MMA on DVD: UFC 67: All Or Nothing

UFC 67: All Or Nothing

Las Vegas, Nevada

-Your hosts are Mike Goldberg and Joe Rogan. We open with a quick explanation of the situation in the main event; that being the Middleweight Title fight between Anderson Silva and Travis Lutter will now be a non-title fight, due to Lutter’s failure to make weight, the gist of it being that Silva weighed in at 185lbs on the dot, while Lutter could only make 186lbs, and in a title fight there’s no allowance for a pound. We get clips of each fighter talking about it, with Lutter apologising and basically admitting he’s blown his shot, while Silva takes the failure to make weight as a sign of disrespect to both him and the title. Uhoh. More on this debacle when we get to the main event.

Lightweight Fight: Dustin Hazelett vs Diego Saraiva

Hazelett’s original opponent here was to be Melvin Guillard, but the Young Assassin broke a hand in training and pulled out, and BJJ black belt Diego Saraiva, who was billed as a potential replacement when a rumor got out that Spencer Fisher was injured for his January fight, came in at the last minute. Size difference in terms of height and frame is RIDICULOUS here, as Hazelett looks like he’s removed any trace of fat from his body and just towers above Saraiva.

They get underway and Saraiva narrowly misses a high kick, before pulling guard. Hazelett stands in the guard and uses his long reach to drop some punches down onto the Brazilian, before letting him back up. Saraiva stands, but eats a hard combination from Hazelett, so he shoots in and manages to put Dustin on his back in guard. Hazelett goes to the rubber guard, stifling Saraiva for a while, but eventually he manages to work into half-guard and land some punches. The referee brings them back up, and Hazelett lands a good one-two off the restart and follows by stuffing a takedown and gets on top, landing some punches. Hazelett suddenly tries a crazy leaping roll into a footlock, but Diego avoids and ends up on top, landing some punches. Ref stands them up again, and this time Hazelett shoves Saraiva to the ground and lands some really heavy punches from above, stunning him. They come back to their feet, and Saraiva presses, landing a couple of left hands, but Hazelett lands another combination and ends by pulling rubber guard.

Good opening round and you can clearly see Saraiva struggling with Hazelett’s long reach.

They exchange punches to open the 2nd, and Hazelett tags Saraiva again, so Saraiva pulls guard and once more Hazelett stands over him and uses his reach to drop a hard, accurate right hand. Back up, and Hazelett lands a body kick and some more punches, so Saraiva pulls guard again. Hazelett tries a jumping guard pass, but Diego spins from the bottom to avoid, retaining guard. Hazelett stands up, and Saraiva joins him, but it’s more of the same as Hazelett lands some more solid punches. Saraiva shoots in and Hazelett sprawls, but Diego keeps coming and gets the takedown to guard. Hazelett stays active with the rubber guard as Saraiva looks to pass, and finally Diego manages to work into side mount and lands a couple of shots to end the round. So far this is a clear 20-18 for Hazelett, I think.

Third and final round, and Hazelett lands a leg kick before they exchange, and Hazelett gets the better of it again, landing a high kick into a combo, before Saraiva manages to get a slam into Hazelett’s guard. He works to half-guard, but Hazelett quickly scrambles from the bottom back into rubber guard. He tries to roll for a triangle, but Diego avoids well and passes to half-guard. Hazelett looks to try a kimura from the bottom…but referee Yves Lavigne calls a stand-up. To say Joe Rogan on commentary is LIVID would be an understatement. He’s right though – how the hell can you call a stand-up for inactivity while one guy’s going for a submission? Regardless, they restart and exchange punches once more, and this time Hazelett smells blood and goes for the finish, clipping Saraiva with a short, hard uppercut, and then puts him down with a knee! Saraiva looks in trouble as Hazelett pounds away from the top, but Saraiva survives and manages to hold onto him in guard. Hazelett continues to land though, sitting up in the loose guard to deliver punches until the ref stands them again. Saraiva gets an ankle pick off the restart, and passes to side mount, but the fight ends there before he can do anything.

