UFC: Fight Night 6
Las Vegas, Nevada
-Your hosts are Mike Goldberg and Joe Rogan. They talk about the upcoming TUF 4: The Comeback series which is premiering after this show, and then go on to discuss the two big fights on this card, Chris Leben’s return against Jorge Santiago and the big Welterweight fight, Diego Sanchez vs. Karo Parisyan.
Welterweight Fight: Josh Koscheck vs Jonathan Goulet
Goulet had beaten Luke Cummo in a really great fight at the previous UFN, while this was Koscheck’s return to the televised card following a couple of stints in prelim fights, defeating Ansar Chalangov (rear naked choke) and Dave Menne (decision), and the word following the Menne fight was that Koscheck’s stand-up had improved tremendously.
Round 1 gets underway, and Goulet comes forward and throws a couple of kicks that Koscheck blocks. Koscheck lands a leg kick of his own, and then follows with a BIG Liddell-style overhand right that stuns Goulet BAD. Goulet shoots in out of desperation but Koscheck sprawls and grabs a guillotine, getting top position in the process. Goulet manages to lock down on half-guard to block the guillotine, so Koscheck releases it and lands some short elbows to the head. Goulet looks to hook up a kimura but Kos avoids that easily and lands some more elbows, before working to pass the half-guard and take full mount. Goulet squirms a bit, and then turns and gives his back, and Kos flattens him out and opens up with some BOMBS, pounding on Goulet’s head until the Canadian taps out.
Post-fight Koscheck celebrates with some random crotch chops and the â€œI want the beltâ€ gesture, before slamming the internet fans in his interview for calling him a lay-n-pray artist.
Pretty awesome showing from Koscheck; boring decision over Diego notwithstanding, this is easily his best performance in UFC thus far. He dominated a game opponent from the off, hurting Goulet badly standing with the overhand right before just smashing him once the fight hit the mat. Good opening fight that wasn’t short on action and a good way to reintroduce Koscheck to the televised card.
Middleweight Fight: Dean Lister vs Yuki Sasaki
This was Lister’s UFC debut at 185lbs following a win over Alessio Sakara at 205lbs three months previous. Sasaki, a Pancrase veteran, was making his Octagon debut sporting a mixed record of 20-12-1. With Sasaki’s background mainly being in grappling, a lot of people saw this as a probable showcase for Lister to build him as a contender at Middleweight.
Lister shoots into a clinch to open the first round, and they muscle into the cage where little happens until the referee calls a break. Both men press forward with some glancing strikes, and then Lister shoots in for a takedown, only for Sasaki to block into another clinch. Lister manages to get him down though, and from there he takes the back. Sasaki stands up with Lister on his back, but Dean drags him down and gets both hooks in. He looks for the rear naked choke, but Sasaki defends it well, and escapes to his feet with Lister clinging onto a rear waistlock. Lister gets a sweet suplex and looks for the choke again, but Sasaki continues to avoid it, and escapes to his feet to end the round.
Sasaki avoids Lister’s first takedown as the 2nd round begins, and lands a few good punches from the outside. Lister shoots again, but Sasaki sprawls and Lister drops to his back. For some reason Sasaki decides to follow him down and goes into Dean’s guard, but almost immediately that proves to be a mistake as Lister works the guard and locks up a tight triangle choke. Sasaki holds on as Lister delivers some elbows from his back, and it looks for a moment like Sasaki will be doomed, but somehow he survives until Lister manages to turn into top position with the triangle still locked in! Somehow though Sasaki manages to squirm, and then pops his head free and goes into the turtle position! Lister looks to take the back and goes for the hooks again, but Sasaki manages to avoid it and gets to his feet, landing a good combination to finish the round.
Third and final round, and after all the submission attempts Lister looks exhausted coming in. Sasaki lands some shots from the outside and avoids the first takedown, but he looks quite tired himself and Lister shoots into the clinch and works for a single leg. Sasaki manages to avoid, and then backs away as Lister falls to his back attempting to pull guard. Sasaki lands a combo from the outside again, and Lister falls to his back once more, but this time Sasaki’s having none of that and backs away. Lister comes back to his feet and shoots in again, and this time despite Sasaki blocking, Dean manages to transition to a rear waistlock. He tries to drag the Japanese down, but Sasaki blocks and turns into a clinch, and Lister breaks off. Lister shoots again though, and gets the waistlock for the second time, this time delivering a suplex to end the fight.
