defeated Mirko Cro Cop at 4:02 in R3 via Knockout