Unfortunately I wasn't able to watch last night's Ultimate Fight Night and The Ultimate Fighter season premiere as it aired (not live, because I live on the West coast, so the hell with us), but better late than never!
Nate Quarry vs. Tim Credeur: I love Nate Quarry and Tim Credeur's nickname is apparently just "Crazy", so let's see how this one goes. Recaps remind me that I've seen his match against Cale Yarbrough and that fight ruled. This looks like a good matchup. (By the way I watched an entire Assassin's Creed II promo and a commercial for the Wolverine DVD before I remembered I can fast-forward the DVR.) Either referee Herb Dean got a big pop or this crowd is dying to see people hit each other. Credeur looks a lot quicker than Quarry right off the bat, with better movement, but still catches a right hook in the first minute. He keeps Quarry at bay with push kicks. Pretty evenly matches with neither guy really pushing the action too much. At about 1:20 left in the first, Quarry gets dropped with a left jab and gets put in a really sloppy RNC. Quarry gets back up with 30 seconds left but he kind of looks exhausted already. Quarry is bleeding from the nose and breathing heavy at the end of Round 1.
Round 2: The two dudes just sprint at each other and right as Quarry looks like he's about to get rocked, he whaps Credeur with a big right and Credeur tumbles onto his ass. Quarry winds up on top and starts a haphazard ground and pound with elbows and punches. He's not really trying to pass guard as he seems to have no problem hitting Credeur in the face at will. Mike Goldberg talks about how Credeur trained in several styles of martial arts for this fight, and notes, "He should have trained in the art of defense." Zing! It's true, though. Essentially the entire second round is Quarry holding Credeur down and punching him. It's like a Lesnar fight.
Round 3: Carbon-copy of the second round. Credeur goes batshit with strikes on Quarry against the cage, but Quarry sticks out his right paw and down goes Credeur onto his ass. They get back on their feet and Credeur looks essentially out on his feet. He's throwing punches at arm's length and just getting punched in the face again and again. He's using the Chris Leben defence, except not as much forward movement. Finally Credeur goes to his back and attempts to control Quarry from the bottom, if for nothing else than to stop getting PUNCHED IN THE FACE. Credeur looks completely exhausted now, with Quarry's early fatigue gone after the first round. Ref stands them back up with about 20 secondds left, and Credeur falls down after a blocked head kick. Time limit expires and there's no way Quarry didn't win rounds 2 and 3. Somehow Quarry's face looks a million times worse than Credeur's.
Winner: Quarry (Unanimous Decision)
Carlos Condit vs. Jake Ellenberger: Ellenberger promises to put former WEC Welterweight champ Condit to sleep.
Round 1: Ellenberger takes Condit down immediately and they tussle. Back on their feet, Ellenberger hits two huge rights and Condit is down. Ellenberger goes for a Darce choke but Condit stands up and starts landing knees. Condit falls down again but ends up on top. Condit starts working for a submission but Ellenberger gets up and sinks in a guillotine. Condit worms his way out and Ellenberger is back on time. Very exciting minute. They get up again and Ellenberger throws a big head kick that knocks Condit into the fence. If that one had landed full force, Condit would have been dead. Condit tries for a takedown but Ellenberger sprawls to end Round 1. That was an insane round. Ellenberger looks amazing so far.
Round 2: They feel each other out. Ellenberger ducks under a head kick, and a moment later takes Condit down with ease. Condit has a big goop of Vaseline in his hair, so he must have gotten a cut on his head. Either that or he's really awful at cheating. Ellenberger lays on top for a couple minutes but Condit suddenly grabs a kimura and sweeps into full mount. Ellenberger gets to half guard, then Condit is back in the mount. Then ELLENBERGER reverses and ends up on top. This is just chess. They stand up with 15 seconds left in the round, and there's the bell. Ellenberger has gotta have both rounds so far, although Round 2 was much closer.
Round 3: Ellenberger fairly judos Condit to the ground and lays on him. Ellenberger lands a HUGE elbow and they stand up again. They trade blows and Ellenberger is starting to slow. Condit takes Ellenberger down but falls into a guillotine. Condit slips out and is in half-guard. Condit does a fairly effective job of controlling as Ellenberger runs out of gas, but it may be too little too late. Condit gets Ellenberger's back but can't get the choke. Ellenberger escapes and gets in Condit's guard yet again. Back on thier feet once more. Ellenberger goes for a single-leg, but they come down in a heap, with Condit getting Ellenberger's back. Conit goes for an RNC once again, but no dice. Time limit expires. Round 3 was all Condit, but I think the fight goes to Ellenberger. Great fight.
Winner: Carlos Condit (29-28, 29-28, 28-29) Well, shut my mouth. It was really close, but I think Condit only took Round 3. Some boos when they announced the decision.
Gray Maynard vs. Roger Huerta: This should be a damn good fight. I gotta say, if my name way Gray Maynard, I'd just go with the nickname "Graynard".
Round 1: Huerta's been away for a year but he still has the "Bad Boys" eyes on the back of his tights. Oh, well. They spend the first minute feeling each other out. They spend the next two minutes trading sporadic flurries of strikes. Graynard lands a few stray rights. Finally with about 1:30 left Huerta rocks Graynard a bit with some punches. Graynard regroups and lands a couple shots of his own, including what appears to be a punch to Huerta's knee. Graynard goes for the single-leg but gets stuffed. Time runs out with them standing and looking at each other. No idea who the round goes to, probably Huerta due to the strikes that rattled him and the stuffed takedown, but not much action here.
Round 2: Huerta starts off much more confident in the second round. Graynard lands a left, but Huerta keeps circling and backing him up. Graynard is swinging for the fences but mostly missing. He throws a right overhand that makes Huerta take a step back. Graynard lands a solid jab out of nowhere that makes Huerta's head snap back and puts him on his ass, but he is back up immediately. Graynard tries to throw a knee in the clinch, which Huerta counters by catching the leg. Time is up for Round 2. Graynard needs a huge third round. Fight isn't terribly exciting so far.
Round 3: They show replays of Huerta eating two huge punches in Round 2. Graynard's got som serious power. Graynard lands a left hook right away. Graynard gets a takedown, but with significant effort. They tussle as Huerta basically kills time. Graynard gets a huge and awesome Americana/headscissors combo but Huerta rolls to the top, although still in the holds. Huerta to his feet and Graynard gets another takedown. Both men back to their feet. Huerta lands a knee to the midsection as time expires. I'm guessing Huerta by unanimous decision, because Cecil Peoples loves Roger Huerta.
Winner: Gray "Graynard" Maynard (28-29, 30-27, 30-27)
Nick Diaz vs. Melvin Guillard: This is probably going to rule. Let's go, Diaz!
Round 1: Guillard knocks Diaz on his ass with a left immediately, but Diaz gets back up. Diaz gets a double-leg, but Guillard scoots backwards with Diaz holding onto his legs, uses the fence to stand up, and calmly judo Diaz over. That ruled. Diaz takes Guillard down again, but Guillard stands up and we get a look at Diaz bleeding from above his right eye. Guillard lands two big, unanswered right hands, so Diaz of course taunts him. Diaz is a stringbean and Guillard has enough muscles for both men, so the matchup looks really odd. Diaz takes Guillard down with what is essentially a lucha arm drag right as the bell sounds, which was amazing.
Round 2: First two minutes is all standing and trading, but Guillard takes him down right into a deathly guillotine, and that is all she wrote, as Guillard taps.
Winner: Nick Diaz (Guillotine, 2:13 Second Round)
Four good fights, pretty exciting two hours. Check out the replay.