Judges have it a unanimous decision for Hazelett, I’m assuming 30-27 as it was pretty much an easy fight to score. Saraiva acquitted himself well for a late replacement, but he didn’t seem to have an answer for Hazelett’s long reach both on the feet and on the mat. There were definitely some nice exchanges here, and the grappling especially was at a high level, making all the stand-ups even more annoying. Good fight and a good debut at 155lbs for Hazelett.

Light-Heavyweight Fight: Ryoto Machida vs Sam Hoger

Like Heath Herring and Rampage, ‘Lyoto’ was another fighter to make his way to the UFC via the buyout of the WFA. It came as a surprise to some that he’d be placed on the undercard here rather than the main PPV slot, especially with him holding wins over Rich Franklin, BJ Penn and Stephan Bonnar, but hey, his WFA fight with Vernon White utterly *stunk*, and with Hoger’s ability to make pretty much every one of his opponents look bad, it would’ve been risky to put this on the pay-per-view. This was Hoger’s return to the UFC following about nine months away.

Round 1 begins and they circle off, with Hoger throwing a couple of kicks to begin. Lyoto throws some punches into a clinch, but they break quickly and exchange kicks, with Lyoto landing the better shots; a good body kick and a hard one to the leg. Hoger throws out a lazy right, so Machida counters with a STIFF straight left hand, putting him down! Machida drops to pound him, but Hoger grabs a leg and manages to hang on for survival, coming back to his feet. Machida tries a kick, but Sam catches it and gets a takedown to half-guard. Lyoto tries to stand, and then reverses and spins into top position in half-guard, where Hoger immediately goes for a kimura from the bottom. He gives it up though, and they come back to standing, with Hoger coming forward, but he walks right into the stiff left hand again. Sam answers with a left of his own, but Lyoto stuns him with another left hand and Hoger grabs the clinch to recover. Lyoto now gets a trip takedown, and looks for a kimura from the top in half-guard. He tries to pass, but Hoger spins from the bottom, and they come back up into a clinch, only for Lyoto to trip him right back down into full mount! He slips, though, and Hoger scrambles up, staying on his knees to avoid a knee strike to the head as the round ends.

Hoger presses to open the 2nd round, but slips to his back off a high kick attempt, and takes some right hands in guard for his troubles. Lyoto lands a couple of elbows, but the referee brings them back up, and Lyoto lands a body kick and some punches, before Hoger slips again and ends up in guard. They come back up again though, and Lyoto starts to really work him over, landing some NASTY LEG KICKS while wheeling his fist round to distract him. Stiff combo snaps Sam’s head back, and then Lyoto follows with another hard leg kick and a knee that looks to stun the Miletich fighter. Hoger ends up on his back in half-guard, but Lyoto passes to mount, and works him over with punches. Hoger does well to get half-guard back, but Lyoto just continues to land punches as the round closes off.

Third and final round, and Hoger continues to come forward and press the action, clearly knowing that he needs to do something to win, but Lyoto just continues landing counters, including the vicious leg kicks that are clearly putting Sam in a lot of pain at this point. Lyoto lands a combination and follows with a knee, before getting a takedown to half-guard from the clinch. He lands some shots and then stands up, avoiding Hoger’s desperate takedown attempts. Hoger finally lands a decent right hand, but takes some more counters and even eats a spinning back kick to the body. Lyoto gets a takedown and then mounts again, but Hoger does well again to scramble back to half-guard. Lyoto passes again though, to side mount and then full mount, but once more Sam scrambles to half-guard. No matter though, as Lyoto continues to land punches until the fight ends.

Easy unanimous decision for Machida there, no weird judging here. Lyoto basically did everything but finish Hoger there, as he picked him apart standing without barely taking one shot himself, and whenever the fight hit the ground he was in clear control too, passing Hoger’s guard on numerous occasion as well as continually landing shots. Hoger’s a difficult guy to fight in that he’s not the best in the world, but he’s got the ability to make seemingly anyone look bad. Here though Machida was able to escape that pattern, and look impressive throughout even if he was unable to put Sam away. A strong debut from him, even if, as we’ll see in future fights, he’s often frustrating to watch.

