Welterweight Main Event
Chris Lytle (41-18-4) SUB RD 3 (Guillotine) Dan Hardy (23-10, 1 NC)
Time of Submission: 4:16 RD 3
Chris Lytle put the perfect stamp to his storied career with a definitive victory over hard-hitting Dan Hardy. Lytle is the personification of heart and his 20+ fights in the UFC Octagon have forged a well-deserved reputation as an all-out action fighter. In his swan song Lytle didn’t disappoint as he and Hardy engaged in a spirited fight that was for all intents and purposes resembled a boxing match. While no one will mistake Lytle for Willie Pep, his punches seemed to land flush on multiple occasions to the head, especially, the body of Hardy. Make no mistake, this fight was close.
While Lytle may have landed more shots, Hardy’s blows were much more devastating and we saw Lytle get rocked on more than one occasion. But, Hardy could never follow up on any advantage he may have had in the cage and Lytle would always clear the cobwebs to rally back with flurries of his own. Heading toward the end of the third round the fight was close but when Hardy tried to shoot in for a takedown his poor head position enabled Lytle to sink in a tight guillotine that saw Hardy almost being put to sleep. It was a great way for Lytle to leave the sport and it couldn’t have happened to a classier guy.
Lightweight Co-Main Event
Jim Miller (20-2) Ben Henderson (13-2)
Scores: 30-27, 29-28, 30-26
Good lord! With a shot at the lightweight title in his immediate future all Jim Miller had to do was stretch his winning streak to eight in a row. Unfortunately for Miller, former WEC champion Ben Henderson had something to say about that. Look, we all are well aware of Miller’s considerable merits and in the cage he is a beast of an uncanny nature. While Henderson is a supremely gifted athlete there were many who that that Miller would simply be too much for Henderson to handle. The common thought being that Henderson’s run in the WEC was somewhat inferior to the level of competition that Miller had beaten in the UFC. Of course this stuck a nerve with Henderson who put on a “how ya like me now” level of performance against Miller.
To put it bluntly, Miller had the living hell beat out of him over three rounds. Henderson was the better fighter in all aspects of the fight, blasting Miller with an array of shots while standing, and on the ground. Despite Miller sinking in some holds and chokes, Henderson was able to deftly defend Miller’s jiu-jitsu in route to a resounding, one-sided victory. While Miller sees his immediate shot at the title evaporate, Henderson’s stock may have soared through the roof with this performance.
Donald Cerrone (16-3, 1 NC) TKO 1 (Strikes) Charles Oliviera (14-2, 1 NC)
Time of Stoppage: 3:01 RD 1
With the UFC lightweight weight class filled to the brim with some of the best fighters in the game it’s sometimes easy to overlook the merits of Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone. A former fixture in the WEC, it sort of seems at times people forget that Cerrone is one of the most tenacious fighters in the game. Against the highly touted young prospect Charles Oliviera, Cerrone made sure to unleash some of that trademark aggression that has endeared him to fight fans for a number of years.
Oliviera tried to use constant movement and angles to keep Cerrone at bay, but the “Cowboy” simply walked the young Brazilian down and after flooring Oliviera with an uppercut to the solar plexus, the following up rain of punches prompted a quick halt to the fight.
Duane Ludwig (29-11) UD 3 Amir Sadollah (6-3)
Scores: 29-28, 29-28, 29-28
With only eight fights under his belt we are all well aware that Amir Sadollah is far from a contender status in the UFC. Still, despite being a relative neophyte in the Octagon the TUF 7 winner has shown real progression as he works to gain the required experience in the cage. But tonight Sadollah looked every bit the inexperienced fighter as Muay Thai specialist Duane Ludwig used the “art of the eight limbs” to beat the living hell out of Sadollah over the course of the fight. If you are a fan of elbow strikes, Thai clinches, and knees then this was the type of fight that leaves you salivating.
Despite being battered and swollen by the relentless assault of Ludwig, Sadollah did show considerable heart in gutting out till the very end and never relenting under the constant pressure. Sadollah also displayed his trademark stamina and in the third round had some real success against the gassed Ludwig. However, in the end it was Ludwig who did more than enough to earn the victory.