Ok, I wasn't planning on doing this but I'm watching it and I got things to say. Watch the event live here on Yahoo!.
Sean Salmon vs Jorge Santiago
Poor Salmon. Got KTFO'd again. This time by a flying knee at 0:24. Something tells me HDNet Fights is going to have to find a new opponent for Jason "Mayhem" Miller on December 15. The 0:24 win will give Santiago a huge leg up in the tournament.
Trevor Prangley vs Falaniko Vitale
Here come Vitale and Prangley. I'm picking Prangley by GnP. Vitale is landing good punches and knees early and resisting Prangley's takedowns. Prangley lands some good knees and forces the clinch up against the fence. Some great exchanges in the clinch. Prangley is bleeding and hurt. Hard to score that round, I'd go 10-9 for Vitale but you could go with a 10-10 round.
Good exchanges standing. Prangley making nice use of body punches. A poke in the eye on Vitale stalls the action. Oh crap, the doctors are stopping the fight. Weird final decision -- for some reason they scored it a win by ref decision instead of a TKO. Like Vitale could have continued anyway. Bullshit result. This is why I don't like tournaments. You gotta favor a very fresh Santiago in the finals.
Bryson Kamaka vs. Luke Stewart
Wow. Stewart KO's Kamaka with knees in just 0:18. Kamaka was landing some punches but Stewart went for a double leg, missed it and followed with a vicious knee.
Light Heavyweight Non-Title
Bobby Southworth (Champion) vs. Anthony Ruiz
Southworth catches a legkick and gets the takedown. Straight to sidemount, mount, back...Ruiz reverses gets back to his feet. Nice escape. Ruiz landing some decent standing elbows in the clinch. Southworth gets takedown, in 1/2 guard. Round ends. I'd give it to Southworth 10-9.
Southworth is eating punches and is stunned! Takedown, ground and pound. Wow, looks like this non-title fight may backfire. Southworth is cut, they're stopping for a timeout to check the cut. That's it. Man, non-title fights suck. Now when Babalu takes the title he'll have to fight Ruiz.
Lemont Davis vs. Brian Schwartz
MMA debut for the kickboxing champ Schwartz. We'll see how he likes leg kicks. And takedowns.
Good kicks and punches from Schwartz, then a takedown. Schwartz goes for a guillotine, probably nothing there. Schwartz loses the hold but manages to stall with his guard and force a standup. Tough round to score. I guess I'd go 10-9 for Schwartz.
Davis lands a leg kick! Davis is doing ok in the standup, could be a dangerous game. Forces Schwartz against the cage. Davis takes a groin shot. I give that to Davis 10-9.
Schwartz throws some kicks but falls into a guillotine. Schwartz escapes. Davis tries to reverse, gets stuck on his hands and knees. this is where we need knees on the ground. I'd give Davis the decision and so do all the judges. Disappointing MMA debut from the kickboxing champ.
Heavyweight Title Fight (Open Belt)Paul Buentello vs. Alistair Overeem
We'll see if Overeem trained enough for this fight. Buentello has always struck me as a completely one-dimensional fighter -- good boxer, not much else. If Overeem doesn't gas, he's my pick. I'm feeling guilty picking against Paul though -- I'm from the Texas Panhandle near Amarillo so he's a hometown boy for me.
Overeem gets a quick takedown and sidemount. Alistair could be landing elbows from here but I think too much time in PRIDE has him forgetting he can elbow on the ground in the cage. Goes for a guillotine. Buentello stands up but eats lots of knees against the cage. Back to another guillotine attempt. More variations on the guillotine than I've ever seen. None take. Overeem is feeding Buentello knees to the face against the cage. 10-8 round forthe Dutchman.
Overeem gets a double leg after some uneventful standup. Ground and pound from Alistair in Paul's guard. Transition to Buentello on his knees. Overeem working for the choke again. Wow! Vicious knee to the body and Alistair Overeem finally has a title. Very impressive performance over the former UFC contender.
They're hyping the March Lightweight title fight between Gilbert Melendez and Josh Thomson. That will be a good matchup, pretty impressive since Melendez is a consensus top 5 lightweight in the world (he's my #1) and Thomson is credible competition for him. There aren't many challenges out there for Gilbert if he beats Thomson -- he'll need to fight in Japan or go to the UFC to prove himself. I'd kill to see Menendez take on JZ Calvacante.
Here comes the tournament final.
Middleweight Tournament Final Jorge Santiago vs Trevor Prangley
Gotta pick Santiago after that fast fight and Prangley was flat in his opening round match -- would've lost if not for the eye poke, IMO.
Feeling each other out standing. Prangley looks a LOT bigger than Santiago. Jorge lands a big overhand right. Wow! Knee to the body, knee to the throat, and some right hands to finish. Congrats to Santiago, tournament winner. Frank Shamrock in his future?
Here comes the main event, Cung Le eats a can.
Cung Le vs Sam Morgan
No disrespect intended to Morgan, but he's the only guy I've ever seen lose a fight 30-25 (to Forrest Petz). But Le is so much fun to watch, I really don't care. I think he should move down to 170 though, he's too small to be fighting at middleweight.
Big side kick to open, good take down. Morgan works for a sub from his back, Le stands up. HUGE straight kicks. More throws. If Cung Le had any jiu jitsu he'd end this easy. 10-8 round for Le.
Morgan flailing with some awful punches to start round 2. Cung gets another takedown. Morgan fights to his feet, tries for a single leg. Another beautiful hip toss. San shou is a damn good foundation for MMA. All you need is to add jiu jitsu. Cung tries for a kimura. Gets a crucifix. Le needs to put this one away. Morgan survives round 2. 10-8 again.
Right hand knock down to start round 3. Morgan gets back up. Mean leg kick. Body kick to finish it. Not as impressive as the show he put on against Frykland and Morgan isn't even as good an opponent. Looking forward to seeing Le against a credible opponent sometime soon.
Good night everybody!
Update [2007-11-17 1:34:49 by Kid Nate]: Frank Shamrock accepts Cung Le's challenge. Not a great matchup but boy will it sell tickets. Wonder if they'll get back on Showtime or maybe PPV? Shamrock is heeling it up. Cung Le is the face. Easy fight for Frank -- he's too big and too well rounded for Cung Le.