The issue of cheating in sports goes as far back as the beginning of man. To the victor go the spoils so man’s desire to do whatever it sees as necessary to get an upper hand have justified many an unethical endeavor. However, in the realm of combative sports (boxing/MMA) cheating carries with it the prospect of something far more serious than an underserved win. When fighters willingly look to provide shortcuts that make them bigger, stronger, and faster than their counterparts there is a very real threat of serious harm being absorbed by an opponent who entered the ring or cage with the idea of a fair fight in mind.
Arguably, the reason for MMA and boxing’s popularity over the course of history is the idea it exemplifies. Life is often a singular struggle and there is a sense of poetry in the notion of duking it out with someone as a means of measuring one’s status. Sanctioned fighting is one of the purest forms of competition, which is usually reflected in the betting odds of every matchup. After all, it is one person pitted against another person with the intent to see who the better person is on that given night. If you happen to be looking for MMA betting odds and aren't in Las Vegas, you can always check online as well. This is a concept that is lost when you speak of the team orientated “stick and ball” sports where an individual’s greatness can ultimately have little impact on the outcome of the game. However, in a fight it is critical to the very loves of the combatants that they are on as equal a playing field as genetically possible.
This is why the recent epidemic of high profile fighters testing positive for performance enhancing drugs (PEDs) is so alarming. While the win at all cost mentality may be as inherent in a fight as breathing, using artificial means to gain an advantage destroys any purity in one-on-one combative sport. In recent months we have seen fighters such as Muhammad “King Mo” Lawal, Chael Sonnen, “Cyborg” Santos, and most recently, Alistair Overeem test positive for a PED of some sort. It’s an alarming trend that seems to be incredibly difficult to corral given the nature of MMA and the lack of funding from states to allow their athletic commissions to do a more thorough job of monitoring fighters.
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The UFC returns to Canada this Saturday the 17th, at the Bell Centre in Montreal. One of the greatest pound for pound fighters in the world, Georges St. Pierre makes his long-awaited return to the Octagon after an 18 month layoff from tearing his ACL. He faces one of the stiffest challenges yet in Carlos Condit, although GSP has not lost in the Octagon in over five years. However, he also hasn't fought anyone since UFC 129 in April of 2011. Will he be able to seemlessly return as his former dominant self? Or will he not be able to return at 100%, and possibly lose for the first time in over five years? Condit won the interim title belt in GSP's absence, and it will be on the line with the championship belt this weekend. You'll have to tune in this Saturday, because it's going to be a great card.
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It’s been amusing to sit back and watch the palatable giddiness spread across the web following Anderson Silva’s verbal vitriol directed toward long-time agitator and UFC 148 opponent Chael Sonnen. For those who may have missed the fireworks spawned by Silva during a media call last week here is what “The Spider” had to say about Sonnen:
“I’m going to break his face and every tooth in his mouth,” Silva said through his interpreter and manager Ed Soares during last week’s call. “I know he’s on the call listening to this and playtime is over. There’s no more talking from him. I’m going to beat him out of the UFC. I’m going to make him pay for everything he’s said about me, my family and my country. I’m going to beat him maybe like his parents should have to teach him some manners. I’ll teach him those manners myself.”
“No more sh** talking from him. Chael Sonnen's going to get his ass kicked like he's never gotten his ass kicked before. What I'm going to do inside the Octagon is something that's going to change the image of the sport, I’m sorry. I'm going to beat his ass like he's never been beaten before. This is going to be violent and I am sorry. I'm going to make sure that every one of his teeth are broken, that his arms are broken and his legs are broken. He's not going to be able to walk out of the Octagon by himself. I can guarantee that. He will need a plastic surgeon afterwards.”
Remember that scene in “A Christmas Story” when Ralphie dropped the curse word and his dad just sat there in awe? Well that was basically how the MMA community reacted to Silva’s spewed venom. It was a shock to the collective senses given the oft-reserved, Silva we’ve grown to tolerate.
“I've promoted every Anderson Silva fight since he's been in the UFC in 2006, and I've never heard him talk even remotely like this,” explained a surprised Dana White. “He is usually so respectful and doesn't say anything negative or disrespectful. I've never heard Anderson talk like this once.”
