Alright guys, we're a little over halfway done with the first fight. I would have gotten to you sooner, but I've been working out some wireless issues and swearing. Don't worry, it looks like my troubles are shot. Knock on wood.
NICK CATONE VS JESSE FORBES
Nick Catone and Jesse Forbes have one round to go and I'm telling you, if you've never seen an MMA event live and in person, it's a whole different ballgame.
I'm at the second table from the cage and the sound of the shots landing is surprisingly loud and sharp. These guys are pros and when a clean strike finds its mark, you know it hurts.
The seats are full. I heard the lady behind the ticket counter literally sell the LAST ticket in this entire building.
The horn just sounded and the first fight is done. It was almost exclusively stand-up and the crowd appreciated that.
The judges scored the fight a split decision for Nick Catone. Great fight.
GERALD HARRIS VS JOHN SALTER
Gerald Harris and John Salter are in their first round of battle. Harris just landed a stiff right, but Salter continues to push forward. They are feeling each other out a little and the crowd doesn't appreciate it. Harris just stuffed a single-leg takedown and we're in the last 30 seconds.
Rounds over. Crowd is booing. I think they are overreacting a little. They do seem to like the ring girl, though.
A drunk guy is yelling for Harris to slam Salter. I'm sure if he could, he would.
Salter lands a nice right followed by a good exchange. Salter's nose is bleeding.
Harris stuffs another takedown and starts pecking away at Salter.
Harris with another nice stick. Salter is bleeding and sucking wind.
End of round two.
Harris comes out swinging again and Salter opts for the takedown attempt. Harris ends up on top and Salter might be in trouble.
Salter is in real trouble and it's over! Harris finished him up with some solid ground and pound and I couldn't hear myself think for second over the crowd. Wow.
RAPHAEL DOS ANJOS VS KYLE BRADLEY
Raphael dos Anjos and Kyle Bradley about to throw down.
All stand-up and Bradley just took a low blow. Quick pause and dos Anjos gets the takedown. He's working from the top, but I don't see him landing anything clean.
They're back up and dos Anjos lands a clean kick to the mid-section followed by a nice hook.
Oh, man! Dos Anjos almost finishes Bradley, but he's saved by the bell. Wow, gotta wonder if he's going to come back out at 100% after that.
Dos Anjos gets the takedown in the second minute of round two. He's going for the kimura, but can't get it. He transitions to the north / south position and continues to work for that kimura. Bradley rolls out and they are back up.
Bradley lands an uppercut and stuns dos Anjos for a second. They are back to the ground with dos Anjos on top. He's landing some good shots. Bradley, again, is lucky that the round ends.
The third round opens with a nice takedown from dos Anjos. Bradley isn't doing much more than surviving.
They are back up, but not for long. Dos Anjos slams Bradley back to the mat. Less than a minute to go and it doesn't look good for Kyle Bradley.
Rafael dos Anjos wins by unanimous decision.
RORY MACDONALD VS MIKE GUYMON
Rory MacDonald and Mike Guymon start off with a quick take down from MacDonald.
After some tussling, they are back on their feet. MacDonald is controlling the pace right now and is getting the better of the exchanges.
Guymon fights back with a clean shot, but MacDonald takes him down.
MacDonald sets up for an armbar and gets it! Submission win for MacDonald!
THIAGO TAVARES VS NIK LENTZ
Thiago Tavares and Nik Lentz are going back and forth with Lentz finally getting the takedown.
They are back up and for the moment, Lentz is in control. Tavares looks patient, though.
Tavares locks in a guillotine, but Lentz escapes. Lentz continues to control the fight and Tavares continues to look calm and collected.
Lentz is looking a little winded and the round ends.
Lentz lands a sick, sick leg kick to open round two and Tavares nearly buckles.
Both of these guys keep going for the head-kick and it's an impressive thing to watch.
They are going back and forth now on the feet and Lentz keeps on getting the better of Tavares.
Low blow by Tavares and we take a breather. Man, we've had three of those tonight. Ow.
Lentz takes a hard kick to the gut and they go back and forth.
Tavares is bleeding, but finds his way into Lentz's guard. He's looking to end the round in the top position to score some points with the judges and he manages to do so.
