Beaming in from Manchester, England, Spike is bringing some good ole British beatdowns into The States. Tea time is 8P/7C and the broadcast will kick off with a touch of T.U.F. TM as Ross Pearson takes on Aaron Riley in his first fight since winning the ninth season of The Ultimate Fighter. I invite you to follow the action right here, but be warned, spoilers are included for those on the West Coast and the crushing case of pteromerhanophobia that kept me from going to England has left me a cold and bitter scribe.
We told you it was coming and the gladiator confirms it; UFC 105 has made it all the way from England onto Spike TV and I'll be posting my take on every head kick and low blow right here.
Ross Pearson vs. Aaron Riley
Ross lands a straight right hand, Riley doesn’t seem to mind. A pretty nice head kick lands from Pearson. Pearson gets the clinch and does some nice work on the inside, landing some knees to the body and uppercuts. Riley is in trouble right now. He needs to break freed from the clinch, and he does. Pearson is stalking now, he looks focused and aggressive, while Riley is backpedaling hard. Riley looks to land a right, but Ross blocks it and returns fire. Pearson again gets a clinch and lands some inside blows. As the ten second marker sounds, Pearson lands another straight right and will walk away the clear winner of round 1.
Joe Rogan informs us that Riley’s corner wants to him to stop backing away and start pushing the action. Pearson has other ideas and bullies Riley into the fence. Pearson lands a clean left hook right on the jaw of Riley. Riley gets locked up again. Riley seems to be standing his ground a little better now, but he’s paying for it. And then Pearson drops a combo, finished off with a nice head kick. A body kick from Pearson. A barrage from Pearson opens a nasty cut on Aaron Riley, and the ref stops the action to take a look. The cutman can’t stop the bleeding and the fight gets called in the middle of the second round.
Pearson looked A-mazing in his official UFC debut. He put on a beautiful striking display and truly dominated a veteran in Aaron Riley. Not many people saw him coming but Pearson just sent a message that he is serious and he is here to stay.
James Wilks vs. Matt Brown
The welterweight winner of the ninth season of The Ultimate Fighter will make his official debut right here and he too will have a huge test in Matt Brown.
Brown is taking early control but Wilks turns it around and locks up Brown against the fence. Wilks gets behind Brown and hops up, piggy back-style, to look for a submission, but he gives it up. Wilks has him pinned up against the fence again. Brown gets off the fence and Wilks lands a head kick. It's tough to tell but Joe Rogan says Wilks has a mouse under his eye. Brown looks for a standing guillotine and Wilks gets a takedown.
Brown lands a body kick. Brown lands a sick flying knee and knocks Wilks back. Wilks is down and Brown is on top trying to finish. Wilks looks to grab a leg, almost locks it up but it slips and both fighters are back to the feet. I think Mike Goldberg just called Rogan “Partner.” Brown has a clinch locked up and Wilks seems to breathing pretty heavily. Brown is looking for a bear hug takedown. He can’t get it and the ref breaks up the action. Rogan doesn’t like it. Brown lands a combo that drops Wilks. Wilks grabs a leg and does all he can to avoid a TKO but Brown is firing. It looks for a moment like it might get called but Wilks gets himself out of trouble. Brown is on top. Wilks hipscapes and reverses. Just as the last seconds tick away Brown locks up a triangle choke. The bell rings and you can see the frustration of lost opportunity all over Brown’s face.
Brown gets a takedown. Wilks is looking for a kimura. He locks it up and is cranking it. It looks bad for Brown but he’s fighting it. He breaks free and lands on top. It’s payback time as he rains blows from the mount. This only goes on for a few seconds before a nasty cuts opens on Wilks, blood spews on the mat and the ref calls the TKO.
It was a good showing from Wilks, but Brown is experienced and tough as they come. It’s a dangerous combo in mixed martial arts and it was too much for Wilks, but like his Ultimate Fighter winning counterpart, he’ll have a bright future in the UFC if he keeps it up.
Winner is looking mean and focused. Delgado on the other hand looks like he might be a little timid. He’s holding back his hands and Winner takes advantage knocking Delgado on his ass. But Delgado gets back up quickly. Winner lands a left that stung. Winner is looking very confident as he lets his hands drop to his waste. A ridiculous right hands puts Delgado to sleep immediately! He’s out before Winner finishes his follow-through but the ref is slow to react and Winner lands a few bombs on the unconscious Delgado.
Stay tuned after the fight to check out a special sneak peek of Super Dave!
Michael Bisping vs. Denis Kang
Bisping is really playing up the hometown hero card. He looks like he’s ready to fight.
Kang stings Bisping and drops him to the mat. It looked frighteningly similar to what Dan Henderson did to him at UFC 100 but he’s still awake and seems to be remaining calm. Kang is in half guard, looking for side control. Bisping is defending Kang’s attacks nicely but Kang is relentless on top. Bisping is keeping the distance short and looks to lock up an armbar. He looks for a kimura. Bisping displays excellent jiu Jitsu on his back and in my eyes came out of that round a winner but a fighter who spends the whole round on his back will tend to have a tough time scoring points with the judges so we’ll see how that ends up.
