Bell tolls for Serra

JOSE RODRIGUEZ -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 10:20 AM ET

MONTREAL -- Matt Serra went from 'Frenchy' to French toast last night, losing his welterweight title to Montreal's Georges St. Pierre before a sold-out Bell Centre crowd.

Serra, who drew the ire of the hosts after calling St. Pierre 'Frenchy,' was dominated from the opening bell, with the crafty Quebecer taking the New York ground expert down at will.

St. Pierre unleashed what has become his own lethal version of ground-and-pound that ultimately led the referee to stop the fight in the second round.

The crowd, billed all week long as the loudest the UFC had yet to see, didn't disappoint, chanting 'Ole, Ole, Ole' in thunderous ovation, as St. Pierre took Serra apart.

Once the lights dimmed and ring announcer Bruce Buffer opened the show with a well-received 'Madames and Monsieurs. Bon Soir,' there were few who left their feet.

Within minutes of the opening battle cry, welterweight Jonathan 'The Road Warrior' Goulet punched his way into the history books as the first Canadian to win a UFC fight on home soil. Goulet scored a second-round TKO win over Japan's Kuniyoshi Hironaka.

The hometown boy walked out to the cage to a pounding French rap song and sporting a Habs jersey in the ice-breaker that set a tone for the night and got louder every time GSP's picture flashed on the arena big screens.

UFC 83, which featured more than 21,000 live spectators, was the largest mixed-martial-arts event to take place in North America.

The event was also the fight club's fastest sellout and created a third record with more than 1,000 bars across the country licensed to show the event -- surpassing the previous Canadian benchmark of 937 for the Lennox Lewis-Mike Tyson title fight six years ago.

The UFC took more than $5 million from the live gate and will make a much bigger haul from pay-per-view buys.

A re-energized Rich 'Ace' Franklin put on a striking clinic against jiu-jitsu expert Travis Lutter. The former middleweight champ won by TKO in the second round, after feeding Lutter numerous unanswered knees and fists. It was Franklin's first fight since losing his second fight to Anderson Silva and his father to a heart attack.

The Canadian fans showed they were as adamant about what they liked as they were about what they didn't, booing Canadian Kalib Starnes for refusing to engage with his opponent Nate 'The Rock' Quarry. Quarry got a roaring cheer from fans when he pretended to punch himself late in the third round after tiring of chasing Starnes around the ring. Starnes lost the fight in a unanimous decision.

Michael 'The Count' Biping got the last laugh on a taunting Charles McCarthy, when a flurry of knees rendered McCarthy unable to answer the bell for the second round.

Both Alberta middleweights walked off with wins, with Jason MacDonald taking out Winnipeg's Joe Doerksen in a second-round TKO and Jason Day scoring a stoppage due to strikes in the first round over the heavily favoured Alan 'The Talent' Belcher. Day was called on to take the fight when an injury sidelined Montreal's Patrick Cote from the fight.

Both Ontario lightweight fighters ended up on the wrong end of their battles.

London's Sam 'Hands of Stone' Stout lost a split decision to Rich 'No Love' Clementi, and Toronto's bloodied Mark Bocek lost to The Ultimate Fighter 6 winner Mac Danzig by rear-naked choke in the third round.

In other action: Heavy-weight American Cain Velezquez scored a one-sided win over Australian Brad Morris in a first-round stoppage, while Ed Herman fell victim to middleweight newcomer Demian Maia's superior jiu-jitsu, losing in a second-round triangle choke.


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