Violent Night

By Brian Knapp Dec 12, 2008
Not long after Yoshiyuki Yoshida was carried out of the cage at UFC Fight Night 16 “Fight for the Troops,” post-fight talked turned to the inherent violence in mixed martial arts.

Knocked out by Josh Koscheck in the main event Wednesday at the Crown Coliseum in Fayetteville, N.C., Yoshida (10-3) lay motionless for several minutes while emergency personnel tended to him. The 34-year-old Judo player was later treated and released at a local hospital, according to UFC representatives.

Yoshida’s date with unconsciousness capped a night of brutality that will not soon be forgotten, providing ammunition for remaining MMA opponents who believe the sport to be unfit for consumption.

Corey Hill -- the 6-foot-4 lightweight from season five of “The Ultimate Fighter” reality series -- snapped his right leg like a stale breadstick when opponent Dale Hartt checked one of his low kicks early in the second round. Unaware Hill had sustained such a severe injury, Hartt (6-1) pounced on the lanky Floridian after he collapsed. Hill (2-2), perhaps in shock, attempted to counter with a kimura, even as his lower leg dangled.

Hill was immediately transported to the nearby Cape Fear Valley Hospital, where medical staff confirmed to Sherdog.com that he had sustained a leg fracture but could not release further details on his condition. Hill underwent surgery on Thursday and is currently resting. An unidentified representative for Hill would not comment on his injury at this time.

“We cut weight together. We’ve been talking this whole time,” Hartt said. “Corey’s an awesome dude. I wanted to beat him with every bit of my heart, but I don’t want to see him like this.”

Hill’s injury was not without precedent in MMA. In fact, Jose “Pele” Land-Jons suffered a similar break when he fired a low kick at Brian Gassaway at a TKO event in Montreal 10 months ago. Landi-Jons, who knocked out former UFC welterweight champion Matt Hughes with a knee back in 2001, has not fought since.

Though Hill’s ill-fated bout with Hartt did not make it on to the Spike TV telecast, it drew plenty of attention. UFC.com carried the match in its entirety on Thursday, and a graphic photo, taken by Fight! Magazine photographer Paul Thatcher, also made the rounds.

While unsettling, serious injuries like the one Hill suffered are not foreign to traditional sports, either. Former Washington Redskins quarterback Joe Theismann -- who suffered a career-ending leg injury on Monday Night Football on Nov. 18, 1985 -- comes immediately to mind.

In addition to the misfortune shared by Yoshida and Hill, newcomer Razak Al-Hassan was victimized in his bout with former World Extreme Cagefighting light heavyweight champion Steve Cantwell.

After the fighters tested themselves standing, Cantwell (7-1) brought Al-Hassan to the ground, moved to mount and eventually secured an armbar. Al-Hassan (6-1) never submitted, but referee Mario Yamasaki, himself a Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt, intervened when Cantwell wrenched his opponents arm beyond its limits. The grotesque hyper-extension had the audience squirming.

File Photo/Sherdog.com

Jim Miller continues
to impress.
Miller’s risk leads to reward

Jim Miller’s risky decision to accept a short-notice match with Matt Wiman paid off for both men at “Fight for the Troops.”

Miller (13-1) and Wiman were awarded matching $30,000 “Fight of the Night” bonuses after their grueling three-round lightweight bout. Superior grappling and competent striking carried Miller (13-1) to a unanimous decision victory in a fight he took on just a week’s notice.

Spawned by the Ring of Combat promotion and defunct International Fight League, Miller has reeled off eight consecutive wins since his decision loss to Frankie Edgar in November 2006. Ironically, it was Edgar he replaced on the “Fight for the Troops” card. The 25-year-old New Jersey native made his UFC debut at UFC 89 in June, when he submitted Shooto and Pride Fighting Championships veteran David Baron, who, like Wiman (10-4), entered his bout with Miller on a healthy winning streak.

Miller and Wiman were not the only post-fight beneficiaries.

Koscheck picked up a $30,000 bonus for “Knockout of the Night” after he flattened Yoshida with two brutal punches in the first round of their main event tilt.

Koscheck (12-3) responded nicely to his decision loss against Thiago Alves in October, as he blasted Yoshida with two crushing rights that sent his limp body crashing to the canvas 2:15 into round one. The Cage Force veteran entered the Octagon on a nine-fight winning streak and left it on a stretcher.

Finally, Cantwell banked a $30,000 “Submission of the Night” bonus after he executed his fight-ending armbar against the previously undefeated Al-Hassan.

This and That

If UFC Fight 16 was any indication, the future of the promotion remains in good hands. Seven of the 10 winners -- Mike Swick (29), Hartt (29), Luigi Fioravanti (27), Steve Bruno (27), Ben Saunders (25), Miller (25) and Cantwell (22) -- are still in their 20s … Swick’s 33-second win over Jonathan Goulet was the fourth of his career delivered in less than a minute. He also holds quick victories against Alex Schoenauer (20 seconds), Gideon Ray (22 seconds) and Butch Bacon (26 seconds) … Despite being a respected striker, Cantwell has now secured more than half (four) of his seven wins by submission, three of them by armbar … Koscheck’s knockout of Yoshida was his first since he left Chris Sanford unconscious at “The Ultimate Fighter 1” Finale almost four years ago. No one can say the 31-year-old four-time collegiate All-American wrestler has been given an easy road. The combined record of Koscheck’s last six opponents -- Yoshida, Alves, Chris Lytle, Dustin Hazelett, Georges St. Pierre and Diego Sanchez -- at the time that he fought them was a staggering 90-25-5 … Tim Credeur, who handed Nate Loughran his first professional loss, still has never gone to a decision in his career. In fact, his bout with Loughran was just his second to go past the first round. The 31-year-old Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt, who once thought of giving up on a career in mixed martial arts, has won five straight fights.

This article was updated with new information on Hill's condition at 6:22 p.m. EST.
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