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UFC 102 Recap

Tonight's main event is Randy 'The Natural' Couture v. Antonio 'Minotauro' Nogueira with both pride and a possible future shot at Brock Lesnar on the line. UFC 102 starts RIGHT NOW!

Jardine: "Two guys throwing punches, we'll see who crumbles. I know it won't be me. I'm gonna go out there and take his soul." Thiago Silva seems totally unfazed.

Couture: "At 46 years old, I'm the best fighter I've ever been. We were both champions for a long time and now the fight is finally here." Big Nog looks ready too. It's a big card tonight - everyone from Chris Lebel to The Polish Experiment will be in action. FACE THE PAIN because it's time for UFC 102 from Portland, Oregon!

Mike Goldberg is PUMPED UP about UFC making its Portland debut, and he welcomes us to the Ultimate Fighting Championship. He puts over the legendary credentials of Randy Couture and Antonio Nogueira and says it will be a battle for the ages. Rogan: "Two legends of the sport, two all time greats, Randy's a UFC Hall of Famer, Nogueira a former Pride champion, Couture the ageless wonder, a world class wrestler, of course Minotauro is one of the greatest submissions specialists to ever fight in MMA."

To vote on whether Couture or Big Nog will win, text 1 or 2 to 88222 respectively. They'll update the poll throughout the night. Goldberg is also excited about Thiago Silva and Keith Jardine, and Rogan helps him break it on down. From here they throw to a video package for Demian Maia v. Nate Marquardt, for Chris Leben v. Jake Rosholt, and skip the Polish Experiment's fight with Vera altogether to show us the Rules of the Octagon. That's fine since that fight will probably be first anyway - no need to preview what's going to happen in seconds. Here we go!

* Brandon Vera v. Krzysztof Sosyznski (Light Heavyweight Bout)

It's The Truth versus The Polish Experiment. The winner should be allowed to keep the loser's nickname and Joe Rogan is never allowed to call him that again. Well I know that won't happen but it's nice to imagine it as a stip match. Vera promises that Sos made a big mistake accepting this fight, but Goldberg notes Sos came up quickly during Ultimate Fighter, and he promises "people will be really shocked at the end of this fight." Sos comes out to a song by System of a Down - "Radio/Video." Goldberg actually mentions Soszynski's PRO WRESTLING BACKGROUND.

I love hearing that. He's got the potential to be the Brock Lesnar of the light heavyweight division, and tonight he's looking for his 20th career win. Vera is on his way out now, bopping his head to a Filipino beat. Stitch gets right to work greasing up his eyebrows and he wastes no time getting in the cage, waving to the crowd and getting a nice pop for it. Tale of the tape - 31 to 32, 6'3" to 6'1", 205 to 205 and 78" to 77.5" in reach - just about as even across the board as you can get. Bruce Buffer informs us that we are LIIIIIIIVE and presented by Harley-Davidson. Sos is 19-9-1, 6'1" and fighting out of Temecula, California by way of Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada. Vera is 10-3, 6'3", fighting out of the SIX-ONE-NINE. Our referee in charge is Herb Dean. You ready? LET'S DO IT!

Sos charges right in and they exchange shots, and he eats a stiff body kick right to the liver that makes him back off a bit. Vera is definitely doing damage with the kicks and knees, staying outside, snapping off something nasty any time Sos tries to close the distance. Goldberg compares his striking style favorably to Anderson Silva, even though he notes he hasn't had Silva's success. Sos finally closes the distance and backs Vera all the way into the fence, loading up a few knees as they're clinched up. Vera turns him around and the two break apart.

2:15 to go in R1. Sos has a small cut on his cheek. He blocks a head kick but takes a leg kick. Goldberg: "This is what I mean by how he can methodically pick people apart." Now it's Vera who closes the distance and puts Sos against the cage. Dean is concerned about a nut shot and offers Sos a chance for a timeout but he refuses and Dean reminds Vera to keep it clean. 35 seconds and they break apart. Sos tries to drop levels and take Vera down but just eats some shots for his troubles and gets nothing. Horn sounds and I gotta give Vera the clear 10-9 for this round.

