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Franklin KO’s Liddell, Cro Cop submits Barry at UFC 115

If tonight was the last time we see UFC legend Chuck Liddell wage war in the Octagon, the former UFC light heavyweight champion has absolutely nothing to hang his head about.

“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

21 COMMENTS
  • Hitman Hartnell says:

    its great to see mirko get a big win like that. that fight was kind of like the hughes and renzo fight but without the one-sided beating. the lackluster card turned out to be very entertaining, i thought.

  • Niv says:

    I just got home from GM Place the fights were great for the most part, I thoroughly enjoyed the first card in my hometown.

    If anyone was going to tell me that I’d witness a Cro Cop submission win followed by Franklin knocking Lidell cold I would have laughed.

    I can’t remember the ref’s name that oversaw the McDonald vs Condit fight, but he was the same guy that reffed Loiseau vs Miranda fight, worst reffing job I’ve ever witnessed. McDonald was taking his lumps but at no point did anyone think it was even close to being stopped. The way the fight unfolded we guessed it was probably going to be called a draw as Rory did great the first two rounds but in the third took a serious beating. The Loiseau fight on the other hand should have been stooped way earlier, Miranda was killing brain cells for what seemed like a solid 90 seconds before this clown stopped the fight, I can’t make sense of the decisions this ref made in the octagon.

    The weirdest decision of the evening was the split decision Griffin vs Dunham, nobody could believe that a split could have possibly been warranted when Dunham clearly dominated the fight, aside from that it was all good.

    Either way my buddies and I walked away thoroughly content and can’t wait till the UFC returns next year (hopefully).

  • Lethal Liquid says:

    That’s really the point that right hand wasn’t devastating. Chuck’s done. For good I hope. I said previously that these fights have no implications I was wrong about Rich Franklin. However Cro Cop just prolonged the inevitable. He looked old and out of shape again. Pat Berry had him in the first and should’ve finished him with some ground and pound. No other heavyweight will give Cro Cop that kind of leeway. Great win but he’s going no where.

  • Rich S. says:

    What a crazy night of fights!

    I’m not sure what’s up with Condit but he practically stands no chance in the UFC’s welterweight division. Two split decisions and then, on a fight where he’s supposed to shine, he gets beat up for two rounds until his opponent gasses. He needs to change something big time, because it’s clear now that aggression counters any skill Condit may present.

    I commend Rothwell for surviving Yvel’s onslaught in the 2nd round. There were two times in that barrage where I thought Yvel knocked him out. But, unfortunately for Ben, the only thing this fight proved is that he’s in serious trouble with his next opponent. Gilbert must’ve pushed him out of mount 5 or 6 times. Those sweeps were crazy, and any Heavyweight ranked higher than Yvel is going to capitalize on that.

    Something was wrong with Thiago. He certainly wasn’t him self. I thought he was going to dispose of Kampmann relatively easily, yet it was his worst performance yet in the octagon.

    I almost cried at the end of Cop/Berry.. That was one of the craziest things I’ve ever seen and it makes me glad to be a fight fan. Of course, coming into this bout, I was wondering how Cro Cop was going to perform. I hate it, but I was confident in Berry winning. During Pat’s entrance I noticed he was smiling as if he had an easy win waiting for him in there.. As time went by, it was evident that Cro Cop was going to continually wipe the smile from Pat’s face. I thought it was over both times Pat dropped him, but, he didn’t capitalize, and he payed the price. Hopefully Cro Cop will be revitalized by this victory. He seemed energized, moving in with combos and trying new kicks. Right now, a Cro Cop title run would pretty much be the greatest thing ever..

    Oh, Chuck. Chuck, Chuck, Chuck. I thought for sure Rich didn’t have the power to put Chuck out, but, it’s official, Chuck’s chin is nonexistent. He caught Rich a couple times early on, especially after he hindered his guard with the broken arm. But he was far too overaggressive and you could see some of Rich’s punches getting through to Chuck from time to time. Still, I didn’t see a round ending, one hit, knock out coming AT ALL. It’s a shame to see a legend go out like this.. Knockout after knockout, but, it’s time..

    My next concern is with Rich. He looked great in beating Chuck, but I’m not too sure what that means any more. He seems so damn sloppy in there now days.. Constantly slipping, or letting shots through his guard.. He needs to refine his style and get a bit more technical because he certainly could’ve been knocked out as easily as Chuck, fighting the way he was..

