UFC 103: Minute-by-Minute

By Jake Rossen Sep 20, 2009
The UFC heads to Texas tonight for its hundredth-something broadcast. And since there’s all the chance in the world the audience in the arena will be armed, it had better be good.

Already, local news has gotten cranky about their presence, with Dallas Morning News columnist Tim Cowlishaw getting his diapers in a sailor's knot over it. Cowlishaw passed on a ringside seat offered by UFC brass in order to watch a college football game on television. If only some kind of recording device were available.

8:55 p.m. ET -- Killing time before this thing starts. Reading “Bloodsport” trivia. Do you think Forest Whitaker acknowledges he appeared in this movie?

9:00 p.m. ET -- So I think I’ll just go ahead and order Mayweather/Marquez, and -- oh, say, there’s a UFC special on Spike.

9:02 p.m. ET -- Drew McFedries vs. Tomasz Drwal is up. More or less guaranteed the fight doesn't last as long as the pre-fight interviews.

9:07 p.m. ET -- A full and unlikely two minutes in. McFedries has Crohn’s Disease, an inflammatory bowel disorder, yet it’s Tim Sylvia who copped to loading his shorts against Assuerio Silva. Go figure.

9:09 p.m. ET -- McFedries pretends to check out a woman in the crowd, then attacks. Interesting strategy. His chest is already heaving. No wonder: hasn't seen the second round in forever.

9:10 p.m. ET – “Bloodsport II.” What a sick, sick joke. Shame on you, Donald Gibb.

9:12 p.m. ET -- "If you haven't ordered the pay per view yet, do it." Mike Goldberg with the hard sell.

9:12 p.m. ET -- Drwal un-erotically asphyxiates McFedries via a rear-naked choke.

9:13 p.m. ET -- Out of breath, adrenalized, and foreign isn't a good combination for post-fight talk.

9:15 p.m. ET -- Vitor Belfort strolls into the arena and stifles a small cough. The betting line moves 50 cents.

9:25 p.m. ET -- Ricky Story vs. Brian Foster in pre-prelim action. "The Horror" Story is fighting like he's desperate for a new nickname. After a round, q-tips long enough to poke his brain are up the nose to staunch the bleeding.

9:26 p.m. ET -- Story sinks in an arm-triangle from inside Foster's guard, a feat that causes Joe Rogan to actually birth a litter of kittens from cage-side.

9:33 p.m. ET -- Rich Franklin appears relaxed-to-nodding in backstage footage. Perhaps he was informed that "Old Vitor" makes only sporadic appearances.

9:35 p.m. ET -- Efrain Escudero and Cole Miller up. Miller, as usual, has the physique of Stretch Armstrong. Perfect for jiu-jitsu. Both of them beat up Junie Allen Browning. Hard to root against either guy.

9:41 p.m. ET -- Escudero takes care of Miller with a nose-crumbling punch to the mug and then a few swatting follow-ups.

9:45 p.m. ET -- Jim Miller and Steve Lopez in another pre-taped segment. As barker shows go, this one fares better than watching Floyd Mayweather roller-skate.

9:48 p.m. ET -- "Bloodsport's" Italy title? "Without Restriction of Blows." Miller takes the first round by virtue of being aggressive.

9:51 p.m. ET -- Lopez pops his shoulder throwing a punch. He appears very composed for somebody with a bone pointing in a new direction.

10:00 p.m. ET -- Live on pay per view from Dallas, Texas, where everything is bigger. And yet there's only one heavyweight fight.

10:04 p.m. ET -- Goldberg welcomes us to his second UFC in three days. Will his highlights hold up?

10:07 p.m. ET -- Tyson Griffin and Hermes Franca up first. Griffin has earned five "Fight of the Night" checks in the past couple of years. He should pace himself more. Franca's hair defies description.

10:09 p.m. ET -- Much discussion over Franca not making 155. (He was 159 for the weigh-in.) Griffin is actually mouthing the words to "Eye of the Tiger." I'd laugh, if not for the fact that I know every word.

10:13 p.m. ET -- At least one Texan is not afraid to write on their obese midsection in Magic Marker. Griffin has Beyonce's thighs. He lands several leg kicks. I sincerely hope Franca's hair is the result of a lab explosion.

10:20 p.m. ET -- The crowd boos Griffin's attrition approach. They badly want to see the man with the purple hair get hurt.

10:23 p.m. ET -- The crowd reverses its position when Griffin and Franca begin slamming each other in the head repeatedly. The 5-foot-6 Griffin goes for a high kick. It lands on Franca's thigh. The right hand is more useful: it knocks Franca down, and eventually out. This ends a streak of seven straight decisions.

