The Ultimate Fighting Championship returned to Detroit, Michigan on November 20th, and brought some exciting finishes and controversial decisions. The main event of the night saw Quinton “Rampage” Jackson win via split decision over Lyoto “The Dragon” Machida. To go along with this, BJ Penn, who’s almost a lock for the UFC’s Hall of Fame, needed just 21 seconds to blow away Hall of Famer Matt Hughes with a stunning right hook. The end of the event set the stage for some interesting matchups that will take place in 2011.
While acting surprised that he had won the event, “Rampage” Jackson offered up the idea of a rematch between himself and Machida. Machida also stated that he would like the idea of a rematch if that is what the UFC presented. While no response has been made, and Rashad Evans not getting his shot against Light Heavyweight Champion Mauricio Rua until March, this could be a possible great draw for another UFC event. However, many other contenders in the division are also available who could pose as interesting opponents for each of these competitors.
The soon to be 32 year old B.J. Penn tapped into his “inner youth” and put away Matt Hughes in stunning fashion during the co-main event. The right hand caught Hughes firmly on the jaw and dropping him hard to the mat. Penn jumped in and finished the fight with a few extra blows after just 21 ticks of the clock had expired. Hughes was so flustered after the match that cameras caught him asking his corner men what happened. Penn looked great in his return to the lightweight division, but his push forward just became more difficult as UFC President Dana White announced that his next match up will be against Jon Fitch in early 2011. Fitch, who has only lost once in his 14 octagon appearances, was last seen earning a decision victory over Thiago Alves in August. While Hughes was uncertain of his future, a potential fight against Dennis Hallman could be in his future. Hughes is 0-2 against Hallman and Hallman actually defeated Hughes in 17 seconds back in 1998.
George Sotiropoulos and Joe Lauzon gave fans a rousing battle that ended in the second round with Luzon tapping out to a kimura. The fight began with both fighters trading punches while moving swiftly around the cage. Lauzon was able to stuff the early takedown attempts but found himself mounted towards the end of the round. When the second round began, Sotiropoulos took control and pushed the pace, taking his opponent down to the ground. The Brazilian Jiu Jitsu black belt used side control to find the positioning for the submission finish. This victory carried Sotiropoulos to seven straight wins in the UFC. During the post fight presser, it was announced that Sotiropoulos will face Denis Siver who finished Andre Winner earlier this month.
Gerald Harris was unable to keep his winning ways once moved to the Pay per View main card as he suffered his first defeat from UFC newcomer Miguel Jose “Big Rig” Falcao Goncalves. “Big Rig” used impressive striking to keep Harris at bay and stunned his opponent numerous times. At two different points in the fight it seemed as if Harris was about to succumb to rear naked choke; once being saved by the bell. The second round was more trouble for Harris as he could not find an answer to his opponent’s striking or submission attempts. With the fight all but wrapped up, Goncalves was highly inactive during the third and sailed to the unanimous decision victory.
Phil “Mr. Wonderful” Davis continued his winning ways with a second round submission of Tim Boetsch. The win improved Davis’s unbeaten record to 8-0 while snapping Boetsch four fight win streak.
In other preliminary news, former welterweight contender Karo Paryisan was stopped by Dennis Hallman in 1:47 seconds. Hallman landed a glancing right hand that dropped Paryisan but gave enough of an opening for Hallman to jump in with hammer fists to stop the fight. Paryisan, who’s had a run of personal problems, was substantially released from the UFC once again. Edson Mendes Barboza Jr made his UFC debut and used snapping leg kicks to stop Mike Lullo at 26 seconds into the third round. In the opening fight, Tyson Griffin was unable to end his losing streak as Nik Lentz was awarded a highly controversial split decision victory. Many individuals believed Griffin had won the fight and even Dana White was quoted by MMA Junkie saying that Griffin “got (expletive) big time tonight.”
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