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By: Jamie Penick, MMATorch Editor-in-Chief
PENICK'S UFC 98 REPORT
MAY 23, 2009
LIVE ON PAY-PER-VIEW
UFC 98 is coming to us live on pay-per-view tonight, and we'll have full on round by round coverage of the pay-per-view event here on MMATorch.com, so update this page throughout the night as the show airs. It's Evans vs. Machida and Hughes vs. Serra, and we've got it all covered here on MMATorch.com!
-Mike Goldberg welcomes us to the show, breaking down Rashad Evans achieving success from the Ultimate Fighter to being the Champion. Joe Rogan comes in and breaks down the type of fighter Evans is and the type of fighter you'd think could beat him, that being Machida. They also break down Hughes vs. Serra. The show graphics they've gone with for the last few shows are really good.
FIGHT ONE: SEAN SHERK VS. FRANKIE EDGAR (LIGHTWEIGHT)
PRE FIGHT: Edgar says this is his biggest opportunity to date. Sherk says he wants a knockout, he wants to get out of there as quickly as possible. Edgar doesn't consider himself an underdog and believes he's going to win this fight. Sherk says a win over Frankie gives him a shot at another top contender and back in line for a title shot.
ROUND ONE: Edgar throws a head kick to start as Sherk stalks him down. Sherk misses a left and then lands a grazing right. They trade shots. Sherk throws a big right that misses. Edgar gets a left hand in. They trade again and then clinch. Sherk pushes Edgar to the cage but Frankie gets out and separates. Sherk gets in with a nice jab. Edgar lands a left kick to the body. Sherk misses a combo. They exchange shots again. Edgar comes in with a nice three ounch combo. Sherk gets in a nice counter punch. Edgar again lands a big combo. Sherk with a c ouple of consecutive jabs landing. Edgar lands a good leg kick. He avoids a punch and gets in a nother shot. Edgar shoots in for a single leg but Sherk held him off on the cage. They separated again. They trade shots in the center. Big leg kick from Sherk gets caught and Edgar takes him down. Sherk sprawls and Edgar tries to grab a hold of a guillotine but then switches out of it in the sprawl. Sherk gets out and back to his feet. They trade shots yet again. Edgar lands a good shot and avoids the counter. Leg kick from Edgar. Edgar comes in again for a combo. Sherk lands a nice right hand. Edgar lands a leg kick and they trade shots furiously to end the round. Great start to the show.
Penick's Scorecard: 10-9 Edgar. Edgar was very elusive in that round and put together some nice combos along with the takedown. Very good pace to start out tonight.
ROUND TWO: Sherk lands a nice left hand to start. Edgar comes in with a nice uppercut of his own. They trade again with Sherk landing a good right. Sherk stalks down Edgar. Edgar tries to shoot in but Sherk shakes him off. Edgar lands a good counter left. Big body kick lands from Edgar. Sherk keeps coming forward. They trade another good couple of shots. Edgar knocks Sherk down with a knee but Sherk gets right back up. They trade punches and Sherk keeps moving forward. Sherk with a good counter right. Sherk lands a big left hand and a right to follow. Edgar lands a good leg kick to Sherk's right leg. Edgar gets in a good shot. Sherk landed another big right to the jaw but Edgar lands a counter. Edgar came in with a another good combo. He tries to do it again and Sherk lands a couple. Edgar again comes in with another quick combo. He steps out and then comes in with it again. He's having success with short combos here. Edgar again with another big combo as Sherk throws some punches back. Leg kick lands low on Sherk. Edgar tries to get a takedown and Sherk throws him off and lands a right. Edgar comes back in and lands a hard right hand. Sherk with another shot and the round ends.
Penick's Scorecard: 10-9 Edgar. Edgar is doing a very good job in picking his spots and landing shots. As Sherk is stalking him down he's getting in and out with his shots and is doing very well here.
