Be sure and join me at 3pm ET for live blogging of UFC 93. Bloody Elbow will, as always, be the place to come for fun, intelligent and reasonably civil commentary on the action.
Will Rich Franklin vs Dan Henderson be such a barn burner that it will refute those who claimed this wasn't a fight worthy of headlining a PPV?
Will Mark Coleman show the doubters that he's still a force to be reckoned with in MMA? Will Mauricio "Shogun" Rua come back from knee surgery and reclaim the form that had many regarding him as the world's best light heavyweight for almost two years running?
Ok, here we go, the broadcast has begun. Remember, no spoiling the preliminary fights if you've peeked at those results.
Chris Lytle vs Marcus Davis -- Davis bounds out to "Jump Around", draped in the Irish flag. Lytle looks confident. The Dublin crowd seems quite pumped. Big cheer for Davis. Never seen this ref before. Here we go. Lytle scores early with punches and has Davis stunned but Davis recovers. They do some hockey fighting in the cneter of the ring. Davis landing uppercuts. Lytle throwing high kicks. Davis countering on a Lytle charge. Davis tags with a left hand counter. Leg kicks from Lytle. Will be hard to score. Not sure what the football chant is. Davis throws Lytle down off a caught kick, doesn't follow him down. Lytle tags him with a right. Davis drops Lytle, but back to their feet. Lytle lands a knee, a teep. The get mutal collar ties and trade hockey punches. Lylte ends with a flurry. Very hard to score, I'll go with a 10-9 for Davis based on the drop. Good round but not epic. Round 2. Lytle coming forward. Lytle charges in and Davis covers and then flees. Davis drops him with a liver kick. Ref stands them back up. Lytle coming forward, Davis countering, circling away. Lytle is trying to corner Davis. Davis lands an elbow to the face, another body kick. Davis dodges some looping hooks and lands a jab. Exchange of punches in the clinch. Lytle is missing with bombs but Davis' counters are not landing clean either. Davis eats a straight right, lands a left. An uppercut lands as they hockey fight. Very tough to score. I'd say Lytle landed more hard shots but I'm giving it to Davis off the kick that dropped Lytle. 10-9 Marcus. Lytle's down on my score card. Round 3. They open with a hug, then exchange blows. Davis catches another kick. Lytle trying to protect his right flank. Davis lands ANOTHER kick there. Lytle is open for a right to the head. Lytle winging bombs. Davis lands a knee. I'd like to see someone go for the kill. Lylte's right eye is swelling. Lytle lands a body shot, Davis answers with a kick/knee combo. They're trading against the cage. Davis' face is marked up. Trading to the end. Good fight not great. Could go either way. I'm going with Marcus Davis 29-28. Davis takes a split decision. Likely to be fight of the night.
Alan Belcher vs Denis Kang Kang waits in the Octagon as Belcher comes out to Johnny Cash. Rich Clementi in his corner. They're erroneously displaying the French flag on Kang's stat card. Annoying! Belcher has his hands LOW to start. Kang's landing to the head. Kang with a double leg takedown to Belcher's guard. Kang gets to 1/2 guard. Kang cradles Belcher's head, passes, Belcher turns. Kang gets side control but Belcher reattains guard. Belcher kicks Kang off, back to standing. Kang landing with head shots. Kang with another double leg to Belcher's guard. We're heading to a 10-8 round at this rate. Kang not landing anything from Belcher's guard. Kang goes for an anaconda after flirting with a d'arce choke now working a kimura. Belcher escapes. Elbows from side control, knees to the body. Kang all the way in his first UFC round. Round 2. Kang landing early, Belcher presses him against the cage, Kang tries a trip sweep, Belcher escapes. Back to the center of the cage. Another double leg by Kang. Belcher gets butterfly guard. Kang to 1/2 guard, Belcher working for a sweep, can't get it. Kang has him cradled. Kang working towards side guard. Can't pass, does some GnP. Belcher back to guard. Miragliotta stands them back up. Belcher throwing kicks. Kang bouncing, breathing heavy, moving away. Kang goes for a double, Belcher pulls guard with a guillotine! Kang taps out! Amazing! Alan Belcher by guillotine submission. Kang disappoints again.