10:30 p.m. ET -- Mirko "Cro Cop" Filipovic gets his hands wrapped. Marriage, wraps, birthday party: expression is the same.

10:33 p.m. ET -- Josh Koscheck and Frank Trigg. Who can be more condescending toward the other? It's close. Trigg looks excited to be back. Goldberg mentions he nearly won the welterweight title from Matt Hughes; Rogan reminds him that Trigg had to hit him in the balls to do it. Rogan works very well as Goldberg's Ombudsman.

10:36 p.m. ET -- Much effort involved in getting Koscheck's sweatshirt off of him. Before an extraction EMT can be called, it's off. Trigg strikes me as the stronger guy, but I think Koscheck catches him in something.

10:40 p.m. ET -- Koscheck being elusive. It's been weeks since we last heard that word. Guess he was just waiting for the right time: he puts Trigg out with a hard, hard right. Koscheck calls out Matt Hughes. Can't wait to miss that one.

10:43 p.m. ET -- Goldberg pretends he hasn't exposed himself to Jenna Jameson's entire filmography by referring to her as "Jenna James."

10:46 p.m. ET -- Martin Kampmann and Paul Daley: This could potentially set up Kampmann for a title fight against Georges St. Pierre, but they’d need a gun fight at the top of the card in order to help draw.

10:47 p.m. ET -- Daley enters. Bad man standing. Kampmann should slather on some Super-Glue.

10:52 p.m. ET -- Something just occurred: our version of a Roman Coliseum is a Bud Light floor. Weird. Daley is putting in good work standing. Kampmann tries a takedown, but it doesn't stick. Expert analysis by Rogan: "Kampmann needs to get hold of this dude." It's true: Daley gets it stopped. This guy with takedown defense is a serious problem.

10:58 p.m. ET -- "When opportunity knocks, you open the door. And Paul Daley burst through the gates of the Octagon ..." Goldberg likes to put his metaphors in a blender.

11:06 p.m. ET -- Robert Emerson and Rafael dos Anjos in footage from earlier in the evening. There's some innuendo that Jean-Claude Van Damme wore a toupee for "Bloodsport." This has really thrown me. Dos Anjos is doing a good job with the leg kicks, Emerson having success with his hands.

11:13 p.m. ET -- Emerson is one leg kick away from needing a wheelchair to get to the airport. Dos Anjos shows some mercy by taking him down.

11:19 p.m. ET -- Dos Anjos wins a decision; Emerson wins a week's worth of concern over blood clots.

11:21 p.m. ET -- Mirko "Cro Cop" vs. Junior dos Santos. The tale of two Mirkos: one a mafia assassin with the disposition of a military rifle, the other an erratic semi-geezer who frequently stands around looking bewildered. The revised betting line:

Regular Mirko: -200
Junior dos Santos: +150

Anesthetized Mirko: +300
Junior dos Santos: -220

11:31 p.m. ET -- Dallas loves Mirko. You'd think it was Yokohama. He seems content to avoid shots rather than go on the offensive.

11:33 p.m. ET -- Mirko is dreaming of the days he'd be paid a small fortune to fight Bob Sapp. Dos Santos is faster and hungrier. Maybe Mirko will improve as Dos Santos slows down. As of now, he's not fighting with the savagery one expects from Duran Duran entrance music.

11:41 p.m. ET -- Mirko is getting the worst of most exchanges. His aggression hasn't been noticeable in years. Toothless. The appeal of seeing him fight again is dwindling. At least he manages to land the most devastating shot in the entire sport: a "Cro Cop" field goal special to the cup.

11:47 p.m. ET -- Goldberg and Rogan argue whether "gonads" is a medical term. Mirko is being picked apart. He complains he can't see out of his eye and the fight is called. Either Kimbo Slice restores his confidence or we don't see him again.

11:52 p.m. ET -- Backstage, Belfort looks somewhat deflated physically. The goatee isn't helping. Good thing this weight class doesn't even exist.

12:00 a.m. ET -- A ringside Jon Fitch is impressed enough with Belfort to take pictures. Both men appear relaxed and collected. Franklin will loop punches and out-gut to a decision. Probably.

12:08 p.m. ET -- Both men are tentative. They might both be scared of Belfort's hands. Belfort uses a nice little jab kick. This is the kind of round where little things could make a difference. Oh, and it's over: a weird passage with Belfort not connecting too flush, but leveling Franklin and finishing to the side of his head. Just in time. "Bloodsport" might be on TNT.
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