UFC 79 : Nemesis
photos copyright 2004 Zuffa LLC
mood was set for 2007’s big end-of-year MMA event with the
announcement that Harley-Davidson and Rambo were sponsoring this
seeing Chuck Liddell and Wanderlei Silva facing off at the weigh-ins was
hugely entertaining. Prior to their bout, Wanderlei stated he didn’t
care if he won or lost, he just wanted to bang out an exciting fight for
the fans. This match will be filed away as one of the all-time classic
battles in MMA history.
the deciding showdown in Georges St-Pierre vs. Matt Hughes III leaves
the level of anticipation extremely high for the winner to challenge
Matt Serra for his welterweight title.
In earlier matches:
Irvin def. Luiz Cane by disqualification – 1.51, Round One.
Lister def. Jordan Radev by unanimous decision.
Carneiro def. Tony DeSouza by TKO – 3.33, Round Two.
Bocek def. Doug Evans by unanimous decision.
Gamburyan (5’5” 155 lb) vs. Nate Mohr (5’9” 155 lb)
Referee: Herb Dean
went for the shoot, Nate resisted the attempt, and they clinched before
He shot in again, causing Nate to sprawl.
Manny muscled Nate to the canvas and moved into his guard.
Manny threw two right hands, then dropped back, seizing
Nate’s right leg. Manny applied a painful ankle lock and Nate tapped.
Result: Manny Gamburyan by ankle lock – 1.31, Round One.
Clementi (5’9” 155 lb) vs. Melvin Guillard (5’9” 156 lb)
Referee: Herb Dean
came out in southpaw stance and dodged a big right from Melvin, then
shot out a low leg kick to unsettle Melvin.
Guillard rushed in with guns blazing. The exchange ended with Clementi
unloading a high and a low kick.
Clementi low-kicked again.
He leg-kicked Guillard’s lead leg and Melvin countered with a barrage
of swinging fists as Rich backpedaled out of range.
Rich inside leg-kicked.
Melvin landed a big right before Rich picked him up in a body lock,
slammed him into the floor, and looked to take Melvin’s back.
They scrambled to their feet with Clementi still latched onto
The pair stood apart after another frantic rummage.
Guillard charged at Clementi with a solid looping right, then dispatched
a volley of punches.
Melvin brought up a left knee, however his right foot slipped from under
him and as he tried to recover his stance, Rich dropped to the floor
with Melvin in a guillotine.
Guillard warded off the choke and fought from Clementi’s guard.
Clementi twisted his hips and went for an arm bar. They
rolled and Rich was striking down on Melvin from side position.
Rich was on Melvin’s back and hooked his left ankle behind his right
knee to complete a body triangle, then fitted Melvin with a rear naked
choke to seal the package.
Result: Rich Clementi by body triangle – 4.40, Round One.
Machida (6’1” 204 lb) vs. Rameau Sokoudjo (6’0” 205 lb)
Referee: Mario Yamasaki
was going to be the moment of truth for Cameroon’s Sokoudjo as he
faced off against Brazil’s more experienced Machida.
Southpaw Lyoto caught Rameau with a left hand.
Rameau dispatched a high kick. He closed in with leather
calling-cards and the pair clinched.
Sokoudjo took Machida down, but Machida rolled and got half guard.
Sokoudjo looked for a kimura that didn’t happen.
From half guard, Lyoto tried his own kimura on Rameau’s right arm,
however Rameau kept Lyoto’s left leg tied up and prevented Lyoto from
getting sufficient leverage to work the hold successfully.
Machida jettisoned the kimura and dropped right hands on
Sokoudjo from half guard. Sokoudjo remained calm and worked to subdue
Rameau attempted a guillotine from below, but Lyoto prized
his head free.
The crowd grew restless and Mario stood the players up.
Lyoto kicked to the midsection. He moved in with a left and
there was a brief scuffle.
Sokoudjo charged at Machida before they clinched. He took Machida down
and pressed him into the fence.
Sokoudjo lashed fists at Machida as Machida climbed to his feet. The
hooter sounded with the pair clinched.
Lyoto sent up a left high kick.
He kicked at Rameau’s left leg and Rameau came back with a right high
Lyoto tried the same kick and Rameau countered with a straight right.
The pair commenced a kicking duel, with little damage done, until 3.08,
when Machida answered a right kick with a left punch that put Sokoudjo
down. Machida fell into guard and g’n’ped Sokoudjo.
Machida got half guard.
He sealed Sokoudjo’s right arm in an arm triangle, but
Sokoudjo warded off the choke.