ROUND THREE: More of the same to start the third round and Edgar is getting in and out with his shots again. Edgar misses a shot and Sherk explodes with a double leg and takes him down. Edgar moves back to his feet and eats a couple of punches as they get up. Sherk with a nice jab. They both go in for a shot and may have headbutted each other. Edgar gets in another quick combo. They trade shots again. Sherk gets another jab in. Sherk is not having much success here. Sherk went for a single leg and Edgar held it off. Edgar landed a big body shot. They traded shots again. Nice leg kick from Edgar lands. He lands a big right hand after eating a left from Sherk. Sherk lands a good left hand. Sherk comes in for a punch but eats a combo for his troubles. Big combo from Edgar again. Edgar again with a few punches landing. Sherk shoots in again and Edgar sprawls and immediately hops into the guillotine. He doesn't have enough time to finish it, but he's going to win this fight. Great performance from Edgar.
Penick's Scorecard: 10-9 Edgar. Despite the takedown early Edgar did much of the same to take the round back. That was the best Frankie Edgar has looked in the Octagon.
WINNER: Edgar via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
POST FIGHT: Edgar said he knew he had to step his game up. He said he's not throwing his hat too high, he wants to get a shot at the title. He said he worked on his footwork coming into this and it seemed to work.
STAR RATING: (**+) Very good performance from Frankie Edgar and a big win for him. Sherk needs to get back to what brought him success in the past, and that's his wrestling. His straightforward striking style found him getting picked apart by Edgar there. A bit unexpected on Edgar's part, but it was a nice surprise in that respect. Good fight.
-We get a preview video for next month's UFC 99.
FIGHT TWO: DAN MILLER VS. CHAEL SONNEN (MIDDLEWEIGHT)
PRE FIGHT: Miller said this is going to be a war. He said if he feels like taking this down to the ground he'll do it. Sonnen said he's going to throw Miller on his back and punch a hole in his face. Sonnen said he's better than Miller in every area.
ROUND ONE: Sonnen comes in after Miller but Miller lands a leg kick. Sonnen shot in but Miller locked in a guillotine choke. SOnnen tried to hold on and he finally popped out of it. That'll gas the arms of Miller. Sonnen steps back and lands a couple of big shots and then got back into Miller's guard against the cage. He postured up and landed a good left elbow. He got up and landed another good elbow. Miller is stuck in the corner here and Sonnen comes down with another couple of shots. Miller tried to grab a hold of Sonnen's leg. Sonnen then got out and grabbed his back and moved to side control. Sonnen pushes Miller's head against the cage and lands a couple of shots. Miller got back to half guard. Miller gets it back to full guard as Sonnen continues to throw shots. Sonnen steps back and lands a huge right and keeps throwing big shots here. Miller is trying to throw his legs up but he's getting beat up badly here. Sonnen starts choking Miller from the top and then throws another punch. Sonnen lands a couple more shots as the round ends.
Penick's Scorecard: 10-9 Sonnen. If it weren't for the near submission from Miller this may have been a 10-8 round. Either way, lots of punishment from Sonnen in that round. That was brutal.
ROUND TWO: Miller lands a right hand early. Sonnen catches a leg kick and tries to take him down. Sonnen picks Miller up on the cage and slams him down as Miller grabs a guillotine. This time he's just got nothing left in the arm strength department to hold onto it and Sonnen gets out. Sonnen starts working the ground and pound from the guard again. Sonnen postured up again and landed a bunch of punches. Miller's just taking a ton of punishment in this fight. Sonnen continues to work the ground and pound as Miller tries to stay alive. He's working toward trying to do something from the bottom. Miller tries to grab an armbar but couldn't hold onto it. Miller is staying alive but taking a ton of damage. Sonnen again lands an elbow. Sonnen has slowed down a bit and the crowd starts to get restless. In response Sonnen stands up and comes down with a big right. Miller holds on to the buzzer.
Penick's Scorecard: 10-9 Sonnen. More of the same there, with Miller attempting subs from the bottom but getting beat up.
ROUND THREE: Miller lands a good right hand to start. He goes for a high kick but it misses. He comes in with a good combo. Sonnen shoots in and picks him up for a takedown. Sonnen starts pounding Miller some more. Sonnen's is now content with holding him down throwing a few minor shots. Nice punch lands from Sonnen. He gets a big elbow in. Sonnen pushes Miller up against the cage. Sonnen steps up and tries to drop down with a shot. Miller pushes Sonnen back and tries to hit him with an up kick but Sonnen drops back into him. Sonnen moved to the half guard but Miller pulls him back into guard. The crowd starts to get restless again at the inactivity on the ground. Miller tries to survive and Sonnen throws some pitter patter shots at him to close out the round and the fight.