Lightweight Fight: Tyson Griffin vs Frankie Edgar

Despite people who had seen Edgar telling everyone otherwise, most people I think saw this as a showcase fight for the exciting up-and-comer Griffin, who had blown through David Lee in his UFC debut in impressive fashion. Though it came to light later, it is worth noting that this was Griffin’s first fight away from David Terrell’s Nor-Cal Fighting Alliance, having joined up with Randy Couture’s team a month or so prior. The book on Edgar basically told us that he had an unbeaten record (5-0) and was a strong wrestler with some solid boxing too.

Round 1 gets underway and they exchange some fast punches to open, with Griffin the aggressor, but Edgar landing some crisp counters, staying in the pocket. Edgar catches a kick and gets a takedown, and Griffin slaps on a guillotine from the bottom. Edgar gets into side control to avoid it, but Tyson reverses and they come back to their feet, where Griffin gets a slamming takedown. Edgar scrambles up quickly though and gets a beautiful switch, blocking a takedown, and then they come back to their feet where the quick exchange continues, with Tyson landing a right hand and an uppercut. Edgar continues to counter though, catching him with a nice right of his own and a good knee. Edgar begins to take over with his boxing, catching Griffin with punches as Tyson swings, before he catches a knee and gets a takedown to Griffin’s guard. He lands some shots and passes to half-guard, before taking Tyson’s back, but Griffin muscles his way to his feet, and then Edgar lands some punches to end the round. Seriously sick pace going on there.

The fast punching exchange continues to open the second round with both men landing, before Griffin catches him with a BIG UPPERCUT that knocks him backwards into the fence! Both men scramble for a takedown, and Tyson goes for a double leg, but Edgar catches Tyson’s leg to block and they come up into the clinch. The wrestling skill here is tremendous. Back out, and Tyson presses, landing some heavy punches and then a couple of hard leg kicks, but Edgar catches one and gets a takedown to guard. Tyson tries a kimura from the bottom, but Edgar passes to avoid, and then gets a ride and lands some punches as Griffin works to his feet. Tyson breaks off though and continues to land the leg kicks to Edgar’s left leg, buckling it and eventually knocking him down with one. Edgar catches a follow-up though, and gets a takedown to half-guard, where he avoids a kimura. He looks to land from the top, but Tyson scrambles to his feet and gets a takedown of his own, passing into a rear waistlock! It looks for a second like Tyson will go for the suplex, but instead he pulls Edgar down, only for Edgar to get a BEAUTIFUL reversal and go right into full mount! Edgar starts to rain down punches, but Tyson manages to scramble to half-guard as the buzzer sounds. Incredible fight thus far.

Third and final round, and Tyson opens with some more leg kicks, but this time Edgar manages to close the distance swiftly and land some punches. Both men land some good punches, before Tyson goes back to the leg kick again. Edgar gets a clinch and shoves him to the fence, landing some knees to the midsection, but after a couple Griffin suddenly backs off, calling a low blow. Referee Steve Mazzagatti pretty much loses the plot, and yells at him to “keep fighting!”, and from there Edgar takes over, closing in and muscling Griffin down, before TAGGING him with some heavy punches! Griffin looks in trouble as Edgar continues to rock him with punches, before getting a takedown against the fence. He looks to mount, but Tyson works to his feet in the clinch, only for Edgar to break with punches, before catching a kick and getting the takedown. Tyson fights back to his feet, but Edgar grabs a waistlock, so Griffin rolls right through into a TIGHT KNEEBAR!~! Edgar refuses to tap, so Tyson torques on it BAD, applying some horrific pressure and finally hooking the leg under his armpit for even more leverage, as it looks like Edgar’s leg will snap. Somehow Edgar grits his teeth though, and refuses to tap, and the fight ends there!

Good lord what a fight. We’re going to the judges, and it’s 29-28, 30-27, 29-28 all in favour of Frankie Edgar! Man, no way would I have picked that result going in. As it goes, I actually scored it a draw – I gave Edgar the first round based on landing cleaner punches, Griffin the second based on the big uppercut and the knockdown from the leg kicks, and the third even with Griffin’s kneebar attempt cancelling out Edgar’s punching flurry. Really though it could’ve gone either way, and Griffin didn’t lose much momentum or credibility in his loss.