Kang lands another right that Bisping doesn’t like very much. Again. Bisping lands a pretty mice jab of his own. Bisping now shots in and scores a takedown. Bisping hammerfisting the hell out of Kang but Kang staying alive. Kang is back to his feet but he’s bruised and bloody. Bisping has a little of his swagger back that we’ve seen from him in the past. He shoots in again and gets a takedown. Kang is on the mat eating knees from Bisping and he continues to rain down blows and the ref steps in to call the TKO.
Very disappointing UFC debut for Kang but that was exactly what Bisping needed to rebound from his last fight. He looked fantastic both on his feet and on the mat against a black belt. In no underestimation, Joe Rogan calls this the performance of Bisping’s career. He has to be thrilled with the victory and his son puts on sparring display that.
Looks like we’re going to get a bonus bout from the undercard.
Alexander Gustafsson vs. Jared Hamman
Two scrappy fighters come out throwing bombs. An eye poke pauses the action for a moment but when it resumes, Gustafsson lands a straight right and ends this fight in fast, ugly fashion.
Mike Swick vs. Dan Hardy
Living up to its billing these two come out banging Hardy pins his opponent against the fence. The action gets broken up and they’re back to the center. Now it’s Swick who comes in for a takedown and pins Hardy against the fence. Swick lands a few from inside the clinch. Hardy reverses and gets Swick’s back against the cage. Hardy lands a short elbow and they open up in a fast exchange that doesn’t amount to much damage. The bell rings.
Hardy catches Swick and he locks him up in a clinch. Swick is using the time to regain his senses. Swick holds Hardy’s head as Hardy fires body shots. Hardy continues to grind Swick against the fence. The ref breaks it up. Back to the center the action opens up and they begin to let their hands fly. Swick catches Hardy. Hardy on the offensive, catches a shot from Swick. Hardy gets Swick backed up again and lands a good elbow. The bell rings.
Hardy lands a leg kick and Swick gets in a right. Hardy now swinging for the fences but it’s Swick who gets in with a straight right. Hardy tags Swick and sends him stumbling back. Hardy picks up Swick in a double leg. Swick looks for a guillotine but Hardy slips it and Hardy goes to the mat in Swick’s guard. Swick is in a bad way right now. he’s still dazed from that shot and Hardy is trying to finish but Swick is keeping the distance closed. The ref stands them up. That’s a big break for Swick. He looks to have his bounce back. It doesn’t look like either fighter is too interested in finishing this fight in the minute of the bout.
Dan Hardy gets the unanimous decision. This was a nice display. It was a good, exciting fight and Hardy showed excellent striking techniques. With the win, he earns a bout with Georges St-Pierre for the welterweight title and Georges gets brought into the ring to shake hands with his future opponent. This was a good showing for Hardy, but I just can’t see him giving St-Pierre any kind of a challenge. He’s got enough power to ruin anyone’s day but ultimately St-Pierre is just too dominant and he should roll through Hardy.
Randy Couture vs. Brandon Vera
It’s time for the main event. Randy Couture is making his return to the light heavyweight division with this bout and he’ll look to reestablish himself as a legitimate contender in weight class but Vera see this -rightly so- as the opportunity of a lifetime. This bout could be the springboard he’s been looking for to launch his career to the next level.
Vera catches him right away but Couture isn’t worried and forces Vera against the cage, doing what he does best. The ref breaks up the action and Vera looks to take advantage with his kickboxing but Couture has him right back against the cage. The rest of the round plays out just as predicted. Randy grinds out a tough round, keeping Vera’s back against the cage.
Randy gets an eye poke. Vera, trying to avoid the dirty boxing, can’t do anything against Randy’s offense and gets backed up again. Randy is looking for a takedown now but Vera stays on his feet. The referee breaks up the action again. Vera fires a mean body kick, Randy blocks it, but it still hurt. Vera tags Couture and sends him flying to the mat. He smothers Couture, trying to finish but Couture’s wits are still there and he regains composure quickly. From inside Couture’s guard, Vera can’t do much and they get stood up. Couture pushes Vera against the cage. Bell.
Randy has been in control the entire time, but ever time Vera was able to find some distance he made Couture pay. It will be interesting to see to how that balances out on the score cards.
Vera lands a nice inside leg kick. Couture now does on the offensive and lands a series of blows en route to covering him on the fence again. Couture lands some elbows. The ref puts them in the middle of the ring. In the last minute and half, Vera looking to finish this. Vera gets a takedown. This is very interesting; the late takedown could mean a lot in the eyes of the judges. Couture gets up and eats a desperate attack from Vera.
I can see a bad decision on the horizon. In my eyes, Couture deserves the win, but his failure to do much real damage and Vera’s late takedown could have sealed it for Vera. We have seen less earn victories in the past.
The decision is back and Couture gets the nod. That’s the right choice. “Octagon control” and aggression earned him this victory, but it could have easily went the other way. Vera caused some damage and had the legend in trouble a few times.
All in all, it was a good fight and it was a good night. We saw a welterweight contender emerge, a resurgence from Bisping and a great performance from man who continues to defy the odds and defy father time. I hope you enjoyed, because that’s all I have for you.