Matt Hughes had beaten every relevant UFC Welterweight that he’d faced but one. Last night at the Arrowhead Pond in Anaheim, Hughes laid claim to the undisputed title with an impressive stoppage of B.J. “The Prodigy” Penn. It was a rough start as Hughes came out willing to trade and paid the price for it in the first round as Penn landed the better shots including a straight left that drew blood from Hughes’ mouth. Hughes tried to take down Penn but the Hawaiian was having none of it. His takedown defense was in effect and it looked like Hughes’ would be fighting Penn’s fight. An accidental thumb in the eye of Hughes further complicated matters for the Hillsboro, Illinois native. Penn started off round two landing some nice strikes that turned the round into a continuation of the first. Hughes eventually gained the advantage by putting Penn on his back and landing some elbows. Penn reversed the takedown and mounted Hughes. He had the current Welterweight champion in trouble as he almost locked in an arm-bar and then a choke hold. The third round came and Hughes again chose to strike and beat Penn at his own game as he landed several shots to Penn’s face that hurt him enough to weaken him as Hughes took Penn to the ground. Hughes proceeded to tie up his opponent with a tight crucifix hold and landed several unanswered punches and elbows as Penn tried to wrangle out of Hughes’ grasp. The end came at 3:53 of the third with referee John McCarthy stopping the beating. Hughes improves to (42-4). Penn drops to (11-4). “I knew I lost the first two rounds but I also knew I had three more to go and I was in incredible shape and that was the advantage,” said Hughes after the bout.
Swick decisions Loiseau
Mike Swick (10-1) of San Jose, California decisioned David Loiseau (14-6) of Montreal, Quebec, Canada with a unanimous decision nod. The first round was close as both men tried to gain advantage with Swick leading the action and Loisau trying to counter. Not much damage by either man but the Canadian scored a takedown to barely win him the round. Not much action in the second as both men tried to punch and counterpunch with little success. Both men took turns landing some kicks to the body that had little effect. Swick took down Loiseau and the action stagnated as the round ended. The third round came and the action again ended up on the ground with Swick gaining the top position. Loiseau came on strong and landed several straights and elbows that hurt Swick. Loiseau took Swick to the canvas and repeatedly landed headshots that won him the round just as it ended. All scores were 29-28 for the victor.
Guillard knocks out Ruediger with body shot
Lightweight Melvin Guillard (38-6-3) fighting out of Salt Lake City, Utah scored an impressive knockout of Gabe Ruediger (10-2) from Topanga Canyon, California. Guillard came out throwing from the bell and landed successfully on Ruediger who wanted to take the action to the ground. Guillard put Ruediger on his back and landed punches that would’ve knocked any man out, but not only did Ruediger survive, he ended the round mounting Guillard’s back and nearly had the choke hold until he ran out of time. In the second, Guillard came out wanting to strike and landed a brutal straight right to the midriff that finished Ruediger as referee Herb Dean stepped in and stopped matters at 1:01.
Evans knocks out Lambert
Heavyweight Rashad Evans (14-0) of Niagara Falls, New York knocked out Jason Lambert (22-6) of Carlsbad, CA. The first round was all Evans as he took the fight to Lambert and had the Californian on the defensive as he mounted his back and landed several left and right hands. Lambert wasn’t able to mount much of an offense against the former “Ultimate Fighter” contestant. The second round was more of Evans as he repeatedly took Lambert to the canvas. Evans eventually mounted Lambert and landed several shots to the face that prompted referee John McCarthy to stop the bout at 2:22.
Lauzon pulverizes “Little evil”
Lightweight Joe Lauzon (13-3) of Bridgewater, MA devastated Lightweight Jens “Little Evil” Pulver (21-7-1) of Davenport, Iowa in the first round at 48 seconds. The start was fast and furious as both men came out aggressive and Pulver was caught with a knee and then a left hook that stunned him and dropped him to the canvas where Lauzon ended matters with a barrage of shots. Pulver was a former world champion and the loss is considered a major upset.
Huerta dominates Dent
Welterweight Roger “El Matador” Huerta (17-1-1) of Minneapolis via Los Angeles beat Jason Dent (12-7) of Mentor, Ohio by unanimous decision. Huerta came out striking and landed a nice uppercut to begin the first round. Huerta eventually took things to the ground and initiated the “ground and pound.” They ended back on their feet but shifted back to the ground where Huerta dominated. The second round came and the action took place on the ground where Huerta was able to land some nice elbows. The fight went back to a standing position where Huerta landed some nice uppercuts. In the third, Dent seemed to be making some progress until the fight went back to the ground where Huerta landed some nice straights shots and controlled the action. The scores were 30-27 across the board for Huerta.
Sanchez makes successful UFC debut
Heavyweight Eddie Sanchez (7-0) of Vista, California landed a vicious right hand at :17 of the second round to earn him his first UFC victory over Mario Neto (9-4) fighting out of Liverpool, England.
Lightweight Jorge Gurgel (13-2) of Cincinnati, Ohio defeated Danny Abahdi (2-3) of Orlando, Florida via split decision with scores of 29-28 (twice) and 29-28 (Ahbadi).
Lightweight Tyson Griffin (8-0) of Santa Rosa, California defeated David Lee (5-2) of London, England via rear naked choke in the first round.