A savage, surgical attack from B.J. Penn wiped
Hughes in less than half a minute.
Penn split the air with a beautiful counter right hand that leveled
Hughes and then finished off the hall of famer with four clean
punches on the ground in the UFC
123 “Rampage vs. Machida” co-headliner on Saturday at The
Palace of Auburn Hills in Auburn Hills, Mich. Hughes met his demise
21 seconds into round one, as the trilogy between two of the
sport’s fiercest rivals came to a decisive climax.
“Matt, you’re my idol,” said Penn, who snapped a two-fight losing
streak with a spectacular return to the welterweight division. “You
will always be my idol. Thank you.”
Hughes was never in the fight. The counter right from Penn put him
on his back, and it was over a few seconds later, the former
welterweight champion teetering briefly near unconsciousness.
“Well, he hit me hard,” said Hughes, whose 24 Octagon appearances
rank first all-time. “When I felt the hit, I thought it was a knee
or a kick. It wasn’t a clip. He hit me pretty hard.”
Hughes entered the rubber match with Penn on a three-fight winning
streak. The decisive defeat -- only Dennis
Hallman has finished him more quickly -- left the 37-year-old’s
immediate future uncertain.
“I don’t know what the plan is now,” Hughes said. “I had a perfect
training camp. This is one of those fights where I would have paid
my purse to [UFC President] Dana White to put this fight together.
I had a lot on the line. To be honest, I don’t know what will go on
Jackson (above) outpointed
In a battle between former light heavyweight champions, Quinton
“Rampage” Jackson earned a controversial split decision against
Machida in the UFC 123 main event. All three cage-side judges
scored it 29-28, two of them siding with Jackson.
Aggression was Jackson’s primary weapon, as he controlled the
center of the cage and kept Machida’s back to the cage. However,
Machida landed more strikes of consequence.
“I think [me being the aggressor is] the only thing that earned me
a decision,” Jackson said. “I think that’s what the judges saw --
me being aggressive. The fight was so close that it’s unfair for
Machida. Even though I don’t want to, I have to give him a
At a distance, Jackson struggled to find the range on his power
punches. He invited the clinch on more than one occasion and scored
from in tight with uppercuts, knees to the body and foot stomps,
but much of what he delivered was of little substance.
Machida closed strong, as he rattled Jackson with a multi-punch
combination in the third round, backed him against the cage and
landed two knees, one to the body and another to the head. Rampage
answered but left himself open to a takedown, and Machida obliged.
The Brazilian worked from half guard, passed to side control and
ultimately moved to mount with 90 seconds left. He threatened
Jackson with an armbar but released the submission when Jackson
hoisted him skyward for one of his patented slams. Somewhere,
“Machida whooped my ass tonight,” Jackson said. “My coaches must be
so mad at me. I didn’t do what I wanted to do; then he took me down
and he bloodied my nose. I consider that an ass whooping.”
Machida was humble in defeat.
“I did the best that I could tonight, but if the judges thought
that Quinton won, then that’s what they saw,” he said. “That’s up
to the UFC, but I’d like an immediate rematch also.”
Chute Boxe Academy representative
Maiquel Jose Falcao Goncalves defeated “The Ultimate Fighter”
Season 7 alum Gerald
Harris by unanimous decision in a featured middleweight match.
Scores were 29-27, 29-28 and 29-28 for Goncalves, who has rattled
off eight consecutive victories.
Goncalves, 29, dominated and nearly finished Harris in the first
round, as he wobbled the Tulsa, Okla., native with a flurry of
lightning-quick punches and put him down with a knee to the body.
The Brazilian then worked for a rear-naked choke in the closing
seconds of the round and had the submission all but wrapped up when
the horn sounded.
Harris, who carried a 10-fight winning streak into the cage, again
found himself in deep trouble in the second round, threatened by
another choke. He rebounded briefly with one of his patented slam
takedowns but could not string together any offense of note. An
uneventful third period saw Goncalves coast, much to the chagrin of
those in attendance; they answered the inactivity from the two
middleweights with a chorus of boos.
Davis (above) earned a quick
Boetsch was no match for the strength, skill and athleticism
Davis brought with him to the cage. They call him “Mr.
Wonderful” for a reason.
Davis submitted the International Fight League veteran with a
modified second-round kimura in a featured light heavyweight duel.
Boetsch, who entered the match on a four-fight winning streak,
tapped to the hold 2:55 into round two. Afterward, UFC color
analyst Joe Rogan suggested Davis name the submission the “Mr.
“All right,” Davis said. “Well, that’s what we’re gonna call
A four-time collegiate All-American wrestler at Penn State
University, Davis scored with takedowns in both rounds and
manhandled Boetsch from the clinch. He pounded on the Lincolnville,
Maine, native from half guard for much of the last half of round
one and made quick work of Boetsch when the two hit the ground in
Davis worked for a far-side kimura against the cage, broke free
from Boetsch’s loose half guard and wrenched his opponent’s arm
behind his back. Helpless to defend and in visible pain, Boetsch
tapped out after a brief struggle.
“I kind of make the rules up as I go,” said Davis, who moved to 4-0
in the UFC. “I almost didn’t go for it. I was trying to get it on
Wallace [at UFC 117], and it didn’t work, but I was, like, nah,
I gotta go for it. I do what I can out here. I’m trying.”
Surging Australian lightweight contender George
Sotiropoulos submitted “The Ultimate Fighter” Season 5
semi-finalist Joe Lauzon
with a second-round kimura in a pivotal showdown at 155 pounds.
Lauzon, his arm torqued awkwardly behind him, succumbed to the hold
2:43 into round two.
Lauzon roared out of the gates in impressive fashion, as he popped
his foe with a series of straight right hands in the first round
and stuffed an early single-leg takedown attempt. Sotiropoulos
rebounded to take mount on Lauzon in the closing seconds of the
round but surrendered position in search of an armbar.
“There’s always the calm before the storm,” Sotiropoulos said. “I
weathered the storm, and I found my range.”
As the second round dawned, it became clear Lauzon was not the same
fighter. Visibly winded and slowed, his mouth agape, he did not
have the steam necessary to hold off Sotiropoulos. The Aussie
scrambled into side control, isolated Lauzon’s arm and finished him
there. The victory improved Sotiropoulos to 7-0 inside the
“I want to face the best,” he said. “I want to make a case for the
belt. That’s the goal. That’s the destination, and I’ll continue
making my case.”