Quick results for now, and then I’ll come back Monday with in-depth thoughts:
Dong Hyun Kim d. Matt Brown (split decision): I thought the decision on this was totally justified, but apparently the Atlanta crowd disagreed with me.
Nate Marquardt d. Martin Kampmann (TKO): Marquardt finished him with a flurry of great punches, ref stopped the fight when Kampmann went to the ground and did nothing but cover up.
Dan Henderson d. Rousimar Palhares (decision): Henderson fought a brilliant fight that resulted in a very boring 15 minutes. Henderson did everything he could to stay off the ground, and the few times they did go to the ground Palhares showed why Hendo didn’t want to go there, locking him in an array of almost perfect submissions.
Rich Franklin d. Matt Hamill (TKO): Surprisingly, Hamill tried to stand and strike with Franklin for the most part, and Franklin picked him apart. The ending came when Franklin kicked Hamill in the ribs and most likely broke a rib, because Hamill went down hard and the ref stopped it immediately. Good debut for Franklin at 205.
Rashad Evans d. Chuck Liddell (KO): This was one of the worst knockouts I’ve ever seen. Basically caught him with the same type of punch Rampage did, but with a lot more power and directly on the button. Liddell was OUT COLD, and stayed on his back for about 5 minutes. They eventually had to give him oxygen. Yes, it was that bad.
The bad part is that a Liddell/Griffin match would mean gigantic money, and while an Evans/Griffin match will do okay, it’s not going to do even remotely the amount of business or generate the kind of interest that Chuck would have done. Knocking Chuck out in this way helped Evans a lot, and I hate to say it, but Chuck might be done. He’s still telegraphing everything badly, and people are figuring him out.