Read ahead as Five Ounces of Pain‘s Jeremy Lambert dissects the main card action from last night’s Fight Night 22 event, providing commentary on both the show’s in-ring offerings as well as the results’ effect on the evening’s participants…
UFC delivered their 22nd installment of their Fight Night series this past Wednesday night with a card showcasing lightweights trying to break out and two middleweights trying to solidify their spot in the standings. It wasn’t the biggest card in terms of name value but between the 500 commercials, the action inside the Octagon delivered plenty of excitement.
Nate Marquardt defeated Rousimar Palhares by TKO (Strikes) at 3:28 in Round One
There wasn’t much to this fight. Neither fighter could find their range or rhythm on the feet, Palhares ended up getting a takedown into north-south position, and then things got weird. Palhares went for a heel hook and Marquardt slipped out. Palhares, lying flat on his back, looked over at the ref and pointed at Marquardt to indicate that he was greased up. Marquardt, who had gotten to his feet following blocking the heel hook, dropped down with a big right hand that rocked his opponent. Palhares immediately started to cover up while Marquardt pounded away with punches until the ref finally jumped in and stopped the fight. Once the fight had ended, Palhares jumped up and complained that Marquardt was greased and had been cheating. In the end, there was no controversy as the referee and commission cleared Marquardt of any wrong-doing and his win will standing. Brian Stann made the point that Marquardt shaved his legs prior to the fight, which makes it easier to slip out of heel hooks. He also went as far as saying that you should try a heel hook on a girl who has just shaven her legs. If any man actually tries this, please let me know how it turns out.
People are making far too big a deal out of this victory for Nate Marquardt. He won, he did what he needed to do, but he beat man who wasn’t paying attention. While it is Palhares’ fault for being an idiot and not protecting himself in the middle of the fight, I don’t see this as a big victory for Marquardt. He didn’t show much on the feet and he was taken down by a weaker wrestler. Again, Marquardt did what he needed to do but lets not got overboard on what this victory means. At least with the victory, he’s back in the Middleweight mix. I don’t know what Palhares was thinking, trying to complain about greasing in the middle of a fight, and maybe he wasn’t thinking but he looked like a poor sport. It could be interpreted that he wanted a way out of this fight once his bread and butter move failed him.
Predicted Next Fights: Marquardt vs. Bisping/Akiyama Winner / Palhares vs. Dollaway/Doerksen winner
Charles Oliveira defeated Efrain Escudero by Submission (Rear Naked Choke) at 2:25 in Round Three
Many people wondered if Oliveira was ready to make the jump in competition from Brazilian locals to a TUF winner. Questioned answered. Aside from the questionable pulling of guard late in the first round, which may have cost him the round, Oliveira was in control the entire fight. He battered Escudero with leg kicks, which were taking their toll by the time the third round started, and he was beating his opponent to the punch time and time again on the feet. He had trouble early getting takedowns, which isn’t much of a surprise given their different levels of wrestling, but as the fight drew on, Oliveira seemed to get stronger. That was evident by the fact that moments after taking a hard knee to the groin (and not given the proper time to recover), Oliveira jumped on the back of Escudero and sunk in a standing rear naked choke for the victory.
Oliveira is the real deal. His style seems to remind a lot of fans, including myself, of one Jose Aldo. He’s crisp in the striking department, he’s very active, he’s a tad unpredictable, he’s explosive, and he gets stronger as the fight goes on. Did I mention that he’s only 20 years old? I’d be shocked if this kid didn’t wear UFC gold before he retires. The one thing holding him back right now is his size. Being only 20 he’s still very slender but he’ll obviously grow into his frame as he gets older. Escudero has the tools to be a very good fighter. Maybe he’s just run into good competition and he’s destined to be a middle of ladder fighter for the foreseeable future.
Predicted Next Fights: Oliveira vs. Antonio McKee / Escudero vs. Tavares/Audinwood winner
Jim Miller defeated Gleison Tibau by Unanimous Decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28)
Jim Miller added to his winning streak with a solid performance over a tough Gleison Tibau. This was a rather close fight but Miller did just enough damage in each round to swing things into his favor. Both men were landing their fair share of punches but Miller’s had more power to them and he was more aggressive on the feet. Tibau was able to get a number of takedowns but each time he put Miller on his back, Miller threatened with a submission, which forced Tibau to back out and up to his feet. The most noticeable thing in this fight was Miller’s physique. Tibau usually looks like he belongs in a higher weight class compared to his Lightweight counter-parts but not against Miller.
Is there anyone more under the radar than Jim Miller right now? He’s 7-1 in the UFC with his only loss coming against top contender Gray Maynard. He needs a big fight and hopefully UFC gives him one. Tibau seems destined to just be a middle of the pack lightweight. He’s going to beat other mid-level guys but every time he’s stepped up in competition, he’s faltered.
Predicted Next Fights: Miller vs. Kenny Florian / Tibau vs. Jacob Volkmann
Cole Miller defeated Ross Pearson by Submission (Rear Naked Choke) at 1:49 in Round Two
There were a lot of people on the Pearson bandwagon prior to this fight. Those same people probably have sore legs today after jumping off. This wasn’t a poor showing by Pearson by any means. He stuffed a couple of takedowns and he seemed more in control of the stand up in the first round. Miller was landing a good straight right but Pearson would always fire back with a left hand. The longer the fight went on, the more comfortable Pearson got with his striking and it seemed like he was starting to find his rhythm on the feet. Then in the second round Miller tagged Pearson with a straight right that wobbled him, pressed forward with a flying knee, and landed a big left hook that knocked Pearson down. Miller immediately jumped on him on the ground, locked up a rear naked choke, and forced Pearson to tap out.
Cole Miller continues to improve with each passing fight. He’s finally starting to use his range on the feet, which is going to give future opponents a lot of trouble. He’s like a young Kenny Florian with his “I FINISH FIGHTS!” mantra but as of late it’s rang true. This was a tough loss for Pearson given how it happened. He didn’t lose to a superior wrestler, he lost a striking battle because he got caught. It’s not only a blow to his record, it’s a blow to his ego.
Predicted Next Fights: Miller vs. Guillard/Stephens winner / Pearson vs. Fisher/Warburton winner
UFC Fight Night 22 reminded us all to protects yourself at all times, never go for a heel hook on someone with shaven legs, and don’t hit Charles Oliveira in the groin.