Round two is underway! Sos is again trying to load up a big left, but Vera is more than comfortable hitting him with one before Sos can even think about delivering. Vera's stance also seems better suited to a striking battle, head forward and shoulders down, able to quickly duck a shot and move out of the way. Sos clinches him up against the fence and the crowd starts to lightly boo. Dean issues a warning not to grab the fence. They push away but it's Vera who puts him up against it this time. 3:25 to go in R2.

More boos for just a second. Vera may be looking for a right hook. Any time Sos even attempts to shoot Vera shakes him off with ease. Someone just lost a mouthpiece and Dean calls for time. It was Vera. Dean stops the fight at 2:15 to go in the round so he can put it back in. We resume action! Sos again tries to bull him against the fence, Vera gets away. He comes forward with a shot. Sos goes for a clinch, eats an uppercut, then tries to drop levels for a double and Vera stuffs it. 1:05 left. Sos gets a takedown at last but Vera's back up to a knee almost immediately and the fight stalls, drawing another small round of boos.

With 30 seconds left Vera is up and throwing knees at Sos' legs. Crowd starts cheering with 15 to go, probably just because the round is almost over. Vera fires one or two elbows at the end and the boos are audible between rounds. Scoring this round for Vera too.

R3 underway! Vera tries a spinning strike that pops the crowd but doesn't connect. Sos finally hits Vera with a jab and pushes him towards the fence to fire off some knees. He drops levels again for the double as we pass the one minute mark. Vera nearly catches him with a kimura in the attempt. Sos clinches again and the two exchange knees. 3:10 to go. Rogan of Sos: "He's got to know right now he's losing this fight." Dean calls for more work as they stand there and trade knees. Now it's Vera with a takedown, one that might just seal the deal.

Sos is squirming and trying to get away, but he eats a few shots schoolyard bully style a la Lesnar. Dean issues a warning for a low blow and gives Sos time to recover. The fight's restarted with 1:50 to go. Vera jabs effectively with the right. Sos gets the clinch but takes worse than he can give. Goldberg: "He's pretty much out of gas. Vera's just toying with him." It certainly looks that way - Vera is tagging him with combos easily now. He's bobbing and weaving, dancing around, looks like he could go another round or two. Vera keeps firing off kicks. Sos tries one last flurry that doesn't connect and the horn sounds with boos echoing his direction. Rashad Evans gets a much BIGGER round of boos when he's shown in the crowd.

All three judges score this contest 30-27 declaring the winner by unanimous decision: BRANDON 'THE TRUTH' VERA. "Wish I could have knocked him out guys. Next time! He's a tough dude. I've got great coaches and training partners at 205 who keep me focused. I'm going back to the gym on Monday, working hard, coming back whenever Joe and Dana tell me to get in!"

Rogan thanks him and Vera gets a nice round of applause with a smattering of a couple boos here and there, but not much. Promo for Rich Franklin v. Vitor Belfort and Mirko Cro Cop v. Junior Dos Santos follows - UFC 103 on September 19th. Mike Swick and Martin Kampmann will also fight for a future welterweight title shot on that card.

* Nate Marquardt v. Demian Maia (Middleweight Bout)

Maia is 11-0 with all five of his recent UFC victories coming by submission. Marquardt is no slouch though, having TKO'd both Wilson Gouveia and the aforementioned Kampmann in recent bouts. Maia makes his way to the cage first, high-fiving fans in the stands along the way. Marquardt heads to the Octagon to the strains of HATE ME NOW by Nas... oh wait, just the classical piece it samples from, Carmina Burana. Damn. Tale of the tape from Nate to Demian - 30 to 31, 6'0" each, 185 each, 74" to 72" reach. Maia is in the blue corner, 11-0, 185, fighting out of Sao Paulo, Brazil. In the red corner Marquardt is 31-8-2, 185, fighting out of Denver, Colorado. Our referee in charge is Dave Hagen. Here we go!

