There's a few things I want to mention before we put a ribbon on UFC Fight Night 8.
The televised portion of the card, from what I hear, was not lights out. I can't say the same for the undercard bouts.
It's a travesty that the Din Thomas-Clay Guida and Nathan Marquardt-Dean Lister bouts did not make it on the air. Both were well worth the price of admission.
Here's my take on some lingering issues from last night:
Nate Marquardt vs. Dean Lister
As soon as I hung up the phone with Marquardt after our exclusive interview prior to the fight, I knew he was going to kick Lister's ass. He is intelligent, humble and immensely talented — a great mix of attributes. I can't believe this fight did not make the television broadcast. Nate put on a show, dropping Lister with knees and punches throughout the bout. Lister is a tough dude, because Marquardt put a licking on him. People in the stands were looking at one another in astonishment, wondering what was keeping Lister conscious. Marquardt made a statement last night that he deserves serious title consideration. It's just too bad the folks at home didn't get to see it.
Din Thomas vs. Clay Guida
As expected, this fight was nonstop action. I mentioned last night that I thought Guida got robbed. I'll backpedal on that statement a little bit, because the fight could have gone either way. It was just clear to me that Guida won two of three rounds. He pushed the pace, scored takedowns and drilled Thomas with a few hard shots. Thomas, on the other hand, let Guida come to him and defended very nicely from his back. He attempted some tricky submissions from the bottom that would have most likely worked on a lesser fighter. "Dinyero" did pick Guida apart when standing, especially during rounds two and three. Guida fought a more complete fight, however, and he should have had his hand raised at the end. I have no idea how that was not at least a split decision. It was the fight of the night.
Josh Burkman vs. Chad Reiner
Reiner did well replacing Thiago Alves in this fight, but Burkman was just too powerful. To start the first round, Reiner came out blazing with a flying knee that missed its mark. Burkman got pissed and began to pound on Reiner, which he would do throughout the fight. Burkman scored some sick slams that got the crowd on its feet numerous times. He almost got caught in a rear naked choke, but other than that, he handled Reiner for most of the fight. "The People's Warrior" is back. I just wish he'd change that horrible nickname. Who told him that sounded cool?
Rashad Evans vs. Sean Salmon
Salmon did surprisingly well in the first round, relying on his strong wrestling skills to control "Sugar." However, he looked gassed coming out for the second frame, which ultimately led to one of the most sensational — and scariest — knockouts in UFC history. I wonder if Salmon would consider dipping down to middleweight for his next fight — he looks like he can afford to do it. Regardless of which division he fights in next, Salmon should not be allowed to whip out that goofy ass "Karate Kid" crane kick ever again. What was he thinking?
Rich Clementi vs. Ross Pointon
Clementi performed well at 170, which maybe wasn't too hard considering his opponent. I don't feel too bad for Ross, he should have drilled submissions rather than focusing on losing all that weight. I must say, he looked like an entirely different person. He didn't sound like a new person though, the guy needs a translator. Ross was meandering outside the casino after the fight looking rather lost -- kind of like his UFC career.
The bareknuckle Miami streetbrawler was in attendance last night. It has little to do with the UFC or mixed martial arts. I just want to say that Kimbo is a huge dude — not so much tall, just thick like an Oak Tree or Toyota RAV 4. I asked him about the possibility of fighting former UFC fighter Paul Buentello, and he said "Gonna see if I can git some of that" through his gold grill. I guess we'll have to wait and see. Nice guy though ... I thought he'd be a dick.
So that's it. Apologies for not getting this up sooner. It was a long night last night and a busy day at work today.
Overall, the fight was a hit -- at least for us here at UFCmania.com. We'll get some more pictures up within the next day or so.
Having said that, we can't wait to do it again real soon.
Now onto UFC 67 next Saturday ... our work here is never finished.