Even the loquacious Sonnen was at a loss for words and disconnected from the media call shortly after Silva’s tirade. Sonnen took a more dismissive stance on Silva’s words telling ESPN’s Franklin McNeil:
"Who gives a damn? He can do all those things." he added. "But one thing he didn't say is that he's going to beat me. One thing he didn't say he'd break is my will. One thing he didn't say he'd do is win this fight. We'll be in the middle of a cage stupid; I'd expect you to do those things."
For Sonnen, who often blurs the line between UFC title contender and WWE heel, this was as real an answer as you can get. It seems pretty clear judging by the tone of his responses that Sonnen has that “shit’s getting real” realization. Perhaps his relentless chiding of Silva and his bashing of Brazil have stirred up the hornets nest. Silva is far and away the best fighter in MMA right now. Few things are potentially more terrifying than a Silva with blood lust.
Looks like we’re all going to find out on July 7 if Sonnen awoke a vengeful giant.no comments
UFC Lightweight Main Event
Gray Maynard (11-1-1, 1 NC) SD Clay Guida (29-10)
Scores: 48-47, 48-47, 47-48
On paper, Maynard against Guida seemed like a sure-fire action-packed affair. After all, neither fighter had ever disappointed in the Octagon and it stood to assume that Friday night would be the same. However, it quickly became evident that this fight would not follow our preconceived notions. Guida came out bouncing but instead of going for a quick takedown, as many predicted, he simply bounced and let go of his hands. Granted, he really didn’t land much of anything but it put Maynard on edge and defensive. This was the script throughout the fight. Guida’s footwork and movement caused Maynard fits as the heavy-handed wrestler was befuddled by his long-haired opponents extremely unorthodox movements. Sure, Maynard had his moments but it was Guida who controlled the pace of the fight from the opening bell. Unfortunately, two of the three judges failed to see this and controversially awarded the split decision to Maynard.
UFC Lightweight Fight
Sam Stout (19-7-1) UD Spencer Fisher (25-9)
Scores: 30-27, 30-27, 30-27
The Stout-Fisher rivalry finally reached an end as Stout was able to pull out the victory in the rubber match. Both Stout and Fisher will forever be linked to one another on the grounds of their competitive two fights split at one and one before Friday night. I guess it was fitting that this, their final bout, would be an equally contested contest with both fighters trading leather with reckless abandon. The ebb and flow of the fight was more of a kinetic dance between two fighters far too familiar with one another’s style to be lulled into a trap. However great Fisher fought Friday night it was Stout’s more diverse attack which included a couple of sweet takedowns that earned him the nod in each round.
UFC Welterweight Fight
Brian Ebersole (50-14-1, 1 NC) UD TJ Waldburger (15-7)
Scores: 29-28, 29-28, 29-28
You have to admire the tenacity of jiu-jitsu specialist TJ Waldburger. Never once in his fight Friday night against Ebersole did he ever stop trying to latch on a submission of some sort. In fact, there were numerous times when it appeared that Waldburger would force an Ebersole tap but credit to the old man, he never gave in. Actually, it was quite to the contrary as Ebersole used veteran guile and savvy to simple out muscles, and out hustle, the younger Waldburger. While Waldburger was trying to land the submission it was Ebersole who was doing the damage and in the end that is what propelled him to victory.
UFC Featherweight Fight
Cub Swanson (17-5) TKO RD 2 (Strikes) Ross Pearson (15-6)
Time of Stoppage: 4:14 RD 2
Cub Swanson’s long-documented string of bad luck seems to be over as the former WEC fan-favorite notched his second consecutive win in the UFC with an impressive stoppage of Ross Pearson. While Pearson may have had a good size advantage over Swanson, he was no where near as fast or fluid as Swanson who looked spectacular in displaying a cornucopia of offensive. Deft boxing, footwork, and even a capoeira kick where on full display from Swanson who had a hell of a time denting the iron chin of the ever-aggressive Pearson. A sneaky counter left hook that Pearson didn’t see put the Brit down and out and may have propelled Swanson to contender status in the UFC’s featherweight division.no comments
UFC Flyweight Tournament Main Event
Demetrious Johnson (14-2-1) vs. Ian McCall (11-2-1)
Scores: 29-28, 29-28, 30-27
You get the feeling that if Demetrious Johnson and Ian McCall were to fight 100 times in the end each fighter would split the contents 50-50. Few rivals are more evenly matched than Johnson and McCall. After their first encounter ended in a controversial draw, Johnson made sure that this go around there would be a definitive winner. Whereas McCall controlled large portions of their first fight with superior wrestling, this go around Johnson seemed prepared for such an endeavor. Johnson’s lightning quick footwork seemed to give McCall fits and the man nicknamed “Uncle Creepy” was unable to really get into a rhythm against Johnson. While McCall walked away with the second round, unfortunately, Johnson won the first and third rounds pretty convincingly. It was an incredible scrappy fight by two true warriors and it won’t be long before McCall will inevitably engage in a rubber match with Johnson.
