Ufc 54 Injury Update: Telligman, Martin Okay
UFC 54 Injury Update: Telligman, Martin Okay
By Loretta Hunt
This morning from Las Vegas, FCF has received word from UFC president Dana White that all sixteen fighters who competed on last night’s UFC 54 card are "okay."
White was informed that the entire roster of fighters were back at their host hotel by one AM, including 40-year-old Tra Telligman, who was knocked unconscious by heavyweight Tim Slyvia with left high kick 4:59 into their first round bout. Telligman remained out for an estimated three to four minutes while medical technicians administered him an oxygen mask and strapped him to a gurney. Telligman did come to and tried to rise, but was asked to remain down and was taken out of the arena.
Also taken out on a gurney following a James Irvin-induced flying knee knockout, Terry Martin was back at the UFC event at its conclusion in seemingly good health.
Main eventer Jeremy Horn was reported to have vision problems sustained from punches he took from Chuck Liddell in the first round of their championship bout, while White reports that Brian Gassaway sustained multiple broken bones around both his eyes during his bout with welterweight Diego Sanchez and is currently under the closest medical scrutiny of all UFC 54’s fighters at this time.
Knockdown King Liddell Breaks Horn at UFC 54;
Victorious Couture, Sylvia Back in Title Hunt
By Loretta Hunt
LAS VEGAS, Nevada — A blazing right straight shot through the air past Jeremy Horn’s defenses and the man with over 100 fights to his name fell. It came over a minute into a tense first round that matched UFC Light Heavyweight Champion Chuck Liddell against his first career loss that came at the hands of ground-savvy Horn at UFC 19. Tonight at UFC 54, the rematch would resemble nothing like its predecessor.
Horn had been touted a respectable challenger for the fighter that has been marketed as the hardest hitter the UFC has. Liddell made a very convincing argument for this claim tonight, nearly knocking Horn out in the first round, then repeating the same feat in the second round with another right that sent the Utah fighter down once again. Each time Liddell followed Horn to the mat and landed follow-up fireballs, then wisely backed away and signaled for him to stand. Horn got up each time, his body a little less certain, his mind racing to find a way in.
Their faces told the story. Virtually unscathed, a concentrated Liddell studied Horn like a puzzle as he circled him around the cage. Minutes ticked away and Horn’s face gradually reddened, swelled, and later bled from his eye area and his nose. Try as Horn might, he couldn’t find his range for a crucial takedown that would finally give him some advantage in this one-sided affair, and he was punished for it each time.
In the third, Horn switched tactics. If he could land kicks to Liddell’s posting left leg, maybe he could slow him down. He landed three swipes and Liddell answered with a crisp straight. Horn acknowledged its devastation with a nod of his head and knew. This wasn’t going to work either.
Round four. Another landing left-right combination. A moment to absorb and Horn’s back scraped the fence. His hands went up to protect the onslaught he knew was coming, and that’s all he knew he could do. Horn again stood at referee McCarthy’s request and for the first time in his nine year career, he quit.
Miletich Martial Arts brethren and former heavyweight champion Tim Sylvia fared much better in his bout with Lion’s Den veteran Tra Telligman. Sylvia utilized his reach to slowly pick 40-year-old Telligman apart with effective jabs and left-right counter combinations.
Early on, Telligman’s pro boxing experience helped him land a counter body shot, yet Sylvia looked to brush it off and kept coming forward. The Lion’s Den rep then tried with overhand rights to break through his giant’s defense. Then he ate a punch to get the clinch, but the confident 29-year-old grabbed Telligman’s head each time and pulled his knee to his opponent’s chest.
A cut under Telligman’s eye proved an accurate gauge of Telligman’s downfall as it began to swell and bleed freely. Teligman’s swings became hesitatingly less frequent and Sylvia began to stalk, backing Telligman to the fence before landing flush with a left high kick that sent his elder to the mat with a second left on the first round clock.
For a tense few moments in the arena, Telligman lay unconscious as medical technicians buzzed around him. When he did come to some three to four minutes later, Telligman fought to rise, but he was already strapped to a gurney. A fighter whose tenacity was one brick in the foundation that built up the UFC in its earlier years, Telligman left the Octagon this way most likely for the last time in his career. No official update on Telligman’s condition could be given by press time.
