Ortiz Retires Shamrock with First Round TKO
By Thomas Gerbasi
HOLLYWOOD, FL, October 10 – Ken Shamrock got another minute and five seconds in his third bout with Tito Ortiz, but this time the controversy of their second bout in July was non-existent, as Ortiz once again proved his dominance against the UFC Hall of Famer by knocking him out at 2:23 of the first round at the Seminole Hard Rock Live Arena in what ultimately became the swan song for ‘The World’s Most Dangerous Man’.
“Congratulations to Tito Ortiz,” said a gracious Shamrock. “I wish him and all the people in the UFC the best. Thanks for all the wonderful years.”
And though the 42-year-old Shamrock’s career earned him a spot in the organization’s Hall of Fame, the veteran of the first UFC back in 1993 was never a match for Ortiz, who defeated him via a third round TKO in 2002, and repeated the feat in July in a bout rife with controversy due to a one minute and 18 second stoppage that was deemed too quick by fans and some fight insiders.
Thus fight number three, but again, it was Ortiz who dominated.
Almost immediately, Ortiz drove Shamrock into the fence and tried to impose his will on the 42-year-old. Seconds later, Ortiz secured a takedown and started to open up with forearms in an almost carbon copy of their second bout. And after Ortiz found some space to throw blows with both hands without any response the result was the same as well, and referee John McCarthy was forced to call a stop to the bout at 2:23
And though the bad blood between the two over the years was real, it was nice to see the two embrace in the Octagon after the bout and bury the hatchet in a great sign of class by both fighters.
Shamrock retires with a pro mixed martial arts record of 26-12-2. Ortiz, who improved to 16-4, will next face Chuck Liddell in December in a quest to regain his UFC light heavyweight crown.
In the main undercard bout, Kendall Grove, middleweight winner of ‘The Ultimate Fighter’s third season, kept the momentum going with a dominating first round strike-induced submission of Chris ‘The Exorcist’ Price.
Grove was impressive from the outset, landing a hard right cross to the jaw of Price and then working on him with strikes and submission attempts when the fight hit the mat. With less than two minutes to go, Grove got full mount on Price and finished him off with a series of strikes that forced Price to tap out at the 3:59 mark.
The first fight of Ed Herman’s new UFC contract was a disastrous one, as UFC newcomer Jason MacDonald submitted him with a triangle choke at 2:43 of the first round in their middleweight bout.
“If they brought me here as a steppingstone, that was a mistake, because I’m nobody’s steppingstone,” said MacDonald, a 25-fight veteran who was making his long-awaited debut in the Octagon. “It took me a long time to get here, but I’m here to stay.”
It was Herman’s first bout since a June war with Kendall Grove in ‘The Ultimate Fighter 3’ finale that saw him come up short on the scorecards but still emerge with a UFC deal.
Both fighters exhibited excellent offensive and defensive groundwork in the early going, with Canada’s MacDonald quickly gaining the upper hand when he landed the triangle choke on Herman. And though ‘Short Fuse’ courageously tried to pull out, it was to no avail, and ‘The Athlete’ had scored his first Octagon victory.
‘The Ultimate Fighter’ 3’s Matt Hamill kept his unbeaten record intact in the first fight of the main card as he grounded and pounded his way to a unanimous decision win over season two’s Seth Petruzelli in a light heavyweight bout where a late rally by ‘The Silverback’ wasn’t enough to cope with the strength of the Ohio wrestler.
Scores were 30-27 and 29-28 twice for Hamill.
Hamill controlled the opening round with takedowns and ground and pound in the image of his mentor Tito Ortiz. Petruzelli, who ended the round with a swollen and bloodied left eye, attempted to keep the fight standing on a couple of occasions, but to no avail, as Hamill was just too strong.
Petruzelli’s luck improved in the second round as he jarred Hamill with a kick to the head, but ‘The Hammer’ quickly recovered and got himself in Petruzelli’s guard, where he proceeded to stick to the ground and pound gameplan. With under three minutes left, referee John McCarthy stood the two fighters up after a stalemate on the mat, but after a few moments the bout went right back to the ground, and though Petruzelli tried to power his way out, Hamill wouldn’t let him escape and he continued to work on a new cut on ‘The Silverback’s nose.
Down 2-0 on the cards, Petruzelli tried to make something happen with head kicks, but they had little effect on Hamill, who – you guessed it – took Petruzelli to the mat yet again. After a standup by McCarthy, Petruzelli briefly landed a guillotine choke and then landed a punch that opened a cut under Hamill’s eye. Yet just when it appeared that the tide had turned, Hamill again nailed the takedown, which again produced a standup and this time, a visit by the ringside doctor to Petruzelli’s corner. After the action resumed, Hamill was able to drop Petruzelli to the mat yet again, and fittingly, that’s where the bout ended.
“I worked so hard and I fought my heart out,” said Hamill.
Middleweight contender Nate ‘The Great’ Marquardt was in fine form against Crafton Wallace, submitting the Naples, Florida resident with a rear naked choke at 1:14 of the second round.
