UFC 89 Play-by-Play

Oct 18, 2008
Sherdog.com reports from the National Indoor Arena in Birmingham, England, with live play-by-play of Saturday’s UFC 89 “Bisping vs. Leben.”

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Per Eklund vs. Samy Schiavo
Round 1
Schiavo and Eklund clinch early and Schiavo starts to tee off. A big right rocks Eklund and sends him to the canvas. Per survives and they trade knees in clinch. Schiavo forces the action and forces Eklund to the canvas after a failed Per takedown attempt. Schiavo stands over his opponent and avoids some dangerous upkicks. Decent action to start the first frame, which goes to Schaivo on the Sherdog.com scorecard.

Round 2
Eklund goes to the clinch early in round two after ducking a haymaker. A right hand from Schiavo stuns his opponent. Eklund gets back to the clinch and wills Schiavo to the canvas. Eklund moves to Schiavo’s back, where he twice looks for a rear-naked choke. Schiavo hangs on and escapes, where he peepers Eklund with punches from the top position. 10-9 for Eklund.

Round 3
Eklund drops levels for a takedown and gets it. Eklund passes to mount and looks for an armbar, which prompts Schiavo to turn his back. Eklund locks on a rear-naked choke and forces the tapout at 1:47 of the third.

Jim Miller vs. David Baron
Round 1
Miller puts on a grappling clinic to open the bout. Miller catches a low kick and deposits Baron on the canvas. Miller punches from guard before going to side-control and mount. Baron escapes to his feet but finds Miller on his back with both hooks. Miller looks for an armbar but runs out of time as the horn sounds. 10-9 Miller.

Round 2
An early trading of punches ends with a takedown from Miller. Baron gets to his feet but is taken back down with a single-leg. The pace slows as the bleeding Baron defends from his back. Baron sweeps and takes the top position, but is caught in a triangle. Baron survives the frame. 10-9 Miller.

Round 3
Miller catches a low kick and places his opponent on the mat. The fighters battle for position and Miller slips through to take the mount. Punches from the top force Baron to give up his back, where he is submitted by a rear-naked choke at the 3:19 mark.

Sam Stout vs. Terry Etim
Round 1
Crisp kickboxing is the theme of the opening round. Etim has the edge early but both fighters are rattled. Stout scores a knockdown off the heels of a nice left hook, but he quickly gets back to his feet. Etim recovers and connects with a superman punch and then fails on a takedown attempt. 10-9 Etim.

Round 2
The pace changes in the second round as both men recover from the energy output of the first stanza. Etim jabs and counters with low kicks. Etim finds his tempo and picks up the pace with straight punches. Stout gets momentum as a right cross finds its target. Stout continues to push the action until he is taken down late in the period. Etim gets his back before the round closes. 10-9 Etim.

Round 3
Etim seems content to counter punch in the third, perhaps knowing that he is ahead on the judges’ scorecards. Working jabs and low kicks consistently, Etim uses head and foot movement to escape heavy punches from the impatient Canadian. Stout connects with good leather down the stretch, as a one-two combination do enough to take the round on the Sherdog.com card, 10-9. The official judges see the contest 29-28 (twice) and 30-27 for Terry Etim.

David Bielkheden vs. Jess Liaudin
Round 1
The fighters go to the clinch early, and Bielkheden has the advantage against the fencing with punches and kicks. Bielkheden Gets the takedown and fights off an omaplata. Bielkheden chases after Liaudin, who has stood to his feet. Bielkheden scores another takedown but gives up top position. Liaudin lands leather from the top to ride out the first. The very close round goes 10-9 to Bielkheden.

Round 2
Bielkheden gets a strong slam takedown to start round two. Liaudin looks for another opaplata but Bielkheden has none of it. A fatigued Liaudin looks for a triangle but it doesn’t seem that he has quite the positioning needed to finish. After the referee intervenes to stand the fighters, Bielkheden fails on a shot and finds himself on the bottom. Liaudin hits the body and head from guard until the horn sounds. 10-9 for Liaudin.

