You see, the event was in honor of U.S. troops and sought donations to the Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund.
Said Josh Koscheck to the troops after his main event bout: "What an honor to fight in front of all you guys out there."
Well said, Kocheck. Now onto the fights.
Former IFL standout Jim Miller took on Matt Wiman to start things off. Wiman was coming off of a big knockout over Thiago Tavares. The question was, would he be able to keep this fight upright?
No. And during the fight it became clear that Miller could handle himself on his feet anyway.
The first round saw Miller hurt Wiman early with strikes to the point that his adversary attempted a takedown. Of course, anytime you play that game with Miller it could be game time, as was almost the case here when Miller sunk in a very tight guillotine on his opponent and moved to the mount. But Wiman simply refused to tap and eventually moved to guard. Then came some strong ground and pound before Wiman got to his feet.
Before the bell, Miller landed a very strong body kick.
The second round saw Miller do a good job on his feet despite his opponent's aggressiveness there, and eventually he gained a single leg takedown. Some ground and pound followed before the bell.
The final round again saw Wiman come out aggressively again on his feet, landing some decent shots. Soon after, Miller gained a takedown that Wiman eventually got to his feet from. Though Wiman connected with a strong knee while on their feet, the former IFL standout once again got the fight to the canvas where he took his opponent's back for a brief moment.
A clear victory for Jim Miller, a fighter to watch in the UFC.
Jim Miller wins via unanimous decision.
The next fight saw Tim Credeur take on Nate Loughran. Early in this battle, Credeur proved capable of keeping this fight on the feet and landing shots. In fact, his jab and right straight proved strong enough to net him the initial stanza easily.
The second round saw Loughran come out with his guns blazing, landing a punch and leg kick. But then he went for a takedown that Credeur easily sprawled out of, causing Loughran to pull guard. There, Credeur cut him around the left eye with ground and pound strikes. Though the referee stood the two up, Loughran continued to get the worse end of the deal.
After the bell, Loughran told the referee he was unable to continue.
Tim Credeur wins via TKO after round two.
Steve Cantwell proved himself in the WEC before coming over to the UFC, whereas Razak Al-Hussan had yet to prove himself on a main stage coming in. Would Cantwell's experience with lots of eyes focused on him prove helpful?
Early on, Al-Hussan pushed the pace with solid jabs and front kicks. But soon after, Cantwell began hitting home with punches. Eventually, he tripped Al-Hussan to the mat and moved to side control. Then he moved to mount and sunk in the armbar. Though Al-Hussan tried to roll out, his attempt did not bear fruit. Still, he was a tough guy that waited for Mario Yamasaki to stop the bout.
Steve Cantwell wins via TKO (armbar) at 4:04 of round one.
Remember when Mike Swick used to knock people out before you even turned the television set on? Well, here goes.
Almost immediately, Swick threw a flurry of punches at Jonathan Goulet that connected and dropped him. Goulet tried to grab a leg and regain his senses, but Swick was having none of it, connecting with furious hammerfists and and punches until the referee pulled him off.
Mike Swick wins via KO after 33 seconds in round one. Call the man "Quick" again?he deserves it.
Finally came the main event of the night. Coming into this one, many people?this writer included?felt that Yoshiyuki Yoshida would look good, even if Josh Koscheck would win.
Well, very early on he did. Along those lines, Yoshida utilized high, body, and low kicks effectively in the initial stages. But then Koscheck's improved striking skills and overall athleticism showed through, as he connected with a hard right hand that dazed his opponent before ending things with a brutal right hand that put Yoshida out cold.
Josh Koscheck wins via KO at 2:15 of round one.
UFC: Fight for the Troops was a good night of fights with some exciting endings. First, there was the whole point behind the night: To help troops. That alone made the event worthwhile. Further, Jim Miller proved to be a guy to watch in the lightweight division, Steve Cantwell showed his stuff to a new crowd of fans, and both Mike Swick and Josh Koscheck showed the world that standing with them for any length of time is dangerous.
In fact, everytime Josh Koscheck throws a punch these days you almost wince. It's amazing how much better his striking skills have gotten since his TUF days.
1. Justin McCully def. Eddie Sanchez via unanimous decision
2. Dale Hartt def. Corey Hill via TKO (injury) - R2 (0:20)
3. Ben Saunders def. Brandon Wolff via TKO (strikes) - R1 (1:49)
4. Steve Bruno def. Johnny Rees via submission (RNC) - R2 (3:44)
5. Luigi Fioravanti def. Brodie Farber via unanimous decision
6. Jim Miller def. Matt Wiman via unanimous decision
7. Tim Credeur def. Nate Loughran via TKO (submission) - R2 (5:00)
8. Steve Cantwell def. Razak Al-Hassan via TKO (armbar) - R1 (4:04)
9. Mike Swick def. Jonathan Goulet via TKO (strikes) - R1 (0:33)
10. Josh Koscheck def. Yoshiyuki Yoshida via KO - R1 (2:15)