KO loss may have sealed Iceman's fate

JOSE RODRIGUEZ, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 1:25 AM ET

VANCOUVER — It was a slugfest that lived up to the billing.

But in the end, the third knockout loss in a row has all but sealed Chuck ‘The Iceman’ Liddell’s fate.

Before last night’s fight with Rich ‘Ace’ Franklin at Vancouver’s inaugural UFC event, UFC president Dana White said if Liddell lost, he would force him to retire.

Liddell and Franklin were in a back and forth brawl that looked to continue past the first round. But with five seconds left, and protecting a broken left arm suffered just seconds earlier, Franklin landed a right square on Liddell’s nose knocking him to the canvas. Franklin added one more punch while he was down and the ref stepped in.

“I felt my arm break just before that,” said Franklin.

“It’s broke almost clear through the bone,” he said, pointing to his forearm.

Liddell left the cage on his own power.

In the co-main event Mirko ‘Cro Cop’ Filipovic survived being dropped twice by Patrick Barry to come back and win by rear-naked choke at 4:30 of the third round — a rare submission victory for the world renowned striker.

Twenty-year old Kelowna fighter Rory MacDonald got his first taste of defeat yesterday, but not before putting on a display in front of a sold out partisan crowd at GM Place.

Despite losing by ref stoppage to Carlos Condit with less than ten seconds left in the third round, the youngster showed he had plenty of weapons in his arsenal with crisp standup, fluid ground and the intuition of a much older fighter.

Conversely, former middleweight contender David Loiseau, looked rigid in his loss to Mario Miranda.

Outside of a pair of kicks to open the second round, Loiseau failed to put anything together and looked lacking in confidence as he was dominated on the ground for the entire first round.

Already bleeding from the side of his head, Loiseau was taken down and never got back up again in the second — choosing to cover his head as Miranda dropped fists and elbows while mounted on Loiseau’s back.

The ref mercifully stepped in at 4:07 of the second round after it became clear Loiseau was not intelligently defending himself.

The controversy of the night involved Canadian ref Yves Lavigne who stopped the fight between Mac Danzig and Matt Wiman after Danzig appeared to be out while in a guillotine choke. Lavigne stopped the fight at 1:45 of the first round but as soon as Danzig stood up, it became obvious he was not out. A gracious Danzig said reffing is a tough job but asked for a rematch.

In earlier action, Claude Patrick became the first — and only — Canadian to win in West Coast Canadian UFC with his victory over Ricardo Funch. The Torontonian opened with a dominating first round landing punches from the top position that bounced Funch’s head off the mat and left the corn-rowed fighter dizzy.

Early in the second, Funch got caught in a nasty — clinically executed — guillotine choke and was forced to tap out at 1:48 of the second round.

In other action, Jesse Lennox lost to Mike Pyle by a triangle choke at 4:44 of the third; James Wilks got the unanimous nod over Peter Sobotta and Evan Dunham won a split decision over Tyson Griffin.

Heavyweights Gilbert Yvel and Ben Rothwell fought a lumbering three round fight with Rothwell getting the unanimous nod and Martin Kampmann won a deserving unanimous decision over Paulo Thiago.

jose.rodriguez@sunmedia.ca


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