Marquardt is in the black trunks, Maia is in the gray, and that's all I have time to say BECAUSE MARQUARDT BLASTS HIM IN THE FACE AND KNOCKS HIM OUT COLD. Marquardt knew he was out, the ref hadn't stepped in yet, but he pulled up instead of landing another shot on the ground. It was the right decision, Hagen was there seconds later. 21 SECONDS INTO R1 - THE WINNER BY KNOCKOUT: NATE 'THE GREAT' MARQUARDT! Marquardt thanks God and the fans.

Rogan: "Take a look at your handiwork here!" Marquardt: "I was working that move with my buddy Duane, thanks Duane for showing me that right before the fight. I'm very happy to be here, I want that belt, if you want someone who can get in there and kick Anderson Silva's butt you're gonna give that shot to me." Silva seems nonplussed, he smiles in the crowd, and the crowd pops for him almost as much as they did for Marquardt. Seems destroying Forrest Griffin has turned the casual fans around on Silva!

* Chris Leben v. Jake Rosholt (Middleweight Bout)

And just like that we're moving on to our third fight of the night! Rosholt earns some points with me by coming out to "My Time" by Fabolous, but Leben won more with me in the pre-fight promo by saying: "You're fighting The Crippler? In his hometown?! You're in fucking trouble buddy!!" Leben bops his way to the ring with reggae on his mind, he's ready FOR A MURDAHHHH!

Leben gets a great pop from his hometown fans. "He's matured a ton since his time on the Ultimate Fighter." I don't think they'd care whether he had or not Rogan, he's their man in the Octagon tonight. "We're going to see a new and improved Chris Leben tonight." That may be the case, but OUT IN THE STREETS, THEY CALL IT MURDAHHHH! Leben to Rosholt - 29 to 26, 5'11" to 6'1", 185 each, 70.5" to 74" in reach. Rosholt is 5-1 in the blue corner and fights out of Las Vegas, Nevada. (Crowd boos.) Leben is 18-5 in the red corner and fights out of Oahu, Hawaii. They love some Crippler tonight! Our ref in charge is Yves Lavigne. (BOOOO.)

R1 is underway! Leven is in red and black trunks, Rosholt's in all white. The latter lands the first leg kick of the contest. A loud LE-BEN chant at 45 seconds in. So far both men seem content to find their range and not push the fight too much. Two minutes in and the crowd is getting slightly impatient. Rosholt tries to come in with a knee and Leben takes him down. Rosholt is getting a little bit bloodied up with Leben riding on top of him landing shots, but he finally gets away. Actually it seems that Leben has some blood coming out of his nose.

Maybe they're both cut - it's hard to tell. Rosholt gets a body lock with about a minute to go, gets him down and takes the mount. He tries to transition to the back but the Leben is defending against it well, although he eats a knee as he stands back up. Leben swings away and Rosholt has to run to avoid it with time expiring in R1. He may not have won on the cards but he certainly won the fans.

Leben lands a HARD solid left at the start of R2, which puts Rosholt on his back in a defensive posture as the crowd chants for the Crippler. Rosholt does manage to land at least one nice elbow from the left side as he tries to squirm away. Leben rides him in the full guard as we near the two minute mark and Lavigne keeps issuing his usual slate of bizarre warnings with no grounding in reality. "Watch the head!" Watch what - watch it get punched?

"Cmon let's work!" He stands them up at 2:30. God I hate Yves Lavigne. Leben is content to fire off a leg kick, it seems casual and loped out there, but it sets up a really nice head kick and at least part of it seems to have caught Rosholt. He backs him up against the fence and stomps on his feet HARD. Rosholt gets aggressive when they separate and he fires away and gets a takedown looking for the transition. Nothing doing. He tries to pull out, Leben fires upkicks, and Rosholt decides to take half guard and play it safe. 20 seconds left. Rosholt lets him up and he pays for it by eating some big shots as time expires. R1 may have been Rosholt's but I'm giving R2 to Leben.

