“The Iceman” may have come up on the short end of the stick in this evening’s clash with UFC middleweight champion Rich Franklin, but Liddell showed flashes of brilliance in his bout with the revitalized Franklin and never appeared out of the fight until the final 2 or 3 seconds of the contest. Although Liddell managed to score a surprising takedown midway through the opening round, the story of the fight was the popular duo trading punches and kicks for the bulk of the 205 lb. scrap. With just seconds remaining in he first round it appeared as though Liddell had Franklin on the run, scoring with a barrage of punches and elbows on the feet, before Franklin landed a devastating straight right hand that dropped the beloved 12-year UFC veteran to the canvas in a heap.
Liddell and Franklin went to war tonight in the the main event of UFC 115 this evening in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.
After the fight Franklin revealed that he had suffered a paralyzing injury in the early moments of round one.
“Early in the fight when Chuck threw that right kick to my body, I could feel it click and I knew my left arm was broken,” revealed Franklin following the war between legends.
When asked what was next on his agenda Franklin was quick to stake his claim in the 205 pound division, leaving no doubt as to what weight class he hopes to compete at in the future.
“I’m here at 205 now and if my next fight is at 205, that’s where I’ll be,” said Franklin. “I want to make a run for the title.”
Although we may have seen the final chapter play out in the career of one mixed martial arts legend, fans were also treated to the beginning of a new chapter for another.
Mirko “Cro Cop” Filipovic showed the heart of a champion this evening after being badly battered on separate occasions in the first round of his heavyweight clash with fellow heavyweight knockout artist Pat Barry, coming back to stop the fellow K-1 veteran with a succession of punches on the feet which progressed into some good old fashioned ground and pound before a rear-naked choke signaled the violent end of the electrifying battle between the two late in the third and final round.
Carlos Condit has a long history of rallying back from the brink of defeat and this evening was no exception. “The Natural Born Killer” dug deep in his welterweight clash with the previously undefeated hometown favorite Rory Macdonald, turning the tide in the third round after clearly losing the first two rounds to stop the hard-hitting Canadian prospect with just 7 seconds remaining in the bout.
Macdonald mixed his takedowns with his striking game beautifully for the first two rounds between the two before Condit came out with a sense of purpose in the third and finished the 20-year-old “Waterboy” with a vicious volley of unanswered ground and pound.
“It was a just stoppage,” said Macdonald following the back-and-forth battle. “He kicked my ass.
“He was hurting me from the start. He hurt me with the first punch he landed and it was all downhill from there.”
Martin “The Hitman” Kampmann put up arguably the most impressive performance of his career against the extremely dangerous Paulo Thiagoin a hard fought three round unanimous decision victory. Kampmann surprised many by dominating the Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu black belt at his own game on the ground as well as on the feet for nearly every moment of the 15 minutes contested between the two.
The victory was the second in a row for Kampmann, who improved his UFC record to an extremely impressive 8-2 and his career record to 17-3 with the one-sided beating of Thiago.
A full set of results from UFC 115 are listed below:
Mike Pyle def. Jesse Lennox via technical submission (triangle choke) – Round 3, 4:44
Claude Patrick def. Ricardo Funch via submission (guillotine choke)- Round 2, 1:48
James Wilks def. Peter Sobotta via unanimous decision (29-28, 30-27, 30-27)
Mario Miranda def. David Loiseau via TKO – Round 2, 4:07
Matt Wiman def. Mac Danzig via submission (guillotine choke) – Round 1, 1:45
Evan Dunham def. Tyson Griffin via split decision (30-27, 28-29, 29-28)
Carlos Condit def. Rory Macdonald via TKO – Round 3, 4:53
Ben Rothwell def. Gilbert Yvel via unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28, 29-28)
Martin Kampmann def. Paulo Thiago via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
Mirko “Cro Cop” Filipovic def. Pat Barry via submission (rear-naked choke) – Round 3, 4:30
Rich Franklin def. Chuck Liddell via knockout – Round 1, 4:55