Ufc 43 A Monster Meltdown:couture Becomes 3-time Champion, Belfort Is Back
UFC 43 A Monster Meltdown:
Couture Becomes 3-Time Champion, Belfort Is Back
By Loretta Hunt
In a triumphant return to Las Vegas tonight, UFC 43: Meltdown tore through the Thomas & Mack Arena with a hurricane of excitement. 9,464 hungry fans turned out to be wowed, amazed, and most importantly entertained. Mission accomplished. 43 provided a healthy mix of action-packed fights, complete with battles of skill, tests of will, and surprise endings to boot. At the top of the list, underdog Randy Couture’s decimation of striking king Chuck Liddell for the UFC Light-Heavyweight Interim belt, a rousing performance by returning Vitor Belfort, and a boxing slugfest compliments of Tra Telligman and Pedro Rizzo.
Here’s the breakdown:
In a main event to end all others (until the next show of course), Randy Couture proved that no one is ever out of the game if the will is there to win. Turning 40 years old in a week and a half, Couture made UFC history again tonight, earning the third title of his already illustrious career. From the start, Couture looked poised and on the attack of opponent Chuck
In the co-main event, UFC heavyweight veterans Kimo and David "Tank" Abbott returned to the arena that brought them both infamy. Abbott was coming off a disappointing showing at UFC 41 after alomst five years out of the Octagon. Kimo had not fought with the event since UFC 16 and had turned in an unimpressive performance in his last MMA fight over a year ago. It was a battle based more on nostalgia than anything else, but it sure appealed to the crowd present nonetheless. At the bell, Kimo immediately shot in for the takedown but Tank’s wrestling background served him well as he defended with the sprawl. A scramble for position brought both men to the ground with Kimo gaining half mount. The determined Hawaiian worked to mount and then to side choke. Abbott held tough for about thirty seconds, but a tapout came before Kimo could put his trapped opponent to sleep. Tank’s UFC comeback has been an incredibly bumpy one and maybe it’s time to call this
For the swing match tonight, Texan Yves Edwards had a much harder time trying to finish unknown opponent Eddie Ruiz than most would have thought. In fact, the tough-as-nails Ruiz rode out the storm for a decision loss after three rounds, with Edwards throwing everything but the kitchen sink at him. It looked like it was over early for Ruiz in the first round, when
Although their fight tonight ended in a draw, Ian "The Machine" Freeman and Vernon "Tiger" White should have much to be proud of. In a fast-paced three round odyssey, both men showed what the pros can really do if given the
In a fight that every diligent MMA fan had hoped and prayed for, the Vitor Belfort of lore made his return to the Octagon tonight. In his match-up with first-time UFC entry Marvin "The Beastman" Eastman, Belfort came out calm, cool, and collected– while opponent Eastman seemed, quite simply, "jacked." Former Muay Thai champion Eastman threw off a few high kicks, losing his balance at one point to bounce right into his opponent’s body, but Belfort did not bite. Instead, he waited for Eastman to shoot in for the takedown and firmly secured his arms around his lunging opponent’s neck. Delivering two knees that sent Eastman to the ground and against the fence, the Brazilian finished the bout with a slew of hard-hitting strikes from the guard. The Phenom is back. Belfort by TKO via referee stoppage 1:10 into round one.
From strange to bizarre, the heavyweight stand-off between local favorite Frank Mir and Wes "the Project" Sims proved another perplexing fight in the end. Sims inexperience shown through right off the bat, as he ignored the cordial glove tapping and came charging in at his opponent. Mir scored an easy double-leg takedown on his 6’10" adversary. From there, Mir went right to the arm bar, but Sim’s brute strength kept him alive. Transitioning to side control and then the mount, Mir began to tee off, but the tapout wizard wanted to finish with his weapon of choice. From side choke to armbar again, it looked like Mir finally had the resilient giant, but Sims responded by lifting Mir and slamming him off his limb–clutching the fence as he intensely stomped down on Mir on his neck and face. An outright intentional foul, Sims was immediately separated from his downed opponent and handed the disqualification. Sims true calling may be pro wrestling.
The match-up between Matt Lindland- Faliniko Vitale, the second offering of the evening, will go down as one of those oddities of the sport, one of those fights that is referenced for its utter unlikability. Both middleweights came out early on with some wild punches that didn’t land, but Vitale did get in close enough with one set to warrant Lindland go in for
From his first punch, a clean right jab, it was clear that Tra Telligman’s last year and a half as a professional boxer were going to work for him tonight. Round one hosted some of the most technical stand-up action the sport has yet to offer, but what made things even more appetizing was the fact that opponent Pedro Rizzo, who had lost 4 of his last 5 fights, was
UFC 43: Meltdown Results: