By Jaime C. Feal
In his UFC return, “Ruthless” Robbie Lawler scored a big upset victory over veteran Josh Koscheck. In the early going, Koscheck was able to take Lawler down and impose his will. After a couple minutes Lawler was able to get back up, and then sprawled beautifully on Koscheck’s next takedown attempt. From there, Lawler started unloading with heavy punches that caused Kos to merely cover up against the cage. The ref stopped the fight, some may say a bit prematurely, but nonetheless Lawler earned the 1st round TKO victory. In the next fight, Ultimate Fighter winner Court McGee earned a decision victory in a back and forth brawl with Josh Neer. The fighters mostly exchanged on the feet, with McGee winning all 3 rounds of the judge’s scorecards.
Bantamweight Division (135 lbs.):
Urijah “The California Kid” Faber (26-6, 2-2 UFC) vs. Ivan Menjivar (25-9, 4-2 UFC)
The bantamweights touch gloves and Faber is the aggressor with forward movement. Faber clinches up with Menjivar, but gets tossed down hard by Ivan. Faber reverses the position and gets on top, working from side control. Faber methodically working elbows while holding Menjivar down. Menjivar regains guard. Faber landing some ground and pound. Big elbows from Faber hit the mark. Good upkick from Menjivar. Faber hops on Menjivar’s back when he stands up, looking for the standing rear naked choke, and he gets it! Menjivar taps out to the rare standing rear naked choke. Nice finish from Faber.
Urijah “The California Kid” Faber wins by submission (rear-naked choke) at 4:34 of Round 1.
Light Heavyweight Division (205 lbs.):
Lyoto “The Dragon” Machida (18-3, 10-3 UFC) vs. Dan Henderson (29-8, 6-2 UFC)
Machida controlling the range, but not much happening yet. Hendo loaded up on his right hand, plodding along. Hendo misses with a leg kick. Machida with a left body kick. Machida back to work with body kicks. Henderson unsuccessfully trying to tie him up. Machida misses with a front kick. Henderson hasn’t shown much offense this round, misses with a right hand. Finally Hendo lands a right, but Machida takes it well. Hendo clinches, the fighters trade knees. Machida breaks free, goes back to circling the outside. Henderson again clinches, this time Machida gets a takedown. The Dragon with some solid ground and pound to close the round. 10-9 round for Machida.
Machida goes back to his kicking based attack, Henderson misses an inside leg kick Hendo tries to clinch but Machida shrugs him off, and lands a body kick. Nice front kick to the face by Lyoto. You can see Henderson begin to get frustrated now. Henderson misses a big right hand. Bad intentions on that punch, just missed. Good body kick from Machida. Henderson starting to breath heavy. Nasty knee from Machida to the body, but good left hand from Hendo. Good superman punch from Henderson. 10-9 round from Machida.
Lyoto still feinting, Henderson still trying to land a huge right hand. Hard left body kick from the Dragon. Henderson scores a takedown. Things just got interesting. Machida in full guard, trying to control the posture of Hendo. Machida eating some light body shots. Machida appears to be looking for the standup. Henderson with a nice right, trying to pass to half guard. Good elbow to the body from Hendo. Machida is able to get back to his feet. Inside leg kick checked by Hendo. Front kick to the face again lands for Machida, then a high kick.. 10-9 round for Henderson.
The judges score the fight 28-29, 29-28, and 29-28 for the winner by split decision Lyoto “The Dragon” Machida
UFC Women’s Bantamweight Championship (135 lbs.):
Ronda Rousey (6-0, 0-0 UFC) vs. Liz Carmouche (8-2, 0-0 UFC)
Rhonda presses forward and gets the clinches. Rhonda manages to get Carmouche down in an awkward position. Carmouche gets up and gets the back standing. Carmouche looking the for the standing rear naked. Rousey gets free somehow. That was the most trouble we’ve ever seen her in. Now Carmouche is on her back, Rousey standing over her. Left hand, right hand from Rousey. Now Rousey is in side control, looking to ground and pound. Rousey is trying to hold her in position, Liz is trying to take the back. Carmouche is trying to triangle Rhonda, but Rousey gets free. Rousey gets in her patented armbar position! Watch out, big trouble for Carmouche. Rousey fails on the first attempt, but deftly keeps rolling with Carmouche, eventually winning the struggle to pry the arm free. From there it’s a wrap, as Carmouche taps, and Rousey remains the unbeaten champion, her streak of first round armbars intact.
Rhonda Rousey wins by submission (armbar) 4:49 of Round 1.