At one point the most dominant 205-pound fighter in the UFC, Chuck Liddell returns to the Octagon to continue his ascent back to the light-heavyweight title. However, in his way stands the undefeated Rashad Evans.
Welcome everybody to the UFC 88 Blow by Blow. As always, I'm your host Neil Springer. We have an interesting show on paper, though it seems like a waste to have both Dan Henderson and Rich Franklin on the same card when they're not fighting each other.
Matt Brown vs. Dong Hyun Kim
Brown comes down the aisle to "The Devil Went Down To Georgia." Good choice of music for the Atlanta crowd.
They touch gloves and Kim clinches. He follows it up with a takedown, but Brown stands up. Kim has his back, but gives it up. He takes the back again and sinks in a standing rear-naked choke!
Brown escapes, but Kim takes his back for a third time! He has a body-traingle and swiches to an armbar attempt. Brown puts him down and Kim switches to the guard. They stand up and separate.
Brown starts working the stand-up and tries a headkick. He throws a spinning back-fist, but misses. Kim presses him on the fence, but Brown reverses the stance. Kim gets a takedown, but Brown lands on top! He tries a choke, but Kim reverses and takes the back again!
Time expires. Good round for Kim.
Brown throws a headkick and is trying to stay low to avoid any takedown attempts. Kim throws a flying knee, but falls in the process.
Brown is really turning it on now. Kim manages to close the distance and clinch. Brown defends the takedown attempt and starts peppering Kim with punches and kicks.
Brown takes Kim down, but is caught in his guard. Brown stands up, but eats an up-kick. Brown throws a spinning back-fist while Kim is on the ground? Okay.
Brown presses him on the fence, but they separate. Brown hits a nice two-punch combination and takes Kim down. Brown is trying an arm-triangle, but the round ends! Total domination from Brown.
This round will decide the winner.
We get a timeout because Kim forgot his mouthpiece. Brown hits an ouside legkick, but now Kim is moving forward.
Kim trips him and has side-control. He tries to switch to mount, but Brown sweeps him. They stand up and are stuck against the cage. Brown hits a nice left-hook, but Kim takes him down again.
Brown has Kim in his guard and is doing a good job of nullifying his strikes. Kim hits a nice elbow and Brown is bleeding badly. The round ends.
Kim wins by split-decision! The crowd is booing, but that probably has more to do with xenophobia than anything else.
Martin (The Hitman) Kampmann vs. Nate (The Great) Marquardt
Kampmann takes octagon control, but Marquardt explodes with a headkick! He hits an uppercut, but Kampmann tries to clinch. Marquardt reverses and unloads with punches! Kampmann goes to the fetal position and it's over!
Wow, what a performance from Nate Marquardt!
Dan (Hendo) Henderson vs. Rousimar (Toquinho) Palhares
Henderson takes octagon control. Palhares tries a shoot, but eats a nasty punch! He starts unloading, but Palhares goes for his leg. Henderson stands up and they restart.
Palhares hits a bodykick, but whiffs on the takedown. He tries a headkick now, but Henderson blocks. Henderson nails Palhares with an uppercut, but Palhares goes for the leg again. Henderson stands up.
Palhares gets the takedown and is in side-control. Henderson gets him to half-guard and the round ends.
Palhares gets a huge slam! This is a bad spot for Henderson. Palhares almost gets a leglock, but Henderson stands up!
Henderson blocks a shoot and steps away. Palhares tries a front-kick and tries another takedown. Palhares pulls guard. Henderson lands an elbow, but not much is happening. The ref stands them up.
Henderson hits a nice right-hand. The round ends.
Palhares tries a spinning heel-kick. Not much is happening. Henderson hits a nice jab and avoids a takedown attempt.
Henderson tags him a couple more times and Palhares needs to make something happen here. He tries a takedown, but Hendo avoids it. The crowd is booing the slow action.
Palhares tries a leglock, but Henderson steps out. The round ends and Hendo win by unanimous decision!
Rich (Ace) Franklin vs. Matt (The Hammer) Hamill
Franklin hits a couple inside legkicks, but Hamill comes back with one of his own. Hamill lands a nice uppercut, but eats another legkick. Franklin is bleeding a little under the right eye.
Ace keeps working the inside legkicks. Hamill gets the takedown, but Franklin tries an armbar. They stand back up and Hamill is bleeding now.
Franklin goes for a legkick, but Hamill catches it. They exchange more and take time off to check a cut on Franklin.
Franklin tries another inside legkick, but accidentally low blows Hamill. They tie up on the fence and exchange knees. They separate.
Franklin is starting to slow him down now. Hamill has switched his striking stance to protect his leg is hurting. Hamill is looking tired.
Franklin delivers a huge kick to the body and Hamill crumbles! It's over!
Chuck (The Iceman) Liddell vs. (Sugar) Rashad Evans
Liddell tags him with an over-hand right. He follows it with a straight-right. Evans hits a bodykick. Not much happening so far.
Liddell keeps moving forward and Evans continues to dance. The Iceman is closing in, but Evans moves away. The round expires.
Evans tries a double-jab, but can't land it. They start swinging for the fences, but neither man goes down. Evans tags Liddell with a two-punch combo. Evans unloads with a huge overhand right and Liddell is out cold! Holy crap! That was one of the greatest knockouts in UFC history.
Thanks for joining me for UFC 88!