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UFC 85: Bedlam Review

UFC 85: Bedlam came to us all live from the O2 Arena in London, England on June 7th. On one hand, the card didn't look as stellar as the others the UFC had put out this year coming in. On the other hand, there was this guy by the name of Matt Hughes trying to right his last wrong against up and comer Thiago Alves in the main event.

Besides, what an event looks like coming in doesn't matter. The question? What would people be saying about the card afterwards?

"This is gonna be a tough fight. Werdum's no punk. He doesn't quit, he doesn't stop," said Brandon Vera before taking on Fabricio Werdum in the first televised fight of the night. Would the abundance of respect help Vera in this one or hurt him?

After a feeling out process, the two traded hard punches inside. From there, they spent a lot of time in the clinch, where Vera clearly landed the better knees. But then Werdum dropped down and took his opponent to the ground in a very fast and efficient move, following that up with some reasonable ground and pound, including elbows to the body and head. But surprisingly, Vera was able to push him off with his legs. Though Werdum immediately grabbed a leg again, he got nailed in the face for his efforts.

Then came a hard left by Vera that hurt his opponent. "The Truth" then followed that up with a hard elbow. Smartly, Werdum chose to close the distance and then tripped his opponent to the canvas beautifully. From there, he moved to the mount position.

As Werdum rained down punches on Vera, who was covering up, the referee stopped the fight with only 20 seconds left in the round. Vera immediately began to complain about the stoppage. Should they have let it go on some? Probably. That said, Vera was in a load of trouble.

Fabricio Werdum wins by TKO at 4:40 of round one.

Next up was a very interesting match up between Nate Marquardt and Thales Leites. In fact, an argument could have been made that this would be the most competitive match coming in. So would Leites achieve his second career loss, or would Marquardt put himself back on a championship track?

The fight started off very slowly with an extended feeling out process. But then Marquardt started coming forward quickly?perhaps too quickly?and got nailed with a very hard right that floored him. Leites followed him down, mounting him immediately. But Marquardt recovered quickly enough to fight his way to half guard and then out of trouble to his feet.

Outstanding work.

Marquardt did well for the rest of the round and even dizzied his opponent with a hard right uppercut, followed by a flurry. Who wins the round? Probably Leites? due to the knockdown. But the uppercut at the end erased any thought of a two- point stanza for Leites.

The second round started off with a nice body punch by Marquardt. After some clinch work by both, Nate "The Great" took his opponent down. But as Leites tried to get to his feet, he was kneed to the head while one of his knees was still down. Thus, he was given a five- minute rest.

What's worse for Marquardt, a point was taken.

Marquardt came out charging after the break, attacking and taking Leites down. From there he really started giving it to adversary in ground and pound fashion. Leites' nose was bleeding badly?must be broken.

Along with this, Marquardt landed a very hard right on his adversary just after the 2:00 mark, dropping in from a standing position.

Despite some reasonable action afterwards on Marquardt's part, the fight was stood up with around 30 seconds left in the second.

As the stanza came to a close, Marquardt was too aggressive in looking for a takedown and ended up being mounted momentarily by his adversary before gaining the half guard position. Then came the bell.

This might have been a two point for Marquardt, which would nullify the point he lost and give him the round anyway. Leites was bleeding rather terribly between rounds.

The third round saw Marquardt connect with some body shots and then take Leites down. Interestingly, Leites almost achieved a triangle before his opponent beautifully stepped over and out of the move. From there, Marquardt connected with an elbow to the side of the head. Unfortunately for him, the referee?Herb Dean?believed that it was to the back of the head. Thus, a point was taken.

Marquardt isn't doing well with the referee, here. Of course, the point taken in the second round was his own fault.

From there, a hard right by Leites was followed by a nice knee by Marquardt. Then Marquardt connected with a hard right. The two traded some punches before Marquardt took Leites down again. For the majority of the rest of the fight, Nate "The Great" rained down some heavy ground and pound that got his opponent's nose blood flowing again.

At the tail end of the stanza, Leites grabbed a leg looking to take his adversary to the canvas. Unfortunately for him, Marquardt picked him up and literally executed a pile driver. He followed the stunning move with a hard knee to the face.

Hard fight to call. If you give Leites the first stanza, give Marquardt the second by one point (as it may have been a two point round for him but he lost a point), and give Marquard the final stanza (one where he lost a point)? that makes for a tie. That's what should go down?a draw.

But the judges see things differently.

Thales Leites wins via majority decision in an absolutely outstanding fight where Leites showed a lot of heart and his opponent showed some serious skills.

Next up was a match between Jason Lambert and Luiz Cane. Coming off of a loss via stoppage, how would the ultra powerful Lambert respond?

Luiz Cane started things off with a nice left before Lambert bull rushed and clinched with him. That said, "The Punisher," couldn't get him to the ground and ended up eating some knees and punches inside. Once the two separated, Lambert came rushing forward again, looking to maul his opponent. Unfortunately for him, Cane connected with a hard left that floored him. From there, Lambert got to his feet but was dropped once again.

