UFC 54 Dark Bouts: Irvin KO’s Martin, Sends him out of Octagon on Stretcher

By Josh Gross Aug 20, 2005
LAS VEGAS, Aug. 20 — As round two of his fight with Terry Martin (Pictures) began, Sacramento, Calif.’s James Irvin (Pictures) calmly walked to the center of the Octagon. He’d spent much of the first period pinned to his back, unable to stop the shorter wrestler’s takedowns.

Looking to continue the trend he’d set in the opening five minutes, Martin dropped levels, however Irvin offered a brutally efficient answer: a knockout-of-the-year-caliber flying left knee that rendered Martin out cold on the gray canvas.

There the light heavyweight remained, prone and unresponsive for three minutes. EMT’s administered oxygen and placed a cervical collar around Martin’s neck before carrying him out of the Octagon on a stretcher. Nevada State Athletic Commission Executive Director Marc Ratner indicated it was purely precautionary and that the Chicago, Ill.-based fighter was responsive as he exited the ring.

The knockout, which came in the first of UFC 54’s preliminary bouts, came nine seconds into the second period, and it signaled Irvin’s entry into the UFC light heavyweight division. His previous performance saw him on the bad end of a KO, losing to heavyweight Mike Kyle (Pictures).

Matt Lindland (Pictures) once again showed why he is the best wrestler currently competing in the UFC, as the Olympic silver medalist controlled, stymied and out-pointed Canadian Joe Doerksen (Pictures) to win a unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28, 29-28) in the final dark bout of the night.

Doerksen, who took the fight three weeks ago when Joe Riggs was injured in training, used a nice takedown to mount Lindland late in the opening period. Quickly, he transitioned to back-control when Lindland spun. He never threatened the wrestler’s neck, but Doerksen calmly corralled Lindland’s right arm.

Eventually the submission savvy middleweight went for armbar, but Lindland, pain obvious on his face, squirmed free. Offense in rounds two and three was largely Lindland’s, who outmaneuvered his was way around Lindland, both standing and on the canvas.

Midway through the final period, Doerksen simply conceded takedowns and played from his guard. But he’d never find the submission and Lindland got the win he needed to earn a bout versus UFC middleweight champion Rich Franklin (Pictures).

Trevor Prangley (Pictures) dominated former training partner Travis Lutter (Pictures) to capture a unanimous decision victory (29-27, 29-27, 29-26.) The South African middleweight dominated all three rounds, however consecutive low blows to Lutter in round one — the first came with a left hand and the second a knee — made it even after the first.

Lutter, a Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt making his second appearance in the UFC, had no answer for Prangley’s power. An elbow opened Lutter’s left eye in the second and the punishment continued into the third.

Fighting out of San Jose, Calif.’s American Kickboxing Academy, Prangley upped his UFC record to 2-0 and showed the power, skill and wherewithal to be a force in promotion’s deepest division.
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