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Vitor Belfort Flattens Rich Franklin, Cro Cop Quits Against Junior dos Santos

Vitor BelfortVitor Belfort has returned to the Octagon with a bang, knocking former UFC middleweight champion Rich Franklin senseless with a barrage of punches in the first round in the main event of UFC 103.

After an extended feeling out process with both fighters doing their best to pick their shots, Belfort countered a combination of Franklin punches perfectly, landing a glancing left and crushing right hand that sent Rich reeling to the Octagon canvas. A few more hard punches from Belfort on the collapsed Franklin brought a halt to the contest at 3:02 of the opening round.

While both Junior dos Santos and Mirko”Cro Cop” Filipovic shared moments in the first two rounds of their heavyweight match-up in Dallas,  it was the Brazilian striker that seemed to be carrying an edge going into final round. After a punishing series of knees in the clinch from dos Santos, the Black House trained fighter backed away as Cro Cop held his face in pain. After a brief moment of confusion it became clear that Mirko didn not want to continue in the bout.

It is possible that Filipovic may have had a bone in his face broken, but no news is available as of this time to the extent of the Croatian striker’s possible injuries suffered during the bout.

35 COMMENTS
  • fanoftna33 says:

    I was wrong on Cro Cop but that was the only fight I didnt call here. Great showing by Vitor, and Dos Santos.

  • fanoftna33 says:

    This wasnt a bad show at all, some pretty good undercard fights and very good main card fights.

  • edub says:

    I think we saw the end to two storied careers here tonight. I also learned you cant predict fights with your heart. Rich has been one of my favorite fighters for a while. With the skill level of fighters in either the MW or LHW divisions I dont see Rich ever being a contender again. His chin has just become way too fragile. I might be wrong later on but I think Crocop just quit. It wouldnt be the first time either.

    Next up for Dos Antos IMO- Gonzaga
    Would be a great matchup and wold spring either of them even further up the division.

    Next up for Vitor-Wanderlei
    :) This would be a soggy dream come true.

  • Makington says:

    It went about how I thought it would, but I would have much rather seen Ace and Cro Cop get a W.

    Really didn’t think Cro Cop would quit the way he did though. It looked like he quit mentally in round 1 to me, but I didn’t think he would physically do it.

  • Makington says:

    I’m in the same boat edub, Rich has been one of my top favourite fighters for a very very long time, and it’s sad to see such a true champ put up such a small fight. Hopefully he can get things back together and come back soon against a tough fighter.

    Franklin vs. Jardine would be a good fight I think.

  • fanoftna33 says:

    I really want to see Daley take on Alves now. Also maybe Tyson vs Diaz, that would be a pretty good fight.

  • edub says:

    Exactly what I was thinking would be the logical pick for a fight against Rich. Jardine and him are both coming off violend KOs. Kindof like a loser leaves town matchup.

    I would love love love to see Daley take on Anthony Johnson. And Diaz vs. Griffin would be perfect. They already dont like each other. Theyve trained together. And they are on about the same fighting schedule.

  • fanoftna33 says:

    I would hate to see Ace vs Jardine as I really like both fighters, but it would make for a great fight, a very good lefty vs a very awkward righty. EDUB I forgot all about the back story with the Diaz bros and Griffen, now I really hope they set it up.

  • edbuzz says:

    Good Riddance to Drew McFedries and Mirko Cro Crap. McFedries looks good hitting a heavy bag, that’s it. He’s a one dimensional fighter. He’s not suited for MMA fights. Mirko Cro Crap is done. He has no desire to fight. He’ll take the money but he’s a shell of his former self. These two guys need to be booted from the UFC roster.

    I’ve always liked Rich Franklin as an ambassador for the UFC but never thought he was a great fighter. He was good vs. weaker opponents because he could over power them but now you are seeing he doesn’t fair well against bigger opponents or equally sized opponents. Everyone talks about his ground game. I ask you, where is it? I don’t recall seeing it. He’s not an elite striker. I don’t want to continue to bash his ability but does he intend to serve as a gate keeper at LHW or MW. I’d hate to see Rich Franklin being reduced to a stepping stone in those division but I believe that’s all he’s going to be from this point going forward.