I can understand people calling Diaz-Gomi the FOTY simply based on the drama that it provided, but simply from a technical standpoint, I’d definitely say that this is the best fight of 2007 thus far. It had absolutely everything – great striking exchanges with both punches and kicks, some incredible wrestling and grappling, and close submission attempts, and to top it all off it was fought at an absolutely ridiculous pace throughout. Just a great, great fight and a great advert for MMA in general.

Middleweight Fight: Terry Martin vs Jorge Rivera

Rivera was coming off his win over Edwin Dewees following a stint on the TUF IV show, while Martin was making his first appearance at 185lbs in the UFC following two unsuccessful fights at 205lbs. He certainly looks physically better at 185lbs, at any rate. Announcers are expecting a slugfest here.

They begin and Rivera lands a quick leg kick. He looks to follow up with another, but Martin catches it and LEVELS HIM with a HUGE RIGHT HOOK TO THE TEMPLE!~! Rivera hits the deck hard, and Martin follows up with some punches for the stoppage at 14 seconds.

Wow, didn’t expect that to go so quickly at all. Rivera’s a tough guy who can take a shot, and Martin just put him to sleep with one heavy punch. I already mentioned that Martin looked physically better at 185lbs; evidently he’s a much more dangerous fighter at that weight too. Eye-opening showing for him even if it only lasted fourteen seconds.

Middleweight Fight: Patrick Cote vs Scott Smith

Zuffa were obviously expecting a slugfest to open the PPV in the form of this match, with brawler Cote against he of the “one-punch-left-and-it-actually-worked” fame, Scott Smith. Seriously, I think everyone who’s got a slight interest in UFC has seen Smith’s fight against Pete Sell at this point, or at least the finish (you know, Smith doubles over from a body punch, Sell comes in for the kill and Smith uses all his remaining strength to catch Pete with the knockout punch, before collapsing), and the best part of it, for Smith at least, is that however badly he fights from now on, he’ll probably always be able to get himself booked in UFC thanks to that finish. Kind of like Shonie Carter and his spinning backfist I guess. Cote, despite impressing at various points in his UFC career, was still looking for his first (non-TUF) Octagon win here.

They press tentatively to begin, both clearly wary of the other’s power. Cote begins to open up, landing some leg kicks and a good body punch, and then avoids Smith’s first flurry attempt. Cote clinches and shoves him to the fence, looking for a takedown, but Smith avoids and breaks off with a right hand. They press and Smith lands a low kick into the clinch, and then catches him with a couple of inside elbows. They muscle for position, before Smith throws a knee which Cote catches, and uses to get a big slam. Cote lands some punches from above, but Smith scrambles back to his feet in the clinch, and they break and circle tentatively, with Cote continuing to work his leg kicks.

2nd round, and they open by exchanging some low kicks, before Smith lands a flurry of punches into the clinch. Cote lands some knees inside, but Smith blocks a takedown and the referee breaks them for inactivity. Smith comes forward, but Cote wobbles him with a big right hook….but as Smith staggers back, Cote doesn’t follow up; instead he stands off and makes some angry faces, while Smith takes the opportunity to recover and then poses like the Karate Kid. Huh? I guess Cote thought Smith was playing possum and was hoping for him to charge in ala Pete Sell. The crowd begin to get annoyed as they circle off aimlessly for a while, before they end up in a clinch and exchange from close quarters. They break off, and Cote lands a leg kick, and it’s more uneventful circling to the clinch to end the round.

Replays show Smith was certainly *not* playing possum – the punch caught him right on the temple.

Third and final round then, and they trade punches to open, finally popping the crowd. They go into a clinch and Smith looks for a takedown, but Cote blocks and the referee separates them. Smith swings, but eats a right hand, and Cote closes in and lands a heavy shot to the body and a glancing combination. Smith comes back with a couple of punches of his own into the clinch, but Cote blocks his takedown attempts again and the ref calls the break again. Smith senses the urgency now and presses forward, landing some good shots in a flurry to stun Cote, but the Canadian gets to the clinch. They muscle for position, and Smith now blocks a takedown, so Cote breaks and lands a flurry, before they clinch again to end the fight.

