Sacramento–George St. Pierre (12-1) literally begged the UFC on national television for a rematch against the only man to ever defeat him. “I was awestruck by Hughes the first time we fought,” St. Pierre had said. “He was my idol.” St. Pierre was so awestruck during his first meeting with Hughes (42-4) that he couldn’t look at him during the traditional stare down. There was no such problem this time as St. Pierre looked straight into his rival’s eyes. This time, he would not only stare down Hughes but he’d eventually topple his idol.
Hughes looked unbeatable after his performances against B.J. Penn and UFC Legend Royce Gracie. St. Pierre, wasn’t impressed with Hughes’ performances one bit. After Hughes stopped Penn in a match held earlier this year, St. Pierre got in the octagon and let Hughes know how he felt. Hughes was incensed. He did everything he could to get into St. Pierre’s head and even questioned St. Pierre’s warrior spirit.
Ultimately it was the French/Canadian, St. Pierre, who managed to get into Hughes’ head as he threw the Hillsboro, Illinois native off his game plan and convinced him to trade punches on his feet. Hughes may be a brilliant wrestler but he’s no boxer and he should’ve never tried to exchange punches with the more athletic St. Pierre.
St. Pierre started off with a couple of kicks and then followed up with some hard straights. He landed a spinning back kick and then another kick that came very close to Hughes’ groin. Hughes went to his knees and complained. Hughes took some time to recover only to be nailed again in the inner thigh. Hughes went down again as he was grazed by St. Pierre in the groin. The fighters continued on their feet and Hughes was getting caught by St. Pierre’s faster hands. A right hand dropped Hughes and both men went to the ground where St. Pierre was also winning the battle. Hughes took the action back to their feet and tried to take down St. Pierre who wasn’t about to let Hughes dictate the fight. With ten seconds left in the first round, St. Pierre landed a superman punch that stunned Hughes and then followed up with a left hook that dropped him. St. Pierre launched a flurry of punches that almost ended the fight. The end of the round saved Hughes from a St. Pierre stoppage.
A dazed Hughes went back to his corner having been totally dominated in the first round. The second round came and St. Pierre continued to fight with a variety of punches and leg kicks that befuddled Hughes. A right kick to the head spelled the end for Hughes as he was dropped and St. Pierre followed up with a flurry of punches and elbows that rendered his opponent defenseless. The stoppage by referee John McCarthy came at 1:25 of the second round. The classy St. Pierre promised Hughes a rematch after the bout and called him the greatest fighter he’s ever faced.
Sylvia a great technician but unspectacular
Tim Sylvia (25-2) defended the UFC heavyweight title against Jeff “The Snow-man” Monson (24-5) with a five round unanimous decision. Monson, who is well-versed in submission wrestling, shot in for the 6’8” champion’s legs in order to take him down and initiate the ground and pound. Sylvia used an effective sprawl on numerous occasions and effectively defended against the muscular wrestler. The first round was slow as Monson tried for the double leg shot but couldn’t put Sylvia on the ground. Sylvia landed some hard straights that marked up Monson’s face. The second round started and Monson again went for Sylvia’s legs without luck. Sylvia kept the fight on their feet and landed a few combinations to Monson’s face. The rest of the round was as unspectacular as the rest of the fight which Sylvia dominated but didn’t do anything to win the crowd over as they booed incessantly and even had Referee John McCarthy admonish the fighters for lack of action. Monson eventually took down Sylvia but wasn’t able to execute his game plan on the ground either as Sylvia defended well. Sylvia bloodied Monson and won the bout but not the hearts of the Sacramento fans with a unanimous decision.
Irvin stops Ramirez in a thriller
James Irvin took (12-3) on Hector Ramirez (6-2-1) in a light heavyweight bout that featured some dramatic moments as both men found themselves in perilous positions. Ramirez showed tremendous intensity and ground skills as he was beating Irvin in the ground game as well as the stand up game. It seemed that Ramirez was well on his way to victory as he mounted Irvin’s back and came close to choking him out. Irvin swung with a couple of high kicks that landed and lost his footing twice as he ended on his back with Ramirez working on top of him. Ramirez was pounding away at Irvin and looked to have the fight wrapped until the bell rang signaling the end of the second round. Ramirez looked to pick up from where he left off as he landed several more hard combinations. To his credit, Irvin hung tough and an exchange ensued where Irvin landed a perfectly placed straight right hand that dropped Ramirez on his knees. Irvin raised his arms in victory but hadn’t yet been declared the winner. Irvin continued with a kick to Ramirez’s body and followed up with some elbows which forced the referee to stop the fight. Irvin made an impressive comeback after seemingly looking like a defeated man. Yamasaki stopped the action at 2:36 of the second in an exciting contest.
Mcfedries stops Sakara in one
Light heavyweight Drew Mcfedries (4-1) of Iowa scored a knockout of Italian boxer Alessio Sakara (14-5) in the first round. Mcfedries beat the boxer at his own game as he landed early and often in the first round as he shook up Sakara with some hard straights. Sakara landed some heavy punches that had Mcfedries in trouble against the Octagon cage but seemed to lose his stamina as he went down with a delayed reaction to a Mcfedries punch. Mcfedries jumped on top of him and landed a flurry punches prompting referee Mario Yamasaki to stop matters at 4:07 of the first.
Brandon Vera stops Mir
Heavyweight Brandon “The Truth” Vera (8-0) stopped former UFC champion Frank Mir (9-3) in the first round. The fighters traded punches but it was Vera’s hard right that staggered Mir which set up a Thai clinch from Vera. Vera used the opportunity to land a knee to Mir’s face that he wasn’t able to recover from as he dropped and Vera jumped on top of him landing nonstop elbows and lefts that forced the referee to call a halt to the action at 1:09 of the first.
“Daddy” Stevenson halts Mishima
The Ultimate Fighter’s Joe “Daddy” Stevenson (31-7) stopped Dokonjonosuke Mishima (17-5-2) n the first round of their lightweight title bout. Mishima took Stevenson to the ground where he was caught in a guillotine choke and ultimately tapped out at 2:07