    Edub suggests Paul Daley should take on Anthony Johnson. I say Anthony Johnson takes him out in round 2. Anthony Johnson, a Cung Le student, is a rising star at 170lb division.

    Nate Diaz versus Tyson Griffin would be a match up I think would be very entertaining for the fans.

    I’d like to see a Rich Franklin vs. Keith Jardine on a fight night card on Spike, not on PPV.

    I like the proposed Dos Antos vs. Gabriel Gonzaga matchup.

    We need to see Jon Jones in more competitive fights. This 22 year old kid can really kick some ass.

    These pay per view cards are watered down. I’m getting to the point where I’m comptemplating skipping a few purchases and waiting for the free replay a month down the line.

  • cocoonofhorror says:

    the Vitor/Franklin fight was eerily similar to GSP/Serra I…a flukey hook that landed to the back of the head was the beginning of the end, and then a barrage of shots to the back of the downed Franklin was the end of the end.

  • Rich S. says:

    edub, what makes you think Franklin’s chin is gone?

    He’d only been KO’d three times previously. Do you know what those two victors had in common?
    THEY ARE THE TWO BEST STRIKERS ON THE PLANET TODAY..

    Before facing Vitor, Frankling went 3 long rounds with both Hendo and Wandy, two guys known for throwing huge BOMBS.. I think he got staggered once in the Wandy fight, but that’s understandable, other than that he handled himself fine..

    Now, he was matched up with a guy coming off 2 consecutive brutal knockouts.. I mean, getting knocked out was highly probable for him, here.. He said himself that if he slips up once, or forgets to follow his gameplan, he’ll be in trouble.. That’s what we saw.. He slipped up..

    It was like a dream of mine to see Vitor fight in the UFC again some day.. Now, to see him win, and win BIG, over a future Hall-of-Famer, is incredible.. He has a truly touching story and it’s great to see him back in top competition.. Honestly, I thought we’d never see it again..

    As for Cro Cop, he really should stop fighting.. Aside from freak show matches and prelim fighters, I can’t think of anybody he could actually beat right now.. Even worse this time, he truly thought he was going to give his best performance yet, and still, we saw the same CC we’ve been seeing.. It’s sad, really, to watch these legends burn out..

  • submit662266 says:

    I agree that Rich and Jardine would be good, and that it should air as a fight night main event (That would be GREAT).
    I don’t agree at all that the cards are watered down. I’m impressed with the talent they keep bringing in. I didn’t think Daley had a chance, but he was LETHAL!! And he was the substitute.
    Seeing Cro Cop and Trigg made me think about how age effects the fighters. Obviously, guys like Couture are exceptions, but most guys will start to fade in their 30’s. Makes Couture’s accomplishments all the more remarkable.
    Also, I thought Cro Cop quit because he couldn’t see. Honestly, he lasted longer than I thought he would. He took many big shots and kept going at dos Santos. Sad to say, his glory days are behind him and the young blood will continue to punish him.

  • xtreme_machine says:

    Vitor is BACK!!!!!!!!!!!

  • dpk says:

    I’d love to see Vitor v Anderson. Then make the Hendo v Nate to fight the winner, all of a sudden MW has plenty of compelling matches.
    Daley v Kos makes sense, and then Swick v Hughes needs to happen.
    Dos Santos should fight the Cain/Rothwell winner. I have a feeling that Gonzaga will fight Nog next. A couple of potential fights for Cro Cop are against Randy or Chuck, that is unless UFC releases him.
    I think Franklin is still going to be a solid gate keeper for a few more fights at 205, guys like Cane, Jones, and Bader will have to get through him to move up the ladder.

  • Gurthee says:

    Time for Cro Cop to call it a career and go back to fighting terrorism and time for Trigg to move back into the broadcasting booth. They obviously can’t keep up with the rounded skills and speed these younger fighters bring to the game.