Another decision then; this time it’s a unanimous 30-27 for Cote, who picks up his first UFC win. I’ve seen far worse, sure, but I’d be lying if I didn’t say that was an excruciatingly dull fight in parts. It just seemed like both men were too wary of the other’s punching power, and when Cote did stun Smith badly, he didn’t follow up for fear of getting caught himself. Nice to see Cote pick up a win as I do like the guy, but to use the cliché, both guys fought not to lose rather than to win here.

Light-Heavyweight Fight: Quinton ‘Rampage’ Jackson vs Marvin Eastman

The first of the three marquee bouts on this card, the debut of Quinton ‘Rampage’ Jackson in the UFC really felt like a long time coming, as he’d left Pride almost a year prior, but ended up making an ill-fated move to the WFA, where he defeated Matt Lindland in a great war in the main event of the company’s only show. Thankfully, Zuffa bought the WFA out before it imploded completely, and with the company came their prize asset, Rampage, and all the talk immediately headed towards the inevitable rematch between him and Chuck Liddell. Before that though, Quinton was given a tune-up fight here, to basically accustom himself with the Octagon and also establish himself with the newer UFC fans. His opponent? The man who handed Rampage his first career loss, Marvin ‘Beastman’ Eastman. General consensus was that Rampage had improved to the point where he would roll over Eastman, but as always, nothing is certain in MMA.

Great staredown before we begin, as both fighters tilt their heads at one another and generally look menacing. Crowd seem hot for this one.

Both men press the action early, and go into the clinch quickly but break off almost as quickly. They circle around again and head back for the clinch, where Rampage lands a good uppercut. Eastman looks to muscle him towards the fence, but Rampage lands some good knees and uppercuts inside, answered by a short elbow from Eastman. The ref breaks them up, and Rampage comes forward, before Eastman shoots for a takedown and ends up clinched again. They shove each other around before being broken once more, and this time Rampage blocks a combination and lands a glancing left that causes Eastman to lose his balance and slip a little. An exchange leads us into the clinch again, where they muscle for position once more before the official breaks them. Eastman comes forward with some punches, but Rampage lands cleanly, wobbling him bad with a left hook. Eastman shoots in before Quinton can follow up, and gets to the clinch, but Rampage lands some uppercuts to end the round.

Round 2 begins, and both men come forward, Rampage landing a one-two into the clinch and a good knee inside. They exchange in the clinch before breaking off, and Eastman breaks another momentary clinch with a stiff elbow. Both men continue to press, with neither landing anything major, before Rampage catches him with a right into the clinch again. Bodyshot from Jackson breaks, and we continue with Rampage landing a decent right hand into a brief plum clinch before breaking again. Eastman continues to come forward, but finally Rampage catches him with a HEAVY RIGHT UPPERCUT in close, and then grabs the back of his head and follows with a series of heavy uppercuts and punches, putting Eastman down and out. Big pop for the stoppage as Rampage does his trademark wolf howl to celebrate.

Not the most exciting fight of all time as it was clear that Rampage was pretty nervous from the get-go, and rightfully so – this was probably the biggest money-making opportunity of his career as long as he won – and it made for a bit of a tentative fight with some occasional fireworks. But at the end of the day, Rampage got the job done, and scored a nice knockout in his UFC debut, and that’s what matters really, as this was clearly just a precursor to build to the real money match – Rampage/Liddell. And in that sense, it was good for what it was.

Lightweight Fight: Roger Huerta vs John Halverson

After a debut win over Jason Dent, Huerta suddenly found himself pushed as an up-and-coming star by the UFC brass, namely because of his exciting style in the cage, and also his ability to speak fluent Spanish. Smart move by Zuffa in trying to capture the Hispanic audience, and hey, I’m all for a guy like Huerta being pushed – I can’t think of a more deserving figure, to be honest. His opponent here, John Halverson, was a tough guy fighting out of the Midwest, and training with an offshoot of the Miletich camp.