UFC Welterweight Fight
Eric Silva (14-2, 1 NC) SUB RD 1 (Rear Naked Choke) Charlie Brenneman (15-4)
Time of Submission: 4:33 RD 1
Look, Charlie Brenneman knows he’s a one-trick pony. He’s basically a wrestler with passable striking. But he doesn’t care what you think. ‘The Spaniard’ has one game plan and that is to shoot in for the takedown and take you to the ground. He’s the UFC’s version of Ben Askren and like it or not, the tactic is formidable. However, tonight Brenneman was tasked with trying to slow the meteoric rise of Brazilian prospect Eric Silva. Knowing he had no chance of standing and trading with Silva, Brenneman did what he did best, wrestle. Not surprising Brenneman was able to score with a couple of takedowns and pretty much dictated the pace of the round. However, try as he might, Brenneman could not keep Silva down and after stuffing a takedown attempt by Brenneman, Silva was easily able to slip his hooks in to secure the fight-ending rear naked choke.
UFC Welterweight Fight
Mike Pyle (23-8-1) KO RD 1 Josh Neer (33-11-1)
Time of Stoppage: 4:56 RD 1
Few fighters are as tough and as grizzled as Mike Pyle and Josh Neer. Both fighters have been in more cage wars than either would care to remember and at this stage in their careers they are the epitome of hardened warriors. Which is exactly why this fight started off immediately as a battle of wills. Pyle looked good early but Neer soon began to wear and walk Pyle down behind some punishing body shots. However, just as it appeared that Neer was going to wear his opponent down, Pyle shot out a short right hand that exploded on Neer’s chin and put Neer down and out, face down on the mat.
UFC Bantamweight Fight
Eddie Wineland (19-8-1) TKO RD 2 (strikes) Scott Jorgensen (13-6)
Time of Stoppage: 4:10 RD 2
On paper this fight looked like it was tailor made for Jorgensen. Sure, Wineland is as tough as they come, but many felt like his best was left in the blue cage of the WEC. The prevailing line of thought being that Jorgensen’s superior wrestling and tenacious fighting style would simply grind Wineland into a pulp. Funny, that’s why fights are actually fought. Wineland’s takedown defense was superb forcing Jorgensen to stand and try to bang throughout the fight. This obviously played right into the hands of Wineland who despite his awkward boxing style is able to tattoo his opponents with blistering straight combinations. This was ultimately what served him well in this fight as Wineland’s jab and the follow up straight right fell flush on the chin of Jorgensen throughout the fight until a concussive right hand put Jorgensen down and out of commission to end the fight.no comments
Leave it to a man with the nickname of “Captain America” to impart some reason into the whole testosterone replacement therapy (TRT) plague that has afflicted the UFC this past year. Former UFC champion, and Hall of Famer, Randy Couture recently stated in a recent interview that he was against the use of the controversial TRT usage by fighters.
In his interview with MMA Weigh-In (and transcribed by Cage Potato) Couture goes on the record against TRT usage:
“I think there are natural ways to jumpstart your body’s own production rather than put an external source of testosterone in your body. And I think putting the external in only compounds the issues that your already having. I think the problem…obviously Chael, Marquardt, there’s been several athletes that have been using TRT.”
“I think for them, it’s not a function of having depleted levels of testosterone, it’s wanting to have testosterone levels of a 21 year old again, because when you were 21, let’s face it, you recovered better, you’re probably gonna compete better, especially if you’re 32 and have that experience going into a fight. “
Amen, Couture. Amen.
Look, I do not doubt that there are those out there in their physical primes who legitimately suffer from low testosterone. However, I find it hard to believe that there is a disproportionately high amount of professional fighters who suffer from an affliction that would require them to infect synthetic hormones in their bodies to replicate, as Couture points out, levels found in their youth. It’s becoming more and more apparent that fighters are seeking TRT exemptions much like stoners cite “trouble sleeping” in the vain attempt to get a medicinal marijuana card.