Penick's Scorecard: 10-9 Sonnen. He didn't do as much in that round, but he controlled Miller and decisively took that fight.
WINNER: Sonnen via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
STAR RATING: (**-) The first round was really good, but the second two were very much a dominating lull on the ground. Sonnen just overpowered Miller throughout that, and it all came because Miller couldn't finish with the guillotine in the first round.
FIGHT THREE: DREW MCFEDRIES VS. XAVIER FOUPA-POKAM
ROUND ONE: Pokam moves on the outside as McFedries comes after him. McFedries catches Pokam with a huge right hand. He drops him and comes at him with a bunch of shots on the ground. Pokam tries to come back but McFedries rocks him again and Pokam is out on his feet. The fight gets stopped and Pokam tries to protest but he was done. Great win for McFedries and a good exciting finish for the crowd. Nothing at all wrong with the stoppage.
WINNER: McFedries via tko at :37 of the first round.
POST FIGHT: McFedries says his mind just wants to go go go. He thanks the fans. He says he just needs to go until it's over.
STAR RATING: (***-) That was an awesome onslaught from McFedries and a great way to get the crowd back. Just what McFedries needed here.
-Preview up for UFC Undisputed 2009. Awesome game. Review coming up this week!
PRELIM FIGHT A: KRZYSZTOF SOSZYNSKI VS. ANDRE GUSMAO
ROUND ONE: Soszynski follows Gusmao down and clinches him at the cage. Gusmao separates himself and lands a kick. Soszysnki lands a couple of big shots as he walks Gusmao down. Gusmao lands a couple of hard shots and tries to grab a thai clinch. He finishes with a big high kick. Soszynski lands a low blow. Soszynski stalks Gusmao down and lands a combo. Gusmao throws a good leg kick. He comes in with a front kick to the stomach of Krzysztof. Gusmao throws a good inside leg kick again. Soszynski stalks Gusmao down again and lands a big right. They trade at the cage and each land some good punches. Soszynski throws a flurry and knocks Gusmao out cold on the cage! Big win for Krzysztof. Wow.
WINNER: Soszynski via ko at 3:17 of the first round.
POST FIGHT: Krzysztof said he's gotten two "Submission of the Night" awards and he was looking for a hopeful knockout of the night here tonight.
STAR RATING: (***) Great back and forth stand up fight and then a huge knockout win for Soszynski. Awesome fight.
FIGHT FOUR: MATT HUGHES VS. MATT SERRA (WELTERWEIGHT)
PRE FIGHT: Here we go. All the trash talk, all the bad blood, it all comes down to this tonight. We've heard the back and forth for a long time. Let's go!
ROUND ONE: Hughes comes out in the southpaw stance to start off. He fakes a right jab. Serra comes in and just misses a punch. Hughes barely misses a right. Hughes comes in and Serra drops him with a right. Hughes recovers but he's hurt. Serra hits him with another right and Hughes is in trouble. He grabs Serra's leg but Serra holds him off. Rogan's saying it was a headbutt that hurt Hughes as they both went down. Hughes presses Serra against the cage. He throws a knee to the body. He throws another knee but Serra gets out of it. Hughes lands a jab and Serra responds with a leg kick. Hughes grazes Serra with a couple of right jabs. Hughes throws a kick to the body and comes in. He grapples Serra and gets a trip for a takedown and gets into side control. Serra gives up his back and Hughes almost gets a choke in. Serra holds it off and throws some shots at Hughes behind him. Serra turned out of it and got back to his feet. This is great stuff here. Hughes just misses a left hand as Serra steps back. Serra throws a couple of kicks as the round ends. Great start.
Penick's Scorecard: 10-9 Serra. It may have been a headbutt, but Serra had Hughes in trouble there and did some very good defensive work on the ground to get back up to his feet. Hot start.
