‘Pedro Rizzo b Ricco Rodriguez via a unanimous decision in what was apparently the boring match the company both expected and was afraid of when they put it as a dark match. I doubt we’ll be seeing anything more than highlights on the PPV.
Robbie Lawler vs. Chris Lytle is opening the show. Strong first round. Lytle went for a lot of submissions while Lawler was on top with G&P. I think Lawler won the round. One decent exchange but a slower round. Both stayed on their feet and Lawler was more backing off. Very close round. Maybe even. Third round saw Lawler deck him. Up and down round. Lytle got a suplex late in the round and went for a choke but Lawler reversed and threw some punches on the ground. Lawler should win 30-27. All three judges had it 29-28 for Lawler. Good fight, some booing by fans in between hot action.
Phil Baroni vs. Evan Tanner is next. Huge problem with the finish. Baroni gave Tanner a beating and almost finished him, bloodying his eye and forehead. Baroni gassed out and Tanner took him down and was destroying him with elbows at the end of the round. Larry Landless was asking him if he was done, but Baroni thought he asked if he was okay. Baroni said yes. Match was stopped. Baroni was in a lot of trouble when this happened. Very exciting fight.
They did the most popular fighter in history of all-time poll winners with Couture, Shamrock, Gracie, Abbott (?), Frye, Coleman, Severn, Ruas, Miletich and Taktarov in that order. Boy there can be some arguing there.
Phil Baroni is very upset right now. He’s got a valid gripe.
Tank vs. Cabbage is next. People still pop for Abbott. Charisma still means everything. It only went two minutes. Tank threw hard shots and Cabbage largely took them with no effect except maybe one. Cabbage gave Tank some brutal knees to the eye and was bloodied with an ugly cut over his right eye and it was stopped. Cabbage flipped off Tank and they had a post-match pull-apart. Joe Rogan was ripping on everyone for nearly having a big post-match brawl. Abbott got a standing ovation for losing.
As it turned out, when the doctor asked Tank is he could continue,Tank said, "I can’t see," which was likely true and also meant he knew it would be stopped and he’d save face.
Matt Lindland vs. Fanaliko Vitale in a rematch next. Lindland took Vitale down in the first round but did little damage. a few elbows so maybe he very slightly won the round. Vitale has good defensive skills but Lindland controlled it standing in the second round. Not much happened. Lindland won in the third round punishing Vitale with punches and elbows and Vitale tapped. Not all that exciting.
Hall of Fame ceremony was next with Royce Gracie and Ken Shamrock. It really is a huge story when you think back ten years ago and see the difference in both martial arts and pro wrestling, the creation of Pride all that stemmed from the original popularity of the early UFCs.
Matt Hughes vs. Frank Trigg is next. This was a high level wrestling match with both being pretty much even until Hughes got behind him and choked him out in the first round and got the choke while Trigg was standing.’