Seven years ago today, the UFC closed out a big 2008 with one of the year’s great events, UFC 92. At the time it was a significant triple header with two title fights, one featuring TUF winners Forrest Griffin and Rashad Evans, and another between Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira and Frank Mir for the Interim Heavyweight Champion. The card also featured a major rematch between Quinton “Rampage” Jackson and Wanderlei Silva, their first meeting in the UFC, and wound up being one of the most action-packed pay-per-view events in the organization’s history. In today’s flashback, head back to Dec. 27, 2008, for our live play by play on the UFC 192 main card from Las Vegas.
=====UFC 92 Live Event Report=====
(Originally published on Dec. 27, 2008)
-Cue gladiator, cue opening music, it’s time for UFC 92!
FIGHT ONE: CHEICK KONGO VS. MOSTAPHA AL TURK (HEAVYWEIGHT)
ROUND ONE: Al Turk lands the first strike and slips up a bit. They start a feeling out process for a short while. Kongo catches a leg kick by Al Turk and drops him with a right hand. Kongo lands a couple of kicks to the legs on Al Turk and Al Turk gets back to his feet. He shoots and gets a clinch on the cage. He struggles and attempts to get Kongo to the ground. Kongo is defending it very well against the cage. Al Turk holds onto the single leg and then eats a bunch of elbows to the head. Kongo moves to the outside and holds Al Turk on the cage, and he lands a couple of knees to the body. Al Turk lands a low blow with a knee and Steve Mazagatti gives Kongo time to recover. Kongo recovers and he looks pissed. Al Turk misses on a big shot. Kongo lands an inside leg kick and Al Turk tries to shoot in again and goes for a single leg on the cage. Kongo fights it off again and gives a payback low blow knee on the cage. They restart again. Kongo chases Al Turk and lands a couple of shots that knocks Al Turk back. Kongo pounces and starts landing a ton of shots, opening Al Turk up and landing a ton of punishment in the ground and pound. Mazagatti should have stopped this ten seconds earlier than he did. Wow. Big show of domination by Kongo.
WINNER: Kongo via TKO at 4:37 of the first round.
STAR RATING: (**) Very good tko finish and a great showing of ground and pound by Kongo. Nice one round fight.
RAMIFICATIONS: That’s a big win and puts Kongo into the mix for a heavyweight title shot following the completion of the tournament. Al Turk will need to pick up an impressive victory in a follow up fight to stay in the UFC.
FIGHT TWO: QUINTON “RAMPAGE” JACKSON VS. WANDERLEI SILVA (LIGHT HEAVYWEIGHT)
PRE FIGHT: Jackson says this is going to be the fight of the year. He says all he can think about is killing Wanderlei. Silva says he knows Jackson remembers his knees.
ROUND ONE: Jackson pushes early and they trade a shot. Wanderlei lands a quick combo. They exchange a short shot again. Silva comes in with another combo. Jackson throws a kick and Silva tries a combo. The crowd is largely behind Silva. Rampage lands a jab after eating a body kick. Rampage lands another jab. Rampage shoots and Silva lands a knee. Hard leg kick from Silva. Quick combo from Silva. Another hard leg kick from Silva. Rampage catches a kick from Silva but Wanderlei popped up quickly. Jackson with another jab. He lands another and then comes with a left hook and knocks Wanderlei cold. Holy hell. He landed one more shot that wasn’t necessary and two more than may have missed before Yves Lavigne could get to him to stop it.
WINNER: Jackson via KO 3:21 of the first round.
POST FIGHT: Rampage said he had to let everyone know, he’s got his Wolf on from the Wolfslair, and now he’s right. He says Rampage is back. He thanked his new team. He says it’s up to the UFC when he gets another title shot. He says he needs to get his life and his mind back in order.
STAR RATING:(***+) Big fight feel with a big time finish. I was not expecting that, but it was an amazing knockout from Rampage.
RAMIFICATIONS: Well, he had his head on right here. If he gets past his legal issues, Rampage will get right back into the mix at the top of the Light Heavyweight division. Wanderlei has been knocked silly one too many times it seems, and it may be nearing the end of the line for “The Axe Murderer.”
STAR RATING: (**+) That was one of the more unique finishes ever seen in the Octagon. Big debut for Barry, making Evenson quit from leg kicks.
FIGHT THREE: C.B. DOLLAWAY VS. MIKE MASSENZIO (MIDDLEWEIGHT)
ROUND ONE: Massenzio lands the first jab. Dollaway with a good body kick. Mike comes in and eats a knee to the body and the head from Dollaway. Dollaway lands a couple of shots in a combo. Massenzio hurts C.B. with a shot and gets him to the ground and gets a guillotine on C.B. but Dollaway gets out of it and ends up in Massenzio’s guard. Mike goes for a triangle but C.B. gets out of it. C.B. Steps up and lands a shot and passes and gets to the full mount. He throws an elbow. Massenzio gives up his back and Dollaway starts launching shots to the side of Massenzio’s head forcing the ref to step in because Mazzenzio couldn’t move.
WINNER: Dollaway via tko at 3:01 of the first round.
STAR RATING: (**) Good back and forth from the two. Dollaway looked very good rebounding from getting hurt early.
-Brock Lesnar comes in to talk to Rogan and Goldberg and says he’s not the real champion until he solidifies the Championship. He says he needs a rematch with Frank Mir.