Surprisingly, it was Marquardt initiating much of the striking against the Muay Thai ace early on, and he did so effectively as Wallace seemed content to simply counter. But as the fight entered its third minute, Marquardt took it to the mat with a big slam and quickly gained side control and then half guard. Marquardt broke open a lull in the action suddenly with a guillotine attempt, but Wallace just as quickly broke free, though he was unable to mount any offense.
Wallace opened the second round kicking, but Marquardt stuffed a front kick and used it to take his foe to the mat. Soon, Marquardt got Wallace’s back and it was game over as he sunk in a rear naked choke that ended the fight the same way ‘Blaze’ was submitted in his first UFC bout by Martin Kampmann.
Tony DeSouza survived some rocky moments against 20-year old Dustin Hazelett in his first UFC fight since 2001, but he eventually broke through the defenses of the youngster and submitted him in the first round of their welterweight bout.
The action was fast-paced from the start, with Hazelett throwing a series of punches and DeSouza responding with a takedown. Hazelett quickly recovered though, sinking in a triangle choke that the ground ace from Peru tried to fight his way out of. Eventually, after nearly two minutes, DeSouza escaped and worked some strikes while in side control and eventually tried for a kimura on the UFC newcomer and got it, producing a tap out at 3:59 of the first round.
“It was very close,” said DeSouza of Hazelett’s early triangle choke, “but I was not gonna tap.”
Rory Singer and Josh Haynes may be good friends outside of the Octagon, but the two veterans of the third season of ‘The Ultimate Fighter’ certainly fought like enemies in their three round middleweight bout, which saw Singer rise from the canvas in the second round score a bloody three round unanimous decision over his buddy.
All three judges saw it 29-28 for Singer, who is now 2-0 in the Octagon.
The pace was measured for much of the first round, with Singer holding an early lead until a right head kick literally broke things open and sent Haynes to the mat with what appeared to be a broken nose.
After surviving the round, Haynes waded back into battle in the second round, and Singer’s crisper standup technique continued to dominate as Haynes swung wildly, looking for the haymaker that would equal things up. With a little over three minutes left, Haynes got a takedown, but after Singer failed with a quick triangle attempt, Haynes decided to take his chances on the feet. And a minute later, Haynes hit paydirt with a looping right hand that dropped Singer to the mat. He pounced on his foe, but Singer survived and now both fighters were covered in Haynes’ blood.
Singer was the fresher of the two leading into the final round, and he shot a series of punches down the middle which bloodied Haynes’ face again and caused referee John McCarthy to call a halt to the action for the doctor to check him out. Upon resuming, Singer kept the heat on but the courageous Haynes wouldn’t wilt as he looked for another big right hand to change things around. Two and a half minutes in, Haynes slipped to the mat and Singer followed in search of a rear naked choke, but Haynes fought his way back into his opponent’s guard briefly before the two stood and McCarthy again brought the doctor in, but again, Haynes was allowed to continue and he lasted the distance by simply showing a ton of heart from bell to bell.
Thiago Alves kept the fans in his adopted home state of Florida happy as he pounded out a three round unanimous decision over John Alessio, who is still looking for his first UFC win after three tries.
Scores were 30-27 across the board for Alves, who moves to 3-2 in the Octagon and 16-4 overall. Alessio falls to 23-10.
Alves was the more effective of the two fighters in the first round as he landed with kicks, knees and elbows at various points throughout the stanza as Alessio was unable to mount any sort of offensive against the Florida favorite.
Alessio opened up with his hands in the second round, but his punches were more flashy than effective, though they did allow him to bull Alves into the fence in search of takedowns that were repeatedly foiled by ‘The Pitbull’. With under two minutes left, Alves’ leg kicks paid off as he was able to get on top of a hurt Alessio and tee off on his foe until ‘The Natural’ got out of danger and stood up. Surprisingly, it was seconds later that Alessio got his first takedown, though Alves quickly stood and waited out the rest of the round.
The most damaging kick in the early stages of the third round was a shot by Alves to the cup, but after a short break the Brazilian went back to legal blows effectively, with Alessio firing back at close range. Alves was quicker on the draw though and he continued to potshot his foe, who was game, but ran out of time.
In the welterweight opener, Marcus ‘The Irish Hand Grenade’ Davis earned his first UFC victory by submitting Forrest Petz at the end of a frantic first round that saw Davis fight off a bad cut on his nose to right his ship and sink in a fight ending guillotine choke.
Davis was effective early with solid knees and kicks while in the clinch with Petz and his good fortune continued on the outside as he used the skills picked up from his days as a pro boxer. But ‘The Meat Cleaver’ wouldn’t back up and he eagerly went toe to toe with his foe on the inside, opening up a torrent of crimson from the bridge of his nose with a knee.
With blood covering his face, Davis took Petz to the mat and tried to pound Petz out, but the Ohio native survived and rose to his feet. Davis wouldn’t be denied though, and he sunk in a guillotine choke and pulled guard with the seconds ticking away on the round. Petz hung tough and tried to last out the round, but finally tapped out at the 4:58 mark.
“I was very worried that the referee was gonna stop the fight,” said Davis, “but I didn’t give up. I dug deep.”