UFC 66 results and impressions

Okay maniacs, here are the quick UFC 66 results:

--Chuck Liddell defeats Tito Ortiz in round three via technical knockout

--Keith Jardine defeats Forrest Griffin via technical knockout in round one

-- Andrei Arlovski defeats Marcio "Pe de Pano" Cruz via knockout in round one

-- Jason MacDonald defeats Chris Leben via guillotine choke in round two

-- Michael Bisping defeats Eric Schafer in round one via technical knockout

-- Thiago Alves defeats Tony DeSouza via technical knockout in round two

-- Gabriel Gonzaga defeats Carmelo Marrero via armbar in round one

-- Yushin Okami defeats Rory Singer via strikes in round three

-- Christian Wellisch defeats Anthony Perosh via unanimous decision

Thoughts on PPV action:

Tito-Chuck 2:

I can't say I'm shocked by the result. Sure, it's easy writing about a result after the fact. But, Tito just hasn't fought anyone on Liddell's level in YEARS. I thought maybe his cardio could get Liddell in trouble. But instead, he decided to stand and trade with a ferocious striker.

People aren't supposed to make the same mistakes twice, right?

Tito looked poor trying to take Chuck down from way outside. And when he did get Chuck down, the champ popped right back up.

I'll tell you what, I give Mario Yamasaki a lot of credit for not stopping this fight in the first round. Chuck had Tito hurt bad, but he let it go. There were a lot of folks who thought "Big John" was the only guy who could handle this type of assignment. Mario, however, did a fine job. He gave Tito every chance to extend the fight ... but it just wasn't in the "Huntington Beach Bad Boy" tonight.

By the way, Eddie Bravo -- the guest judge -- did give Tito round two. I didn't see it that way. Chuck hurt Tito bad in round one, opening up a nasty cut over his right eye and went on to just pound Ortiz.

For what it's worth, Chuck didn't look amazing. In fact, he looked a little gassed coming out for round three. If Tito was able to get him down, I think he could have done some damage.

Just to drive home this final point, Liddell could barely catch his breath during the post-fight interview.

Whatever ... bring on Rampage.

Griffin-Jardine:

Man, I'm a sucker for Forrest Griffin. Or, Alfred E. Neumann super-sized, as Randy Couture likes to call him.

Unfortunately, tonight he got beat at his own game.

For the first half of round one, Griffin dominated the action, firing off stinging low kicks to Jardine's legs and stiff jabs to his face.

Jardine, however, could not be stopped.

Toward the waning minutes of round one, he caught Griffin with a sweet uppercut. Normally, that wouldn't phase the gritty Griffin. But, "The Dean of Mean" followed it up with a nice left cross that put Griffin on his back.

After that, Jardine smelled blood and hopped in Griffin's guard to deliver six -- and I counted them thanks to TIVO -- vicious head bouncers.

The referee had no other option other than to stop the fight.

Even Griffin admitted in his brief -- and colorful -- post-fight interview, he got beat at his own game.

Great fight, Keith.

Leben-MacDonald:

I think Chris Leben is great for the sport. But, I also think he's outclassed at 185.

Tonight, MacDonald proved just that.

Quick rant: Leben is a soft 5'10". Sure, he's got "bricks" in his fists and can take a punch like Rocky Balboa. But, at what point does a man realize that in his physical condition -- and keep in mind he weighed in at 186 -- he needs to either bulk up or trim down?

MacDonald -- four inches taller -- showed up wirey and chiseled (kinda like Anderson Silva, no?). He didn't look great in the opening minutes, but he let "The Crippler" walk right into his trap -- an awkward rear-naked/guillotine choke.

Leben -- to his credit -- didn't puss out like his Team Quest teammate Ed Herman, deciding to go to sleep rather than tapout.

What does it say about a fighter when Team Quest Captain Randy Couture picks the opponent (MacDonald) to pull out the upset before the bout even starts?

That's a man who doesn't let his passion get in the way of MMA smarts. It's also the reason I made a nice little profit this evening ;).

Either way, "The Athlete" has made a statement as a force to be reckoned with in the 185-pound class as the the "Team Quest Killer."

By the way, is there any other better nickname as the "Gracie Hunter"?

It looks like we have the UFC version of Sakuraba when it comes to Team Quest.

Arlovski-Cruz:

This is one of the stranger fights I've seen in a while.

Arlovski -- who thank God finally jettisoned the crew cut -- looked jacked.

Cruz, however, managed to take the former champ down in the opening minutes and looked to have the fight right where he wanted it -- on the ground.

The accomplished Brazilian jiu-jitsu champ, however, couldn't capitalize. Arlovskli handled himself well on the ground and eventually the referee -- Herb Dean -- called a stop to the action after Arlovski booted Cruz in the face (illegal in UFC when fighters are on the ground).

He checked to make sure Cruz was okay, and when the underdog gave Dean the thumbs up, Arlovski nailed Cruz with a right cross when the action was restarted.

Cruz rolled and went for an ankle lock, but Arlovski reigned down punches that put "Pe de Pano" to sleep.

Great win for Arlovski, but I'm still scratching my head. I think Cruz forgot for a second that he was in a mixed martial arts bout -- not a grappling match.

Who's next for "The Pitbull"? I can't wait to find out.

He's back.

Bisping-Schafer:

I'll be honest, I was a little worried about Bisping tonight. He hasn't really fought a solid opponent in more than a year.

It didn't matter, he took out Eric Schafer in the latter end of round one with a barrage of punches, which was set up with a high kick to the face.

As for Schafer, he wasn't a pushover. He almost caught "The Count" in a few slick submissions before getting pounded out.

This is one of those fights that Bisping won, and Schafer didn't lose.

I give the guy credit ... he's crafty.

It just wasn't his night.

Final thoughts:

I've got mixed feelings about the action this evening.

Don't get me wrong, there were some great stoppages and upsets. The undercard action was great. We're definitely going to see a lot more of Jardine and MacDonald, which is good news.

Having said that, I'm not quite sure what I was expecting. But, for the "biggest fight in UFC history" it just didn't live up to the expectations that I had set for it.

And, that's my fault.

I think it all comes down to the championship bout. Tito, in my mind, could have beaten Liddell tonight, I truly think it was possible. I'm not an Ortiz fan, either.

At the very least, I expected him to do something different than the first fight ... and he just didn't.

He made mention to the fact that he might have broken his foot in the third round. Couture actually speculated the same when it happened.

But even before that, when Tito hit the ground, he just covered up. He didn't really try and scramble, grab an ankle, or anything for that matter -- he just let Chuck pound him.

I have no idea to the extent at which Liddell hurt Ortiz or he was hurt. I just think he could have done so much better.

Put simply, he may have left too much in the Octagon.

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