  • bigbadjohn says:

    personally, the only reason I wanted to cry while watching the Cro Cop fight was because of the inevitibility that surrounds Mirko. the end of his legacy. The UFC set Cro Cop up with a fight which stylistically is appropriate for Mirko’s success (as they’ve done for most of his fights in the UFC, think about it),and he was still unable to deliver the frightening striking which created his dominance and in turn his legion of fans. Cro Cop had to resort to second-rate grappling to slip past his challenger tonight, and we all saw Barry’s weak grapple defense tonight.

    Point being, since fighting in North America Mirko’s been out struck by Kongo, Gonzaga, Dos Santos and now Barry. If Cro Cops bread and butter can’t win him fights… well, it’s a sad thing (cuz you ain’t out-grappling the big boys at the top of the chain, Mirko).

  • Rich S. says:

    I agree with the fact that Mirko hasn’t been the same since his move to North America.. But, to say he “resorted to grappling to slip past his challenger” or “he was still unable to deliver frightening striking” leads me to question whether or not you actually watched the fight.

    I’ll be the first guy to tell you Mirko stands no chance against the UFC’s top 5 Heavyweights. But, tonight, he was quicker on his feet than we’ve seen him yet in the octagon, his strikes were faster and stronger, and he seemed, most importantly, HUNGRY to survive. HUNGRY to live. HUNGRY to win. And he did, impressively, in a bout in which NO ONE picked him to win, not even myself..

    Everybody’s going to read his performance differently. But, I for one, prefer to think it was a true showing of will, to stand up from being knocked down, and come back to send his opponent sailing to the mat where he sunk in a fight ending submission..

    Did anybody catch how long it took Pat to get up after the fight was over? That was consequence of Mirko’s body shots. I payed very close attention and with every body shot Mirko gave him, Pat slowed down just a bit more. We never see the left high kick anymore, but those body shots certainly still have the ability to crumple anyone they touch.

  • hindsightufuk says:

    thats the first time in a long period Cro Cop didnt look timid. Rich you’re spot on with hungry.
    I had a bit of a welling sensation watching that fight too, it was just great to see him not quit. not back up constantly. Also i thought Cro Cops grappling was going to win him the fight, i’d like to see it more, he showed in his last fight he had nasty ground and pound. I think it could help him last longer if he spends more time training for upper body take downs and trips. He’s never going to be top 10 again, but at least he still has his dignity.

    i was surprisingly entertained on the whole. I wasnt looking forward to the two heavy weight bouts, but even Ben/Yvel had its moments. Evan Dunham looked very solid, the Condit/Macdonald fight was great to watch. Rich/Chuck was cool too. Chuck looked better than he had for a long time but i guess the years of abuse (fighting and self inflicted) have take the toll on his brain and he cant take a good shot any more. Martin Kampmann has continuously shown great grappling/bjj throughout his career, i’m still amazed people dont recognise this. I think his ground work outshines his stand up

  • hindsightufuk says:

    oh and the judge who scored Griffin/Dunham 29-28 to Griffin, clearly doesnt understand the grappling aspect of the sport.

  • Rece Rock says:

    – Chuck Liddell needs to really see the writing on the wall, if this wasn’t his last outing I hope fighting Tito when Ortiz returns is his last fight cause it’s become more than a legacy issue it’s a health issue.

    – Very happy for Cro Cop but def. Not submission of the night- that triangle Pyle had earlier was.

    -Barry I think gave mirko too much respect and that didn’t allow him to finish

    -For a quick camp n fighting on short notice Ace must feel good about taking the gig… & he gets infinite highlight reels for fighting through the broken arm…

  • hindsightufuk says:

    did they give Cro Cop the submission of the night?

  • Angry Mike says:

    Liddell’s biggest weakness wasn’t his chin, it was his head. After the fight Franklin pointed out the obvious: Chuck over commits and leaves himself open, and that’s exactly what he did in his fights with Rashad, Rua and now Franklin. Physically Franklin may or may not be the same fighter he was five years ago, but he’s every bit as intelligent, and that’s why he won. Sun Tzu said that battles are lost and won before they begin, and there’s your proof.

  • ssundell says:

    “Entertaining” is the right word. The card didn’t really contain memorable fights, but there were several that were fun to watch.

    From the bigger name fights, I was surprised to find myself rooting for Yvel. I’m not a fan of either him or Rothwell, but… Rothwell just looked so bad. Don’t get me wrong, he certainly won the fight, but the way he did it was far from impressive. Big Ben was able to take Yvel down at will, but even though he controlled the fight, he didn’t really do anything there. “Oh, I’ll go for a crucifix… damn, failed, so let’s try another crucifix”. Yvel is considered a striker, but at least he was able to make some cool moves on the ground. Both men had some obvious holes in their game, and both gassed badly.

