UFC Fight Night 16: "Fight for the Troops" at the Crown Coliseum in Fayetteville, N.C., on Wednesday, December 10, has come to a close.
The special three-hour Spike TV event was put together to raise money for the the Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund.
In particular, donations, which can still be made by visiting www.fallenheroesfund.org or by calling 1-800-340-HERO, will be used to create a state of the art facility in Bethesda, Md., for wounded soldiers who suffer from various combat-related head injuries such as Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI).
After tonight's mixed martial arts action, however, some of that money may be needed to help several fighters recover from grizzly injuries sustained inside the Octagon.
The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) 5 alum Corey Hill suffered a broken right leg after getting kicked by Dale Hartt and UFC newcomer Razak Al-Hussan had his right arm buckled when he refused to tap from a Steve Cantwell armbar.
Ben Saunders also welcomed Brandon Wolff to the UFC, smashing the Hawaiian with knees from the Muay Thai clinch en route to a one-sided ass kicking. When all was said and done Wolff was left looking like the elephant man ... seriously.
Nasty, nasty stuff ... we wish them all speedy recoveries.
Jim Miller opened up the televised action in a lightweight tilt against the surging Matt Wiman. The New Jersey native took the fight on just seven days notice. He also just returned from his honeymoon and more than likely pigged out on Thanksgiving dinner.
It didn't seem to affect his performance.
Miller -- who filled in for an injured Frank Edgar -- lit up "Handsome" early and often. And when the fight hit the ground he was dominant, working submissions and nearly ending the fight in the first round with a nice guillotine.
Wiman demonstrated his resolve and resilience, however, hanging in for the entire three rounds. He eventually dropped the unanimous decision.
This is a huge win for Miller -- he snapped the Wiman win streak, extended his own and stepped up when Joe Silva and Dana White needed him in a pinch.
He'll likely be rewarded down the road for his opportunistic effort. And it will be well deserved. Look out for Miller in 2009 ... this guy is special.
In the second bout to air on Spike TV, Tim Credeur -- the first man to apparently ever earn his Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt from Louisiana (news to me) -- didn't need to rely on his solid ground game to score his second UFC win.
The veteran blasted away at Nate Loughran for 10 full minutes, forcing the previously unbeaten fighter to call it quits on his stool before the third round could even start.
Credeur was perhaps a little wild with his strikes, but it apparently didn't matter. He lumped up Loughran and will more than likely now take a step up in competition to see if he can extend his UFC win streak to three.
Steve Cantwell, the last man to hold the World Extreme Cagefighting (WEC) light heavyweight title, got his UFC career of to a start with a bang.
Or was it a snap?
"Robot" and his opponent, Razak Al-Hussan, traded for the first few minutes of the opening frame. Al-Hussan had some nice strikes and demonstrated a solid chin in his brief work within the eight-side cage.
But when it went to the ground it was a whole different story.
The Iowa native looked lost when Cantwell put him on his back. And he made him pay dearly, snatching his arm and bending it the other way until it couldn't bend anymore.
I'm not sure what was worse ... watching the replay of the carnage or hearing Cantwell tell Joe Rogan in the post-fight interview how he's been longing to inflict that type of serious damage on another competitor.
Classless on a night that was far from it.
In the co main event, Mike Swick came out with fire in his eyes and made short work of Jonathan Goulet. "Quick" looked sharp, connecting early with a short right that dropped the Canadian.
He smelled the blood in the water and had Goulet sleeping in 33 seconds. It was the first finish for Swick in the welterweight division in three attempts and the first since stopping Joe Riggs way back in 2006.
Goulet is not the best barometer in terms of top-flight competition, but he's no pushover. And Swick totally handled him. He's apparently now completely healthy and appears to have renewed confidence and swagger.
Welcome back, Mike.
So much for those who thought Josh Koscheck had bit off more than he could chew, taking on top welterweights Thiago Alves and Yoshiyuki Yoshida in the span of six weeks. Things didn't go according to plan against the "Pitbull," but boy did everything work out well for him tonight.
Koscheck didn't have to worry about the slick Judo or the skills of "Zenko." He took care of business early, blowing up the Japanese fighter with a straight right and then finishing him off with a massive hook that he did not have the wherewithal to defend.
The replays had the crowd cringing. And Dana White was probably doing more of the same when Koscheck took to the microphone after the fight to thank those who represent him at American Kickboxing Academy (AKA) and Zinkin Entertainment.
He'll now get some well deserved time off from fighting, but perhaps his fight to remain in the good graces of the Zuffa brass on the business side of things has just begun.
This was a fantastic night of action despite the long breaks between fights. But that was to be expected because of the reason behind the show. In fact, several of the vignettes from the wounded soldiers throughout the telecast were heart-wrenching.
We got pay-per-view (PPV)-type action tonight for free. So do what you can and support the cause if at all possible. It is well worth it.