No sleep 'til ... San Antonio.
While some of you were snoring to the heavens while being elbowed in the ribcage repeatedly by your annoyed significant other, we were up quite early to give you the fight coverage you need once awake.
UFC Fight Night 43: "Te Huna vs. Marquardt" took place earlier today (Sat., June 28, 2014) from inside The Vector Arena in Auckland, New Zealand, as Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) made its long awaited debut in the "land of the long white cloud."
The oversized Te Huna had to deal with Marquardt's quickness early, which included a huge knee from the clinch that dropped the home crowd favorite. After "The Great" followed Te Huna to the mat, he posted up in his guard and started to pour on the elbows. As Te Huna made his way back up, he stuck to Marquardt like glue and decked him with a right uppercut that staggered the former Strikeforce welterweight champion. Marquardt took Te Huna down to the mat again, looking to trap Te Huna's arm while the bloodied Australian tried to make his way back to his feet.
As Te Huna tried to scramble out of the unfortunate position, Marquardt hoped on his back and locked in an armbar. The Australian tapped within seconds as the crowd was silenced quickly.
In a Heavyweight bout destined to be finished before the final horn, Jared Rosholt defeated Soa Palelei by unanimous decision, using his dominant wrestling pedigree to get the job done in unexciting fashion.
Palelei scored the takedown early and often in the first round, taking advantage of the Oklahoman collegiate wrestling standout. Rosholt worked hard to get a takedown of his own, and after a failed choke attempt, the American did his best to wear down the Australian with knees to the ribcage, along with short punches from side control. Palelei was able to get into mount with just seconds left in the round, going ballistic with some sloppy ground-and-pound.
Both fighters were headhunting in the second round, with "The Big Show" getting the better of Palelei with a bunch of uppercuts that were landing flush. With "Hulk's" back against the cage, Rosholt stayed busy with some strikes in the clinch, making it a grueling fight for his adversary.
The American simply outwrestled Palelei in the third round, disabling him from getting up despite his attempts. It really wasn't the fight most of the fans in Vector Arena were hoping to see, alongside the onlookers who stayed up all night to watch.
Tipped to be the best fight on the entire card, the featherweight contest pitting Hatsu Hioki against Charles Oliveira was a grappling war, which proved to be a lot of fun. In the end, Oliveira scored his sixth straight submission victory in the Octagon.
The Japanese veteran was looking to brawl while his Brazilian counterpart wanted to take the action down to the floor. Hioki went for a flying triangle early on in the first round while the combatants were against the cage. Oliveira then took his opponent down, with Hioki eventually getting a takedown of his own. After some scintillating grappling exchanges, Oliveira had the best chance between the two with a d'arce choke attempt.
Both featherweights slugged it out in the opening of the second round, yet it was the Brazilian who shot for the hips first. After Hioki took his foe down to the mat, Oliveira caught him in a leg lock, but the former Shooto champion escaped. While the Brazilian was making his way back up, he took a heft eye poke that halted the action for a few minutes. As the fight resumed, Hioki scored another takedown and kept busy from top position while trying to avoid his opponent's dangerous submission game. As Hioki took his foe's back, the Brazilian made his way out of a rear naked choke attempt and caught the former Sengoku fighter with a d'arce choke (although some are calling it an anaconda guillotine).
It leads the running for submission of the year, and Oliveira became the first competitor to tap Hioki in his illustrious 37-fight career.
The scrap started off as a technical striking battle, with Rhodes doing a better job of staying outside of range. Both athletes were looking for the knockout blow, but also mixed things up with leg kicks. Whittaker was nailed twice by "Biggie's" right hand, while the Australian rocked his adversary in the latter half of the first round.
In the second round, Rhodes scored a takedown, but Whittaker was back on his feet rather quickly. Rhodes kept on getting caught with his foe's right hand, and most of his jabs weren't connecting. Whittaker was able to turn it on towards the closing stages of the round, feinting and moving nicely while getting creative with his shots. His counter punches were his most effective strikes, including a beautiful left hook.
Rhodes turned it up right off the bat in the third round, pressuring The Ultimate Fighter (TUF): "Smashes" welterweight winner by moving forward. Whittaker's footwork allowed him to land more accurately with his combinations, but he was also susceptible to Rhodes' counters, which included a couple of power shots from the Roufusport product. "The Reaper" landed a takedown with under two minutes left in the fight, and despite his lack of attacks, it secured him the victory on all three scorecards.
Check out the full UFC Fight Night 43 quick results below:
Nate Marquardt vs. James Te Huna -- Marquardt def. Te Huna by submission (armbar) at 4:34 of Round One
Soa Palelei vs. Jared Rosholt -- Rosholt def. Palelei by unanimous decision (30-27 x3)
Hatsu Hioki vs. Charles Oliveira -- Oliveira def. Hioki by submission (anaconda choke) at 4:23 of Round Two
Robert Whittaker vs. Mike Rhodes -- Whittaker def. Rhodes by unanimous decision (30-27 x3)
Dashon Johnson vs. Jake Matthews -- Matthews def. Johnson by submission (triangle choke) at 3:16 of Round Three
Roldan Sangcha-an vs. Richie Vaculik -- Vaculik def. Sangcha-an by unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28 x2)
Vik Grujic vs. Chris Indich -- Grujic def. Indich by TKO (punches) at 4:55 of Round One
Rodrigo Goiana de Lima vs. Neil Magny -- Magny def. de Lima by TKO (punches) at 2:32 of Round Two
Ian Entwistle vs. Daniel Hooker -- Hooker def. Entwistle by TKO (elbows) at 3:34 of Round One
Sean O'Connell vs. Gian Villante -- Villante def. O'Connell by split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)
For play-by-play coverage of UFC Fight Night 43: "Te Huna vs. Marquardt" click here.