This is the live blog for all the undercard action in tonight's Ultimate Fighting Championship event, highlighted by Josh Burkman vs. Karo Parisyan. The pay-per-view broadcast has begun, and we'll provide news and commentary on all the undercard fights right here. Refresh this page often for updates.
As soon as the undercard is finished, head on over to the Chuck Liddell-Quinton "Rampage" Jackson main event live blog, where we'll have round-by-round coverage of what may be the most anticipated fight in the history of American mixed martial arts.
After a brief glitch in the DirecTV HD audio, things have gotten underway.
Chris Leben vs. Kalib Starnes: Starnes and Leben have entered the Octagon for the first fight of the pay-per-view broadcast. Starnes was able to get into a clinch early, which is to his advantage, but Leben broke free and landed some strikes. Leben tried to land a kick but slipped, but Starnes was not able to take advantage. Starnes took Leben down in the last minute of the first round and finally took control in the final seconds. Starnes took round 1.
Starnes came out wanting to touch gloves in round 2, but Leben was having none of it. Starnes connected with a big strike and then took Leben to the ground a minute in. Starnes connected with a big strike two mintues into the round. Leben recovered nicely, and Starnes looks more tired. Leben connected with a nice flurry in the final minute of the round. With 10 seconds to go Leben landed a knee to the face. Round 2 goes to Starnes, but Leben looks fresher for round 3.
Leben drilled Starnes in the side and then got him to the ground. Leben probably would have been better off staying on his feet. Starnes showed a nice jiu jitsu reversal when he was on the ground, then landed a big right hand with a minute and a half to go. The crowd started to boo as both fighters got exhausted on the ground toward the end of the third round. Both guys landed some strikes at the end, and we'll go to the judges' scorecards. Starnes won 29-28 on my card and on Eddie Bravo's.
Kalib Starnes wins by unanimous decision.
Keith Jardine vs. Houston Alexander: Thoughts on both as they enter the ring: Alexander, fighting in the UFC for the first time, is about as impressive looking an athlete as you'll ever see, but this isn't a beauty pageant. Jardine ought to trim his beard.
Jardine looks stiff as the fight begins, but he throws a good right hand. With another strike, Alexander was in trouble, but Alexander quickly gained the advantage and landed a series of strikes. A huge uppercut knocked Jardine senseless and sent his mouthpiece flying. Alexander wins by first round knockout just 48 seconds into round 1.
Terry Martin vs. Ivan Salaverry: Martin's entrance music might be the best ever: Michael Jackson's "Billie Jean." Salaverry enters with nothing so impressive. Salaverry landed some nice kicks, but Martin got him to the ground with a harsh throw, landed a couple strikes, and it's over for Salaverry. Martin wins by first round knockout. The announcers are questioning whether the referee stopped the fight too quickly, but I think he made the right call: Salaverry was unable to defend himself as Martin landed a couple of hammer-style punches on the ground. Salaverry could have been badly hurt if the fight hadn't been stopped. Martin used his post-fight interview to talk trash with Anderson Silva.
Josh Burkman vs. Karo Parisyan: I sense that Parisyan could become the next big UFC star. He's an aggressive fighter with a unique style, he's only 24, and the hype surrounding this fight is the most I've ever heard for a UFC undercard matchup. But he's got to get past Burkman right now.
Burkman and Parisyan didn't touch gloves to start the fight, but they did touch foreheads. Both fighters threw haymakers to get things started. Parisyan caught Burkman's leg kick. Burkman is swinging like he wants an early knockout. Parisyan landed a nice right hand and followed it with a high kick but Burkman is showing a good chin. They go to the ground and Parisyan gets on top, and if you're Burkman that's the last place you want to be. But Burkman was able to get up without too much damage. They end the round locked up, and I give the first round to Parisyan.
Early in the second round they're just feeling each other out. Burkman missed with a wild upper cut. Burkman landed a very nice right, but Parisyan recovered quickly and landed a solid couple of punches himself. Parisyan is landing the kinds of leg kicks that will start to sap Burkman's energy. Parisyan got Burkman up against the fence with less than a minute to go in the round, then landed a couple of right hands. Parisyan isn't pressing the issue as much as I'd like, but he definitely won the round.
The cut above Burkman's left eye is looking bad as the third round begins. Parisyan landed a stiff left hand and then a right hook. Burkman got Parisyan pressed against the cage with four minutes to go. Burkman took Parisyan down, but Parisyan looks perfectly comfortable on his back and may have the advantage. They get up with two and a half minutes to go. Burkman is having by far his best round. Parisyan missed with a high kick. They finished the fight against the cage, and we'll go to the judges' scorecards. Parisyan wins on my card. Karo Parisyan wins by unanimous decision.
Now please join me for the Chuck Liddell-Quinton "Rampage" Jackson main event live blog.