Round three opens with some hard kicks and good exchanges. Tavares knows he needs to turn it up and he bloodies Lentz's nose.
Another low blow from Tavares and the crowd is not happy. Lentz is still down and I'm not sure he's getting up again. That obviously hurt. Poor guy. From all of the male half of mankind to you, Lentz, our sympathies.
He's finally back up and walking around and the fight continues.
Tavares lands a nice kick. Lentz is eating some jabs and he's bloody, but I've got to think the judges will cut him some slack after taking two shots to the package.
Lentz is getting the worst of the standup now and this has been the best round of the night so far.
Tavares raises his arms and takes a lap, to the sound of deep booing.
I'm close enough to LaVar Arrington that I could shake his hand. Just noticed that. This is awesome.
A majority draw! The crowd is NOT happy.
Just got Lavar's autograph. Sweet. I'm a Skins fan, by the way.
RICK STORY VS JESSE LENNOX
Rick Story and Jesse Lennox start swinging. It's back and forth. I'd say Story is getting the best shots in right now.
Lennox scores with some kicks. It's still back and forth. I think Story takes the round.
Story lands first in round two. They go to the ground and Story stays in conrtol.
They are up and Lennox lands a stiff right and a nice kick to the side of Story.
Another exchange and Story takes a high kick. Story comes back and Lennox is bloody.
They finish the round busy and again, I think the nod goes to Story.
Round three and Lennox scores a nice slam. Story takes him up from the ground in a fireman's carry and plants Lennox. Nice. I'll see your slam and raise you a slam.
They scramble up, but Story takes Lennox down again. There's an unlikely triangle attempt from Lennox and they are back up. Lennox is swinging wildly, aware that he's behind.
It goes to the judges and the result is a split decision, although two judges scored it 30-27 for Story. I'm not sure what fight the other guy was watching.
CHRIS LEBEN VS JAY SILVA
Chris Leben and Jay Silva are coming up next. This should be awesome. I can't help myself, I like Leben. He's got heavy hands and he never quits.
Silva goes for a flying knee, but ends up in his guard with Leben on top throwing. Leben has his back and he's working. He puts on a rear naked choke, but decides to keep throwing instead!
He tries the choke again, but he's got too much chin. He's tenacious and keeps digging in. He's got the body triangle locked tight.
Silva doesn't have much to be happy about this round.
Round two starts slow, but they are warming it up a little in the second minute. Leben takes Silva down and he's holding the position, but he can't seem to do much with it.
With a minute left, Leben gets the full mount. Silva gives up his back and Leben takes the shots he can get.
Another round for Leben.
Silva comes out swinging hard in round three. Leben ties him up and stomps the bejeezus out of his foot.
Leben hits a solid leg kick. They clinch against the cage. I think Leben knows he's ahead.
Some quick stand up and another clinch.
Silva hits a knee to the body and they go to the mat. Leben has the positioning and he takes his time and picks his shots. Ten seconds to go and it looks like Leben takes the win.
The Who's "Baba O'Reilly (Teenage Wasteland)" is playing so loud I can hardly feel the keys under my fingers through the vibrations. The screen is literally blurry because of either my skull or the computer humming to the bass in the song. They sure know how to set up the main card.
Bruce Buffer is shaking hands nearby, but he doesn't come to my table. Crap.
AMIR SADOLLAH VS BRAD BLACKBURN
Amir Sadollah and Brad Blackburn are kicking off the big show.
You guys are watching this, right?
They are keeping busy, but it's hard to say who is getting the short end of the stick. Both of these guys are sharp, nice tight strikes, not leaving much of themselves open.
Amir lands and the crowd goes crazy! Big slam!
I think round one goes to Sadollah.
Round two and there's not a lot going on.
Blackburn scores and I got a text message. My buddy saw me on TV. Ha, ha, awesome.
Amir lands what looked like a short elbow from the clinch. Nice sharp snap on that one.
Blackburn gets in a few of his own.
Round three starts. Whoa! Amir wobbles Blackburn with a combination and has the top position.
Amir is maintaining the position and scoring some nice shots. If he holds on I think he's going to take the win in front of his hometown crowd.
Ten seconds to go and Amir is still working! The crowd loves it and Blackburn raises his hand.
