Full coverage after the jump.
All of the controversy surrounding Nate Marquardt is completely overshadowing tonight’s UFC card in Pittsburgh, PA. And frankly I don’t blame the media, because the card is kinda weak and Pat Barry vs. Cheick Kongo has a high possibility of being the worst main event of all-time. At 5 PM PT Versus will tell us more about “Nate-gate” and the whole fiasco. There’s no concern over weight cutting as rumored yesterday, but the PA Athletic Commission have not disclosed much more in regards to his failed medical clearance. That will be updated before the live broadcast tonight at 9 PM ET/6 PM PT. Oh, we have fights too. The preliminary card is being streamed on Facebook so I will not cover any fights from there that show up on the TV portion of the event. But to be kind to those who didn’t watch, I won’t spoil the results beforehand.
– The reason why Charlie Brenneman was able to fight Rick Story, according to Ariel Helwani, is that he’d have been paid for making weight this weekend (he had a fight scheduled but was later scrapped earlier in the week due to opponent injury). So that’s conspiracy #1 eliminated.
– PA State Athletic Commission Head says that they gave Marquardt plenty of chances and as much time to “pass” the test but he didn’t so the fight had to be pulled.
– Marquardt is suspended indefinitely by the PAAC but they won’t disclose the medical issue due to “the rules”. ARGH!!!!!!
– Dana White is on with the Versus crew. He found out about the news on Thursday. Otherwise, he isn’t telling us anything we don’t already know. Tells us he’s pissed off, I got nothing from this. No more updates.
– Nate Marquardt just tweeted that he will tell the world what happened on Tuesday. Yippee!
– Reports surfacing from Dr. Johnny Benjamin that Marquardt declined to take a drugs test. Oh boy.
Two Preliminary Card Results I Will Spoil
Javier Vasquez def. Joe Stevenson via Unanimous Decision (goodbye Stevenson)
Tyson Griffin def. Manny Gamburyan via Majority Decision
Matt Mitrione vs. Christian Morecraft
John Howard vs. Matt Brown
Charlie Brenneman vs. Rick Story
Pat Barry vs. Cheick Kongo
Mitrione TKO 1
Howard TKO 2
Kongo ugly UD with Barry’s testicles absolutely crushed
Matt Mitrione vs. Christian Morecraft
Round 1 – Fight time! Morecraft pawing with the left early. Morecraft is so flabby in the stomach area. Knee to the midsection by Mitrione. Straight left drops Morecraft and Mitrione waves him back up. Morecraft comes lunging in with punches and misses on all of them. Now he get a decent left to the temple. Missed high kick by Morecraft. Leg kick lands, though. Mitrione moving in and out. Halfway through the 1st round. Good right by Morecraft but Mitrione seems unfazed. Mitrione responds with a left that stuns him. Morecraft got punched in the neck and he just stopped fighting. Ref tells him to continue as it’s not illegal. Huge left and Mitrione hurts Morecraft. Oopsies. Mitrione is on the bottom as he tried to pounce for the kill. Morecraft is in survival mode. Now they stand up with 10 seconds left in the round. And now those 10 seconds are up. 10-9 Mitrione
Round 2 – This is not a fight I want to see go the distance. Morecraft should be finished. Mitrione warned about kicking to the groin. Not much happening and now they clinch and release. Mitrione attempts a flashy head kick that misses. Does Morecraft even know how to defend the left hand? He is getting whacked with that punch constantly. Takedown by Morecraft. Oh boy. Mitrione is back to his feet but against the cage. Got him down again. This is lay-and-pray at it’s finest. Stand them up, ref. Yep. 1:15 left. Again Mitrione lands the straight left and now avoids the takedown attempt. Morecraft is breathing heavily. HUGE THREE PUNCH COMBINATION BY MITRIONE AND MORECRAFT IS DONE! Right hand, left hand, right hand, mouthpiece was gone and Morecraft was finished. Matt Mitrione def. Christian Morecraft via KO (punches) at 4:28 of round 2.
John Howard vs. Matt Brown
Round 1 – Loser leaves the UFC for sure. Early leg kicks by Doomsday Howard. And again. They clinch and Brown looking to land some knees to the inside. They separate as Brown throws a high kick. Howard tried a takedown and ended up on the bottom. Now they’re back up. STANDANDBANG people! Another leg kick by Howard. Brown jabs and Howard counters with another leg kick. Good strikes by Brown and then he lands a knee. Howard presses Brown against the cage. He gets him down but only for a moment. Halfway through the 1st. Howard is getting hurt by these knees. Now Brown has top control looking for a d’arce choke. It’s tight from the TV angle but he lets it go, Howard gets back up and now Howard dumps Brown on his backside. Howard going for a submission but Brown avoids it and they sand up again. Why is Howard obsessed with the takedown? Close round. 10-9 Howard
Round 2 – If Howard keeps up with these takedown attempts this fight will suck. Brown has his takedown stuffed, Howard tries to take his back and slips out and they’re back to their feet. Howard is trying a single and frankly this fight does suck. Brown tries a standing guillotine to no avail. Howard looks gassed and Brown lays on top of Howard. Crowd is booing and so am I. The ground battle is kinda futile. Minute left. Howard goes for the leglock and can’t get it and now he sweeps him. Now he has to watch for a triangle, Brown switches to an omoplata but Howard seems fine. Round ends. 10-9 Brown and 19-19 even on my card.
