July 22, 2012
Barao, Faber go the distance in Cowtown
By JOSE RODRIGUEZ, QMI Agency
CALGARY - I’m sure in hindsight, UFC boss Dana White would have loved to make the undercard the pay-per-view.
With a main card that drew steady boos from fans for much of the main card, Calgary’s baptism into the UFC was a mix of great appetizers and an undercooked main course.
The saving grace may have been the headliner between Renan Barao — on a 29 fight win streak before last night — and the always game Urijah Faber.
The five-round stand-up battle was high spirited and creative.
The pair of 135-pounders fought for the interim bantamweight championship with Renan Barao taking the belt by unanimous decision.
But despite a back-and-forth striking battle, it didn’t seem enough to quell the frustrated crowd.
The much ballyhooed debut of Hector Lumbard proved underwhelming with the Cuban looking only to counterstrike Tim Boetsch who was forced to push the pace.
Lombard — with 31-2 record — lost the fight via split decision.
In a frustrating, pinned-to-the-fence, bout between the only heavyweights on the card, Cheick Kongo ground out a unanimous decision victory over Shawn Jordan.
That fight came on the heels of a lack-lustre, slow paced affair between Brian Ebersole and James Head. Ebersole— with his trademark Hairrow shaved into his chest hair — couldn’t get Head to the ground despite numerous tries. The drawn-out, tentative battle between the two drew boos. Head won the fight in a split decision.
It was the preliminary fights that proved the most exciting of the night with three knockouts and a hometown victor.
In a The Ultimate Fighter rematch, Calgary’s Nick Ring took on Court McGee, who he had beaten in the reality show only to bow out later due to injury. McGee went on to win the TUF title.
In a stand-up battle, the two fighers traded punches in the centre of the cage.
Ring’s repeated takedown attempts were met with an equal sprawl from McGee with the fight not going to the ground until the dying seconds of the third round.
Ring was able to jar McGee with a heavy right before the fight ended. He received a unanimous decision win for his efforts.
"I never felt so much support in my life,” said Ring of the crowd that broke out into “Go Nick Go’ chants.
Edmonton’s Ryan Jimmo introduced himself to UFC fans and the official record book with a seven-second knockout of Aussi opponent Anthony Perosh.
Oshawa’s Antonio Carvalho — known for his great jiu-jitsu — showed his best striking performance earning his first UFC win in 71 seconds.
Pineda walked into a heavy right hand that noodled his legs and he ate another powerful right to the jaw as he tried to stand back up before the ref stepped in.
Saskatoon’s Mitch Clarke lost a split decision to Finland’s Anton Kuivanen while Winnipeg’s Roland Delorme looked outmatched in his fight against a heavy-hitting Fransinco Rivera.
Rivera knocked out the fellow 135-pounder in the first round.
• Renan Barao defeated Urijah Faber for interim bantamweight title by unanimous decision (49-46-49-46-50-45)
• Tim Boetsch defeats Hector Lombard by split decision (29-28-28-29-29-28)
• Cheick Kongo defeats Shawn Jordan by unanimous decision (30-27,30-27,30-28)
• James Head defeated Brian Ebersole by split decision.
• Matt Riddle defeats London Ont.’s Chris Clements via arm triangle at 2:02 of the third round.
• Calgary’s Nick Ring defeats Court McGee by unanimous decision (all 29-28s)
• Francisco Rivera defeats Winnipeg’s Roland Delorme by KO at 4:19 of the first round.
• Edmonton’s Ryan Jimmo defeats Anthony Perosh by knockout at 0:07 of the first round.
• Bryan Caraway defeats Sudbury’s Mitch Gagnon by rear-naked choke at 1:39 of the third round.
• Oshawa’s Antonio Carvalho defeats Daniel Pineda by knockout at 1:11 of the First Round.
• Anton Kuivanen defeated Saskatoon’s Mitch Clarke by split decision(29-28, 28-29-, 29-28)