Round 3
Bielkheden again gets a takedown to start a round. He controls the tempo with heavy elbows, one of which opens a gash on the forehead of Liaudin. The action slows and the referee stands the fighters up. Bielkheden goes for a takedown, but Liaudin uses a standing Kimura to avoid being underneath his opponent. A late rally wasn’t enough as time expires. 10-9 for Bielkheden. The judges see the contest 29-28 (twice) and 30-27, all for David Bielkheden.

Neil Wain vs. Shane Carwin
Round 1
The fighters come out looking for a homerun with big punches. Carwin clinches and gets a takedown directly into side-control. He advances to mount and pounds downward on the face of his opponent until the referee shows mercy at 1:31 of the first.

Akihiro Gono vs. Dan Hardy
Round 1
Hardy starts fast in the first stanza with straight punches. The left hook is Hardy’s weapon of choice early, as it grazes often. Gono mainly retreats and counters back with one punch at a time. Gono has enough of the trading and goes to the clinch. Gono connects with a right hand that snaps Hardy’s head backwards. The fighters trade kicks to the body before the round closes. 10-9 for Hardy.

Round 2
Again Hardy puts his head down and comes out swinging. Gono, who’s now the proud owner of some heavy swelling on his face, briefly gets a takedown. Now back on their feet, Gono connects with a stiff kick to the body. Hardy seems to get mad as his punches are coming with more force than before. Gono clinches again and is hit with a hard right hook as the round ends. 10-9 for Hardy.

Round 3
The third period starts conservatively, but unfolds much differently as the round plays out. Gono, swollen and bloody, sees a kick make contact with his cup. He is is given time to recover. Gono clinches and pushes Hardy to the canvas, where he lands an illegal knee to the face of the downed fighter. Time is called but action resumes as both fighters are showing the signs of a battle. Hardy absorbs a hard punch to the chin that buckles his frame. A flying knee from Gono misses its mark and he slips to the mat. Time runs out and Hardy takes the round. The official judges see the bout 29-28 (twice) for Hardy, and 29-28 for Gono. Hardy takes the split decision after an entertaining fight.

Marcus Davis vs. Paul Kelly
Round 1
Davis attacks the inside of Kelly’s lead leg with two kicks. Looking to punch from a boxer’s range, Davis connects with an uppercut and a jab. Kelly moves forward and eats a right hook for his effort. A stiff left kick to the body connects for Davis. Kelly is throwing one punch at a time while Davis, the more refined striker, uses his jab and kicks to set up his blows. Davis sneaks under a right hand and scores a single-leg takedown. Davis frees his neck from a guillotine and punches the head. Davis passes guard into side-control but Kelly stands to his feet. Kelly is bleeding near his right ear. Kelly sneaks in a straight right to the body and a right legged head kick as the horn sounds. 10-9 Davis.

Round 2
Kelly retreats early in the second round and the fighters touch gloves twice. Davis has abandoned his jab as the southpaw fires a few left hand leads. Davis is kicking more in this bout than previous contests. Kelly turns up the heat with a right hook, left straight combination. Kelly sets up a takedown off the heels of a right hook. Davis locks on a guillotine and Kelly taps out. The official time is 2:16 of the second.

Chris Lytle vs. Paul Taylor
Round 1
An intense slugfest plays out at the sound of the bell. Taylor lands a punch and a hard knee. Lytle fires back and cracks his opponent with two right hands. Lytle goes to the clinch and both fighters dig to the body with right-handed punches. Lytle pushes Taylor to the fencing and referee Kevin Mulhall commands the fighters to keep busy. Lytle goes back to the body with a right hook. Lytle briefly gets a takedown, but Taylor gets right back to his feet. Both fighters graze right hands as the break the clinch. Taylor gets busy with kicks but he can’t connect solidly with a body and head kick. Lytle pushes Taylor against the fence again and eats a knee to the body and a short right hand. The very close round goes to Lytle, 10-9.

