Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) last night (Aug. 14, 2011) uncorked its latest televised fight card with a bubbly debut in "Brew City," featuring the final appearance of the now-retired Chris Lytle in a welterweight war opposite boisterous British "Outlaw" Dan Hardy.
UFC on Versus 5, emanating from the Bradley Center in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, promised a main event with flying fists of fury. As expected, both combatants delivered, spending two and a half rounds in the upright position with Lytle getting the better of the numerous exchanges.
Hardy had him in trouble a few times throughout the fight but was unable to seal the deal, inexplicably making a last-minute decision to take his foe down in the waning minutes of round three.
A decision that would prove to be fatal.
"Lights Out," who has over twenty submission wins in his twelve years of competing, snapped his arms around the diving Brit and rolled him like a gator, strangling what little energy was left and forcing the inevitable tapout.
Lytle retires with a win while Hardy gets to stick around for at least one more fight, despite losing four straight, after doing enough in "Meow Town" to convince head honcho Lorenzo Fertitta he's worth holding on to.
Memo to UFC lightweights: Save your energy, Ben Henderson will not tap.
Jim Miller fruitlessly yanked and cranked just about every extremity he could get his hands on in the UFC on Versus 5 co-main event. It didn't do him much good, as "Smooth" slipped out the back door of every submission that came his way -- and roared back with a vengeance following every escape.
Did "Bendo" steal Miller's future lightweight title shot? No, he beat it out of him.
Henderson was the better man in Milwaukee, using a seamless transition of striking, wrestling and submission defense to outclass his streaking foe from bell to bell. The dominant unanimous decision victory snapped Miller's seven-fight win streak and proved (yet again) that WEC imports are not to be taken lightly.
Does tonight's win set up Miller vs. Pettis and Henderson vs. Guida? Or the other way around?
Time will tell.
I saw "Cowboys and Aliens" earlier today. No, not the movie, I'm talking about the fight camps for Donald Cerrone and Charles Oliveira, who proudly marched their respective fighters to the cage expecting "Fight of the Night."
How about "Knockout of the Night" instead?
Despite the heralded hands and vaunted submission game of Oliveira, Cerrone was fearless in his attack, stalking his Brazilian foe and finding a home for a ruthless body blow that condemned "Do Bronx" to a first round technical knockout loss.
That marks three straight victories for the Greg Jackson disciple following his Octagon debut back in February and despite 13 finishes in 16 wins, this is his first by way of TKO.
I think it's safe to say the top of the lightweight division has officially been put on notice.
Former professional kickboxer Duane Ludwig got the main card started with a "Bang," spending the first two rounds of his fight against Amir Sadollah living up to his MMA moniker with a masterful display of technical Muay Thai striking.
The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) Season 7 winner would try to make a good offense his best defense, but was clearly outclassed in the stand-up and found himself doing the Chinese Typewriter after Ludwig tagged him late in the opening stanza.
The pace would slow considerably in the final frame and the resilient Sadollah would make a valiant effort to turn the bus around. Unfortunately, it was too little, too late, as Ludwig closed out the fight on top with a flurry of hammerfists to secure the unanimous decision win.
Only four bouts on the televised fight card -- but each one delivered.
That's enough from us. Now it's your turn to discuss "Hardy vs. Lytle" in the comments section below.
Sound off, Maniacs!
For complete UFC on Versus 5 results and detailed blow-by-blow commentary of the televised main card fights click here.