Again, he got to his feet.

But the third time was a charm as Cane landed another hard left that dizzied his Lambert and left him reaching for legs on the floor. This time, Herb Dean smartly stepped in.

Luiz Cane wins via TKO at 2:07 of round one.

Next up was a match between former TUF stars Marcus Davis and Mike Swick. Said Davis beforehand: "The best Mike Swick better show up tonight because tonight he's facing the strongest, the fastest, the best Marcus Davis that there's ever been in his whole fighting career."

Davis started things off with a nice right and some low kicks. From there, the two clinched. Davis threw Swick nicely, but the man they call, "Quick," got right up and then took Davis down. For the rest of the round, Swick tried to improve his position and demonstrated some mild ground and pound. Davis did start bleeding, but this was more a result of extreme scar tissue from his boxing days than the shots he sustained.

In the second, Davis landed a hard left hand to start things off. However, Swick connected with a hard high kick to the head and eventually followed that up with a takedown. From there, Swick continually looked to improve his position without much in the line of ground and pound going on. Davis started looking for a Kimura. Though he wasn't really in a position to pull it off, the attempt did help him get to his feet where he landed a hard left and then a combination before pressing his opponent up against the fence. Then Davis landed another right- left combination, and followed that up with some good uppercuts. The two tradeed some knees before Davis secured the takedown.

From there, a triangle attempt by Swick was quickly thrown to the side, but worried Davis enough to get to his feet. Swick then tripped "The Irish Hand Grenade" to the ground hard and got to side control before the bell.

Swick landed a hard knee early on in the final stanza. The two then traded some decent shots sporadically, with Davis clearly looking for the big shot. That said, Swick landed most of the better shots for the majority of the stanza. However, after a takedown by Davis was proven to be short lived, Davis went for another and Swick grabbed the fence.

Between round the referee had warned the two that he would begin to start taking points from them if they did that. He wasn't kidding?Mike Swick lost a point.

But then Swick took Davis down. This time, having lost the point, Swick really began hitting home with some very hard ground and pound. Though Davis was bleeding big time from a cut below the eye, he fought back hard from his back. And that's how the round ended.

Mike Swick may have won all three rounds. Thus, the inevitable, even with the lost point.

Mike Swick wins via unanimous decision.

Next up was England's favorite son Michael Bisping vs. Jason Day. "I feel that I can go in there and give anyone on this planet a good fight," said Bisping before this bout. Of course, the hometown crowd wasn't looking for a good fight. They were looking for a big Bisping win. Would he deliver?

This fight started off with both fighters hitting home with sporadic shots. However, early on Day looked a little bit crisper.

But then they clinched, and Bisping eventually took him down. That's when the ferocious ground and pound started. We're talking vicious, people. And Bisping's furious assault eventually allowed him to gain side control. Though Day somehow managed to get up from there, he ate a knee on the way up and was put right back down to the canvas for his effort. With Day turtled up, Bisping continued the crazy ground and pound assault. Day simply had no answer for the British fighters' fury.

But the referee did?he stopped the fight.

Michael Bisping wins via TKO at 3:42 of round one.

"He's gonna try and take me down and ground and pound me. That's his game," said Thiago Alves before taking on Matt Hughes. Hughes wasn't hiding his game plan, either. "I'm gonna get him on the ground and I'm gonna beat him up?the bottom line." Another classic grappler versus striker match up, eh? Of course, with the exception of Georges St. Pierre, no one has ever been able to stop Hughes from taking them down with any consistency.

Would Alves be any different?

Hughes shot in for an early takedown and missed. Another takedown try got him a knee in the face for his efforts. That said, Hughes continued to move Alves into the cage where he eventually pulled guard. Alves landed some nice shots from the top and then got up. But that didn't stop Hughes from going for another takedown, with blood pouring from his face.

This time he got it. After hitting home with some elbows to Alves' ribs, he began to have some difficulty holding his opponent in position. Still, he continued looking for a better position unsuccessfully. Then Alves managed to get to his feet. Though Hughes went for another takedown, he couldn't get it. Thus, Hughes pulled Alves into his guard again where he received some hard ground and pound style punishment from his adversary.

In the second round, Alves nailed Hughes with a knee as he went for a takedown. Hughes pulled guard again. Alves hit home with some ground and pound, got up, and then nailed Hughes with a hard knee to the shoulder. When Hughes fell, his knee buckled underneath him.

And a couple of strikes later, it was all over.

Thiago Alves wins via TKO at 1:02 of round two.

UFC 85 was an interesting and rather fun event. Nate Marquardt was defeated by Thales Leites in a strange fight that he clearly dominated. Still, would he have dominated the action had he not landed that illegal knee to the face? Michael Bisping looked great, as did Mike Swick and Fabricio Werdum. That said, it was Thiago Alves' night, as he proved that he just might be the future at 170.

Matt Hughes may have only one fight left in him, people. And that one's against Matt Serra.

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