UFC’s 22nd Fight Night, a free card on Spike TV, took place Wednesday night and offered nothing but entertainment with a slew of memorable fights from the televised main card. The event was held at Frank Erwin Center in Austin, Texas. From the first fight on the main card to the main event, each fighter came in hungry looking to finish their fight. There were four bouts on the main card: Ross Pearson VS Cole Miller, Jim Miller VS Gleison Tibau, Efrain Escudero VS Charles Oliveira, and Nate Marquardt VS Rousimar Palhares.
Lightweight bout: Cole Miller defeats Ross Pearson via submission (rear naked choke) in round 2, 1:49
Cole Miller and Ross Pearson stood and banged with each other for most of the fight. Miller showed a wide array of strikes while Pearson chopped away at Millers leg with kicks. The two fighters exchanged blows until Miller rocked Pearson with a beautiful combo-hook. Pearson crumpled to the mat and Miller could smell blood. He took Pearson’s back and locked in the rear naked choke. Pearson tapped at 1:49 of round 2.
Lightweight bout: Jim Miller defeats Gleison Tibau via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28)
Fighting directly after his brother, Jim Miller and Gleison Tibau, who are both known for their ground games, stood with each other the entire bout exchanging blows. Miller rocked Tibau early in round one with a punch, but Tibau was able to recover. In round 2 Tibau found success taking Jim Miller to the mat, but once in Miller’s guard Tibau couldn’t go anything and had to keep abandoning his position. Miller and Tibau continued to exchange strikes until the end of round 3. The judges felt Miller landed the most strikes and did the most damage–giving him the unanimous decision victory.
Catchweight Bout (159 lbs): Charles Oliveira defeats Efrain Escudero via submission (rear naked choke) in round 3, 2:25
Charles Oliveira came into this bout with a lot of hype surrounding him and his perfect 13-0 MMA record. Efrain Escudero was supposed to be a tough test for the 20-year-old Oliveira, but Escudero looked amateur in this bout. Oliveira showed a monstrous variety of skills. His striking was technical and crisp. His kicks and knees were precise, and his footwork and head movement were beyond extraordinary. Oliveira beat up Escudero for the better of three and a half rounds until he grasped the opportunity to latch onto Escudero’s back. Oliveria sunk in the rear naked choke and tapped out Escudero in the final round.
Middleweight bout: Nate Marquardt defeats Rousimar Palhares via TKO (strikes) in round 1, 3:28
This bout was a strange one. Marquardt and Palhares circled the octagon walls waiting for the other to engage first. They shared punches and kicks for about 30 seconds until they both went to the ground. Palhares quickly grabbed Marquardt’s leg looking to secure his third victory in a row via heel hook; however, Marquardt calmly slipped his leg right out of Palhares’ grasp. After Nate freed his leg, Palhares looked up to the referee and pointed at Marquardt’s leg. He was trying to tell the ref that Marquardt’s legs were greased. During this lapse in judgment, Marquardt starting raining down punches upon Palhares’ face until the referee stopped the fight. The ring-side doctors and personnel checked Marquardt’s legs and found no indications of greasing–thus giving Marquardt the TKO victory in the first round. In his post-fight interview with Joe Rogan Marquardt said he was working up a sweat before he entered the ring so he would be slippery and less susceptible to Palhares’ submissions.
So what did we learn?
The Miller brothers are absolute beasts. They are both becoming extremely well-rounded and are no longer one-dimensional grapplers. Charles Oliveira is going to be a massive force in the lightweight division. The UFC hasn’t had a lightweight as technically gifted as Oliveira in a long time. He is sort of like a mini, more reckless Anderson Silva. Awesome. Lastly, Rousimar Palhares is an idiot. Did he really think the ref was going to stop the fight because Marquardt slipped out of a much anticipated heel hook? Does Palhares know that the referee and ring side doctor check the fighters over before they enter the cage? Marquardt is a classy, savvy veteran–he knows better than to try to grease up before a bout.
With that said, the middleweight title picture is shaping up nicely with Marquardt officially in the running now. Look for the lightweight division to get very messy and interesting as the Miller brothers and Oliveira climb the ranks.