This UFC 111 recap is brought to you by Comcast.
Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) tonight (March 27, 2010) made a triumphant return to the Prudential Center for its much ballyhooed "St. Pierre vs. Hardy" pay-per-view (PPV) event from Newark, New Jersey.
British striker and unlikely welterweight number one contender Dan Hardy was hoping to become the Cinderella story in his main event title fight against reigning champion Georges St. Pierre.
Unfortunately GSP turned him back into a pumpkin at the stroke of midnight.
"The Outlaw" was arrested on his feet and locked up in the Canadian's ground game for the better part of five rounds. Hardy, despite surviving several gruesome arm locks, was outclassed and abused en route to getting sent to the back of the 170-pound line.
"Rush" was never in trouble -- but also couldn't finish an opponent that was clearly overmatched.
In the co-main event of the evening, Shane Carwin wanted to prove to Frank Mir and the rest of the mixed martial arts community that he's the true number one contender to Brock Lesnar's UFC heavyweight title.
Mir was loosey-goosey at the start of the five round interim title fight, allowing the hulking "Engineer" to press him against the cage and land short, crisp punches. The former division champion made it back to the center of the cage in an effort to throw hands, but made the mistake of getting bullied into the fence for a second time.
It was a mistake that would cost him the fight.
Carwin found an opening and unloaded a blitzkrieg of uppercuts until his opponent went limp. Mir instinctively grabbed an arm on his way down to snoozeville, but referee Dan Miragliotta decided to let him eat a few dozen sledgehammers "just to be sure."
Ladies and gentleman, Brock Lesnar vs. Shane Carwin in Summer 2010. Let the hype begin.
Representing Point Pleasant, New Jersey, Kurt Pellegrino wanted to make a statement heading into his 155-pound scrap against promotion sophomore Fabricio Camoes.
And "Batman" made it a dark night for "Morango."
Pellegrino was electric right out of the gate -- a bit too amped perhaps as Camoes used a standing rear naked choke to Master Blaster his adversary into very deep waters. Unfortunately the Brazilian ate a pile-driver for his efforts and it was all Jersey Shore from there.
After turning it up yet another notch, Pellegrino forced a tap through a slick rear naked choke slapped on in the second round. He made his statement -- and it was certainly loud enough for the rest of the contending lightweights to hear.
Was Gray Maynard listening?
When Thiago Alves was forced to bow out of the March 27 event, up-and-coming welterweight Ben Saunders asked to step in for the Brazilian to take on Jon Fitch -- a fighter who's come under fire lately for his inability to finish an opponent in nearly three years.
Consider that streak alive and well.
The former collegiate wrestling standout stung the "Killa B" for three rounds with a relentless ground-and-pound attack facilitated by powerful takedowns. Saunders was unable to untangle his lanky limbs long enough to do much damage -- and Fitch seemed to get the better of the stand-up exchanges anyway.
Has this winning performance earned him a second crack at Georges St. Pierre?
Jim Miller and Mark Bocek kicked things off on the televised portion of the event with a bout that play-by-play announcer Mike Goldberg called "very evenly matched."
The Sparta native defended an early and aggressive attack, nearly finishing the Canadian with a deep Kimura in the latter part of round one. Bocek was kind of enough to return the favor in the second stanza, forcing Miller to spend the last 90 seconds on his back fighting off a rear naked choke.
Unfortunately the gritty chess match the defined the first two rounds dissolved into an ugly slugfest by the third frame, but it was the hometown boy that impressed the judges enough to take a decision across the board.
And an impressive performance from Bocek in defeat.
That’s enough from us — now it’s your turn to discuss "St. Pierre vs. Hardy" in the comments section below. Sound off, Maniacs.
Is Pellegrino close to a title shot? Does Fitch deserve the next crack at Georges St. Pierre? Who does Mir fight next?
Let’s hear what you have to say in the comments section below.
For complete UFC 111 results and detailed blow-by-blow commentary of the televised main card fights click here.