Further damaging the claim of those who swear that TRT is of the utmost importance for their fighting livelihood are the recent comments from Nate Marquardt. Those may remember that it was Marquardt’s failure to get a medical exemption for his TRT treatments that same him get the boot from the UFC. Appearing on The MMA Hour with Ariel Helwani shortly after being released, Marquardt cried as he explained that TRT not only saved his marriage, but allowed him to live a productive, normal life. Now, it seems that hassle of dealing with state regulatory commissions is enough for him to give up such pleasures. How can we not cast a skeptical eye at fighters who have been given TRT exemptions when Marquardt, who swore that his treatments where a necessity of a healthy, normal lifestyle is willing to forgo that due to inconvenience?
It all just doesn’t sit right with our shared sensibilities. MMAFighting’s Mike Chiappetta spoke with NFL spokesperson Greg Aiello who stated that only a half-dozen TRT exemptions had been granted to NFL players since 1990. It’s perplexing how only six NFL athletes needed such an exemption in the span of 10 years while there are currently seven UFC fighters who have recently been granted such exemptions in the past couple of years.
Again, I’m not saying that there is no way a fighter could ever suffer from low testosterone. It just seems a bit fishy that so many fighters who have never exhibited noticeable symptoms of low testosterone are suddenly being afflicted by “low-T.” While I doubt that today’s current TRT controversy will eventually blow over, one can only hope that such news becomes less prevalent in our MMA headlines.
Photo © Scott Chapman/www.imagesbychappy.comno comments
It seems like only yesterday when the MMA world was abuzz in the euphoria created when Strikeforce and Showtime announced their Heavyweight World Grand Prix tournament to crown the best heavyweight fighter in the promotion. Hell, how could we all collectively not been stoked? The tournament was a throwback to a seemingly bygone era when grand tournaments would be held to crown champs in promotions like PRIDE. The Strikeforce Heavyweight World Grand Prix held such promise. Filled with some of the biggest and best non-UFC heavyweights, the tournament had hardcore MMA fans salivating with names like Alistair Overeem, Fedor Emelianenko, and Josh Barnett. The tournament was heralded but media and fans alike as Strikeforce’s best chance to gain ground on the UFC juggernaut.
Then, it all went to shit.
What do they say about the best laid plans of mice and men? As with any grand plan in the fight game logistics proved to be an absolute nightmare for the tournament. When you have a cadre of international fighters, each with their own demands and preferences, shit can get complicated in a hurry. As a result of this inevitable fact the Grand Prix’s quarterfinal rounds seemed to take forever to complete given the fact that all four fights were not done on the same card. Then, the arguably biggest name in the tournament, Fedor Emelianenko, was eliminated in the quarterfinals when Antonio Silva beat the living hell out of the Russian star eliminating much of the allure that was needed to coax the casual, “UFC-only” fan into tuning in. Needless to say, heading into the semi-finals the tournament appeared to already be losing steam.
It stands to reason that the death blow to the tournament occurred last summer when Alistair Overeem, who had advanced to the semifinals with a dominating performance over Fabricio Werdum, was unceremoniously cut from the Strikeforce promotion. The reason for the severed ties still does not appear to be clear but failing to retain the tournament’s most popular fighter, and the reigning Strikeforce heavyweight champion, effectively took the remaining wheels of the Grand Prix. While Overeem’s replacement, and eventual Grand Prix winner, Daniel Cormier was a welcomed and surprising addition, it still further illustrated that the tournament no longer held the gravitas it once enjoyed as the promotions best fighter was no longer in it due to politics.
When Cormier took home the tournament title beating the crap out of the very dangerous Josh Barnett it almost felt like the jubilation surrounding the event was more of a “Thank God this is finally over!” emotion than genuine appreciation of Cormier’s ascension up the heavyweight ranks. It’s a shame that the tournament had to whimper across the finish line (much like Showtime’s other ill-fated tournament, the Super Six Super Middleweight boxing tournament that seemed to go on for over a decade) as there was legitimate hope and excitement for the Grand Prix when it was first announced. Unfortunately, in the fight game, all the things you hang your hope on eventually comes crashing down. It may be a pessimistic view but I’ve been a fan too longno comments
Strikeforce Heavyweight World Grand Prix Final
Daniel Cormier (10-0) UD Josh Barnett (31-6)
Scores: 49-46, 50-45, 50-45
Conventional wisdom would have foretold a dominant submission victory for Josh Barnett over Daniel Cormier to win the Strikeforce Heavyweight Grand Prix finals. After all, Barnett has been in the fight game for over a decade whereas Cormier has just nine fights into his fledgling MMA career. Of course, conventional wisdom rarely is applicable in the sport of MMA, where anything can, and often does, happen.