  • edub says:

    Rich S. My opinion of Franklins chin comes from getting continuosly dropped throughout his career. Guys who havent rocked Rich are Jmac, Travis Lutter, Yushin Okami, and technically Dan Henderson(Although I thought he beat him up pretty good on the ground.

    Along with this It seems hes adapted his style to try and not get hit as much as possible. When he fights like this it appears his chin turns in to a type of switch where all you have to do is touch it and he goes down.

    Off topic if Franklin was trying to stay away from Vitors power and throw him off his riddum(haha) early why didnt he pull a jardine and go for a takedown right off the bat. I know hindsight is 20/20 but it obvious Vitor is not that dangerous off his back. Why not put him where hes uncomfortable.

  • BigDave says:

    Both of these fights went exactly the way I called them. Vitor Is just way to good for Franklin When he is in shape and at the top of his game. He proved that he is going to be a force at either 185 or 205. And what can I say about CroCop…. Dos antos did what I said he would, hit him in the face and often and the result was Mirko saying “uncle”. I have zero intrest in ever seeing a guy with no heart in the octagon again. Which brings me to Trigg, He couldn’t have looked worse if he tryed, it’s time for him to hang the gloves up.

  • RicM says:

    Ace is done. He has never truly recovered from his destruction at the hands of the Spider,and just hasn’t quite seemed the same since.Its too bad, cos I like Franklin. As far as CC,he ain’t worth the money he’s getting paid anymore.CC of 10 years ago was devastating,but after getting flatlined by Gonzaga,he doesn’t seem nearly as great as he used to be.Not to take anything away from Vitor and Junior, they looked really good.Great to see Vitor back in good form,and Junior is gonna whoop some ass!

  • neijia says:

    cro cop just needs to retire. vitor is apparently back.

    but the more interesting fight result is that mayweather almost single handedly kicked the ufc’s butt.

    mayweather trended much higher on google http://blog.thesavagescience.com/2009/09/20/more-google-data-on-ufc-103-vs-mayweathermarquez and still a top 10 on twitter at this time

    think the pacman can fight mayweather at a catchweight?

  • hindsightufuk says:

    it was disturbing to watch Cro Cop last night, he was backing up from very early in the fight. I know he’s been doing it for years, but this was extreme. He looks truly concerned about getting hit nowadays. If anyone had never seen Cro Cop fight before they would never have believed this was once the most feared striker in the world.
    i’d be suprised if the UFC kept him on the books.

    I dont think Franklin is as over as some people think. He needs to stop fucking around, get up to 205 and stay there. and Stop making a habit of getting knocked out by Brazillians. I think he’ll be ok, there is a lot of fight left in him.

    i mentioned this in another post but in case no one is reading that one:
    anyone else think the free prelim portion fucked up the ppv a little? both of the televised prlims finished early so they showed us another 2, but come the ppv card their were more early stoppages and they obviously needed to fill time. had they not shown the prelims live, inserting Escudero/miller, Drwal/McFedries, MIller/Lopez & Story/Foster into that ppv would have made for a great three hours.

  • Makington says:

    Yah, they obviously weren’t expecting most fights to end by KO. There was probably not one person on earth who had predicted that Griffin, Escudero, Kos, and Daley would end things so fast.

    If I was Cro Cop’s manager, I would suggest eating his pride a little and going to LHW, where he could actually make a splash against some tough competition.

  • Rich S. says:

    I think they’ll keep Cro Cop around for another fight with a nobody/up-and-comer.. Then he’ll lose again to higher competition.. Maybe then the UFC will get rid of him.. OR he could just run off to Japan again, who knows..

  • hindsightufuk says:

    he weighed in at what 226 or so last night? maybe he should cut to lhw. though i cant see him succeeding there either

  • fanoftna33 says:

    Hindsight, I think Cro Cop will have better success at 205, but only in the way we are seeing Franklin fights now, as a great fighter but not as true championship material, at 205 he has a lot of fun fights but will really only win about half of them.
    As to your other comment about the prelims being aired, You are correct that it messed with the PPV a little but it was the first time they have tried this, so I would expect it to be worked in a little better next time, if they try this again.

