Matt Hughes steps back into the octagon for the first time since losing to Georges St. Pierre to face Thiago Alves.
Also, Canadian Jason Day goes into enemy territory to fight England's Michael Bisping.
BLOW BY BLOW
For a while it looked like this show was cursed -- the original planned main event of Chuck Liddell vs. Mauricio Rua was called off after Shogun was injured during training. Rashad Evans was brought in as a replacement only for The Iceman to tear his hamstring and have to bow out of the event.
So from there we were promised Rashad Evans vs. James Irvin, but the curse struck again and Irvin had to pull out due to a broken foot. The UFC, perhaps fearing for Evans' safety, then decided to pull him off the show and let him fight another day.
However, despite all the turmoil, they still managed to put together a fairly strong card here.
Fabricio (Vai Cavalo) Werdum vs. Brandon (The Truth) Vera
Vera clinches him against the cage, but Werdum swicthes. Vera reverses and Werdum lands some shots -- his stand up is looking really good. Werdum takes him down and works some hammer-fists. Vera gets up and avoids another takedown.
Vera blasts him with a left-hook, but Werdum clinches. They restart and Werdum gets him down again. He takes the full-mount and starts blasting him! The ref stops the fight and Vera is really angry! To his credit, he was still defending.
Wow, Dan Miragliotta has had a bad week. First he screws over James Thompson against Kimbo Slice and now this.
Nate (The Great) Marquardt vs. Thales Leites
Wow, Joe Rogan has just topped himself. Rogan on why Anderson Silva is such a good fighter: "Anderson Silva is an alien." That actually answers a lot of questions.
Leites tries a superman punch, but to no avail. Marquardt hits a nice combination, but then gets tagged. Leites blasts him and starts working his shots! He has full-mount and Marquardt is in trouble.
Marquardt manages to get him in half-guard, but Leites passes. They stand up again and Marquardt has recovered.
They clinch on the cage and the crowd is getting restless. Leites tries a spinning back-kick, but gets blasted. He manages to separate from Marquardt, but he looks wobbly. The round ends. I score it 10-9 Leites.
Leites clinches him on the cage. Marquardt his a nice combination, throws him down and then hits an illegal knee to the face! Ouch. Leties looks like he was knocked silly. They're giving him five minutes to recover. Herb Dean is calling in the doctor.
They restart and Marquardt takes him down. Herb Dean has deducted a point from Marquardt for a punch to the back of the head. Leites is bleeding quite a bit here. Marquardt is working some really nasty ground-and-pound.
Leites tries an armbar, but can't secure it. He tries to work the rubber-guard, but to no avail. Herb Dean stands them up. Leties stuffs a takedown and gets full-mount! The round ends. Well, you have to give that to Marquardt, but he got a point deducted, making it a 9-9 round.
If Marquardt wins the round on points, we could have a draw.
Marquardt takes him down, but almost gets caught in an omoplata. Herb Dean warns Marquardt about a shot to the back of the head and deducts another point! The replay shows that it was to the side. Man, the reffing is pretty weak so far tonight.
Marquardt takes him down again. Leites hits some elbows to the top of the head. He's now bleeding from between the eyes. Marquardt lifts him up and piledrives him! The round is over.
I have it scored 28-27 Leites. Even though Marquardt won two rounds, he loses because of the deduction in points. Personally, I think they should give him some points for that piledriver.
Thales Leites takes it by split-decision! Man, two fights, two examples of bad referee judgment.
(The Irish Hand Grenade) Marcus Davis vs. Mike (Quick) Swick
Davis works a legkick and Swick is trying to land a headkick. Davis clinches him on the cage and takes him down. He tries a guillotine choke, but Swick gets his head out.
They're still in the guard and the crowd is staring to boo. They're chanting "olay" now. Davis tries a sweep, but Swick manages to stay on top. The round ends.
Davis tags him with a nice right hand. Swick hits a solid knee and Davis goes down. They're in the guard now. The crowd is booing again.
Not much is going on at the moment. Davis is trying a kimura, but it goes nowhere. They stand up and clinch on the cage. Some nice dirty boxing from Davis and he takes Swick down. Swick tries a triangle-choke, but Davis stands out. Swick gets a takedown and the round ends.
Davis needs to do something here because he's losing on the scorecards.
Swick is playing keep away -- can you blame him? He just needs to last this round. Davis gets a takedown, but Swick stands up immediately. Davis is bleeding quite a bit. Swick just got a point deducted for holding the fence.
Swick gets a takedown and the round ends. Swick takes it by unanimous decision.
Michael (The Count) Bisping vs. Jason (Dooms) Day
Day lands a legkick, but Bisping responds with one of his own. They clinch and Bisping gets a takedown. Bisping is landing some nasty punches and takes side-control. Day stands up, but gets taken down again.
Bisping is mauling him and the fight is over!
Matt Hughes vs. Thiago (The Pit Bull) Alves
Thiago (Are you going to eat that?) Alves didn't make weight. So this is being contended at a catchweight of 174 lbs.
Hughes tries a sloppy takedown, but doesn't get it. He presses Alves on the cage and pulls guard. Alves delivers some stiff punches. They stand up and Hughes takes him down.
Hughes isn't really doing much beyond holding Alves down. He's not even delivering some bunny punches. Okay, wait, he just threw one.
Alves stands up and now he takes Hughes down. The round ends.
Hughes eats a knee and pulls guard. He's bleeding a bit now. They stand up and Alves blasts him with a flying knee. It's over! Hughes crumpled on his knee. Nasty.
Wow. This is the worst I've ever done on my predictions.
Thanks for joining me for the UFC 85 Blow by Blow!