They rolled and Lyoto pounded Rameau’s left thigh with elbow strikes
from on top. He whooped up more g’n’p from Rameau’s half guard.
Rameau looked spent as Lyoto fitted him with another arm triangle, then
moved to side control to strengthen application. Rameau tapped.
Result: Lyoto Machida by arm triangle – 4.20, Round Two.
Sanchez (6’2” 239 lb) vs. Soa Palelei (6’4” 262 lb)
Referee: Mario Yamasaki
match was similar to the Cro Cop vs. Sanchez one, when Sanchez didn’t
fire up against Mirko. Only this time it was Palelei who didn’t get
going against Sanchez. Billed as The Hulk, unfortunately Palelei
appeared more like Bruce Banner. Hopefully we’ll see the real Soa next
time he competes.
Result: Eddie Sanchez by TKO – 3.24, Round One.
Liddell (6’2” 204 lb) vs. Wanderlei Silva (5’11” 205 lb)
Referee: Herb Dean
This long awaited match-up was a title fight – not officially, but it was sanctioned by the people, for the people. And the entrance of these two legendary warriors began like a Rio ‘carnaval’ with Wanderlei waving to the cheering crowd, then performing his samba warm-up in the ring. Chuck followed with his voodoo doll shuffle into the arena. Wanderlei continued to bop whilst looking Chuck’s way, but the Iceman turned his back to chat with John Hackleman.
Bruce Buffer introduced Wanderlei, who was doing his trademark clenched-knuckle rattle. The crowd stood and roared. They continued to erupt as Buffer introduced Chuck, and he responded by giving the ‘No Deal’ signal. Herb Dean gave last-minute instructions through the killer stare-down from both competitors.
4.52: Liddell inside leg-kicks.
4.44: And again. Both men have their lead left hands probing.
4.16: Silva throws a left and right that Liddell backs away from.
4.09: Chuck throws a right and Wanderlei replies with a left. Chuck is using his reach advantage to jab at Wanderlei and keep him at a distance.
3.24: Silva smacks a kick at Liddell’s lead leg.
3.21: Liddell lands with a right flush on Silva’s jaw and Silva waddles back to the fence with hands by his sides, appearing to be hurt. But as Liddell moves in for the kill, Silva smiles and fires off a left and right glove. The pair slug it out and Liddell finishes the stoush with a high kick.
2.53: Chuck closes in again and lands a big right. He launches a right haymaker that sails past his opponent.
2.36: Wanderlei leg-kicks.
2.27: Chuck returns the kick.
2.19: He kicks to the body and Wanderlei responds with a left hook.
2.15: Chuck hurls a left and Wanderlei counters with a right.
2.04: Liddell dispatches a right.
1.47: Silva leg-kicks.
1.29: Liddell scores with a right.
1.21: They trade and Silva unloads a sharp right.
1.17: They exchange again, with Silva landing a left glove.
0.31: The toe-to-toe continues and Chuck delivers more leather.
0.15: He unloads a right and Wanderlei counters with the same.
0.05: Chuck scores with an inside leg kick as the round closes.
During the break, John Hackleman tells Chuck to stop cocking his right hand because it’s becoming too telegraphic.
turns the heat up and comes out swinging. There’s a slug out.
Liddell leg-kicks and hands are exchanged. In round one Liddell was the
hunter, but now Silva is coming after him.
Liddell throws a right and gets caught with a right and left.
Wanderlei delivers a combination that’s on the mark.
Wanderlei kicks to the body.
Chuck connects with a right hand.
Wanderlei kicks to the body again.
Chuck does likewise, but Wanderlei responds with a right that puts
Liddell down. Chuck instantly springs back to his feet.
He catches Chuck with a left hook.
Chuck attempts an overhand right, but Wanderlei tags him with
a right and left.
Liddell parks a jab on Silva’s nose.
They trade and Silva puts Liddell down again, then drops his hands and
waits for Liddell to get back up. Wanderlei shows he is not interested
in rushing in to fight Chuck on the ground.
Liddell pegs Silva with a jab, and Silva responds with a left hook.
They exchange and clinch.
Chuck slams Wanderlei with a vicious left elbow. There’s one minute
remaining in the second round and both men are happy to bang it out.
This fight is everything they said it would be. Wanderlei is now
bleeding around his right eye – the result of Chuck’s elbow strikes,
but he is blasting Chuck back with flying knuckles.
They break free.
Chuck fires off a right and Wanderlei sends it back.
Silva delivers a combo. He looks to go for a guillotine
that’s too loose. Liddell grabs Silva’s left leg, then lets go and
they fall to the canvas with Liddell in Silva’s guard.
appears they could be one apiece, with Chuck dominating the first round
and Wanderlei taking the second.
Chuck shoots and takes Wanderlei down.
Wanderlei climbs back up and the toe-to-toe continues.
Chuck blocks an incoming high kick.
More banging before Chuck scores with a clean right.
Wanderlei inside leg-kicks, then cops a spinning back-fist. Chuck pumps
out a combo that backs Wanderlei into the fence, and this time he’s
not faking it. They slug it out, but Liddell’s dishing it up with more
They part and Liddell stops to look at the clock.
He inside leg-kicks and then lands with a jab. Both men have spent a lot
of nitros in this battle.
Silva comes back with a combo.
Chuck pops him with an overhand right.
He looks up at the clock again. Wanderlei slowly pursues Chuck, but
Chuck is scoring with more accurate shots.
He tackles Wanderlei and they wrangle on the floor until the fight ends.
This long-awaited showdown was predicted to be a great war and it lived up to all expectations. Neither man let his fans down. After the shootout both fighters talked about the ‘next time’.
Result: Chuck Liddell by unanimous decision.
St-Pierre (5’10” 170 lb) vs. Matt Hughes (5’9” 170 lb)
Referee: Steve Mazzagatti
before the fight starts, Matt shapes up in southpaw stance – giving a
sneak preview of his game plan for this close encounter of the third
kind with Georges. They touch gloves: GS-P’s left mitt taps Matt’s
Matt throws an overhand right and slips. As he regains his footing
Georges throws a left.
St-Pierre sends up a high kick. He was obviously not expecting to face a
lefty, but remains cool and begins adjusting his game. However for
wrestler Hughes it’s an easy and calculated adjustment.
Georges kicks Matt’s front right leg.
Hughes misses with a takedown attempt.
St-Pierre misses with a right hand, then lands a leg kick.
He rushes in wielding a right glove and Hughes uses the
opportunity to try for a takedown. St-Pierre resists and the pair
Georges yanks the back of Matt’s left knee and takes him down. Matt
has Georges in guard and picks him off from below with elbow strikes to
Georges’s skull. St-Pierre retaliates by dropping down left fists.
Hughes is pressed against the cage.
St-Pierre has his right hand free and uses it to pound Hughes.
Matt locks Georges’s body in an effort to close down Georges’s
St-Pierre manages to recommence the right punches, but Steve Mazzagatti
warns him not to strike the back of Matt’s head. So to break
Hughes’s body hug from underneath, Georges begins doing push-ups –
pressing both their bodies up, then dropping down – causing Hughes’s
head to thump into the floor. Matt maintains the hug as Georges
alternates between punching Matt’s head and pile-driving his skull
into the canvas. Mazzagatti warns St-Pierre again to stop his punches
from hitting the back of Hughes’s noggin. Hughes rolls onto his
stomach, St-Pierre takes his back, and the hooter blows.
Matt easily dodges Georges’s high kick.
Georges grabs Matt’s left knee and tugs him down before
taking half guard.
Georges is in closed guard.
He reclaims half guard.
He tries to improve position as Matt works him back to guard.
Georges g’n’ps, then looks to set something up. Matt elbows from
below and tries to take Georges’s left arm.
St-Pierre moves to half guard.
He gets the mount.
Hughes rolls and surrenders his back.
St-Pierre has Hughes’s with hooks in place. They scramble and Hughes
ends up pressed into the fence and wearing knees from St-Pierre.
Georges is standing and Matt is working on a takedown.
They’re both standing, clinched.
Georges hip-throws Matt, taking side control in the process.
He goes for a kimura on Matt’s right arm, then switches to an arm bar.
He rolls with the submission intact and Matt taps.
Result: Georges St-Pierre by arm bar – 4.54, Round Two.
80: Rapid Fire, Live from Newcastle, England, on January 19,
Penn vs. Joe Stevenson (lightweight)
Gonzaga vs. Fabricio Werdum (heavyweight)
Liaudin vs. Marcus Davis (welterweight)
Lambert vs. Wilson Gouveia (light heavyweight)
Rivera vs. Kendall Grove (middleweight)
Hardonk vs. Colin Robinson (heavyweight)
Kelly vs. Paul Taylor (welterweight)
Lee vs. Alessio Sakara (light heavyweight)
Eklund vs. Sam Stout (lightweight)
more on UFC: www.ufc.tv.