With a career founded on his ability to get the fight to the ground where his catch wrestling leaves man an opponent tapping out, Barnett found himself being out-gunned throughout the fight by the crisp striking of the unheralded Cormier. Not that Cormier was ill-equipped for the biggest fight of this career. The former Olympic wrestler has honed his striking under the tutelage of the beasts at San Jose’s AKA fight team. Against Barnett, Cormier’s ever-improving striking was on full display as Cormier landed a plethora of crisp, straight punches that seemed to fluster Barnett, keeping the catch wrestler at bay. Barnett, who apparently had been training in the French form of kickboxing known as savat, was able to utilize some hard knees that caused some damage. But Barnett’s moments of success were few and far between as this fight was all Cormier.
As the fight entered the final rounds it was clear that Barnett was not going to be able to weather the tide that Cormier was bringing. It was a virtuoso performance for a fighter who has just begun his MMA career and now Cormier has leapfrogged up the rankings from highly touted prospect to a legitimate contender in the sport. Not only did he beat Barnett, he controlled him and for a fighter who wasn’t even in the Strikeforce heavyweight tournament at it’s inception, to know the winner of the whole tournament. With Strikeforce’s heavyweight division no longer in existence it will be interesting to see if the UFC come in and swoops up this exciting fighter. It was truly an outstanding performance by Cormier.
“It means everything for me to beat a guy like Josh Barnett,” said a clearly emotional Cormier after the fight. “This means the world to me.”no comments
Strikeforce Lightweight Championship
Gilbert Melendez (21-2) SD Josh Thompson (19-5, 1 NC)
48-47 (Melendez), 48-47 (Melendez), 48-47 (Thompson)
Josh Thompson has the distinct honor of having been the last fighter to beat reigning Strikeforce lightweight champion Gilbert Melendez. However, but since that 2008 fight both fighters’ careers have diverged greatly. Melendez has gone on to be one of the most dominant champions in the sport having gone undefeated in his last six fights. Thompson, on the other hand, has been largely inactive due to an unfortunate string of injuries.
Saturday night Melendez and Thompson engaged in a rubber match that most truly didn’t feel was a fight worth booking. Not that Thompson is an undeserving fighter, but having one fight in the last two years does not typically warrant a title shot. Likewise, Melendez, who has done everything put beg UFC president Dana White to give him some upper echelon opposition, seemed lukewarm to the idea of having to fight Thompson for a third time.
Heading into the fight the prevalent question surrounding Melendez-Thompson III was not if Melendez would win, but how fast would he do it. Thompson’s chances were given even less confidence as rumors circulated around the industry that Thompson was entering this fight with an injured knee. However, as the fight began it was evident that all our preconceived notions would be thrown out the window as a surprisingly closely contested battle was waged. Melendez bucked traditional thought and fought in a measured, cautious pace early on. This slow rhythm allowed Thompson to get comfortable and focus on counterpunching and stuffing Melendez’s few takedowns. While Melendez was the aggressor throughout the fight, by the fourth round he was a bloody and battered mess whereas Thompson looked as fresh as ever. In fact, Thompson nearly pulled the upset off early when he was able to take Melendez’s back with nearly a minute left in the round and sunk in rear naked choke attempt, after attempt, that would have put out any other fighter. Melendez’s survival of the round was a feat of champion-caliber heart.
Thompson seemed to have more in the tank in the last round, and a case could be made that his performance in that round should have been the deciding factor in giving the win to him. When the cards read in favor of Melendez, a chorus of boos rained down on the cage further flaming the fire in those who felt that Thompson should have been the new champion. Needless to say, tonight, Thompson’s stock was raised in defeat while Melendez’s dropped in defeat.no comments
UFC Featherweight Main Event
“The Korean Zombie” Chan Sung Jung SUB RD 4 (D’Arce Choke) Dustin Poirier
Time of Submission: 1:07 RD 4
Holy crap! Is there a fight in which the “Korean Zombie” doesn’t deliver an intense, action-packed fight? Against Poirier, who was favored going into the contest, Jung showed tremendous evolution in his fighting style. No longer a limited brawler, Jung displayed a full arsenal of tricks in turning back the aggression of Poirier. Sure, Poirier had a number of moments in the contest and in round three it appeared that the “Zombie” may have been gassed but credit to Jung for rallying back to submit the submission wiz Poirier. This was by far Jung’s most impressive performance in the Octagon and should he continue to be able to make the weight cut, the “Zombie” could be in the hunt for a title shot.