    Cro Cop / Barry was fun to watch. I agree with other commenters that Barry should’ve gone for some ground and pound when he was able to rock Cro Cop in the first round. On the other hand, I think the touted speed advantage of Barry was only apparent in the beginning of the fight, and the scales started to tip already at the end of the first round.

    Regarding the performance of Cro Cop in general… I don’t know if he’ll make it to the top anymore – I doubt it, but he certainly looked better than he’s been for a while. I don’t really know why people would want to see that “left high kick” – it’s great when it works, but personally I’d like to see fighters evolving. The fight was mostly standup, but even there Mirko was making moves that haven’t really been part of his standard repertoire, and as others said, he looked hungry. I find that refreshing and altogether positive.

  • JabCrossHook says:

    Lethal if you knew anything about stand up or just tried to pay attention to the fight that Pat only landed two real hard shots while Cro Cop landed numerous power punches to the body and some very hard body kicks that slowed Barry down considerably.

    While it’s really sad to see Cro Cop on the downside of his career, it’s inevitable. Stop shitting on him, he accomplished way more and fought a lot harder competition than Pat Barry ever did. If you can just summon back the old explosive Cro Cop and put him up against Dos Santos. I guarantee you that JDS would be sleeping if the fight went standing up. Not to mention he had very serious knee injuries etc. Cro Cop’s K1 record speaks for itself, his fights with Ernesto and Andy Hug are legendary.

  • Dufresne says:

    Guess I finally have to admit that Chuck is just about done. If he had been knocked down by that shot and then finished by GnP it would have been one thing, Rich has good hands and above average power, but Chuck was flat KO’d. I think the only fight Chuck has left at this point is possibly Ortiz. And I will say that if that Chuck shows up against Tito, Tito is getting blasted.

  • cocoonofhorror says:

    “Liddell’s biggest weakness wasn’t his chin, it was his head. After the fight Franklin pointed out the obvious: Chuck over commits and leaves himself open…”

    no. its his chin. the tell is what has CHANGED about Chuck. he always left himself open like that, the difference is all the shots he took have turned his chin to mush.

    in his day he would have barely even felt that shot. multiple concussions will destroy even the strongest chin. fact.

  • Lethal Liquid says:

    Jab I realize Mirko is your hero, but facts are facts. Pat Berry was tailor-made for Cro Cop. He got his win. If Berry wasn’t so respectful to his hero we would be talking about a double-header retirement party on saturday. The facts are he looked old and out of shape. Its sad but, I think Gilbert Yvel would defeat him. I know for damn sure he wouldn’t allow Mirko to get up after being dropped without at least punishing him for it. In mma there’s respect in this case too much respect. That is the case with inexperience and hero worship.

  • bigbadjohn says:

    Lethal, how do they not get it? It truly was a tailor made fight for Cro Cop. Another kickboxer, and much less decorated. Mirko out clinched /grappled Barry after getting the worse of the stand up and with Pats cardio dwindling. I say give him a rematch with Kongo for a ‘most disproportionate amount of current fans to actual importance in his divison’ award

  • stone says:

    Yep! Chuck’s chin is gone… Everyone knows that. P.Berry would’ve, could’ve and should’ve but didn’t. Yvel and Big Ben’s fight was horrible but entertaining! CC n the hometown kid was a great fight! The decisions were wars! So NO COMPLAINTS HERE! I still think all us hardcore fans are due for a freebee on SPIKE! Whatever happen to those??? I think this would’ve been the card to do it. I’m sure there’s a fair share of high cable bills out there! What up UFC?

  • JabCrossHook says:

    Lethal how did he look out of shape? If anything Barry was the one out of shape he was gassing by the end of the second round while Mirko still had plenty of fight left him in after being dropped twice. Old maybe but out of shape? Hardly. Yvel lasted less than 2 minutes with JDS compared to CC lasting almost the whole 3 rounds. Sure CC is getting old but his skill is ever improving. I just want to see one more LHK KO.

  • Angry Mike says:

    Cocoon:

    I’m sticking to my guns. If Chuck was thinking, he’d have adjusted his style to compensate for his diminished chin. He hasn’t made adjustments, and was ko’d again. The chin is bad, but the thinking was worse.

  • MCM says:

    Does this mean that Rich Franklin now gets an immediate title shot?
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    sorry, couldn’t help myself. 😉

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