Before Chuck Liddell and Tito Ortiz take the cage for their trilogy fight, the Liddell vs. Ortiz 3 PPV card featured five other fights, filled with UFC veterans. Here are results from the PPV undercard:
Light Heavyweight: Deron Winn def. Tom Lawlor via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
Deron Winn turned in an excellent performance here against the accomplished Lawlor. Winn dominated on the feet for the first round and a half, bloodying Lawlor up with his fists. Midway through round 2, Lawlor seemed to come alive, scoring some shots of his own, but it wasn’t enough. In round 3, Lawlor tried to make it a slugfest, and had some success, only to see Winn switch gears and use his wrestling to take it down. Lawlor had a nice guillotine in the 3rd, but once Winn escaped that, he kept on the pressure until the final second.
Catchweight (160 lbs.): Gleison Tibau def. Efrain Escudero via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
Round 1 of this battle between Spike-era UFC veterans saw Gleison Tibau secure a takedown and control the action to take the round. Round 2 opened with the biggest moment of the fight, as Escudero landed some bombs on Tibau, then took him down to take the round. Round 3 was going to decide it, and Escudero controlled the majority of the round on the feet without landing anything too significant. With one minute left, Tibau secured the takedown, landed some ground and pound, and stole the round and the win.
Catchweight (140 lbs.): Ricky Palacios def. Walel Watson via KO (punches), round 1 (3:56)
Ricky Palacios used his punches perfectly against the kicks of Watson, dropping the UFC veteran and hurting him early. Palacios kept the pressure on, ultimately putting together an excellent right cross, left hook, right kick combo against the cage that took Watson out in impressive fashion with a brutal finish.
Bantamweight: James Barnes def. Albert Morales via submission (armbar), round 3 (4:09)
Albert Morales started well with some good work standing and a triangle attempt in round 1. But he came out looking wobbly in round 2, and Barnes took advantage, taking him down quickly and absolutely dominating on the mat. Round 3 was more of the same, with Barnes completely in control on the mat, out-grappling Morales. In the end, Barnes stepped over the head a la GSP/Hughes, extended the arm, and that was a wrap. Post-fight, Morales proposed to his girlfriend in the cage for what that’s worth.
Heavyweight: Jay Silva def. Oscar Cota via submission (head and arm choke), round 3 (2:13)
The PPV card opener started with a fizzle, with a dull first round scored 10-9 for Cota. Jay Silva came out strong in round 2, dropping Cota with a punch and nearly finishing him, but Cota survived. The rest of the round saw Cota first lose a point for grabbing Silva’s glove, then land a low blow, then a second low blow for a second point deduction. In the third, Silva got the fight to the ground, secured the choke. Cota appeared to briefly go limp, prompting referee Mike Beltran to step in, though Cota did immediately protest.