ROUND TWO: Hughes lands a good left hand to start. Serra throws a combo. Hughes lands the right jab. Hughes lands a good kick to the body. He grabs a hold of Serra and gets the takedown. Hughes passes into half guard as Serra tries to work out of it. Hughes throws a few punches to the body from the half guard. Hughes lands a good punch to the face as Serra's trying to work out of this position. Hughes lands a couple more punches to the body. He continues with shots to the body. Serra rolls his eyes at Hughes throwing the body punches. Hughes continues the body shots. He throws a couple of good shots to Serra's face. Hughes throws a punch to the face again. Hughes tries to cover up Serra's face to stop the breathing. They get stood up and Serra comes after Hughes with a flurry to end the round.
Penick's Scorecard: 10-9 Hughes. Not much to that, Hughes got the takedown and stayed on top of him. Serra's gonna be restless in the third here.
ROUND THREE: Hughes misses a couple of jabs early and then blocks an uppercut attempt from Serra. Hughes lands a good right as he came in at Serra on the cage. Serra tried to hold off the takedown but Hughes got him down. Serra tries to get an omoplata but Hughes works out of it and into Serra's full guard. Hughes pushes Serrat to the cage as Serra works for the omoplata on the other shoulder. Hughes again gets out. Serra almost got a triangle but Hughes got out again. Serra's got to do something or Hughes will take this. Mazzagatti stands them up with 1:40 left. He comes in with a couple of shots. He lands a good right again. He sticks his chin out at Hughes who doesn't bite. Serra throws a kick that doesn't land. Hughes tried to go for a takedown but Serra threw him to the ground. Serra tried to posture up and he lands a couple of shots. Hughes tries to sprawl and the round ends with Serra going for a kimura. They actually hug after the fight and Hughes raised Matt Serra's arm.
Penick's Scorecard: 10-9 Serra. I think he ekes this out with the late takedown, submission attempts on the bottom and more movement on the feet. This could really go either way, though. I don't know what's going to happen here, it's either man's fight.
WINNER: Hughes via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
POST FIGHT: They hug again in a good show of respect. He said it wasn't hard getting in the gym for the fight. Hughes said we weren't supposed to hear that he didn't know he got knocked down. He said he wanted to keep moving away from Serra's right hand, thus the southpaw. Hughes said he's still motivated to compete. He says he's a free agent, he doesn't have anything with the UFC, but him and Dana will discuss it. He said he'd love to fight one more time in his home area. Rogan then brings in Matt Serra. He said he wanted to keep his cool and try to finish him off. Serra says as a fighter regardless of personal thoughts he held Hughes in high regard. He said he's upset with the loss. Serra said at this stage he just wants exciting fights.
STAR RATING: (***) The bad blood brought the environment of this fight up a notch. It had some flashes of greatness but the second round was quite slow with Hughes holding top position on the ground. Still, very good grudge match fight and a good win for Hughes. Serra didn't get dominated, though.
FIGHT FIVE: RASHAD EVANS VS. LYOTO MACHIDA (LIGHT HEAVYWEIGHT TITLE BOUT)
PRE FIGHT: Nothing more to say here. Both undefeated. Championship fight. It's time for Evans vs. Machida, ladies and gentlemen.
ROUND ONE: They feel each other out here early as Machida walks Rashad down. Machida lands a low leg kick. The crowd doesn't like the tentative start. Rashad throws a leg kick that misses. Machida closes the distance a bit but both are just feigning shots right now. Machida comes in and throws a high kick that sends Rashad back. Rashad pushes forward but doesn't land any of his thrown shots. Machida keeps Rashad's back against the cage as they feel out the distance more. Machida with a body kick. Rashad tried to throw a kick but almost got tripped by Machida. Rashad now gets the outside. Machida comes in again and tries to land a kick but they clinch briefly. Machida lands a left as they back out. Another big kick to the body from Machida and a left sends Evans to the ground. Machida pounces on him but Rashad works back to his feet. Great sequence. Machida with a low right kick and a high left kick. Another straight high kick from Machida. Round ends.
Penick's Scorecard: 10-9 Machida. Great start for Machida. He is frustrating Rashad early and had a great sequence with the kick and knock down punch.