R3 underway! He starts it off with kicks but Rosholt immediately times him into a takedown to half guard. Rosholt's trying to transition and firing off elbows whenever he can. Leben starts to give up his back, goes to back to the ground, but as he does he gives up the choke. Leben starts to tap and Lavigne WAITS FIVE SECONDS BEFORE STOPPING THE FIGHT. Fuck! After the tap, Leben was already out, and Lavigne just FUCKING LEFT IT ON THERE. Leben's body was flopping like a fish out of water. He was out cold and bad. THAT WAS UNACCEPTABLE.

Here's Bruce Buffer. Ladies and gentlemen the end comes at 1:30 of the third round for the winner via submission: JAKE......... ROSHOLT! Apparently Bruce forgot his name, because it takes him forever to spit it out. Pretty nothing post-fight promo - standard thank you to the opponent and he's happy to get his first win in UFC, yadda yadda yadda.

* Tim Hague v. Todd Duffee (Heavyweight Bout)

It's bonus fight time! Tale of the tape for these two behemoths from Hague to Duffee: 26 to 23, 6'4" to 6'3", 263.5 to 251, 76" to 70" reach. Our referee in charge is Mario Yamasaki. Here we go! DUFFEE KNOCKS HIM DOWN AND FINISHES HIM IN JUST SEVEN SECONDS. "That was an appetizer! I want to eat now Dana, let me eat!" Bruce Buffer confirms the time of the KO. The fight was so long the replay was the entire thing.

Goldberg: "THAT IS OFFICIALLY THE FASTEST KNOCKOUT IN UFC HISTORY!!" Rogan lets him know. "Hello world! It feels great. I thought it was six though, are you sure?" Rogan: "I won't argue!" Duffee: "He's tough, he's game, I expect to see him back in here winning some fights - he's a good guy." We see the replay in slow motion of the stiff left jab that leveled his opponent, and that finish that followed. Duffee says he just followed his mom's advice to "live in the moment." We see Couture warming up backstage.

* Keith Jardine v. Thiago Silva (Light Heavyweight Bout)

Silva: "He better bring his tools to the cage, because I'll be looking for the knockout." Rogan: "Keith Jardine is one of the most awkward and unconventional fighters in the UFC. On top of that he's tough as nails!" Well there's only one way to figure out who's tougher, let them hammer each other and see which nail gets pounded down. Silva makes his way to the cage first. Can't say anything about his music as I don't recognize it. Goldberg and Rogan put over how he came from a rough childhood and a lot of adversity and found his way out as a fighter. Crowd pops as the lights go down for Jardine.

"The Underground Forum is secretly waiting for the time he comes in the building to the Techno Viking entrance." We all know which message board JoeRoganDotNet reads! "This guy has had no easy fights in the UFC. He's fought animal after animal." Jardine steps into the Harley Davidson prep point and takes hugs from all of his teammates and training partners before stitch applies the eyebrow grease. 33 to 26, 6'2" to 6'1", 205 each, 76" to 74" for Jardine to Silva in the tale of the tape. Bruce lets us know this is the co-main of the evening. Silva is in the blue corner, 13-1, fighting out of Sao Paulo, Brazil. Jardine is in the red corner. 14-6-1, fighting out of Albuquerque, New Mexico - THE DEAN OF MEAN himself. Our referee for this fight is Herb Dean! You ready to fight? LET'S DO IT!