In a tough tactical wrestling showdown, Randy Couture took his first step back towards title contention with a hard-earned victory over fellow Olympic wrestling alternate Mike Van Arsdale. With a definitive strategy seen throughout the bout, Couture’s diligent execution finally reaped benefits with an arm-triangle choke 58 seconds into round three.
Couture started by striking with Van Arsdale, then kept him at bay in the North-South position when the threat of a takedown appeared. At first, a fresh Van Arsdale was able to ward off Couture’s advances to go for a choke or take his back. Impeded for now, Couture threw knees to Van Arsdale’s shoulders.
With speed on his side, Van Arsdale rose and shook a bearhugging Couture from his back to get in front of him, then take his back in return. Throwing Couture to the mat, Van Arsdale took his back, but just as fast the former champion was out and had his opponent’s back.
So went the war of the wrestlers until round two when Couture tagged Van Arsdale in an exchange and he wobbled. Falling to his knees for the shoot, Van Arsdale was again thwarted and had to turtle. Again, Van Arsdale reversed out of their North-South stalemate and landed two notable punches in their subsequent exchanges. Couture pushed Van Arsdale to the fence and worked for a single-leg, then a throw. He got Van Arsdale down once more.
By round three, the evidence of both men’s exhaustion was clearly evident. They both landed punches in their opening exchange and Van Arsdale shot again, halted in the North-South position one last time. Again, Couture maneuvered for the same choke and rolled Van Arsdale over. This time the choke came.
As expected, TUF season one middleweight winner Diego Sanchez chose not to stand with 2003 World Shidokan Champion Brian Gassaway in his UFC debut in the welterweight division. The aggressive grappler secured a single-leg takedown early on, and although Gassaway managed to his feet, Sanchez locked in a guillotine and fell to his back, pulling with all his might. Illinois native Gassaway rolled out, but the punishment was just beginning. Temporarily stalled in side control, Sanchez freed a trapped leg and went to work again, taking mount and then Gassaway’s back. Impressively, Gassaway reversed out and up to his feet, but Sanchez took him right back down again and got mount again for a Kimura and then an armbar attempt. All in all, Gassaway barely escaped the first round intact with a round the judges unanimously scored a 10-8.
Save for whopping right he landed that forced Sanchez to shoot in its opening seconds, Gassaway didn’t fare much better in the second stanza. A charged Sanchez stacked his opponent in the middle of the cage and landed more shots before again securing mount. With numerous elbows raining down on him, an overwhelmed Gassaway broke under the pressure and tapped himself out. Sanchez improves his pro record to 15-0.
In one of the most dominating victories to come between two top five contenders in a UFC division, Georges St. Pierre cemented a second go with welterweight champ Matt Hughes next by plowing through an overwhelmed Frank Trigg. Unaccompanied to the Octagon by his trainer Rico Chiapparelli for the first time in his MMA career, Trigg still seemed as focused as ever in a make-or-break fight to stay alive in the promotion, but the young, infectiously likable Canadian proved too skilled to overtake.
After muscling Trigg to his back off the wrestler’s failed takedown attempt, St. Pierre alternated between punishing Trigg from the mount and taking his back to try to secure the rear-naked choke. Each time St. Pierre came close, the audience cheered, possibly aware the move had spelled disaster for Trigg in his two previous title fights. Trigg defended at first and would be forced to return to his back, but a flawless St. Pierre landed two elbows still in mount and cut him. Struggling to stand, Trigg posted on all fours and St. Pierre took his back one last time. The rear-naked choke and its tap out came easily.
In preliminary action, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu black Joe Doerksen impressed the crowds with a fluid ground attack that left opponent Matt Lindland incredulous by the first round’s end. However, it was not enough to stop the limber 14-3 Lindland, who continues to give most ground practitioners an impossible time in sealing the deal.
