From The Clinch: Results From UFC 79: Nemesis

Rich Clementi defeated Melvin Guillard by submission (rear naked choke)at 4:10 of the first round.

This was a fairly one-sided fight, with Clementi putting Guillard on his back several times and trying to advance from there. Guillard had Clementi in trouble very briefly after landing a huge looping overhand right, but Clementi weathered the storm, got Guillard down again, took his back, and forced Melvin to tap from the rear naked choke.

There was a little bit of controversy immediately post-fight, as Clementi stood over Guillard’s prone body and crotch-chopped at him, but both fighters were soon separated and everyone moved on to the next fight.

Lyoto Machida defeated Rameau Thierry Sokoudjou by submission (arm triangle choke) at 4:20 of the second round.

This was also fairly one-sided: Sokoudjou came out aggressively, throwing punches early on and getting Machida to the mat, but Machida swept the judo star and managed to maintain position through several of Sokoudjou’s attempts to sweep him. The referee eventually called for a standup, but Machida used the opportunity to stick and move, landing short bursts of punches and kicks and then circling away.

Machida completely dominated the second round as Sokoudjou became even more tentative against the tricky Brazilian. Mixing in more bursts of punches and kicks, Machida eventually got Sokoudjou to the ground, busted him open with some nasty elbows, and made him tap to his second attempt at an arm triangle choke. So it’s back to the drawing board for Rameau Thierry Sokoudjou (which may, in fact, be Ghanian for ‘Phil Baroni’) and Machida may actually have (gulp) earned a title shot.

Eddie Sanchez defeated Soa Palelei by TKO (referee stoppage) at 3:24 of the first round.

Punch, clinch, repeat: Palelei arguably won the first round through takedowns, but Sanchez soundly beat him with strikes in the second and third. Most of the fight was spent in the clinch, which didn’t make for the most exciting fight, but Sanchez managed to bust Palalei open with strikes from the outside in the second and carved him up with some fairly nasty shots in the third. Despite Palalei’s willingness to absorb punches without responding, the ref didn’t stop the fight until a massive cut over Palalei’s eye bled too much for the Australian to see.

Chuck Liddell defeated Wanderlei Silva by unanimous decision at 5:00 of the third round.
I said in the roundtable that only an act of God would see this fight going past the second round, so maybe the Good Lord was in Vegas last night.

All kidding aside, we saw almost a complete role reversal here last night, with Chuck playing the role of Silva–constantly pressing the action and moving forward–and Wandy playing the role of Chuck, patiently waiting for the right opportunity to counterpunch. The first round was largely tentative, with both fighters cautiously working around each other and not getting into prolonged exchanges.

By contrast, the second round was far less reserved, as both fighters, having dipped their toes in the water in the previous round, waded in against each other. Both men landed some hard shots on each other, and both looked stunned at times, but Chuck was clearly getting the better of it.

In the third round, Chuck (clearly tiring a little) took Silva down twice and mixed in some volleys of punches, but couldn’t put the ‘Axe Murderer’ away. Still, it was a fairly clear-cut win for Liddell, who needed one badly, and raises more than a few questions about the rest of Silva’s career from here.

Georges St. Pierre defeated Matt Hughes by verbal submission (armbar) at 4:54 of the second round.

I know that this fight almost made it to the third , but trust me, it wasn’t that close. St. Pierre completely dominated Hughes from start to finish, pressuring him with strikes, stuffing his takedown attempts, and taking him down practically at will. Adding insult to injury, Hughes was forced to verbally submit because St. Pierre had tied his arms up so effectively.

You might even be able to make a case that this was an even more dominant win for St. Pierre than their second fight because St. Pierre simply beat Hughes at his own game: takedowns, ground-and-pound, and submissions. Post-fight, Hughes expressed frustration at having been so thoroughly beaten and raised the prospect of retirement.

Non-televised fights:

Mark Bocek defeated Doug Evans by unanimous decision at 5:00 of the third round.
Roan ‘Jucao’ Carniero defeated Ultimate Fighter 5 coach Tony DeSouza by TKO at 3:33 of the second round.
Dean Lister defeated Jordan Radev by unanimous decision at 5:00 of the third round.
TUF 5 finalist Manvel Gamburyan defeated Nate Mohr by submission (anklelock) at 1:31 of the first round. This actually made it onto the broadcast, and it looks like Manny may have broken Mohr’s ankle with the submission.
James Irvin defeated Luis Arthur Cane by disqualification when Cane apparently kneed him in the head while he was down.

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