The AllState Arena was packed to the gills this Saturday, October 25th, 2008. The sold out crowd that produced a record breaking 2.8 million dollar gate featured some entertaining fights.
I had floor seats with a couple friends and we were delighted to get to meet and greet with Dan Henderson, Mark Coleman and Hermes Franca. Others in attendence were Matt Hughes, Dan Severn, Jeff Samardzija, Clay Guida, Rashad Evans, Georges St. Pierre and other UFC stars.
The Chicago crowd left somewhat dissappointed as there were 6 decisions and 3 to start the show, and a main card bout that featured one of the odder title fights in some time. There weren't as many fans booing as many are making it out to be. It wasn't any different than a Las Vegas, England, Ohio or any other crowd.
Pete Sell def Josh Burkman via Decision (Unanimous)- Sell looked quick and sharp as he outdueled Burkman. Sell is a guy that could move up the ladder at 170.
Hermes Franca def Marcus Aurelio via Decision (Unanimous)- Hermes ran into Aurelio before the fight even started, creating more buzz about the fight. Unfortunately, it was pretty slow as there was alot of circling and not much action.
Dan Miller def Matt Horwich via Decision (Unanimous)- This fight turned into mainly a grappling match as Miller ground out a unanimous decision.
Spencer Fisher def Shannon Gugerty via Sub (Triangle Choke) R3, 3:56
Thales Leites def Drew McFedries via Sub (Rear Naked choke) R1, 1:18- Leites was able to stop the one-dimensional McFedries with a quick submission.
Sean Sherk def Tyson Griffin via Decision (Unanimous)- This was a pretty entertaining fight as Sherk almost got the victory in the first with a rear naked choke. Sherk controlled the rest of the fight getting takedowns and landing punches.
Junior dos Santos def Fabricio Werdum via TKO (Punches) R1 1:21- This fight ended quickly, with Junior dos Santos crushing Werdum's shot at a top contender spot. Dos Santos used a right uppercut to strike Werdum clean sending him to the canvas.
Gray Maynard def Rich Clementi via Decision (Unanimous)- Maynard frustrated Clementi throughout the fight with superior wrestling. Maynard tried to work ground and pound, but really didn't do much damage.
Thiago Alves def Josh Koscheck via Decision (Unanimous)- Alves dominated the fight from start to finish dropping Koscheck with a left hand in the first. He threw snapping leg kicks throughout the fight keeping Koscheck off balance. Koscheck was tough throughout, occasionally landing shots. Alves however reigned supreme, making it one step closer to a title shot.
Anderson Silva def Patrick Cote via TKO (Injured knee) R3 0:39- Silva and Cote started out tenative with Cote trying to attack Silva with punches. Silva was content to counter, throwing kicks and jabs.
Silva continued to play the counter game circling and throwing power shots. Silva was able to catch Cote with a kick across the jaw and body kicks. Near the end of the round, Anderson was able to get a takedown.
In the third, was bouncing to set up a shot when it looked like his right knee buckled. In a bit of confusion, the fight was called. Many around me were asking what the heck had happened. With 6 fights going to decision and 5 hours of fights, the crowd was not pleased at the result of the main card bout. Anderson did look impressive at stretches, but there was some inactivity. I have a feeling Anderson will put on a nasty display in his next bout.
*All photos taken by MMA Blaster