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Sean Bassett (Pictures) vs. Chris Amarante (Pictures)
Amarante opens with a nice flurry before getting a back body lock takedown. Amarante goes for the armbar but misses and Bassett gets back to his feet. Amarante tries the guillotine but cant cinch it. Amarante takes Bassett back down and quickly mounts him. Bassett again returns to his feet and proceeds to slam Amarante to the mat. Amarante goes for the armbar again, this one a little closer, but cant get it. Both men get back to their feet where Bassett lands a nice combo. Amarante gets another takedown followed by a wild scramble that saw yet another armbar attack by Amarante. This one was successful, eliciting the tapout from Bassett at 4:37 of the first round of what was scheduled for three, 5-min. rounds.
Clint Coronel vs. Juan Miranda
Coronel opens with a big right hand to the head of Miranda. Both men are circling, looking for an opening. Miranda eats a nice jab before being put on his back by Coronel. Miranda scores a nice chest to chest sweep and immediately applies the guillotine. Coronel escapes the submission attempt and the three minute round came to a close.
Round two begins with Coronel stalking Miranda around the cage, looking to connect. After a brief exchange, Coronel took Miranda to the mat and moved to the north-south position. He locked on an anaconda choke and got the submission win when Miranda tapped out at 1:43 of the second round.
Bill Duvall vs. Luke Stewart
Stewart gets the first takedown of the bout after an exchange of knees from the clinch. Stewart moved right into the mount and started an assault that began with punches and ended with a tapout inducing armbar. Luke Stewart defeats Bill Duvall by armbar at 1:15 of the first round.
Scott Graham (Pictures) vs. Jared Hamman (Pictures)
Jared Hamman opened the bout with a vicious flying tackle more reminicient of a Brian Urlacher hit than any MMA technique. Scott Graham did not panic. Keeping his composure and working from the bottom, Graham made it back to his feet and delivered some punishment of his own with a knee and a flurry of punches. Hamman was not out of his element for long as he planted Graham back to the mat and went back to work. Hamman, with the top position, took advantage of an opening in Graham's guard and moved to mount. He was unable to take advantage of the position as the round came to a close.
Round two opened with Hamman eating a number of strikes before taking the fight back to the ground. Once again he assumed the mount. This time Graham was not as fortunate as referee John Schorle was forced to intervene due to strikes at 1:36 of the second frame.
Daniel Puder (Pictures) vs. Tom Tuggle (Pictures)
Puder attempts a front kick to Tuggles stomache but it is caught and he is dumped to the mat. Puder wastes no time, sinking the armbar deep as soon as Tuggle follows him to the ground. Tuggles struggled to escape but Puder kept cranking until he got the tapout at 28 seconds of the first round.
Eugene Jackson (Pictures) vs Mike Seal (Pictures)
Jackson looks passive as Seal comes forward to begin the bout. That is until he catches him with a punch that buckles Seal. Jackson wasted no time in clamping on the guillotine choke and jumping to guard. Seal, a veteran, was not worried at all and continued to flash the thumbs up to referee Cecil Peoples while working to escape. Once he disentangled himself from Jackson's clutches, Seal regained his feet. From there it was on as the fighters, both noticeably weary, let it all hang out as the exchanged flurry after flurry until the round came to a close. The only break in the action came when both fighters, smiling and bloodied, exchanged a high five before getting back at it. Sherdog.com scored a close first round 10-9 for Seal.
Round two began with more of the same as punches and kicks were flying with reckless abandon. As the pace began to slow — it had to after all the action — Jackson scored with a nice right hand that staggered Seal. Jackson followed it up with a nice head and body combination. Seal tried to answer with a kick to the body but Jackson caught it and quickly scored the trip takedown. After moving into the mount, Jackson unloaded a volley of punches that caused referee Peoples to intervene at 2:49 of the second round. It will be tough to dislodge this one as fight of the night.
Ryan Bennett tribute. 10 count for "The Hitman" after a video presentation.
Josh Thomson (Pictures) vs. Harris Sarmiento (Pictures)
Both fighters exchange low kicks early on until Thomson tries to go to the body with a kick that Sarmiento caught. Harris, with Josh's leg trapped under his arm, tripped him down to the mat. Thomson avoids Sarmiento's strikes and gets back to his feet. After missing on a guillotine choke, "The Punk" scored with a superman punch that he followed up with a nice double leg takedown. Referee Dan Snell did not allow Thomson to stay in Sarmiento's guard very long and brought the fighters back to the center of the cage. A replay of Sarmiento's first takedown ensued but Thomson would not stay down this time, scurrying back to his feet. The combatants worked from the clinch, mostly ineffectively, until the horn sounded ending the first stanza. Sherdog.com scored the first round for Sarmiento a razor close 10-9.