  • hindsightufuk says:

    actually yeah, drop to 205 for the super fights, thats a damn good idea. he’ll never fight for a title again, but fights vs the likes of lidell/couture/franklin/griffin would keep him in main events and be hugely entertaining

  • xtreme_machine says:

    F&%@ Cro Cop i don’t want to see him fight anymore

    if you can call it that because i call it running away and being scared of getting hit.

  • hindsightufuk says:

    Cro Cop clearly has some psychological issues about fighting, looks really concerned about getting hurt. However to say fuck him now he isnt at his peak is harsh. this guy used to be a devastating fighter, who put on some awesome fights with some of the best fighters in the world. if its fuck cro cop, then fuck liddell, fuck couture, fuck tito, fuck mark coleman, fuck evan tanner, fuck mohamed ali, fuck tyson, fuck arguello, fuck any fighter who isnt the best in the world anymore.

  • Kickastronaut says:

    Thank you Junior for putting some cash in my pocket!

    Wonder what Cro Cop would’ve done if Dos Santos opened up on him like he did on Al-Turk after the eye poke? Probably would’ve ran out like Forrest, cause he looked like he was ready to cry at the start of the 3rd. Complete mental break down.

    On a side note. Goldberg screwed up a few times last night as usual. My favorites were “Tito Ortiz and Jenna “James”. And of course “If he catches the kick to the body, it could end up looking a lot similar to the Anderson Silva……………” (During his pause a few of us in the room collectively shouted James Irvin, so we didn’t even hear if he finished the comment.)

    Eventually want to see Dos Santos Vs. either Cain or Duffee a little bit further down the line.

  • Kamakosmo says:

    “kick….” Agreed about Goldberg. I used to like him but he’s really become overwhelming this past year or so. Look, everyone that bought the fight and is watching, are most likely huge MMA fans, and do not need you to tell us what color shorts each is wearing….in the 2nd rd….for the 3rd time. Not to mention his constant need to compare any move a fighter makes with some other fighter….”There’s a leg kick, ala CroCop”. I think he’s always done a good job, but he needs to remember that his responsibility is to call the fight, and let Rogan analyze. So much back chatter takes away from the feel of the fight. Of course, this is happening with all sports these days. It seems the “TV people” think we are complete morons and need to have everything we are watching dictated to us.

  • drstu says:

    i wish goldberg would go away. it seems like rogan has to constantly cover for his gibberish. during fight night he kept calling kenny florian “joe”. it seems like everything he says just distracts from the fight

  • metalmulisha says:

    How much longer are people going to suggest that Cro Cop drop to 205?

    As if that’s going to be his fountain of youth. The bottom line is the man has been fighting professionally since 1996 and had over 40 amateur fights before that. That’s a lot of mileage on his body and he’s clearly past his prime and will be much better off finishing his career in Japan.

    Because not only is he past his prime he’s never looked comfortable in the UFC and should’ve just went back to Dream after UFC 99 like he was going too.
    He can’t compete on a high level with these younger up and coming fighters. Whether at Heavyweight or Light Heavyweight.

  • hindsightufuk says:

    i think cro cop could still compete, but he has serious psychological issues that are stopping him from competing.

  • Bullylover says:

    for all those that think Diaz is rude and disrespectful to his opponents wait till he faces griffen, if they ever set that fight up that is.I bet we will see a side of diaz that will make his usuall self look polite.

  • Kamakosmo says:

    “Hindsight…” I agree completely with you. I actually think the Announcers got it right, somewhat, in regards to CroCop. The mystique and fear of CroCop is gone…and he used that in the past against his opponents. Good MMA fighter’s, like his last few opponents, can see that left leg kick coming from a mile away. And lets face it, that’s his bread and butter….regardless of what the more-annoying-each-PPV Goldberg kept repeating over and over in regards to his left shot on Sapp…….BOB SAPP???? That is not a litmus test for one’s punching power. Sapp is todays Tank Abbott, w/o the wins.

  • Bullylover says:

    i kinda agree with kamakosmo bob sapp is like the nowadays tank abbot just better standup but with worser luck trying to find cans to fight.

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