Amir Sadollah takes the win via unanimous decision.
TOM LAWLOR VS AARON SIMPSON
I had a chance to talk to Tom last week - ahem, shameless plug of my last article, ahem - and he's a cool dude. Simpson seems like he's got a real chip on his shoulder. This should be a good one.
Lawlor is coming out to Hulk Hogan's old theme! It's pandemonium! Wow!
Lawlor looks fluid so far, but Simpson isn't letting the shots go unanswered completely.
Simpson just ate punches in punches against the cage. That's bound to get in his head.
Lawlor keeps putting it to Simpson and I don't think Simpson has an answer! It's getting more one-sided by the minute.
Round one is over and Simpson has a lot to think about. Lawlor-mania is running wild, brother.
Round two and Lawlor is just a half a step ahead of Simpson at every turn.
It goes to the ground and it looks like Simpson has the advantage for a minute. They go to the feet and clinch against the cage.
Simpson manages to find his mark a few times. This round is a lot closer. It ends with Lawlor clinging to a tight guillotine. Simpson is probably glad when the horn sounds.
Round three and they are standing and trading. Both of these guys are getting tired.
Simpson with a nice, heavy slam. That might help his cause tremendously.
Simpson looks to put the hooks in, but he can't get it. This has been his round so far.
Now he's got the hooks in and has Lawlor's back.
Simpson is using his wrestling to maintain the top position and make sure he takes this round.
The fight ends with a flurry and it goes to the judges.
The judges score it a split decision for Aaron Simpson. The crowd is livid. I've gotta agree.
EFRAIN ESCUDERO VS EVAN DUNHAM
Not a lot of action early in round one. These fighters are feeling each other out and testing the water. No one wants to make a stupid mistake and skip to the main event.
Hold the phone, Efrain has found Dunham with a few shots and Dunham is in trouble. They go the canvas.
It's back to the standup and Dunham shows he's game.
Not the most exciting round of the night. Score it for Efrain for the big exchange.
Round two and Dunham finds Escudero's chin a couple of times after pressuring him into the corner. He's doing a good job of cutting off the ring with his footwork.
Escudero gives up the takedown and Dunham has two minutes to show the judges something.
Dunham lands some nice shots and he's getting the momentum going in his favor.
He locks in a body triangle when Escudero gives up his back. Dunham lands some good shots and takes the round.
Escudero opens the third round with a guillotine attempt, but it doesn't look deep.
They return to the clinch and Dunham takes him down.
Excellent transition into the armbar! Dunham takes the fight!
Escudero was holding his arm as he passed my table. I hope he didn't hold on too long and let himself get hurt. He's got heart, that's for sure.
And now, ladies and gentleman, it's time for the main event of the evening!
NATE DIAZ VS GRAY MAYNARD
I tell you what, Bruce Buffer is excited if no one else is!
Here we go!
Diaz is looking to grab that hand. Him and his brother love to do that. I think it's a great move, I don't know why more guys don't do it.
Diaz tags Gray with a good one. Nate knows boxing.
Nate's reach advantage looks enormous from this close.
Nate is doing a good job avoiding most of the shots. I spoke too soon.
These guys are going at it. nate is trying to get Maynard flustered, taking a page out of his brother's book.
Close round. I'd give it to Diaz, but I could see it going the other way.
Despite their respective ground games, this thing is staying on the feet. Round two is back and forth, but I'd say Diaz is getting the short straw most of the time.
Maynard doesn't want to go to the ground. True to his word, he's looking for the knockout.
Diaz keeps playing charades and Maynard keeps refusing to clinch or entertain the idea of taking the fight to the ground. I'd give round two to Maynard.
The third round looks pretty much like the second. There isn't much that's really landing flush, but that isn't stopping these guys from throwing.
Diaz is staying busier and that might get him this round.
The crowd is booing, but I don't know what else they want from these guys. I don't think there's much left in either guys tank, they left it all out there.
I don't want to make a prediciton, we'll see what the judges come up with.
Gray Maynard takes the split decision, but I don't know how many bragging rights were earned. Two more rounds may have told the tale, but what can you do?
Well, that's a wrap. My adrenal gland has been squeezed dry. Good fights and good night!