Jeremy Horn vs Rousimar Palhares Did Goldberg just say that Palhares' loss to Dan Henderson was a rematch? Palhares has two hard to spell names and a long hard to spell nickname. I'm cutting and pasting "Toquinho" into my browser now. Micheal Bisping draws boos from the Irish crowd. Feeling out process in the center of the ring. Toquinho throws a hook and turns it into a trip. Horn in butterfly guard. Toquinho gets his back quicly. One hook in, hammerfists landing. Move to side control, back to to back, now Horn gets full guard! Nicely played Gumby. Toquinho drops for a leg lock, Horn escapes. Horn goes for a triangle. Toquinho escapes. Back to their feet, Toquinho gets a trip. To 1/2 guard, lots of transitions, Toquinho gets Horn's back, is beating Gumby. Horn rolls for a knee, Toquinho grabs the fence. Back to the ground, Toquinho goes for a leg, fails. Round ends with Palhares on Horn's back, Horn turtled up, eating shots. 10-9 Palhares. Round 2. Palhares lands a right, moves to a single leg, turns it into a slamming takedown to 1/2 guard. Horn almost sweeps, no dice. Toquinho gets his back again, more hammerfists. This is weak match-making IMO. Horn is eating shots, tries to stand, Palhares fights it off, Horn gets a single to top position. Horn gets mount! Arm triangle attempt. Toquinho escapes. Well played by Horn. Toquinho sweeps to escape mount. Back to the feet. Toquinho shoots, gets stuffed eats a rich and a kick. Horn lands a left hook. Throws a kick and gets taken down. Toquinho in Horn's guard. Toquinho might be gassing. Horn goes for a triangle, than an omaplata. Toquinho escapes, back to 1/2 guard. Toquinho landing shots. Bell rings, Toquinho helps Horn up in a sign of respect for his game performance. I'd call it a 10-10 round due to the momentum shift and the hard shots landed standing by Horn. Toquinho was working toward a 10-8 round early on but lost his lead. Round 3 Spilled a beer there on the laptop but we're ok! Whew. Was discussing Edith's shady past. Toquinho in Horn's guard after some early scrambles. Horn goes for a triangle. Toquinho gets away and gets Horn's back. More hammerfists. Horn battles to standup, back to the ground, back to guard. Crowd is booing the ground game. Rogan is calling for a standup. Ref stands them back up. Horn pawing with jabs. Lands a high kick. Toquinho stuffs a shot, gets to Horn's 1/2 guard. Crowd boos as we head to a decision. I call it 30-28 for Palhares. Some nice take downs from Toquinho in the highlights. The judges say it was a unanimous 30-27 decision for Palhares.
Thomas Egan vs John Hathaway One from the undercard. Hathaway stuffs a whizzer and gets on top. Egan almost fights to his feet, but Hathaway gets him back down. Hathaway dominant on the ground but Egan almost gets up. Hathaway trips him down. Hathaway with ground and pound but a game Egan gets back up. Egan's only in his fourth pro fight. Has the crowd at his back -- he's the Irishman against an Englishman in Dublin so its expected. Hathaway gets him down again, more scrambling, Hathaway starts landing elbows, Egan gives up the mount, takes a beating before the ref stops it. The crowd boos a victorious Hathaway. John Hathaway by TKO in round 1.