Round two began with Thomson rolling from a standing position for a kneebar. Sarmiento was having none of it, punching his opponent and escaping easily. He very narrowly escaped the next Thomson attack after "The Punk" locked up what looked like an extremely tight guillotine. Sarmiento perservered and made it out of danger. Thomson, far from finished, began to find his range, landing a host of strikes before taking the bout back to the ground. The round ended with Thomson in control, having his way on the mat. Sherdog.com scores round two for Thomson 10-9.
Thomson, looking like he has found a comfort zone in the cage, opens round three with a nice punch-kick combo and after a lull in the action put Sarmiento back to the canvas with another double leg takedown. Thomson worked into a mounted position before Sarmiento gave up his back. Thomson obliged him and before long had him flattened out, rolled over and figure four bodylocked. "The Punk" worked himself around to the side and locked on the arm triangle choke that ended the fight at 3:19 of the third round.
Duane Ludwig (Pictures) vs. Tyson Griffin (Pictures)
Ludwig takes the venter of the cage in the early going.landing a couple punches as Griffin closes the distance. Griffin backs out and the next time he closes its a shot for the takedown. It is quick and he puts "Bang" on his back. Griffin begins to pick away at the noted striker but Ludwig continues to throw from his back. Griffin unloads a big barage of punches but Ludwig still looks composed. Griffin continues the onslaught and referee John Schorle steps in to end the fight. Ludwig is less than thrilled with the stoppage and pleads his case to Schorle while Griffin celebrates. Tyson Griffin defeats Duane Ludwig by referee stoppage at 3:57 of the first round. Replays show Griffin landing a series of punches from side control as Ludwig is trapped against the cage. Ludwig is still intelligently defending himself throughout the entire exchange. It was a borderline stoppage at best.
Tonight's Attendance is announced at 10,374
Bobby Southworth (Pictures) vs. James Irvin (Pictures)
Southworth and Irvin clinch up and fall back against the cage door. The door does not looked to be secured and Irvin crashes through it with Southworth in tow. Sven Bean looked to be attempting to lock the door as the fighters fell through the opening. James Irvin can not continue and is escorted off the cage apron. Jimmy Lennon Jr. announces the fight is ruled a no contest after just 17 seconds. He also lets the fans know that Irvin suffered a knee injury. Bobby Southworth is heartily booed as he takes the microphone to make his post fight comments. Apparently they still do not like him from his days on The Ultimate Fighter or it could be the fact that he was raising his hands in victory as James Irvin was being attended to on the apron.
Gilbert Melendez (Pictures) vs. Clayton Guida (Pictures)
Guida shoots in right off the opening bell but Melendez is fending off the single leg shot. Melendez stuffs it and reverses himself into Guida's guard. Guida starts to stand up but Melendez lifts him into the air and slams him back to the mat. Guida answers with a slam of his own after making it back to his feet. Melendez rises to his feet as soon as it hits the mat and stuffs another Guida takedown attmept. The fighters workd the standup a bit but nothing of much consequence lands. Melendez takes Guida back to the mat from a clinch against the cage. Neither fighter can keep the other down for very long as the former wrestlers just wont remain on their backs for long. Melendez scores yet another takedown and tries to work in the gurad of Guida but he just wont stay put and gets back to his feet another time. The closing exchange of the first round saw both fighters landing grazing punches as the horn sounded. Sherdog.com scores the first round 10-9 for Gilbert Melendez.
Guida opens the second round by taking Melendez down and rapidly gaining the back mount. Melendez tried to fend off the rear naked choke but Guida had his hooks in deep and was locking up the choke. Melendez desperately jerked forward and slammed Guida's head into the mat, breaking the hold and giving him top position on the dazed fighter. Guida showed the effcts of the slam as his pace slowed and he began to taste the punches Melendez was not landing in the first. A Melendez one-two finds its mark, countering a weak spinning back kick attempt by Guida. The round comes to a close with Melendez stalking a fading Guida, worse for the wear after the vicious slam. Sherdog.com scores the round 10-9 for Melendez.
Melendez begins the third by striking well, landing a good right hand that forced Guida to shoot. The shot was stuffed easily. Guida threw a wild right hand that was countered beautiflly by a Melendez punch that snapped his head back. Melendez is pouring it on now but Guida will not back down an inch. The pace begins to slow with both fighters showing the effects of the punishment being dished out. Guida continues to come forward but slips as he and Melendez exchange punches. Melendez tries to pounce but Guida quickly reverses and the round ends with him on top of Melendez. Sherdog.com scores the round 10-9 Guida.
