UFC Fight Night: Florian vs. Thomas Review

It was an enjoyable show overall with exciting finishes in multiple fights and evenly matched action leading up to the conclusions. Was this really Ultimate Fight Night? Easily the best UFN this year.

Kenny Florian vs. Din Thomas (Lightweight)
Referee: Mario Yamasaki

Kenny used leg kicks early to keep Thomas away. Joe Rogan informs us that Din Thomas intentionally grew out his hair for more padding against Florian’s infamous elbows. Florian lands a kick to the balls that floors Thomas. I guess Din didn’t grow out his pubes. The fight is restarted after the ball shot and Florian is throwing more high kicks. He slips on one attempt and Thomas jumps on top of Florian. Florian throws his Ginsu elbows from the bottom and Thomas thinks better of the situation and stands back up.

Florian circles the outside of the octagon upon the restart. Thomas gets tired of chasing him and lightly jogs back to the center of the cage. Florian rushes after Thomas and takes him down. Thomas pushes Florian off with his feet and springs back up. Florian with another takedown and Thomas pushes him off again, this time sending him about six feet across the octagon and onto his ass. Thomas shoots in and this is where the fight takes a turn for the worse. Thomas blew out his left knee on the takedown attempt. Florian rains down hammerfists while Thomas turtles. Yamasaki lets the fight go to the chagrin of Kenny Florian. Thomas doesn’t seem in the mood to play defense any longer. Florian takes his back and sinks in a choke that quickly renders a tapout. Florian by rear naked choke at 4:31 of round 1.

Chris Leben vs. Terry Martin (Middleweight)
Referee: Herb Dean

Leben has changed his life and moved to Hawaii. Everything sounds good in Leben’s world right now and he looks to be in the best shape of his career. He needs to be as he has lost three of his last four fights. Terry Martin is no slouch either, as he looks like an absolute powerhouse after dropping down to 185.

Martin showed off his power early but that also gave Leben an opportunity to show off his steel chin. Not really the best thing to show off. Leben was deducted one point in the first round for grabbing the fence after being hoisted up in the air by Martin. It was a close fight in the third round but the point deduction had to give Leben a sense of desperation. Martin backed Leben up with a punch and followed it up with a straight right that rocked Leben back against the cage. Leben bounced off the cage and got into a slugfest with Martin, who was trying to finish Leben off. Leben was all offense at a time you would think he needed to protect himself. During the flurry, Leben landed a left hook that put Martin out. A follow-up hammerfist was all for naught as Martin was knocked out. Leben by KO at 3:56 of round 3.

Nate Diaz vs. Junior Assuncao (Lightweight)
Referee: Steve Mazzagatti

This was an excellent grappling exhibition while it lasted. The fight was mostly one long scramble featuring great counters and seamless transitions. I’m still surprised by the poise and patience of Nate Diaz given his youth. The few punches that were thrown in this fight turned out to be an effective combination from Diaz. It sent Assuncao face first to the mat and Diaz caught him in a guillotine. Assuncao had his knee blocking a tighter grip but he was still losing air. Assuncao nearly broke out by bucking his body away but Nate was able to hold onto his grip and the tapout wasn’t far away from there. Nate Diaz by guillotine choke at 4:10 of round 1.

Pete Sell vs. Nate Quarry (Middleweight)
Referee: Mario Yamasaki

This was a rematch of their fight at the very first Ultimate Fight Night roughly two years ago. Quarry won that fight with an early TKO but Quarry argued it was an early stoppage. Quarry went on to get embarrassed by Rich Franklin in his next fight but hasn’t fought since then due to a career-threatening spinal surgery.

They picked up where they left off in 2005 by throwing bombs at each other for three rounds. It was the complete opposite of the Diaz/Assuncao fight. Bombs back and forth with sparse takedown attempts. Sell seemed to be winning the standup war and increased his lead with a brutal right hook to Quarry’s chin early in the third round. Quarry crumbled to the mat but recovered immediately. Rogan credited Sell’s patience in trying to finish off Quarry to his abrupt knockout loss to Scott Smith. Quarry retaliated and dropped Sell with a shot to the jaw. Yamasaki jumped in but made no call to stop the fight. Quarry got in a few more shots to the downed Sell and Yamasaki waved it off. At least Sell has no excuses this time. He looked like a hazy mess as he was helped to his corner. Not to discredit his performance, but Quarry gave Generic Inspirational Speech #12 after the fight. Nate Quarry by KO at 0:44 of round 3.

Overall, it was a good night for Ultimate Fighter 1 Originals. Actually, all the TUF kids were victorious tonight, except for the one that was up against another TUF fighter. And since he was TUF 1, he was trumped.

Undercard Results

– Luke Cummo over Edilberto Crocota by TKO at 1:45 of round 1.

– Cole Miller over Leonard Garcia by unanimous decision.

– Gray Maynard over Joe Veres by KO at 0:09 of round 1.

– Thiago Alves over Kuniyoshi Hironaka by TKO at 4:04 of round 2.

– Dustin Hazelett over Jonathan Goulet by arm bar at 1:14 of round 1.

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