Mark Coleman vs Mauricio Shogun Rua Coleman comes out to AC/DC. Shogun was rocking some sort of House music. Advantage Coleman despite looking like a wizened Smeagel/Golem. Brandon Lee Hinkle and Phil Baroni in Coleman's corner -- Hammer House in full effect! Ninja backing his brother. Shogun avoids eye contact in the intro. Coleman lands a takedown but eats a knee coming in. Coleman landing some ground and pound. Shogun rolls for a knee, Coleman escapes but Shogun gets to his feet. Coleman gets another takedown quickly. Crowd chanting Shogun. Guess they don't like AC/DC. Shogun working a takedown. Shogun gets it. Coleman on his back. Shogun passes to side control quickly. No blows landed yet. Coleman's feet on the cage. Coleman gets to his feet. They're trading. Coleman is gassed. Eating leg kicks but answering with punches. Shogun with knees. Coleman shoots, fails. Coleman gives up his back but revests to get on top. Shogun back to his feet. Both men look tired. Shogun drops him with a big right hand. Coleman works back to his feet, Shogun gets the thai plum and is working knees as the round ends. 10-9 Rua. Phil Baroni's corner advice is completely delusional. Round 2. Shogun feeding Coleman leg kicks. Coleman landing jabs. Shogun with some big punches. Coleman shoots and gets a doubleleg. Shogun back to his feet, taking no damage on the ground. Shogun with a takedown, Coleman flips him over, back to their feet. Thai plum. They trade jabs. Coleman with an uppercut. Shogun with a combination of punches. Coleman survives the thai plum again. Shogun is gassed too. They're clinching, both tired. Shogun with knees from the plum. Coleman with a takedown. They stand and Coleman staggers Shogun with a punch. Coleman gets a takedown. Shogun with an omaplata with a minute left. Shogun landing punches to Coleman's face and looking at the clock. They're stalemated with Shogun landing shots as the bell rings. Round 3 Round 3 Baroni is telling Coleman he's going to "fucking win dude". Coleman lands a jab and a body punch. Shogun gets the plum again. Coleman shoots, Shogun working for a kimura but falls to guard. Coleman to 1/2 guard, landing elbows. Shogun trying to sweep him, now working for a heel hook. Coleman escapes, puts Shogun down again. Has Rua's back, landing punches. Shogun gets back up, thows a knee to the face of a downed Coleman. Gets a warning. The knee was to the body! Bad call ref. Shogun forces Coleman to the fence and lands a flurry of shots. The ref stops it. Coleman is upset with the call. That was a brutal series of shots at the end. The uppercut was textbook. Mauricio Shogun Rua by TKO. I don't think Rua will be a force in the division anytime soon.
Dan Henderson vs Rich Franklin Here's the main event. I'm very stoked for this one. Some quick flurries on the feet. Henderson slips. Henderson gets a takedown. Has Franklin up against the cage. Pounding Rich Franklin! They're back to their feet. Franklin landing kicks to the body. Henderson goes for a collar tie to do some dirty boxing. Franklin gets away. Franklin with a superman punch, a leg kick. Franklin with a combination of punches. Hendson lands a right uppercut. Time winding down. Henderson with a below the belt kick. They tie up. Henderson is breathing heavy.I'd give it to Henderson 10-9 based on the takedown and the beating administered there. Franklin bleeding from a headbutt. Round 2 They're exchanging early. Henderson connecting with some punches and kicks. Henderson goes to tie up, Franklin counters with a knee and a punch. Franklin escapes the clinch. Henderson lunging with punches, Franklin evades. Franklin with a body kick. They clinch. Henderson gets the takedown. Franklin in guard. Some scrambling, no advantage gained. Franklin rolling for an arm bar fails, back to full guard. Henderson gets 1/2 guard, has Franklin cradled. Landing no shots but controlling position. Dan with an elbow. 10-9 Henderson. Round 3 Franklin with kicks and hooks. Lands a straight left. Henderson tries to get a takedown, fails, tries again and succeeds. In Franklin's guard. Franklin escapes! Gets Henderson's back is laying on some ground and pound. Henderson stands up. Franklin pushing him against the cage. Henderson looks tired. Back to their feet. Two minutes left. Franklin stalking. Landing body kicks. Franklin pushing Henderson to the cage. Henderson working for grips. Fraklin with knees and foot stomps. Back to standing. Franklin socring with punches and kicks. Henderson slips off a kick. Henderson hurts Franklin with a brutal eye poke. Damn. Looks accidental. Long time out. They hug. Back to it. Henderson winging rights. Bell rings. I'd give that one to Rich. My final score -- Dan Henderson 29-28. Let's see what the judges say. Two judges agree. Split decision victory for Dan Henderson.
That's it folks. We'll follow up with commentary and analysis and full results this evening.