Round 2
Taylor lets his hands go and Lytle answers. Taylor’s momentum from the close of the first frame has carried over as he lands with short-range rights and lefts. He hurts Lytle with a right-hand counter and Lytle gets a takedown. Lytle tried to setup a guillotine but Taylor has none of it and stands up. A hard left hook lands for Taylor. This fight is a dirty boxing fan’s dream, as both men are very technical with their hands from in close. Lytle chops at the body and backs away. Lytle grazes a right hand and Taylor counters with a right kick to the ribs. Taylor goes low with his strikes and connects with two lowkicks, the second of which hit the cup. Time is given and the bout restarts quickly. Lytle is getting sloppy but he lands a hard right to the midsection. Taylor, from the clinch and with his back to the cage, lands two knees to the body. Lytle drops levels for a takedown and Taylor stuffs it and reverses position against the fencing. Good round. 10-9 Taylor.

Round 3
Lytle blasts Taylor with a right hand in the center of the Octagon. Taylor sticks with his game plan of using kicks. Lytle absolutely peppers Taylor with punches to the body and head against the cage. Taylor’s legs buckle, but he recovers quickly and uses double underhooks to switch. A knee to the body and an uppercut land for Taylor. Lytle answers with an uppercut of his own. Both men are tired but they continue to throw down. Taylor backs Lytle off with a hard low kick to the lead leg. Referee Mulhall separates the fighters and moves them to the center of the cage. Lytle is throwing bombs and he slips to the canvas. He gets to his feet and scores a takedown. Lytle tries to pass, but Taylor uses the cage with his back to get to his feet. 40 seconds remain. Taylor bobs and weaves to avoid Lytle’s flurry. Taylor lands two jab and crushes Lytle with a left hook. Another very close round, but Sherdog.com gives the nod to Taylor.

The judges see the bout 29-28 (twice) and 30-27 for Chris Lytle. The crowd boos and Taylor looks amazed at the judges’ decision.

Luis Arthur Cane vs. Rameau Thierry Sokoudjou
Round 1
Sokoudjou is sporting a heavy bandage wrap on his right knee. Cane takes the center of the cage and moves his opponent backwards. Sokoudjou backs him away with two hard low kicks. Sokoudjou rushes forward with punches and cane runs away. Sokoudjou is very aggressive with his kicks as he works all levels: legs, body and head. No shortage of punches from the Team Quest fighter either as he mixes them in with his kicks. Although he has not been hit flush, Cane is looking beat-up from the punishment he has received to his body and legs. Cane stands in the pocket and lazily throws a left hand lead. Cane has found his range as he hurts his opponent with a kick and knee to the body. A left hand lands as well for Cane. The southpaw finishes the frame strong, but it’s not enough to steal the round on the Sherdog.com scorecard. 10-9 for Sokoudjou.

Round 2
Cane kicks Sokoudjou in the groin to start round two. The wounded fighter is given time to catch his breath. Cane and Sokoudjou touch hand and the action is resumed. Sokoudjou jumps into the air and kicks Cane under the left armpit. Cane lands a straight left on the chin and Sokoudjou kicks the outside of his lead leg in return. Two right-legged body kicks connect for Sokoudjou. Cane answers with a flying knee to the belly button and a left cross that hurts Sokoudjou. A left knee grazes the head of Sokoudjou. Cane drops his opponent with a left cross. Cane pounces and finishes with punches from both hands, most notably several lefts. The official time is 4:15 of the second.