Jardine charges forward right at the start and snaps off a hard kick to the left knee of Silva. Thiago is already stepping heavy on his front leg. Jardine fires off a body kick and Silva sweeps him to the ground. Jardine spins away and gets back to his feet to the roar of the crowd. 1:15 gone so far. JARDINE GETS ROCKED AND IT'S ALL OVER. Left hook dropped him and Jardine had no response when a left on the ground put his whole body limp. Herb Dean immediately and correctly stepped in for the stoppage. Bruce Buffer will come and make it official.

Buffer - ladies and gentlemen the fight is stopped at 1:35 of the first round for the winner by knockout - THIAGO SILVA! "I came to fight Portland, Oregon! This fight is very important for me, I love to fight here, UFC is my life." Rogan thanks and congratulates him and the crowd gives him a respectful round of applause.

* Ed Herman v. Aaron Simpson (Middleweight Bout)

Time for another bonus fight! No intro no tale of the tape - we jump straight to the action. Herman is firing off head shots effectively in the first minute - really nice combinations and he's stepping in and out to avoid damage in return. Simpson tries a takedown but doesn't follow through and Herman stays on the ground firing upkicks. Herman stands up and Simpson rocks him as he does, then picks him up for a HUGE slam. Simpson backs away again and Herman tries to time a kick as Simpson waits for him to stand up - it nearly works.

Finally Herman just puts his hands behind his head and waits for Simpson to either back off all the way or fully commit. UPKICKS CATCH SIMPSON TWICE. He's wobbling a bit. He recovers as we pass two minutes left in R1. Herman lands another nice combo but Simpson responds with a hard right that puts Herman on the ground defending again. He takes side control. Herman gets back to guard and starts to go for an armbar, but Simpson recognizes it and backs off. Goldberg: "If I'm Simpson I might just let him get up!" 40 seconds to go. Right hand rocks him and Simpson is all over Herman. Herman gets back to guard again. Ref gives a warning as Simpson grabs the shorts. Leg kick by Herman, Simpson lets him up and the horn sounds. Herman is limping over to the corner from the last takedown.

Herman refuses to quit and comes back out for R2 even though Lavigne warns him "protect your knee." Simpson catches him on a kick and throws him down and THAT'S IT as Lavigne stops the fight. His knee gives out the right kick connects. Aaron Simpson wins at 17 seconds of R2. "Give it up for Herman, he's a stud! One at a time. I just want to fight. My days are numbered but I'm taking it one day at a time. MMA Dogma made my cool shirt. Thanks Joe!" We see Ed Herman being helped to the back and we get a preview of the movie "Gamer" just to kill a little time before the main event. Rogan and Goldberg kill more time breaking down the main event.

* Randy 'The Natural' Couture v. Antonio 'Minotauro' Nogueira (Heavyweight Bout)

Nog makes his way to the Octagon first at about 11:56 PM EST. Goldberg reminds us that Frank Mir was the first person to stop him in 38 fights. His theme song tonight is "Gimme Shelter" by the Rolling Stones. Goldberg also reminds us that this is only the second three round fight Couture has had in his UFC career. The lights go out at 11:59 and the crowd is buzzing for Couture's arrival. Couture starts his long walk down the hallway and the crowd explodes as CAPTAIN AMERICA enters the building. They don't waste much time greasing Couture up, and he doesn't waste any getting in the cage, pumping his hand in the air for another crowd pop. Rogan: "Physically he looks better than he did for the fight against Brock Lesnar." 46 to 33. 6'2" to 6'3". 220 to 231 and 75" to 77" reach from Couture to Big Nog.

Bruce Buffer does the main event introductions and tells us our referee in charge Mario Yamasaki (good - anybody but Yves Lavigne is fine with me... well except maybe Steve Mazzagatti). AND NOWWWWW - the moment UFC fans around the world have been waiting for! LIVE from Portland, Oregon - IT'SSSSSSSSSSSSSS TIIIIIME! Nog is 31-5-1 with 1 NC and fights out of Rio De Janeiro, Brazil. Couture is in the red corner, 16-8, fighting out of Las Vegas.