FIGHT FOUR: ANTONIO “MINOTAURO” NOGUEIRA VS. FRANK MIR (INTERIM HEAVYWEIGHT TITLE BOUT)
ROUND ONE: Mir goes for an early head kick. Mir with an inside leg kick. Mir rocks Nogueira with a nice shot. He comes in with another combo. He lands another shot and gets Nogueira down. He throws a few shots of ground and pound and then just stands back up. Hard body kick from Mir. Big combo from Mir. Inside leg kick from Mir and Nogueira lands a shot finally. Nogueira landed a couple fo jabs. Mir pushes in with a few more. They exchange back and forth a bit, and they’ve settled it down. Mir tries an uppercut. They exchange again and Mir knocks Nogueira down again. Nogueira recovered and Mir backed off again. Smart moves out of Mir right now. Mir lands a couple of knees in the clinch. They exchange body kicks. Nogueira gets in a combination of his own. Mir lands a shot.Another big shot knocks Nogueira down once more with a shot as the round ends.
Penick’s Scorecard: 10-8 Mir. That was an impressive round from Frank Mir. He’s going to need to keep his gas tank up throughout to recover, because that’s a big start for Mir.
ROUND TWO: Mir starts with a high kick and a combo. Mir is very confident right now. Nogueira lands a shot and Mir comes back with another combo. Nogueira tries a jab and Frank comes back with a combo. Nogueira with an inside leg kick. Mir responds with a couple of kicks of his own. Mir rocks Nogueira again and drops him. He follows it up and lands a few more shots flush to finish Nogueira. Yeah, I just typed that. He ran over and yelled out to Lesnar, “You’ve got MY belt!”
WINNER: Mir via TKO at 1:54 of the second round to win the Interim Heavyweight Title.
POST FIGHT: Mir said he faced such demons, and to come back from that and beat the best heayyweight to step into the UFC is proof that anything can happen. He said he didn’t even think he could beat Nogueira. Mir says he doesn’t want any of this shit of being a half a champion. He says this time he’ll make Lesnar famous with the break he gives him.
STAR RATING: (****+) That was the best performance of Frank Mir’s career. I will admit that I wrote him off coming into this fight, and he proved me and everyone wrong. He is now the first fighter to finish off Nogueira, and that’s an amazing feat in and of itself.
RAMIFICATIONS: Mark my words – Frank Mir vs. Brock Lesnar II for the Undisputed UFC Heavyweight Championship may be a bigger drawing pay-per-view fight than Lesnar vs. Couture. The bad blood and trash talking between the two will rival anything that’s ever been presented. After this performance from Mir tonight, I cannot wait to see that rematch.
FIGHT FIVE: FORREST GRIFFIN VS. RASHAD EVANS (LIGHT HEAVYWEIGHT TITLE BOUT)
PRE FIGHT: Forrest says he likes hitting people. Rashad says he’s got the knockouts, and now he’s working on the ground game. He says he’s going to lay it down. Forrest says he’s not really a champion until he defends the belt, and a victory tonight will make it real.
ROUND ONE: The crowd is firmly behind Griffin in this one. Griffin feigns a combo and misses a high kick. They exchange a short combo. Forrest with a nice jab and body kick combo. Hard body kick from Forrest with a shot from Evans at the same time. Nice kick from Forrest. Another body kick from Forrest. Rashad lands a nice leg kick of his own. Forrest lands a jab and Rashad lands a shot to the head. Rashad with a jab, Forrest with a leg kick. Nice combo from Griffin. Another leg kick from Forrest. They trade blows in the center of the cage. Nice body shot from Rashad followed by a good shot from Forrest. Forrest with another leg kick. Rashad’s leg is hurt. He’s switched stances to get away from the leg kick. Forrest with a flurry. Rashad comes in with a shot and Forrest exchanges. Forrest with a nice combo. Nice body kick from Forrest.
Penick’s Scorecard: 10-9 Griffin. The champ used some punishing kicks in that round and Rashad tried to come back with combos. Griffin’s doing a good job of landing the kicks and doing damage right now.
ROUND TWO: Rashad slips after Forrest goes for a high kick, but he recovers. Forrest lands a nice jab as Evans came in. Rashad lands a jab of his own. Forrest lands another kick to the leg. Big combo from Forrest with a punch and then a leg kick. Forrest gets Rashad on the cage and lands a ton of knees. Forrest steps back, drops his arms and taunts Griffin and lands a shot. This is picking up. Another leg kick from Griffin. Griffin walked Evans down and landed another leg kick. Inside leg kick from Evans. Two head kicks from Griffin followed by an inside leg kick. Evans lands a shot but eats one of his own. Another inside leg kick. Another leg kick from Griffin with a combo. Rashad lands a low blow kick but Forrest is fine. Another inside leg kick but gets hit with a right from Evans. Rashad gets a leg kick of his own. Forrest with a nice jab. Another combo from Forrest lands. Another combo and Forrest lands another punch as the round closes.
Penick’s Scorecard: 10-9 Griffin. Another good round for the champ. This fight is picking up, but Forrest again used the kicks to gain the advantage.
ROUND THREE: Griffin with another kick and a combo that just barely misses. Nice body kick from Forrest. Rashad catches a kick and drops Forrest. He throws a ton of punishment with hammer fists and punches but Forrest pulls guard and recovers. Forrest goes for a couple of limbs on Rashad. Rashad gets to the side and lands a couple more shots. Griffin recovers again. Rashad postures up and throws a shot. Rashad postures up again and lands a hard shot that knocks Forrest silly. Rashad follows up with a bunch of left hands that force the ref to step in.
WINNER: Evans via TKO at 2:46 of the third round to become Light Heavyweight Champion.
STAR RATING: (****-) Another big fight feel with a big, somewhat shocking finish, and it was another exciting title fight on this great card.
RAMIFICATIONS: I could see them putting Griffin vs. Rampage in a rematch with the winner getting a shot in ’09. That was a hell of a victory for the undefeated new Light Heavyweight Champion.
[Rashad Evans art by Grant Gould (c) MMATorch.com]
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