UFC 115: Liddell vs. Franklin Review

| by Sports Nickel


Welterweight bout: Mike Pyle vs. Jesse Lennox

My Pick: Lennox, Round 3, Decision
What Happened: Pyle, Round 3, Submission [Triangle]

Lennox just never got going. Pyle dominated all three rounds and eventually sunk in his favorite submission. He locked it in so quick that Lennox had no time to tap and the ref had to stop it after Pyle alerted him that Lennox was out. Now Pyle has won 17 of 20 via submission. That’s just crazy. If he continues to improve his stand-up game he’ll be a force in the welterweight division.

Welterweight bout: Ricardo Funch vs. Claude Patrick

My Pick: Patrick, Round 3, Decision
What Happened: Patrick, Round 2, Submission [Guillotine]

Second time’s a charm I guess. Patrick almost made Funch tap in the first round when he applied the Guillotine Choke from the mount position, but the bell sounded and saved him. Patrick again caught Funch in a standard Guillotine Choke after Funch gave up on a takedown attempt. Nice submission, but Funch really needs to learn how to keep his neck protected.

Welterweight bout: James Wilks vs. Peter Sobotta

My Pick: Sobotta, Round 3, Decision
What Happened: Wilks, Round 3, Unanimous Decision

This was a nice fight and I believe closer than the scorecards would have you believe. Wilks won the first two rounds, but Sobotta almost staged a comeback in the third. He took Wilks’ back and locked in a body triangle and pretty much had control of the entire round. But, like I said, Wilks won the first two round and got the nod. Decent fight. I thought Sobotta would be able to take Wilks down more but he wasn’t able to do so.

Middleweight bout: David Loiseau vs. Mario Miranda

My Pick: Miranda, Round 2, TKO
What Happened: Miranda, Round 2, TKO

Perfect! Not that it was hard to call the winner, but I’ll hang my hat on the perfect call. Loiseau looked out of shape and he paid for it. Miranda took him down right away and beat him down. In the second round, much of the same. This was a one-sided match if I’ve ever seen one. Nice win for Miranda, but I still can’t see how Loiseau keeps getting UFC bouts. Hopefully no longer.


Lightweight bout: Mac Danzig vs. Matt Wiman

My Pick: Wiman, Round 3, Decision
What Happened: Wiman, Round 1, Submission [Guillotine]

Ummm, what? The ref, Yves Lavigne, made a horrendous call to stop this. Wiman had Danzig in a guillotine choke from the mount but he didn’t have it secured and the entire side of his neck was free. Lavigne even tested Danzig’s arm to see if he was out. Danzig even waved him off. Lavigne STILL called it. Worst ref in the game. I’ll take the point, but this was a horrible call. Hopefully they get a rematch with a better ref.

Lightweight bout: Tyson Griffin vs. Evan Dunham

My Pick: Griffin, Round 3, Decision
What Happened: Dunham, Round 3, Split Decision

Dunham is the truth. I thought Griffin would take him down, especially training with Xtreme Couture, but he didn’t even try. I don’t get it. Especially with those tree trunks he calls legs. Did you see him get up off the canvas with Dunham on his back? Crazy strong. He should’ve used that to his advantage and try for takedowns or press Dunham against the cage and dirty box like Randy Couture would. It was an entertaining fight, but it could’ve been more had Griffin had a better game plan.


Welterweight bout: Carlos Condit vs. Rory MacDonald

My Pick: Condit, Round 3, Decision
What Happened: Condit, Round 3, TKO

Some might say it was a premature TKO call, but I think it was justified. Condit landed about 4 unanswered, unblocked, shots to MacDonald’s face. And to be honest, Rory was fading quickly before Condit even took him down. You have to protect the fighters and Condit would’ve continued to land those shots. It was a great back and forth fight though, and definitely worthy of the Fight of the Night award. MacDonald has a bright future.

Heavyweight bout: Ben Rothwell vs. Gilbert Yvel

My Pick: Rothwell, Round 2, TKO
What Happened: Rothwell, Round 3, Unanimous Decision

Yvel still doesn’t have any takedown defense, but he has obviously been working on sweeps and getting back up after the takedown. Rothwell had a change to make my prediction come completely true, but Yvel swept and then he almost ended it himself with some nicely placed punches from the top. It was a great fight and also could’ve been Fight of the Night if Condit/MacDonald wasn’t on this same card.

Welterweight bout: Paulo Thiago vs. Martin Kampmann

My Pick: Thiago, Round 1, KO
What Happened: Kampmann, Round 3, Unanimous Decision

Kampmann is more than a striker now. He completely dominated Paulo Thiago all three rounds. He won the exchanges and even took Thiago down a few times. I thought Thiago would land that power shot, but it seemed like he was just a bit late every time. I think the UFC should give Kampmann a “number-one contenders” match next. He improves every time he gets in the cage.

Heavyweight bout: Mirko Filipović vs. Patrick Barry

My Pick: Filipović, Round 3, KO
What Happened: Filipović, Round 3, Submission [Rear Naked Choke]

Raise your hand if you saw that coming? No one. It looked at first that Barry would be too quick for Mirko, knocking the Croatian down twice in the first round with a right hand. But, Cro Cop would bounce back in the second and win that round, out-striking the younger kickboxer. Third round was pretty close, but Cro Cop landed a nice combo knocking Barry against the cage. After a flurry of punches to Pat’s face, Mirko took his back and applied a Rear Naked Choke. Impressive. He asked for, and got, the Submission of the Night.

Light Heavyweight bout: Chuck Liddell vs. Rich Franklin

My Pick: Franklin, Round 3, Decision
What Happened: Franklin, Round 1, KO

I take no joy in picking this fight correctly, especially since it ended by KO. Liddell looked good. He was even throwing leg kicks and head kicks. When was the last time you saw that? Exactly. This was the best Liddell we’ve seen in about 5 years, but it was still not enough to beat Franklin. The fight was definitely exciting and fast-paced, but in the end, it was a right hook that caught Liddell right on the chin, and put him out. The man “went out on his shield” like any warrior would want. No shame in that. I hope this is the last time he fights. I would hate to see him get really hurt. How different everything could’ve been had Liddell fought Ortiz instead.