"He is the only fighter to win UFC championships five times and in two different weight classes. The former two time light heavyweight champion, the former three time heavyweight champion, the Hall of Fame Octagon warrior, Randy 'The Natural' Couture!" Lesnar's in the crowd watching and gets a chorus of boos.

Round one is underway! Couture's in the black trunks, Nog in the white. Couture hits a quick combination early. RAN-DY chant. Couture lands a nice right and an uppercut then throws Nog to the ground. Couture lets him stand back up. Clinch at 75 seconds for some dirty boxing and more Randy chants. They break apart. 90 seconds into the fight and Couture looks good. He leads with the right and they clinch again. They break apart and circle, with Couture backing him up towards the fence, but Nog caught him with a big left. Nog's looking for a d'arce choke.

Couture survives and the crowd ERUPTS when he gets back up with 2:25 left to go. "Minotauro decided not to expend all his energy so he let go of it." They say you can see the bruise on Randy's head. Big right by Randy. Good combo by Big Nog. 90 seconds left in R1. Randy staggers him with a right! Blood is trickling from his eye. Randy lands headshots and uppercuts in the clinch as the two go after each other! 40 seconds. Couture has the hooks in and leans up against the cage. Yeah, now I can see the bruise Goldberg was talking about on Randy's head. Couture finishes the round on the fence and we go to R2!

We get a replay of the shot that nailed Couture and the d'arce choke he survived afterwards. Couture is smiling as we start the round. They've stopped the bleeding from Nog's eye, for the moment. Ready - ready? Let's go! Couture is circling and lands an uppercut, then fires off an inside leg kick. Nog lands a left hook, tries for a guillotine, slips and Couture winds up on top of him in guard. Another RAN-DY chant. One minute gone. Couture lands an elbow that pops the crowd.

He's pressing down on Nog's arms and landing short punches and elbows. Nog sweeps and rolls on top of Couture. "He's mounted with his legs crossed underneath him, a very difficult mount to escape." Thanks Joe. Couture gets to half guard but he's still on his back. Arm triangle! Couture is aware of it and fighting it off. The two fire off head shots hoping one of the two will loosen their grip. Randy gets his arm free and the crowd pops again! 90 seconds left in R2. Randy's up with 1:05 left! Both swing away at the 50 second mark then Couture backs off a bit. Randy lands a HEAVY left not once but twice. Nog responds with a knee. 15 seconds. A couple more punches and the horn sounds to stop the action. Great fight!

"Let's go c'mon!" Couture starts with a leg kick then follows up with another solid shot. Nog lands a nice right and pushes forward. He's got Randy down! Randy is trying to defend and survive and Nog just can't land the kill shot! The guard is closed at 50 seconds and the crowd is popping just for Randy not being finished. Nog has him bulled up against the fence. Couture seems to be bleeding from the left eye. Nog may be on his way to a unanimous decision.

Couture has his feet on the fence looking to push off. We're halfway through the third and final round! Couture starts to get up and Nog uses it as a means to take his back. Two minutes left! Randy knows he's up too high and is trying to shake him off. Couture sweeps with 85 seconds left! Nog pulls guard to prevent Couture from doing any damage. Lady J: "Stand 'em up and let 'em go at it for the last minute!" Sure, why not? Couture lands a solid elbow. Couture only has 30 seconds to make something happen, it doesn't look like he will. 10 seconds. Couture is pummeling him all the way to the end, they scramble to get up right at the horn. Nog probably gets the nod here in a grueling fight but both men deserve praise for the intense action of this three round fight.

Bruce Buffer - after three rounds we go to the scorecards, Hamilton 30-27, Rosales 30-27, and Trowbridge 29-28 for the WINNER: ANTONIO 'MINOTAURO' NOGUEIRA. Rogan goes to interview Nog and so beloved is Couture he gets booed a bit despite such a great fight. "I love UFC, I love you guys, I fight the guy from Portland but I have a lot of respect he's a true champion, he's one of my idols in UFC so thanks to him for accepting the fight with me. I make no excuse. I had a staph infection. I was in the hospital one week before the fight with Mir. I had a lot of injuries.

