Rousimar Palhares picked up a unanimous decision victory tonight in a bout with Dan Miller, but it was a strange and winding road to the W. The first round was nutty, with Palhares landing a monster head kick late and pounding on Miller until he figured the fight was over. He jumped on the cage and celebrated, but referee Herb Dean never stopped it. Confusion reigned until the fight was restarted. And immediately, Miller dropped Palhares with a right hand and nearly finished him, but Palhares reversed and got a big takedown at the bell. Yeah, it was even weirder than it sounds.
The second round was all Toquinho. He got a quick takedown and spent five minutes busting Miller up with shots and cutting him wide open. It was close to being stopped a couple of times, but Miller persevered. The third was a lot slower, spent mostly on the feet with both guys throwing sluggish shots. The judges had the fight 30-27, 29-27, and 30-25, all for Palhares. The bout was the first fight of the Spike TV portion of the UFC 134 broadcast.
What was the high spot of this fight?
The sequence following the Palhares high kick near the end of the first round. Watching him celebrate a mystery win was weird, and watching Miller drop him on the restart was even crazier.
Where do these guys go from here?
Palhares showed again that he is a very legitimate guy in the UFC middleweight division, but his brain cramps during fights aren't helping his case. Lots of hardcore fans have been clamoring for Palhares to face Demian Maia for a while, but Maia is booked to face Jorge Santiago at UFC 136. Maybe Palhares could face the winner?
Miller dropped his second fight in a row and is now 2-5 in his last 7, though it has been against top competition. Miller showed a ton of heart in the fight and deserves to continue his UFC career in my eyes, but it remains to be seen whether that will be the case. If he does get another shot, a fight with C.B. Dollaway could make a lot of sense.
Watch it now, later, or never?
Now. Even with all the strangeness, there was a lot of action in the first two rounds of the fight and it's well worth a viewing. Throw in the false fight ending and you've got a must-watch fight.
More BE coverage of UFC 134 in the full entry.
Shogun Rua Proves He Can Still Be a Champion - Fraser Coffeen
The Biggest Winners and Losers on the Night - Matthew Roth
Anderson Silva Unmatched at Middleweight, Options Slim - Leland Roling
FightMetric Recap for Anderson Silva, Edson Barboza vs. Ross Pearson - Mike Fagan
Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira's Greatest Hits - Brent Brookhouse
Post-Fight Recap and Analysis - Mike Fagan
Anderson Silva vs. Yushin Okami Fight Video Highlights - ESPN
Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira vs. Brendan Schaub Fight Video Highlights - ESPN
Bad Boy Presents Bloody Elbow Radio - UFC 134
Anderson Silva Wins Over Rio with Stoppage of Yushin Okami - Matthew Roth
Anderson Silva's Brilliance and Other Post-Hangover Thoughts - Brent Brookhouse
Mauricio Rua Stops Forrest Griffin in Two Minutes - Matthew Roth
Edson Barboza Wins a Split Decision over Ross Pearson - Matthew Roth
Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira With a Stunning Knockout of Brendan Schaub - Matthew Roth
UFC 134 Post-Fight Press Conference Updates - Tim Burke
Stanislav Nedkov Silences Brazilian Crowd with Knockout of Luis Cane - Matthew Roth
Thiago Tavares Ground and Pounds Spencer Fisher to a Second Round Stoppage - Matthew Roth
Rousimar Palhares Wins a Decision in a Strange But Great Fight With Dan Miller - Tim Burke
Paulo Thiago Takes a Dominant Decision Victory Over David Mitchell - Tim Burke
Raphael Assuncao Outworks Johnny Eduardo to Decision - Matthew Roth
Erick Silva Puts Luis Ramos to Sleep with a Massive Right - Matthew Roth
Yuri Alcantara Grapples Felipe Arantes to a Decision - Matthew Roth
Yves Jabouin Works Ian Loveland to a Split Decision - Matthew Roth