UFC Welterweight Fight
Amir Sadollah (7-3) SD Jorge Lopez (11-3)
Scores: 29-28, 29-28, 28-29
In understand why the UFC made it a point to feature Sadollah on this card. After all, the TUF winner hails from Virginia but the decision to put him in the evening’s co-main event slot against the unproven Jorge Lopez left many scratching their heads. Fact of the matter, Sadollah does not seem ready for such a high-profile assignment and his fight with Lopez was filled with far too many stretches on inactivity that even Sadollah’s hometown fans were booing in hope of some action. Unfortunately, no action would be had as Sadollah escapes with a split decision that saw cheers from the crowd due mostly because the horrible fight was over. Both Sadollah and Lopez need more seasoning in the realm of the prelim before they should be entrusted with a main card slot.
UFC Lightweight Fight
Donald Cerrone (18-4, 1 NC) UD Jeremy Stephens (20-8)
Scores: 30-27, 30-27, 30-27
Following some high profile losses, Cerrone needed to make a resounding return to the MMA fan’s radar and it is a safe bet that he accomplished just that in light of his dominant performance over Jeremy Stephens. Despite Stephens power-packed fists, Cerrone’s footwork and debilitating leg kicks left Stephens with little ability to mount much of an attack. Cerrone systematically bullied and beat down Stephens over three one-sided rounds that left Stephens a swollen mess and Cerrone’s name back in the mix at 155 lbs.
UFC Bantamweight Fight
Yves Jabouin (18-8) UD Jeff Hougland (10-5)
Scores: 30-27, 30-27, 30-26
Yves Jabouin has to be one of the most dynamic strikers in the entire sport. The dude is a non-stop bouncing ball of kinetic fury that wrecks his opponents with a dizzying array of spinning kicks and punches. He’s like a video game character with the attacks he pulls of in the cage. Of course, the plodding Hougland proved to be the perfect foil for Jabouin as his lack of speed highlighted the talents of the Canadian. In fact, the fight nearly ended in the opening round when Jabouin landed a spinning back kick that crumpled Hougland to the canvas. Unfortunately, Jabouin failed to fully capitalize on his injured opponent which allowed Hougland to recover. Inevitably, this simply allowed Hougland to sustain an ass-whopping over the course of the fight when a more prudent ref would have stopped it early in the second round to save Hougland further damage.
UFC Light Heavyweight Fight
Igor Pokrajac (25-8) UD Fabio Maldonado (18-5)
Scores: 29-28, 30-27, 29-28
During the opening minutes of the opening round the boos from the crowd as Pokrajac was working from the half guard of Maldonado suggested that we were in for a lackluster ground chess match. Funny how wrong were all were. Behind Maldonado’s boxing skill and Pokrajac’s unrelenting aggression a beautiful slugfest took place over the course of three rounds. After Maldonado was able to survive off his back and got the fight back standing his boxing acumen and Pokrajac’s iron chin and will resulted in long period of heated exchanges while both fighters winged punches and knees to the head and body of each other. It was a close fight, one that some would argue belonged to Maldonado, but Pokrajac was game throughout and on occasion seemed to beat Maldonado at his own game. Solid win for Pokrajac and an excellent fight for MMA fans.
UFC Middleweight Fight
Tom Lawler (8-4, 1 NC) KO RD 1 Jason MacDonald (26-16)
Time of Knockout: 0:50 RD 1
Tom Lawler gets the sweetest of birthday presents with a first round knockout over the veteran MacDonald. After stuffing a takedown attempt by MacDonald, Lawler connected with an accurate straight left hand that put MacDonald on wobbly knees where a follow up right hook spelled the end to the night. Lawler needed a definitive victory to move up the top-heavy middleweight division. I’m not saying that his first round KO of MacDonald will do much for his ranking, but damn it looked good.no comments