Judges all score it 30-27 for Lister, giving him the unanimous decision. I would’ve scored it the same way, but it was hardly the most convincing performance from Lister as his cardio looked awful and he was exhausted by the end of the second round. Post-fight Lister blames the cardio problems on a bad weight cut though, so there you go. Not the worst fight I’ve ever seen and it had it’s moments, but overall it was pretty plodding.
-Joe Rogan is joined by Randy Couture, and they talk about Randy’s coaching stint on TUF 4 alongside Georges St-Pierre, as well as the difference between this season’s UFC veterans and the lesser experienced fighters on the previous TUF seasons.
Middleweight Fight: Jorge Santiago vs Chris Leben
This was Leben’s return following the destruction he suffered at the hands of Anderson Silva, and he hardly got what I would call an easy opponent in Jorge Santiago, as the American Top Team fighter was coming off a very impressive win over Justin Levens at the previous UFN. Personally I suspected Leben was coming back from such a devastating loss way too early, and felt Santiago would pick up the win with a late second round submission.
They circle to open the first round, and Santiago lands a nice right hand, causing Leben to go for the takedown and get Santiago down in guard. Jorge looks for a submission, but Leben uses it to pass to side mount, only for Santiago to work immediately back to full guard. Leben stands up over him for a second, and then goes back down into the guard for a moment before standing up again. Santiago stays down so Leben goes back into the guard, but not much happens so the ref brings them up. Leben presses the action, but keeps his hands low, and Santiago clocks him with a good right hand before getting a takedown to side mount. Leben manages to scramble to half-guard and avoids a full mount attempt, but Santiago works from the top with some punches to end the round.
Leben comes out swinging to open the 2nd, and blocks an attempted takedown into a clinch. They break off quickly and Santiago presses forward, but walks right into a HUGE LEFT HOOK that puts him down and OUT, and Leben follows with a right hand for good measure before Herb Dean stops things.
Incredibly clean shot for the KO; Santiago walked right into the hook and Leben connected right on the button. I had Santiago ahead going into the 2nd round and Leben certainly didn’t look as aggressive as he had done in the past, but a win is a win so good for Leben. Pretty fun fight too.
-Forrest Griffin joins Rogan and talks about his upcoming rematch with Stephan Bonnar, as well as a potential rematch with Tito Ortiz. He picks Chuck Liddell to beat Babalu on the upcoming UFC 62 card.
Welterweight Fight: Joe Riggs vs Jason Von Flue
This was a prelim from earlier in the night, with Riggs making his return to 170lbs following another stint at Middleweight that saw him defeated in swift fashion by Mike Swick, and Von Flue coming off a decision loss to fellow TUF 2 alumnus Luke Cummo.
Round 1 opens and they press into the clinch, where Riggs gets a beautiful Judo throw down into side mount. He steps over and takes the back, but Von Flue escapes well into Riggs’s guard. Riggs wastes no time from his back though and locks up a triangle, hooking the leg to prevent Von Flue from slamming him, and Von Flue falls down, and then flips Riggs off for some reason before tapping out.
From what I remember I think Riggs talked some trash at Von Flue about him being out of the UFC during the triangle, which is why Jason flipped him off. Impressive showing from Riggs though as he pretty much whitewashed Von Flue, even if Von Flue was clearly overmatched in all areas.
Welterweight Fight: Diego Sanchez vs Karo Parisyan
Main event was, on paper, a probable Fight of the Year Candidate, as, well, it’s Diego Sanchez and Karo Parisyan and since when has either guy had a boring fight? Both men were gunning for a title shot following this fight, Diego bringing in his undefeated record and coming off wins over Nick Diaz and John Alessio, while Karo was still angry after missing out on his title shot in late 2005 and wanted to re-establish himself as the #1 contender in the division.
Pretty crazy staredown before the fight as Diego gets right in Karo’s face with a look like he wants to rip the guy’s head off, probably the most insane and angry I’ve ever seen Diego looking in fact.
