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UFC 74 winners and losers 'Respect' recap

ufc 74 recap
UFC 74: "Respect" is in the books and we just want to pass along some final thoughts before we set our sights on UFC 75: "Champion vs. Champion" on September 8.

First off, hats off to Clay Guida -- or perhaps the ringside judges -- for finally getting this one right. Or should I say, hats off two the two judges who appeared to be watching the fight.

The other guy?

Who knows, maybe he had to take a leak during the bout -- there's no other explanation for giving Marcus Aurelio two rounds in that one.

Guida always puts on a show and will never be outhustled -- he even sprinted up the stairs for the weigh-in. He's an in-your-face kinda cat and the crowd loves him for it. Let's get him on a main card because this guy is so easy to market ... and the UFC just doesn't seem to do enough of it.

Maybe it's the hair.

So is Frank Mir finally back? Too early to tell, I guess, but notching a decisive submission win over Antoni Hardonk is certainly a step in the right direction.

Ryan Jensen came out guns blazing in his Octagon debut and for a few minutes it seemed like he was going to take out one of the rising stars in the 185 pound division, Thales Leites.

The Brazilian was just too crafty, however, and executed a picture-perfect armbar to end the fight. Look forward to seeing both of these guys compete again ... and it wouldn't surprise me if we see Leites up against stiffer competition.

Nate Marquardt is looking for a fight and a showdown with Leites might just be a very dynamic match up. What do you think, Joe Silva?

Oh Canada! Patrick Cote pulled off the upset of the night with his first round stoppage of rising talent, Kendall Grove. No one saw that coming, especially after his dismal UFC performances leading up to last night.

I want to see him back that up the next time he goes out, however, before I start buying into the former The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) 4 finalist.

Tough loss for "Da Spyder," but he should bounce back from this latest setback.

There's a few people out there who feel Renato "Babalu" Sobral was justified for refusing to release the choke on David Heath, which resulted in Heath going night-night for a few minutes.

I'm not one of them -- even if Heath was wearing a t-shirt emblazoned with the mugshot from the Brazilian's recent arrest.

It was classless, distasteful and downright dangerous. Hopefully, the punishment fits the crime. And I'm not talking about a $25,000 slap on the wrist.

Joe Stevenson looked like he could have went 10 more rounds with Kurt Pellegrino. For a guy who is sometimes questioned about his lack of conditioning, "Daddy" put all those doubts to rest last night.

This was a very good fight from bell-to-bell. "Batman" turned in a solid performance but just didn't have the answers for Stevenson's well-rounded attack.

So will we see Stevenson and BJ Penn lock horns later this year? That all depends on the Sean Sherk steroid appeal, of course, but it'd be a back-and-forth battle without a doubt.

In fact, I'd rather see Stevenson versus Penn rather then Sherk versus Penn. Call me crazy.

At some point in the second round of the lightweight fight between Roger Huerta and Alberto Crane, I realized that the egg on my face, as Jesse Holland likes to put, was an entire omelet.

He demonstrated fantastic submission defense against one of the most talented Brazilian jiu-jitsu specialists in the UFC. Crane is so damn technical ... it's just a shame that he was not prepared to fight for the full 15 minutes.

Going into the second and third rounds he was dog tired. And Huerta didn't even look like he broke a sweat. "El Matador" has a knack for winning fights. Now let's just see him do it against a top-five guy. Or, Frank Edgar at UFC 78 in November.

Now that's a fight.

Georges St. Pierre put on a clinic against Josh Koscheck, outwrestling perhaps the best wrestler in the organization. He controlled every second of that fight it seemed. I'm still unclear how that dude makes the 170-pound limit -- he's a monster.

Kudos to Koscheck for hanging in there and negating the submission attempt that seemed like it would have been a fight-ender if St. Pierre sunk it in. He showed that he can defend and fight well from his back -- a position in which he rarely finds himself.

He'll be back ... how about Josh Burkman at UFC 77? Hayato "Mach" Sakurai or Karo Parisyan wouldn't be bad, either.

For St. Pierre, he's got a date with the winner of the December title fight between champ Matt Serra and former champ Matt Hughes. Word on the street is that it's very possible that it could happen in Canada sometime in early 2008.


And what's there left to say that hasn't already been said about Randy Couture? That guy is from a different planet. He even ate a monster head kick in round three and it didn't even seem to phase him.

Put simply, Couture puts together solid gameplans and executes them to perfection.

He took Tim Sylvia out of the fight early with the overhand right, and then did the same to Gabriel Gonzaga when he mangled the nose of "Napao." Both fighters were not the same when these things happened.

"The Natural" probably has about two or three more good fights left in him. And the UFC will more than likely throw him to the lions with heavy hitters such as Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira, Mirko Cro Cop and maybe even Fedor Emelianenko if the Russian cyborg signs with the organization.

He'll probably be the underdog in those fights too, but at this rate, does it even matter? The dude is money right now.

Overall, UFC 74 was a great show ... as advertised. Upsets, controversy, redemption and another improbable win from the aging UFC Hall of Famer.

We can't wait to see it all happen again in just a few weeks. The 205-pound unification bout between PRIDE FC champion Dan Henderson and UFC Light Heavyweight Champion Rampage Jackson is going to be a classic.

To be honest, I'd pay $40 smackers just to watch that fight alone. Oh, wait, it's free on SpikeTV.

Life is good.

For complete blow-by-blow results of UFC click here.

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