As with every major show, Bloody Elbow will be here to bring you live results and commentary for. Our live blog will start with the beginning of the MTV2 broadcast (9 p.m. ET) so be sure to make Bloody Elbow your home for this event.
Tonight brings the semifinal fights in the heavyweight tournament. Eric Prindle will take on Ron Sparks, and Thiago Santos will be fighting Neil Grove. Both Santos and Grove are actually replacements for Mike Hayes and Blagoi Ivanov, respectively. Hayes suffered a broken orbital in his quarterfinal win over Grove that took him out of the tournament, then Ivanov was injured earlier this month and forced to withdraw from the fight. The winners of the semifinal fights will face each other in the final for $100,000 and the chance to go up against champ Cole Konrad for the belt.
The main event tonight is the long-awaited welterweight world championship battle between current champ Ben Askren and tournament winner Jay Hieron. Hieron comes to this fight having defeated Anthony Lapsley, Brent Weedman, and winning a controversial split decision over Olympic Judoka Rick Hawn in the tournament final. Askren has had only one fight since winning the belt, taking a unanimous decision over Nick Thompson in April of this year.
Join us at 9 p.m. ET tonight when the action gets underway!
Round one: Sparks comes out swinging hard but doesn't connect. Prindle throws a couple of good leg kicks. Sparks throws a leg kick, then Prindle lands a left that puts Sparks down. He's out! Fight is over! Eric Prindle def. Ron Sparks via KO, :40 of round one
Round one: Grove opens with an overhand right. And Santos throws a right that puts Grove on his back. Santos follows him down and tries to finish with ground and pound, Grove gives up his back and Santos sinks an RNC. Grove taps!! Thiago Santos def. Neil Grove via submission (rear naked choke), :38 of round one
Round one: Hieron opens with a punch but misses. Askren throws a punch but almost overbalances. And he does it again, Hieron catches him with an uppercut on his way down. Hieron holds side control for a second but they're back up quick. Askren lands a right, then shoots. Hieron stuffs the takedown but eats a knee. Askren's striking is looking a little clumsy but he is connecting with some shots. Askren comes forward with some wild punches, Hieron weathers it though. Askren misses with a punch and Hieron catches him with a combo. Askren shoots but can't get the takedown. Hieron misses with a superman punch. Askren lands a kick but slips as he throws it. End of the round, I think I would give it to Hieron 10-9 just for more accurate striking.
Round two: Hieron lands a couple of good shots, then misses with a head kick. Askren shoots, and finally manages to get Hieron down. Hieron lands some upkicks before Askren ends up in half guard. Askren doing a good job of holding Hieron and landing a little gnp. Hieron is landing some strikes from the bottom but not many. Askren lands some body shots. Still in half guard. Askren lands some more nasty body shots. Hieron gets full guard. Askren stands up and Hieron lands an upkick. Askren moves into side control. Hieron tries to spin but Askren holds him still and lands knee after knee to the body. End of the round. No doubt that one goes to Askren, 10-9.
Round three: Hieron just misses with a head kick. Then he lands a right that connects pretty solid, followed by a left hook. Askren doesn't look rocked but those can't be fun. Askren throws a crazy left that misses by a mile. He throws another left that misses, but turns the miss into a takedown. Askren in full guard, moves to half guard. Now we're back to where the last round left off. Hieron manages to spin and get up. Askren is throwing slow punches and missing. Hieron lands a good leg kick, then misses with a spinning back kick. Again, Hieron's punches are landing even if there's not much behind them. End of the round. I think I'd give that one to Hieron, 10-9.
Round four: Askren opens with a decent right, but Hieron follows up with a good combo. And Askren shoots. He ends up on Hieron's back landing knees to the body. He's also hitting Hieron in the head almost at will. And still landing those knees. Hieron tries to stand but Askren is stuck to him. Hieron manages to roll and finally escapes and stands up. Hieron is landing several punches now, but they're not really doing much. Now time is called - looks like Hieron caught a finger in the eye. It's back on pretty quick though. Just in time for the end of the round. I'd have to say that one goes to Askren 10-9.
Round five: Hieron lands a left that actually rocks Askren a bit. Askren shoots but Hieron gets out. Hieron misses with a kick. He then lands some good leg kicks, and follows with a left. Askren is connecting with a few shots but not as many or as good as Hieron. Hieron has Askren backing up now. Askren misses with a wild looping shot. Hieron puts Askren on his back with a spinning back kick, and is kicking and waiting for Askren to stand. Another good left by Hieron, then he misses with a head kick. He lands a sharp right, then a leg kick. End of the fight. I give that round to Hieron 10-9, which should give him the fight. We'll see what the judges think, though.
Ben Askren def. Jay Hieron via split decision
So we have Eric Prindle vs. Thiago Santos for the heavyweight final, and Ben Askren just barely hangs on to his belt. Not a bad night of fights!