After surviving an initial Lindland takedown in the bout’s opening seconds, the Winnipeg native managed to return the favor on the Olympic wrestling silver medalist numerous times in round one and take his exposed back for a choke. Lindland defended well and scored with takedowns as well, but Doerksen continued to fight back, impressively bucking Lindland out of his guard two times with his legs and landing a powerful elbow off a clinch in the round’s final seconds. It was an active round for Canadian Doerksen, however, he secured the 10-9 round from only one of the three judges watching. [Writer’s Note: This reporter echoed Judge Jeff Mullen’s 10-9 for Doerksen.]
Although competitive, round two was Lindland’s on the scorecards. Twice he secured a guillotine choke on Doerksen that forced the ground specialist to scramble out. Coupled with his takedowns and advances from Doerksen’s guard to side control, Lindland eked out the round.
Again, Lindland landed the guillotine to kick-off the third round and had Doerksen on the run. He escaped, but, restood later by referee Mario Yamasaki, Doerksen’s demise would come from Lindland’s strength: his undeniable takedowns. Lindland moves on with the unanimous decision victory and, if UFC president Dana White keeps his promise, will meet champion Rich Franklin most likely by the end of this year.
South African’s Olympic wrestling alternate Trevor Prangley demonstrated beautiful trip takedowns and crisp body shots in his victory over Travis Lutter in the second preliminary bout of the evening. Although not a continuous occurrence, especially as the fight progressed into a much slower round two and three, it was enough to stave off Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu black belt and former training partner Travis Lutter for a unanimous decision victory overall.
Prangley’s momentum was clearly shaken after he unintentionally hit Lutter with two low blows in round one, first with an ill-targeted punch and then with a knee. The second time, referee Herb Dean penalized the Idaho resident one point, yet the fight continued on for its fifteen-minute duration. If Prangley can learn to sustain his stellar moments throughout three rounds if he has to, he could become more of a player in the middleweight division.
After an uninspiring first round which saw Illinois opponent Terry Martin keep him tied down and virtually neutralized on the ground throughout most of its five minutes, Californian James Irvin rebounded in a big way with the flying knee heard around the world. It was an explosive, crowd-pleasing move that came nine seconds into round two and sent Martin to his back, where he remained unconscious for at least a minute.
In round one, Martin had safely secured the scoring with multiple takedowns and elbow shots within Irvin’s guard. He was attempting to shoot in for a single-leg takedown when Irvin nailed him square with the knee at the top of the second. Administered an oxygen mask, Martin was gurneyed out of the arena, but was seen later that evening walking around the press area.
UFC 54: Boiling Point Results
Light Heavyweight Championship Title Fight
Tim Sylvia def. Tra Telligman – KO (Kick) 4:59 R1
UFC 54 Analysis and Ramblings
By Joe Hall
There was a sense in some MMA circles that Jeremy Horn had prepared a master strategy, something to be executed over four or five rounds that would whittle Chuck Liddell down to a fighter susceptible to a submission or being out-pointed. When that first straight right hand ripped through Horn’s defense, though, it likely tore a hole in his strategy as well.
If given the choice, Horn would have undoubtedly chosen to attack Liddell on the ground. He wasn’t given that choice, though. Liddell forced him to stand. Horn knew he couldn’t come out of his corner diving at Liddell’s legs. He had to set up his takedowns by striking with him first; he had to survive on the feet long enough to unlock the grappling game.
However, Horn got hit early with the kind of punch that ruins game plans. That first right hand Liddell landed permanently weakened Horn’s defense and shut down his wrestling. Liddell took control of the distance and the cage, and Horn’s takedown attempts from then on were often desperate and never close to completion. Even in the closely contested third round, in which Horn scored with several low kicks, he was fighting on Liddell’s turf, according to Liddell’s rules. In that world, it’s only a matter of time.
One could argue Horn shouldn’t have pursued Liddell around the cage. Liddell, however, has a way of luring opponents into chasing him. In his last two fights, Liddell has used movement and angles to force or bait two of the smartest fighters in the world — Horn and Randy Couture — into playing games with him they can’t win. That’s why he’s the champion.
Horn was gutsy in defeat. Unfortunately for him, he still hasn’t beaten the big name opponent in the big fight. Perhaps such a win would come sooner to him at 185 pounds.