Round 1 begins, and both men press forward, before Diego nails him with a nasty uppercut inside and follows with a takedown. Karo looks stunned as Diego immediately passes to mount and then takes his back! Diego locks in a body triangle and lands some punches, as Karo winces and John McCarthy asks him if he wants out already. Karo of course decides to continue, and works to his feet, escaping into the clinch. They exchange inside before Karo gets a takedown to Diego’s guard, where he lands a few punches before eating an upkick as he stands. Karo stands up to drop one of his diving punches, but Diego scrambles as he comes down and spins, taking the back! Karo manages to escape, and as he stands we can see a nasty cut under his left eye. Parisyan shoots forward into the clinch, and they muscle along the fence until Karo hits a BIG JUDO THROW! Diego comes right back up to his feet though, and they exchange punches before Karo trips him right down onto his head. Karo goes into Diego’s guard, where he tries to open up with some punches, but Diego reverses back to his feet and they go into an even punching exchange to end the round. Lord that was an awesome round.
Between rounds replays show that the first uppercut Sanchez hit really hurt Karo and it was also the shot that opened up the cut under the eye.
2nd round begins with Karo looking to impose a jab, but he takes a couple of counterpunches coming in too. Karo lands a good right hook, and then shoots in and gets a nice slam down to half-guard. Diego gets full guard quickly and then gets a SICK sweep into a kneebar attempt, but Karo reverses it and ends up in top position in guard again. Diego reverses to his feet though, and they press and exchange before Sanchez gets a rear waistlock. He drags Karo down and gets on top in Karo’s guard, where he works the body before stacking up and landing some good punches. Karo gets a reversal back to his feet, but can’t get an attempted throw and takes some knees from close range. They break off and Karo shoots for a takedown, but Diego scrambles again and manages to spin into taking the back as the round ends. Another insanely good five minutes.
Third and final round, and realistically this is anyone’s fight at this stage. Karo comes out pressing the action and they exchange some strikes, ending with Diego catching him with a couple of nice uppercuts. Karo closes the distance though and gets a slam down to Diego’s guard. He lands a few shots, but Diego scrambles, reverses, and takes Karo’s back again. This time he almost locks up a rear naked choke, before pounding away with punches and elbows as Karo rolls and gives him full mount. Karo tries to scramble free, but continues to eat punches as he manages to escape to his feet. Karo lands a good right hand standing, but takes some big uppercuts, and Diego follows with some nasty punches in a clinch and a BIG KNEE TO THE FACE. Karo tries a throw, but ends up on his back and Diego pounds away in his guard, landing elbows. Karo looks exhausted at this point while Diego is still fresh, and Diego remains in the guard, working him over with punches until the fight ends.
We’re going to the judges, and it’s a unanimous decision for Diego Sanchez, 29-28, 29-28 and 30-26!
Personally I scored it 30-27 for Sanchez, giving him the first and second rounds by the smallest of margins and then the third by a bit wider margin, though not enough for a 10-8 round, but even though people complained about the 30-26 score I can see that if you thought Diego did enough for the 10-8 in the final round. Equally I could see it going 29-28 for Diego, 29-28 for Karo, or even a 28-28 draw if you give Karo the first two rounds and then Diego the third with a 10-8. It was seriously that close of a fight. Difference in the end though was cardio, as they seemed evenly matched in all areas until right at the end of the 2nd round, when Karo began to tire and slowed down greatly, while Diego’s cardio was off the charts and he just kept coming and really put the heat on Karo in the third round. Unbelievably good fight though, with some amazing grappling sequences and some good striking exchanges thrown in for good measure. Most people crowned this as their Fight of the Year upon seeing it and I was no different, and upon a rewatch it’s just as good as it was the first time. Absolutely insane fight and it seems like any time you put together a combination of Sanchez, Parisyan and Nick Diaz you’re guaranteed a classic.
-And the show ends with Diego celebrating in the octagon.
The Inside Pulse
: Any show with a main event as good as Sanchez-Parisyan is going to be worth checking out, but by no means is UFN 6 a one-fight card. Koscheck-Goulet and Riggs-Von Flue were entertaining if one-sided fights, while Leben’s knockout was right out of the top drawer and even the lone slow fight, Lister-Sasaki, has some fun moments. The main event elevates this show from a merely good show to a really great one though, and Sanchez-Parisyan is one of those fights that any self-respecting MMA fan should go out of their way to check out. Two thumbs up for this one.
UFC: 70, 71, 72, 73, 74, 75, 76, Fight Nights 7-11, and the TUF IV Finale.
King of the Cage: 23, 29, 30, 32, 33, 36, 42, 48, 52, and 58.
Until next time,
Tags: Mixed Martial Arts