Setting a new UFC record with over 21,000 in attendance, UFC 83 had a distinctly different feel. A Canadian feel, if you will, as the event came to us all live from the Bell Centre in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. After being knocked out by Matt Serra the last time they met in a huge upset, St. Pierre would likely benefit from that different feel for sure in his attempt to take revenge on his New York based adversary. As commentator Kenny Florian put it beforehand, "(they) definitely have no love here for Matt Serra in Montreal."
And with that and the understanding that Travis Lutter would also be taking on Rich Franklin in a highly anticipated bout, let's down the appetizers and get to the dinner.
First up was a match between Mac Danzig and Mark Bocek. Said TUF winner Danzig before the bout, "I'm looking to pick my shots, pick him apart, and punish him every time he tries to step in."
The fight started with Bocek taking Danzig down and controlling things for the majority of the initial stanza. That said, Danzig was never really in any danger and toward the end of the round turned Bocek over to deliver a nice flurry of ground and pound.
Still, give the round to Bocek.
A huge right knee by Danzig floored Bocek early in the second round. From there, a rather furious ground and pound onslaught followed that even involved Danzig taking his Brazilian Jiu Jitsu black belt opponent's back for a time. Still, with about 1:30 left in the round, Danzig stood up purposefully, letting his opponent to his feet. Even with this, Danzig shirked another takedown attempt by his adversary and ended up on top raining down punches before the bell.
This one could've been a two point round for the former TUF Champion.
The third started off with Bocek gaining a nice takedown. However, soon after Danzig kicked him off and got to his feet. From there, Danzig nailed his opponent with a hard right knee and later a terrific left jab, opening up a gash over the Canadian's left eye. Later in the round, Danzig tripped Bockek to the canvas and then took his back. From there, he sunk in the rear naked choke.
A great showing for Mac Danzig. Still, Mark Bocek certainly showed some toughness.
Mac Danzig wins via rear naked choke at 3:48 of round three.
Next up was a match between Charles McCarthy and Michael Bisping in the Brit's first fight at 185 pounds. He looked good coming in. But would that mean anything?
In a word, yup.
Basically, this fight went like this. Michael Bisping threw punches early on and Charles McCarthy didn't. Though McCarthy came up with a huge takedown and nearly pulled off the armbar on the ground in the initial stanza, the British fighter got out of trouble and to his feet. From there, he ended the first round with a flurry of punches and knees.
After the bell sounded, McCarthy continued to lay on the canvas, unable to continue. Not a great showing for Charles McCarthy at all.
Michael Bisping wins via TKO after the first round.
Next up was a very interesting fight between Nate Quarry and Kalib Starnes. "It's a pleasure for me to be here fighting in Quebec and I love the city of Montreal and I'm going to put on the best show I can," said Starnes before the fight.
The first round was rather uneventful in that Starnes seem to be backpedaling for nearly the entire round. Quarry landed some good shots and clearly won the stanza, but it was all made hard by his opponent's style.
The second round was more of the same in that Quarry landed several leg kicks to go along with some body and head punches. For a brief moment, Starnes caught his leg and took him down but Quarry was back to his feet before you could count to three. Thus, another clear round for The Rock. Starnes just wasn't looking right.
In the third it was just more of the same. Not sure if Starnes was injured before this one or sick or something, but he just didn't look right at all the whole fight.
Nate Quarry wins via unanimous decision.
Next up was one of the big ones. That's right, Rich Franklin vs. Travis Lutter. "Another fight, another win, and that's what I plan on doing here in April," said Ace before this bout. On the other hand, Lutter said, "I'm gonna beat him up; I'm gonna prove that I can do that."
So let's see who was right.
Franklin landed a hard right early on. However, Lutter grabbed a leg, eventually took him down, and immediately took his back. Franklin worked himself out to half guard before Lutter gained mount and lost the position to half guard again.
Lutter then gained mount again and went for a solid armbar that Franklin escaped from in astounding fashion before getting to his feet. Though Lutter grabbed his leg and looked for a takedown for the rest of the stanza, Franklin countered well and landed a knee before the bell sounded. Lutter won the first round, but Ace showed some prowess on the ground.
The second round was very different. Namely, Franklin connected with several hard knees inside and a big time left high kick. From there, the stand up pounding began, and it only ended when Franklin followed his opponent to the canvas and continually struck him until the referee pulled him off.
Travis Lutter looked very tired in the second round. Conditioning was definitely a factor.
Rich Franklin wins via TKO at 3:01 of round two.
Finally, we came to the main event. Boy was the crowd loud when Georges St. Pierre came into the Octagon to take on Matt Serra. Before this fight, Serra said, "I'm not the guy that tapped last time. I'm not the guy that said uncle. I'm not the guy to get beat down when I shouldn't have gotten beaten down."
Big words. Then again, they were all true. Would Matt Serra be able to shock the world again?
The first round was all Georges St. Pierre. Right off the bat he took Matt Serra down and from there the ground and pound onslaught started. Though the pounding started off slow, the intensity of it increased with time. At the tail end of the stanza, St. Pierre connected with a hard knee to Serra's ribs. A dominant round for the Canadian.
The second round started with much of the same: Georges St. Pierre took his opponent down and began to dominate him. Later in the round, St. Pierre began raining knee after knee into Serra's ribs as the man from Long Island stayed immobile on all fours. Finally, the referee had no choice but to step in.
Georges St. Pierre is the undisputed UFC Welterweight Champion of the world.
Georges St. Pierre wins via TKO at 4:45 of round two.
In the end, UFC 83 was a worthwhile watch for MMA fans. Georges St. Pierre once again showed that when focused, he's the best welterweight fighter in the world. Rich Franklin put to rest all of those overrated chants. And Mac Danzig showed the world that he is truly a force to be reckoned with.