Brandon Vera vs. Keith Jardine
Round 1
Jardine throws a low kick and takes Vera down with a single-leg. From full-guard, Vera looks for a Kimura on Jardine’s left arm. Jardine is bleeding from a cut on the top of his head. Vera elbows the top of the head and gives up the kimura. From his back in guard, Vera ties up the arms of his opponent and slides an elbow across the cheekbone. Jardine frees his arms and punches the head with his right hand. The referee restarts the action to standing. Vera checks a low kick and uses good footwork to cut the cage off. Vera goes to the inside of Jardine’s left leg with a low kick. A right uppercut hurts Jardine, but he answers with a grazing right that drops Vera to a knee. The round ends with Jardine pounding his foe against the fencing. 10-9 Jardine.

Round 2
Jardine goes to the legs of Vera with kicks early in the second period. A slow opening minute transitions into striking exchange in the center of the cage. Jardine ended the combination with a kick to the knee of Vera. Vera scores a takedown and two hard knees to the body. Jardine, limping from a possible knee injury, gets to his feet and circles before throwing a right hook that misses wildly. The fighters trade head kicks that miss. Vera goes to the body with a left kick. The pace has slowed but both men are looking for a hard strike in the middle of the Octagon. 10-9 Vera.

Round 3
Vera cracks the rushing-forward Jardine with a left hook. Jardine connects with a right kick to the outside thigh of Vera’s left leg. Vera fires another left kick to the body and it makes contact. Jardine slides a right hand in and eats a low kick on the way out. Jardine clinches with Vera and takes his back while standing against the fencing. Jardine is scoring with right hands that Vera can’t see coming. Vera gets away and lands a left hook on the inside. Both fighters land kicks to the legs as each fighter’s corner screams for them to push it in the final minute of the bout. Fatigue is no issue as Vera lands a right straight to the body. Jardine loads up some bombs but can’t connect as time runs out. A very difficult round to score, but Sherdog.com gives it to Jardine.

The judges see the bout 29-28 for Vera and 29-28 (twice) for Keith Jardine. “The Dean of Mean” takes the split decision.

Chris Leben vs. Michael Bisping
Round 1
Leben opens up the action with a right kick to the body. Leben goes to the legs next with kicks to each of Bisping’s limbs. Leben scores with knees to the clinch. Bisping checks a low kick and connects with a one-two punching combo. A knee to the body finds its target for Bisping. Leben is stalking the Brit across the cage, throwing front kicks and knees. Leben works the legs and eats a head kick. A right straight and a left hook connect for Bisping as Leben walked forward into the strikes. Bisping is now teeing off with punches. Leben doesn’t back down an inch as he stalks the backpedaling and side-stepping hometown fighter. A right hand lead from Bisping smacks the chin. A right hook hurts Leben. Biping tries a single-leg without dropping levels but he eventually gets the takedown to close the opening frame. 10-9 for Bisping.

Round 2
Bisping continues to move smoothly as Leben runs in, looking to trade. Leben, bleeding from a cut near his right eye, I getting hit with a steady stream of straight rights. Leben kicks Bisping in the groin, prompting referee Dan Miragliotta to step in. The action is resumed and Bisping knees and kicks the left side of Leben’s midsection. Bisping is cherry-picking with his counter punches, slipping in straight shots to the head as Leben swings for the fences at an improper range. Much to my surprise, Bisping is clearly the better fighter from the clinch as the fight unfolds. Leben puts his hands at his side, begging Bisping to stand in the pocket and bang. 10-9 for Bisping.

Round 3
Bisping gets some help from the referee in the opening seconds to remove some Vaseline from the right eye. Leben is fatigued and it shows in his punching. His face is also starting to show the signs of a beating. Bisping continues to circle away from Leben as he moves forward, throwing short, fast punches that are keeping the American at bay. Leben, for the first time in the fight, drops to his lead leg and gets a single-leg takedown. Leben hits the head with his left hand, but Bisping effectively uses his back to crawl up the cage and to his feet. With 20 seconds remaining, Bisping lands perhaps the cleanest punch of the fight, a straight right hand that blasts Leben on the kisser. 10-9 for Bisping.

The official judges see the duel 30-27 (twice), and 29-28 for Michael Bisping.
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