Round four gets underway with Melendez peppering Guida with punches, backing him into the cage. Melendez lands another punch that sends Guida straight into a shot. He looks to have secured the takedown but Melendez is too quick and scrambles back to his feet. Melendez has easily contolled the fourth round, landing the better strikes and denying Guida's takedown attempts. He should have an insurmountable lead going into the championship round. Sherdog.com scores round four for Melendez 10-9.
The fiftth round leads off with a Guida single leg takedown. He tried to secure Melendez's back once again but was rebuffed. The fighters are just slugging it out in the middle of the cage but neither has much left in the tank after 20 plus minutes of competition. Guida gets Melendez back to the mat and tries, unsuccessfully, to once again take his back. Melendez counters and lifts Guida back into the air and tries to slam him again but Guida breaks his fall with his arm. The final minute of the fight saw the ever vigilant Guida trying to land the submission he knows he needs to hang onto his belt. Melendez hangs on as the horn sounds the end of one heck of a championship bout. Melendez should be the clear winner but Clayton Guida answered any questions anyone had about his toughness and skills. Sherdog.com scored the round 10-9 for Clayton Guida and the fight 48-47 for Gilbert Melendez. Jimmy Lennon Jr. announces the official scores of 50-45, 50-45, and 46-48 for the winner, by split decision, Gilbert Melendez.
Cung Le (Pictures) vs. Brian Warren
Cung Le and Brian Warren about to get underway. Le gets a huge ovation from the hometown crowd.
Le opens with a kick to the head of Warren. It was a grazing shot. Warren and Le exchange again with Le scoring before taking Warren to the mat. He did not look like he wanted to be on the ground and tried to back away but Warren sucked him into his guard. Due to a lack of action on the ground, referee Snell stood the fighters back up. Le has blood trickling from what looks like the bridge of his nose but that does not deter him as he continues to throw. Warren wont back down, landing a number of shots of his own. Warren gets a little cocky after eating a Cung Le kick, showboating a bit with his hands at his side. Le pushes forward throwing combinations and finally catches Warren with a flurry of punches, dropping Warren in a heap as the referee came to his aid. Cung Le wins by TKO-referee stoppage at 4:19 of the first round.
Frank Shamrock and Phil Baroni are in the cage talking about a fight between the two of them sometime in the future.
Vitor Belfort (Pictures) vs. Alistair Overeem (Pictures)
Belfort lands the first punch of the fight with a nice left hook. Another left hook as Overeem launches the flying knee. Overrem is knocked off target. Belfort catches a knee and slams Overeem to the mat and takes his back. Overeem turns into him and Belfort is mounted. Overeem gets his guard back but Belfort has him pinned against the cage. Overeem has good hand control and Belfort cant land any strikes. Referee Schorle stands the fighters back up. Looking tired, Belfort drops to guard with about a minute left in the round after an exchange with Overeem. listair follows him to the ground and tries to strike withing his guard. Belfort defends well and the round comes to a close. Sherdog.com scores the first round for Vitor Belfort 10-9.
Belfort opens the second frame by ducking an Overeem flurry and planting him on the mat with a body lock takedown. Belfort is grazed by an upkick and Overeem is able to get back up. They clinch along the cage with Overeen kneeing to the midsection. Belfort grimaces and referee Schorle steps in to allow him to recover. He needs only a few seconds and the fight is back on. Overeem scores a takedown of his own with Belfort offering little resistance. But lack of action again prompts the referee to stand it back up. And once again, off an exchange, a weary looking Belfort does little to fend off teh Overeem takedown. Once again they are restarted, this time Belfort lands a good right hook before pulling guard. Belfort sweeps Overeem and has his head pressed up against the cage. With 10 seconds left, Overeem only has to control Belforts hands and he does until the horn blares out the end of the period. Sherdog.com scores the close round 10-9 for Overeem.
Overeem lands a nice high kick to the side of Belfort's head but it did not land solidly. Belfort clinches and lands a big knee to the midsection of Overeem. Overeem backs out and lands a good punch and elbow combination that has Belfort pulling guard. Once again, the referee stands them up only to see Belfort pull guard again. The crowd is getting restless and some begin the exodus out of the arena as the same scenario plays out over and over. Belfort sweeps Overeem once again with less than 30 seconds left and punches away, trying to steal the round. The crowd showers the arena with boos as they head out to the parking lot. Sherdog.com scores the round 10-9 for Overeem and the fight 29-28 for "The Demolition Man" as well. Alistair Overeem def. Vitor Belfort unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 30-27).
Stay tuned to Sherdog.com for detailed post-fight analysis, pictures and exclusive video interviews.