Round 3 – Howard starts the round by returning to the leg kick gameplan. Brown takes Howard down. Oh no. Two guys with suspect grappling ability are grappling. Howard is up. Now has Brown’s back. He’s struggling to get him down and frankly the commentators have stopped talking. This is one of the worst gameplans I’ve ever seen. Howard again is trying for the slam and can’t get him down. Now they separate and Brown pops him with a punch and then a knee. 90 seconds left. Howard gets the takedown. I’m sorry this fight is truly one of the worst of the year. Is it over yet? Nope. And Brown is probably going to win this. Howard tries to get a kimura but ….whatever. Fight is over and I give the round and fight to Matt Brown. 10-9 Brown and 29-28 Brown on my scorecard.
OFFICIAL DECISION: Matt Brown def. John Howard by Unanimous Decision (29-28 across the board)
Charlie Brenneman vs. Rick Story (Co-Main)
Round 1 – Hopefully this battle won’t be as wretched as the previous one. Story tosses Charlie down immediately from the clinch but Brenneman gets back up. Crowd cheering for the local boy Brenneman. Whoa Story is taken down by Brenneman. Now they’re back to standing and trading. Good straight right by Brenneman and now he takes him down and has top position!!! Now he advances to side control. Holy crap. Now back to half guard. Now he’s in Story’s closed guard looking to land some punches. Referee warns them for lack of action. Minute left in the round and it’s almost all Charlie Brenneman. Not a whole lot of action but Brenneman takes the round. 10-9 Brenneman
Round 2 – Single-leg takedown by Brenneman but Story tries to sweep but to no avail. Story is looking for a guillotine from the bottom but doesn’t have enough leverage. Brenneman is in north-south as he rotates, they scramble and are back to their feet. Story throws a knee to the chest and they clinch up again. Story is taken down again!! I can’t believe this. Huge upset we’re looking at here. Nate Marquardt just derailed his own hype train and possibly Story’s by pulling out. Brenneman is trying to advance from full guard but Story is preventing it. Brenneman jumps to side control as Story tries for a guillotine. Now he’s in half-guard but Story still…nope, let’s go of the guillotine. Story looks gassed. Brenneman does pass again to side control. Story needs a miracle. 20-18 Brenneman
Round 3 – Story tries to go balls to the wall crazy and instead gets taken down. He’s trying to isolate Brenneman’s left arm for either a kimura or an armbar. Story can’t pull it free though. Not yet. “Show me something” says the ref. AND HE STANDS THEM UP IN THE MIDDLE OF A FREAKING SUB ATTEMPT! Terrible. Story whiffs on an uppercut and is taken down again. Now Brenneman is looking for a triangle from the top and he loses position! But now Brenneman is defending from the bottom. He’s still trying to lock up the triangle but he slips out again and Brenneman escapes! But Story is on top! 90 seconds left and Story is landing several punches. STORY GETS FULL MOUNT! Slams him three times with 1 minute remaining! Brenneman hip escapes and reverses position! 20 seconds to go! Man this round has been fun. Story is going for the kimura again but he has no wrist control and he’s going to lose this. 10-9 Story but 29-28 Brenneman on my final scorecard.
OFFICIAL DECISION: Charlie Brenneman def. Rick Story via Unanimous Decision (29-28 across the board). WOW!!!!
Pat Barry vs. Cheick Kongo (Main Event)
Round 1 – O/U on Kongo nut-shots is set at 4. No touch of gloves. Here we go! Barry with a looping right that misses. Leg kick by Pat. Barry just tried a takedown oh my goodness don’t do it again. Another leg kick. Kongo replies with a leg kick of his own. And another one. Good straight right by Kongo. Barry checks two leg kicks. BIG RIGHT HAND DROPS KONGO!!!!!! KONGO IS ALL OVER THE PLACE AND ANOTHER RIGHT DROPS HIM!!! BARRY CAN’T FINISH! KONGO IS UP BUT WOBBLY!!! HOW IS HE STILL UP?! AND KONGO FIRES A RIGHT AND KNOCKS OUT PAT BARRY COLD!!!!! HOLY CRAP!!!! HOLY (EXPLETIVE)!!!!!!!! DO YOU BELIEVE THAT?!!! Cheick Kongo def. Pat Barry via KO (punch) at 2:39 of round 1. I seriously cannot believe that just happened.
The heavyweights and Charlie Brenneman were the highlight of this card. Good night folks. GIF coming tomorrow.