But now, I'm here, I want to be the top in UFC, I want a title belt! If I get the chance to fight Lesnar, it would be my pleasure." Rogan says he hopes so too and congratulates him on the win. Couture gets a big pop as Rogan goes to interview him. "I'm disappointed to lose but you gotta love this sport. You never know what's going to happen. What keeps me going is guys like Nog, interesting fights, everybody's questioning him but I felt him here and he's firing on all cylinders. I'll let the dust settle, take a week, but I'm here and ready to fight. I feel the best I ever felt." Rogan gives him his props and says he'd love another fight, and the crowd roars with approval.

* Marcus Aurelio v. Evan Dunham (Lightweight Bout)

Time for another bonus fight! Aurelio is coming forward with strikes but Goldberg notes Dunham would really like to take this for the hometown crowd. Dunham lands a nice combo and we pass the one minute mark. Aurelio is looping out his right and Goldberg notes Dunham could counter with a straight left. Dunham lands a couple of counters that look crisp as we pass two minutes.

At the halfwawy point Dunham BLASTS HIM with a big left and Aurelio eats a whole bunch of punches on the ground. Dunham pulls out, backs away and tells Aurelio to stand up. Dunham sprawls effectively to block any hope of a takedown. 1:15 left to go. Again Dunham sprawls and catches Aurelio with a shot, then motions for him to get up. Dunham is dancing around. A looping right finally catches Dunham but it doesn't hurt him. Horn sounds and I give R1 to Dunham.

Aurelio's takedown gets stuffed over and over again to start R2. Aurelio's face looks like it's taken a beating. Straight right connects at one minute but Aurelio finally gets the takedown and Rogan is immediately concerned. Dunham rolls away and gets back to his feet 75 seconds in. Dunham continues to dance and whenever Aurelio hits a shot Dunham keeps on coming. It looks like Dunham got hooked in the eye - the fight is briefly stopped then resumed. 2:40 to go in R2. Things slow down a little bit as we move to two minutes left.

Aurelio tries to shoot for a double again with 75 seconds to go, but Dunham spreads his legs apart and prevents anything happening. Rogan doesn't like Aurelio's look. "He's breathing very heavy right now." The two exchange and Dunham lands a nice combo. Dunham lands a series of lefts and rights in the last ten seconds and we go to R3! I've got Dunham up 10-9 in both rounds.

Aurelio gets on top right as R3 gets underway. Aurelio is in danger of being stood up by the ref for inactivity as we go to the second minute, but Dunham takes care of that by standing up. Aurelio tries to sink in a standing guillotine but I think he's way too tired to pull that off. Aurelio goes from that to an anaconda but he uses the butterfly guard to survive. Aurelio starts to get another takedown with two minutes left and finally gets the left leg out with 1:40 left in the fight.

Dunham is up and out with 1:25 left. Dunham is on top for a moment with 70 seconds. Both men look like they've slowed down considerably. Dunham is swinging wildly as Aurelio seems the less able to defend of the two men. Dunham with a left high head kick in the last 30 seconds. "What a way to start things off here at the Rose Garden." The crowd seems to agree - they loved this opening fight! We go to the judges.

Here's Bruce Buffer with the scorecards. The judges score this fight 29-28 Aurelio, 29-28 Dunham, and 30-27 for your winner by split decision EVAN DUNHAM. Submission of the night went to Jake Rosholt for the arm triangle on Chris Leben. Turning Point of the Night was Nate Marquardt's one shot stoppage. Could even be the Knockout of the Night but we'll wait to see what White says in the post-fight press conference. Rogan and Goldberg discuss the card and how fantastic the main event was, and I can't help but agree. All in all this was $45 well spent. Thanks for reading our UFC 102 recap tonight!

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