Round 1 gets started, and Halverson comes forward, but Huerta catches a kick and flips him over, before landing a big knee to the head with Halverson on all fours! Whoa. Ref immediately yells at Huerta about the illegal blow, but Halverson suddenly flattens out, and Huerta spins over to back mount and lands about sixteen unanswered punches before the ref pulls him off.

Crowd seem confused over the ending as do the announcers; not only did the referee have no reason to let Halverson take so many punches, but it appeared the knockout blow came from an illegal knee to the head of a downed opponent. Matchmaker Joe Silva ends up in the ring talking to Halverson, who looks annoyed, but then Joe Rogan interviews Huerta and he claims the knee struck the shoulder, and Halverson was playing possum hoping for the ref to call time.

Replays seem to confirm Huerta’s story – the knee definitely struck the shoulder, but I’m still confused as to why Halverson would play possum as Huerta suspected – the ref would’ve stepped in right away if he were going to call time. Really, really weird ending to that one and I’m still a bit unsure as to what actually went on, to be honest. At any rate, Huerta picks up the win.

Heavyweight Fight: Mirko Cro Cop vs Eddie Sanchez

Cro Cop signing with the UFC was probably *the* MMA story of late 2006, even moreso because the saga dragged on for so long! Yes, he was signing with the UFC, no, he’s staying with Pride to rematch Fedor, actually no, he’s definitely fighting for the UFC, no, he’s moving to BoDog…. need I go on? Finally things came to an end at UFC 66, when Mirko was confirmed to have signed with the UFC, making him the first marquee name to outright jump from Pride directly to the UFC in some time. His opponent here, Eddie Sanchez, while he was coming off a UFC debut win, was seen by most as a sacrificial lamb; a tune-up for Mirko en route to him finally capturing the World Title that had eluded him thus far in his career.

For a guy who I wouldn’t have thought most casual fans would’ve heard of, Mirko gets quite the pop from the crowd here. Probably the most over with the crowd thus far in fact. Sanchez comes out swinging early, but Cro Cop doesn’t look fazed though, and begins to stalk him down as the crowd seem to be on edge just waiting for the inevitable. Mirko lands a left body kick and a straight left hand as Eddie comes forward, and then continues to walk Sanchez down, just stalking him like the Terminator as Sanchez looks more tentative now. Left body kick lands again, but the left high kick misses. Eddie swings again, but nothing really connects properly and they go into a brief clinch, before Cro Cop stuns him with a left on the way out. Two SERIOUSLY BRUTAL leg kicks from Cro Cop land; the second actually knocking Sanchez off balance and shocking Randy Couture on commentary. Sanchez tries for the clinch, but Mirko avoids and lands a left hand again. Left high kick of DOOM clips Sanchez on the top of the head, narrowly escaping full impact, but then a follow-up left hand buckles him and puts him down. Mirko grabs a guillotine as Eddie tries to stand, and then they end up back on the mat where Cro Cop takes full mount. Few strong punches from the top land, and Sanchez is pretty much defenceless, so the ref steps in there.

Solid enough debut for Cro Cop; granted we didn’t get the highlight reel finish that some were expecting, but then let’s be fair – people were calling Sanchez a “can” when in reality he’s a better fighter than a number of Mirko’s victims in Pride. That said though, this was a very one-sided fight, as after a few early swings, Sanchez basically back-pedalled away from Cro Cop throughout the contest, and it seemed like Mirko’s unfamiliarity with the Octagon was the main thing that kept him from finishing the fight sooner. So overall not quite the spectacular debut that some fans were expecting, but still a strong enough showing from the Croatian in his first UFC outing.

Middleweight Fight: Anderson Silva vs Travis Lutter

This fight was set up through the TUF IV series, as Lutter ended up winning the Middleweight side of the TV show and gaining a title shot in the process. Of course, as I mentioned earlier, he ended up failing to make weight for the bout and the fight was changed to a non-title contest the day prior. Now, I’ve never cut weight before ala a professional fighter, but for a guy like Lutter who was supposed to be challenging for a World Title to fail to make weight is pretty crappy in my book. I mean, it’s not even like the guy is absolutely shredded up at 185lbs like say, Jason MacDonald – Lutter’s still clearly got some excess bodyfat on his frame, so there’s no excuse other than poor planning. Personally I was glad that Lutter wouldn’t be able to win the title as I can’t think of a less marketable champion for the company anyway (sorry, but the guy is ridiculously dull) but regardless, it’s definitely bad form.