ROUND TWO: Machida lands a straight kick to the body early on. He lands an outside leg kick as well. The crowd loudly chants for Machida. Big body kick from Machida and then tries to take Rashad down. The cage saved Rashad and they separate. Machida lands another inside leg kick. He counters a missed combo with a bund of shots but Rashad responds nicely with a couple of his own. High kick from Machida is blocked. He throws another one that gets blocked. Rashad tries to come forward but doesn't hit anything. Machida lands a punch. Rashad throws a good kick to the body. He tries to throw another one but it doesn't hit. Machida lands a big left and then rocks Rashad with a second shot. Machida is teeing off on Rashad right now. Rashad gets to his feet but Machida is relentless teeing off on him on the cage. He lands a huge left that knocks Evans out cold! Holy shit, Evans slumped backwards. Lyoto Machida is your new Light Heavyweight Champion!
WINNER: Lyoto Machida via ko at 3:57 of the second round to become Light Heavyweight Champion.
POST FIGHT: Machida said he's tried all his life to be Champion and he's very very happy. Machida says he wants to keep the belt for a long time. I think that he will. Machida said he felt Rashad received the punch and that he kept going and going. Machida says if you have a dream in your life, go ahead it's possible. "The Dragon is the Champion, thank you!"
Rashad comes in and says Lyoto was difficult to solve. He said he had to take his hat off to him. He said he was trying to make him strike first, he said he didn't come off sharp enough today.
STAR RATING: (****) That's a must see fight and an amazing performance from the new UFC Light Heavyweight Champion. I don't know if there's a man alive that can take that belt from him now that it's around his waist. He can never be pegged as a boring fighter after that win again. Amazing fight from quite possibly the new best fighter in the world.
PRELIM FIGHT B: BROCK LARSON VS. MIKE PYLE (WELTERWEIGHT)
ROUND ONE: Pyle misses a leg kick as they feel each other out early. He feints another leg kick. The crowd starts booing the inactivity. Pyle presses forward and grazes a leg kick. Larson shoots in and Pyle tries to grab a guillotine but Larson gets out. Pyle tries to grab a number of submissions but Larson gets out of all of them. They get briefly stopped for a kick to a downed opponent but they continue. Larson lands a bunch of big shots and stands. Pyle lands an up kick. Larson grabs a darce choke but gave it up. Pyle is rolling to a lot of submission attempts but Larson is getting out of it all. Larson gets an arm triangle in the half guard and busts out to side control to finish it off.
WINNER: Larson via submission (arm triangle) at 3:06 of the first round.
POST FIGHT: Larson said he had a great training camp and knew he had to be technical and take his time. He said they drill that arm triangle in camp.
STAR RATING: (**) Good movement from Pyle and a lot of nice sub attempts but Larson was too much for him.
PRELIM FIGHT C: TIM HAGUE VS. PAT BARRY (HEAVYWEIGHT)
ROUND ONE: Hague comes forward with a couple of shots. Barry lands a good right. Barry throws a high kick that barely misses. Barry catches Hague with a head kick and hurts Hague. He follows up with a few shots but Hague takes it to the ground and recovers. Barry gave up his back and as they scramble Hague grabs a guillotine and locks it in for the win. That's a come from behind win right there. Barry kind of beat himself there.
WINNER: Hague via submission (guillotine choke) at 1:42 of the first round.
POST FIGHT: Hague is very emotional following the win. Hague said you're never gonna see him quit, he's going to keep coming forward no matter what. He said hi to his wife and child and then said he's ready to go drink some beers. He thanked the Fertitta's and Dana White and said he hopes to fight a lot for them.
STAR RATING: (**+) That's an exciting come from behind victory for Hague, but it wasn't entirely impressive as Barry kind of gave it to him after having him rocked there.
That's another show in the books, folks, and we've got a new Light Heavyweight Champion in Lyoto Machida. The argument for this week? Is Machida the new pound for pound king? Let the debate begin, because there may not be anyone at 205 lbs that can defeat him after what he showed against Evans in handing "Sugar" his first career loss. Much better show tonight than UFC 97 and a bunch of fights on the card should leave everyone happy. Stay tuned over the week for the fallout on this show and a look forward to June with Strikeforce, WEC and UFC events filling up a busy, busy month. Thanks again for sticking with us here on MMATorch.com!
[Lyoto Machida art credit Cory Gould (c) MMATorch]
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Jamie Penick, editor-in-chief
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