UFC Fight Night 19: "Diaz vs. Guillard" went down tonight (Sept. 16) from the Cox Convention Center in Oklahoma City, Okla., featuring an explosive mix of fighters all looking to leave lasting impressions on the nationwide television audience watching the Spike TV broadcast.
Nate Diaz was out to snap an uncharacteristic two-fight losing skid against the enigmatic, albeit talented, Melvin Guillard, in the main event of the night.
Both fighters promised fireworks and delivered just seconds into the fight when the "The Young Assassin" dropped the Cesar Gracie-trained Diaz with a mean right hand. Diaz recovered and appeared to settle in midway through round, hitting a takedown that didn't sit well with Guillard.
No love lost between these two hot heads.
Guillard made a conscious effort to keep his distance in the second and remained patient, waiting for an opportunity to explode. He did, but his timing could not have been worse.
He closed the distance and went for a takedown when his punches missed. In the process, he stuck his head into the armpit of the Brazilian jiu-jitsu specialist.
And it was was all Diaz needed to sink in a fight-ending guillotine choke and get back in the 155-pound mix. Meanwhile, Guillard heads to the back of the line thanks to another submission loss on his record.
Saw that one coming from a mile away. Guillard, unfortunately, did not.
Roger Huerta and Gray Maynard hooked 'em up in the co-main event of the evening, which featured two fighters headed in different directions.
"El Matador" made his intentions of taking a break from competition to pursue an acting career crystal clear, while "The Bully"wanted to continue his ascent up the lightweight ladder.
Let's just say that this one may have lived up to the promotion's script with Huerta, a perennial contender at 155 pounds, not riding off into the Hollywood hills with a win.
That's just what happened.
Huerta was able to neutralize the takedown attempts of the Michigan State University wrestling alum for the first two rounds, turning the fight into a stand up battle. The strategy appeared to be his best bet to win until Maynard hit a trademark takedown to start the third and dominated Huerta on the ground the rest of the way.
In fact, Maynard nearly snapped off Huerta's arm off with a scary-looking kimura, which he somehow survived through sheer grit and determination. If he was really concerned about his future career on the silver screen he certainly didn't show it -- a tapout from that painful position would have been totally understandable.
Huerta, however, went out like a man. Now we just have to wait and see if he returns the same man if and when he decides to return to the Octagon.
One thing is for certain: There are a host of talented lightweights standing in line to welcome him back, including Mr. Maynard.
Former WEC welterweight champion Carlos Condit wanted to come out tonight against Jake Ellenberger and make a statement that he belonged in the UFC with the best in business at 170 pounds.
Ellenberger, making his promotional debut on relatively short notice for an injured Chris Lytle, had other plans.
He nearly killed the "Natural Born Killer" with several huge right hands, as well as a head kick and a few tight submission attempts, turning the first round into a total lopsided war. Condit appeared to be on the brink of extinction numerous times, but battled back like a true champion.
It was a totally different fight in the second, which was spent primarily on the ground with both fighters scoring points with strikes, submission attempts and reversals. And it was more of the same in the third, with Condit seemingly being the aggressor and getting the edge as Ellenberger could not keep up with the frenetic pace.
Condit really wanted his first UFC win and it showed.
Fortunately, for him, the judges agreed, giving him the nod with a very close split decision. Unfortunately, for him, his future fights are only going to get tougher.
He dodged a big bullet tonight. Ellenberger was a game opponent who had him in serious trouble in the early going.
Is Condit now a contender or just a pretender at 170 pounds?
Nate Quarry and Tim Credeur kicked off the televised main card action in a classic "striker vs. grappler" middleweight match up.
Chalk this one up to boxing ... although it likely didn't go down as expected.
Credeur dropped "The Rock" with a big right hand toward the end of the first round then went "Crazy" in an effort to finish the fight with a submission. Quarry survived, barely, but wobbled back to his corner a bloody mess.
Quarry looked to be headed to the showers early in the second when Credeur connected with a big punch and head kick, but he countered with a short right hand that dropped the Louisiana native.
He didn't seem to recover from that point forward.
Credeur came out guns blazing once again to start the final frame, seemingly emptying his chamber to try and finish the fight. Quarry wasn't having it, drilling Credeur with a huge shot that looked to have him out on his feet.
Somehow he survived. And I'm not sure exactly how. He probably has no clue, either.
In fact, Credeur eventually got back to his feet and traded leather with Quarry as the final minute ticked down. He obviously wasn't thinking clearly, which made for a very fun fight.
Credeur simply had nothing left to give -- he left everything he had inside the Octagon. Quarry, physically, looked worse for the wear, but he did enough to earn a unanimous decision.
Great action and effort from two absolute warriors. It was an awesome surprise to say the least. Company president Dana White said it best:
That's a wrap from the "Sooner State," Maniacs. Now it's time to share your thoughts on one of the best Spike TV events in recent memory to hit our screens.
For complete UFC Fight Night 19: "Diaz vs. Guillard" results and play-by-play coverage of the televised main card click here.