As for the fight itself, the general consensus going in was that if Silva could keep the fight standing, he’d be able to hang onto his title relatively easily, but if Lutter could take the Brazilian down, then he’d definitely have a chance. Post-weight cut though, many thought Travis would be so drained that he was doomed either way. I was personally picking Silva, figuring he was good enough on the ground to survive anything Lutter could throw at him anyway, and would be able to catch him standing eventually. Crowd reactions are interesting here as Lutter gets some boos for the weight debacle, while Silva gets a nice-sized pop for a guy who I didn’t think was that overly popular.

Round 1 begins and Silva circles around him to begin, avoiding a really poor takedown attempt from Lutter, who looks like a guy who’s about to be crucified. Silva presses forward some more, and then suddenly opens fire with a BIG FLYING KNEE, but Lutter takes it and manages to get him to the ground! Silva gets full guard immediately, and locks in a body triangle from the bottom for control, before working his feet onto Lutter’s hips and pushing off back to standing. Lutter comes right up though and grabs an ankle pick, into a single leg and manages to get him down again. Silva throws up an armbar from the guard, but Lutter avoids it, and then works his way into side mount, before baiting Silva with a kimura and taking full mount! Suddenly Silva looks in trouble as Lutter rains down some heavy punches from the mount, but as Silva swings his legs up to reverse, Lutter slips on a sloppy armbar attempt and ends up on his back, with Silva standing over him. Silva kicks the legs to a big pop to end the round.

Into the 2nd round, and Lutter comes right out of the gate with a double leg takedown to Silva’s guard! He stands to attempt a guard pass, but Silva catches him as he stands with a nasty upkick, and Lutter falls down into the guard, right into a tight triangle choke from the champion! Lutter looks in trouble, but manages to stay calm and hangs in there, trying to create some space for the blood to keep flowing, but eventually Silva opens up with some elbows from the bottom, tightening the choke, and Lutter weakly taps out.

Big pop for the finish, and post-fight Silva endears himself to the crowd some more by cutting an enthusiastic promo, albeit with the use of a translator.

Silva finished this fight well and showed for sure that he’s not just a one-dimensional striker, by tapping out a strong and experienced grappler, but he also showed some signs of weakness too, as the drained and clearly unfocused Lutter was able to take him down three times over the space of about seven minutes. Considering the problems he had going in, Lutter didn’t acquit himself too badly as it goes, but I still doubt, after this debacle, that we’ll see him in the Octagon again for some time. Decent enough performance for Silva and it seemed to get him over with the Las Vegas crowd as a fan favourite, at least.

-We end with a highlight of the night’s action.

The Inside Pulse
: Despite featuring no completely horrible fights, and sporting what I feel is the Fight of the Year thus far, UFC 67 still doesn’t feel like a blowaway, brilliant show, and for the most part there just seems to be something missing in terms of a real marquee bout – probably because the main event, despite turning out to be a solid fight, was easily the least-marketable main event fight UFC’s put on all year. Still, the performances from the two big debutants are solid enough if a little unspectacular, there’s a couple of really cool knockouts, and Griffin vs. Edgar, an incredible fight, is the icing on the cake. If it wasn’t for that fight I’d probably say thumbs in the middle for this show, but with the FOTY on the undercard it has to be worth a solid recommendation to check out.

Coming Soon….

Pride: Total Elimination 2005, Critical Countdown 2005, Final Conflict 2005, and 30.
UFC: Ultimate Ultimate ’95, Ultimate Ultimate ’96, Ultimate Japan, Ultimate Brazil, 68, 69, and 70.
WEC: 10 and 11.
WFA: 1, 2 and 3.
Strike Force: Shamrock vs. Gracie.
Rumble On The Rock 7.
Gladiator Challenge: Summer Slam.
King of the Cage: 23, 29, 30, 32, 33, 36, 42, 48, 52, and 58.
Best of Shooto 2003 vols. 1 & 2.

Until next time,

Scott Newman: