Live UFC 101 Minute-by-Minute

By Jake Rossen Aug 9, 2009
You could argue that every single night in Philadelphia plays host to some kind of gruesome assault. The difference tonight? This is the first time it’s under trademark.

UFC 101 "Declaration" -- headlined by B.J. Penn’s first-ever unified lightweight title defense -- is scheduled for a 10 PM EST start. If you’re unable or unwilling to visit Philly’s Wachovia Center and/or don’t want to risk $44.95 on Anderson Silva once again mistaking the Octagon for a ballroom, you can settle in here for up-to-the-hematoma coverage. It may not beat a ringside seat, but it also won't require a second mortgage.

I opened the New York Post on Friday and noticed an advertisement notifying that Larry Flynt’s Hustler Club would be airing UFC 101 "Declaration" with “complimentary admission.”

If you are in the New York area, I cannot compete with this. Residents outside the tri-state area should refresh this page for live updates and observations from tonight’s card.

10 p.m. ET -- "Finally, they put an opponent in front of me that won't run." Anderson Silva ponders the advantages of fighting Forrest Griffin. For a guy who runs 240 pounds out of camp, there aren't many.

10:02 p.m. ET -- Live from Philadelphia, birthplace of the extremely talented Lawrence brothers. I am partial to Joey, but if you like Andrew, you like Andrew. I’m OK with it.

10:03 p.m. ET -- This broadcast has about 10 seconds to win me over, and it begins and ends with whether they cut to a shot of the Rocky Balboa statue.

10:04 p.m. ET -- They cut to Mike Goldberg. Now I’m just here to pay my electric bill. Emotionally, I’m gone.

10:06 p.m. ET -- The Burger King peep-cams are live. Griffin looks quite a bit like Johny Hendricks. 10:10 p.m. ET -- Lightweights Kurt Pellegrino and Josh Neer are on deck: two guys who fight like Bolo Yeung just kidnapped their sister.

10:11 p.m. ET -- Interesting: the Philadelphia Commission checks gloves just prior to fighters entering the cage, not in the dressing room.

10:14 p.m. ET -- Pellegrino gets the body slam, Jimmy Snuka-style, and settles into Neer's guard. The Philly fans are giving both athletes a generous 45 seconds before they begin questioning their fortitude.

10:18 p.m. ET -- Some vicious hugging; a bronzed Dan Miragliotta implores the men to raise the stakes before the crowd gets their torches. Pellegrino probably won the round.

10:23 p.m. ET -- In danger of the crowd getting behind him, Pellegrino follows a brief exchange with a takedown and works like holy hell to get the mount. It's amazing how that position -- once good for breaking every bone in a fighter's face -- doesn't mean a whole lot anymore. Pellegrino finishes the second round in the Heimlich position.

10:25 p.m. ET -- The first successful lap for new Octagon girl Natasha Wicks. Quantum physics' loss is the UFC's gain.

10:28 p.m. ET -- You can't blame Pellegrino for sticking with what works: with Neer unable to peel his back off of the mat, Pellegrino is en route to a decision victory. Neer, emboldened with the deepest respect instilled by the rich tradition of the martial arts, bitch slaps him.

10:30 p.m. ET -- With 10 seconds to go, Neer decides he should do something and proceeds to elbow Pellegrino's head until it squirts pasta sauce. Unfortunately, there's that 14:50 of being dominated to worry about: 30-27 all across the board for Pellegrino.

10:33 p.m. ET -- Neighboring New Jersey resident Ricardo Almeida enters the arena to face Kendall Grove. Almeida is thinking of dropping to 170 pounds. How will he handle Grove, who’s so tall he appears to be on stilts? I would have advised watching Bruce Lee vs. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.

10:37 p.m. ET -- Grove steps in. I get the feeling his nickname, “Da Spyder,” was given to him in jest, and he’s the only one who didn’t know it.

10:38 p.m. ET -- Tito Ortiz is spotted on a UFC telecast for the first time in over a year. The crowd appears less than excited and more than a little bothered.

10:44 p.m. ET -- Almeida is all over Grove, refusing to give him any space. Grove might be one of those weird "tweener" types, too lanky to cut to 170 and too lanky to be competitive at 185. Almeida is making it look very easy to toss him.

10:46 p.m. ET -- Grove nearly nails an armbar on Almeida, and he's lucky to have escaped: Renzo Gracie probably would've finished tearing it off to beat him with it later in the evening. If you are a jiu-jitsu black belt and someone nicknamed "Da Spyder" submits you, you're not -- hey, Jeff Blatnick sighting -- going to live it down easy.

10:50 p.m. ET -- Almeida looks visibly fatigued as the referee implores him to return to his feet. The blanket and pillow may have been a little much. He decides to rest in Grove's guard instead. He'll win a decision, though Grove makes a valiant attempt to confuse judges by raising his hands.

10:58 p.m. ET -- The entering Johny Hendricks is a four-time Div. I All-American. I know that sounds like a bunch of obtuse nonsense; all you need to know is that it qualifies him to snap the spine of 99.9 percent of the population. With a toothpick in his mouth.

11 p.m. ET -- As you may recall, Amir Sadollah earned “The Ultimate Fighter” title in April 1995 and has yet to appear since, citing everything from infection to injury to constipation. I sincerely hope he can make it to the cage without succumbing to scabies.

11:03 p.m. ET -- Hendricks uses his extensive knowledge of wrestling to punch the crap out of Sadollah, pummeling him into the fence; referee Dan Miragliotta runs in like he was in a time trial. The crowd is not happy.

11:12 p.m. ET -- Aaron Riley enters to try and resolve the ambiguous finish (a loss) against Shane Nelson from last March. He's 28 and has been fighting for 12 years. Not sure how that math shakes out.

11:17 p.m. ET -- Not for nothing, but Kenny Florian looks extremely stern backstage, like he's just been audited. I'm not sure if motivation can overcome experience and ability, but if it can, Florian appears to be willing himself into a title.

11:22 p.m. ET -- Revenge is apparently a pretty good teacher: Riley is muscling Nelson around and landing. At round's end, some fans catch sight of themselves on camera and start waving. At themselves.

11:25 p.m. ET -- Backstage, Forrest Griffin is tying his shoe. This is riveting.

11:27 p.m. ET -- "Rahh!" At round's end, Riley tosses Nelson to the ground. No finesse, just an angry grunt followed by a thud. Sometimes simple is best.

11:30 p.m. ET -- The crowd goes wild in reaction to a fight in the stands. Philadelphia: where the security detail needs security detail.

11:35 p.m. ET -- The Philadelphia judges briefly stop throwing punches at one another to award Riley the decision.

11:38 p.m. ET -- Anderson Silva and Forrest Griffin, two men who could not provoke two more different audience reactions, are up; Griffin jogs to the ring, probably to avoid getting stabbed along the way.

11:43 p.m. ET -- Former McDonald's employee (honestly) Silva enters to a mixed reaction. He looks a little thick around the edges. This is what happens when the best-cheesesteak debate starts.

11:48 p.m. ET -- Silva mugs in mock concern when the crowd hisses at him.

11:50 p.m. ET -- Griffin begins playing Silva's game. You should probably try fighting Silva, not kickboxing him, but -- oh, no but. Silva drops him with a right. Silva is getting amped and wades in. This is knife vs. stick. Silva knocks him out with an almost apathetic air. Griffin is laid out, waves off further punishment, then runs out of the ring and backstage. That's probably not neurologist-recommended.

11:59 p.m. ET -- Leonidas is significantly less intimidating without the beard. Kimbo should take note.

12:02 a.m. ET -- Penn/Florian. If Penn put in the time, then Florian will be going five rounds with a wood chipper. If he didn't, Florian will take the later rounds.

12:07 a.m. ET -- “It’s time to kill the master.” At some point, someone got hold of Kenny Florian and instructed him on the art of the interview. Around 2006, he was sheepish and polite. Sometime in 2008, he turned into Brutus Beefcake.

12:07 a.m. ET -- Florian comes out to a Mick riff from "Rocky." You do what you gotta do. This crowd is dangerous. Liddell was mugged in his seat and didn't say squat.

12:12 a.m. ET -- Penn enters with the weird affectation of flicking his tongue out like a lizard.

12:18 a.m. ET -- A very keyed-up Penn is way, way torqued at that "kill the master" business and cracks Kenny right away. He's stalking, Kenny is evading.

12:22 a.m. ET -- There's plenty of chatter that Penn is looking fatigued, but the flying knee is a conversation closer. An easy first round for Penn. Penn could get bored midway through the fight; Kenny is otherwise in deep.

12:25 a.m. ET -- Florian keeps attempting takedowns. Florian is not great at takedowns. Penn is great at takedown defense. This is probably meant to be unpredictable. Falling to the floor and sobbing would also be unpredictable. Doesn't mean it would work.

12:36 a.m. ET -- Penn is getting the better of the infighting, smacking Florian upside his head when Florian ducks for a takedown. Penn appears to be too tired to have any murderous intent, but it's enough to keep Florian behind on the cards.

12:40 a.m. ET -- Penn works over Florian from mount, back mount, then finishes with a choke. The Philadelphia fans, happy to see a violent finish, agree to release the hostages.
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