UFC 109: Couture and Sonnen win

UFC 109 provided excitement to spare with a first-rate card, this Saturday in Las Vegas. In the evening’s main event, Randy Couture overcame Mark Coleman.

Other winners on the night were Paulo Thiago, Chael Sonnen, Demian Maia and Matt Serra.

Rolles Gracie had an unhappy UFC debut. Nervous and consumed by adrenaline, he ended up overcome by Joey Beltran.

At 46, Couture won yet another. Photo: Josh Hedges

Nate Marquardt vs Chael Sonnen

The word going into the match was that the winner would be the next challenger to the middleweight belt, against the winner of the title fight between Anderson Silva and Vitor Belfort, on April 10. Thus, Chael Sonnen is first in line. The underdog against Nate Marquardt, he used what he was best at, wrestling. He took the advantage and neutralized Marquardt. Despite suffering a cut to his forehead and getting caught in a guillotine, he was superior and deserved the win by unanimous decision.

“I want to be king of the mountain. I believe I can fight with anyone,” said Sonnen.

Mike Swick vs Paulo Thiago

Paulo Thiago won in grand style and made it to his third win for the organization. Against Mike Swick, he looked to strike during the first stanza. That was working ofr him, but he was dropped in the waning seconds. In the following round, took a heavy blow. He absorbed it well and reciprocated with two strikes that fell his opponent. On the ground, the black belt sunk a snug arm triangle. Swick had no choice but to tap.

“Mike is very dangerous on top and on the ground. But I knew that if he fell in a good position, he was well trained and would be able to finish. I saw that he felt the blow, and when I landed in the position, all I had to do was go for it, ” said Paulo Thiago, as translated by Wallid Ismail.

Demian Maia returns to winning. Photo: Josh Hedges

Demian Maia vs Dan Miller

The period training with Luis Dorea, who has prepared the likes of boxer Acelino Popo, paid off. In the first two rounds, Demian sought standup action against Dan Miller and landed some good strikes. In the final round, the Jiu-Jitsu black belt changed tactics. He landed a takedown and worked well from the top. However, the fight was not the most exciting and there were some boos. In the end, the unanimous decision went to Demian.

“I wanted to show people I can fight standing. If I fight for the title someday, I’ll be able to fight on my feet. My boxing is not the best, but I can hang. I apologize to the fans, I tried to finish earlier. Today I came here with my heart and my soul because I fight for you, “said the Brazilian, still in the cage.

Matt faces Trigg in staredown. Photo: Josh Hedges

Matt Serra vs Frank Trigg

Accompanied by Renzo Gracie as his cornerman, there was Jiu-Jitsu black belt Matt Serra to spare in the first all-veteran fight of the night. He stalking his pray and, with a hook, he paved the way to the knockout. Trigg hit the ground and took a few more shot before the referee brought the fight to an end, still in the first round.

Melvin Guillard vs Ronys Torres

A fight that makes one wonder about the criteria for handing out decisions in the UFC. Ronys landed takedowns in all three rounds. He tried to finish with a Kimura in the second round. He passed the guard and also worked the ground and pound. Guillard landed some blows, but spent most of his time defending himself. In the final seconds he managed to mount, reversing after being thrown. At the end of the battle, the unanimous decision went to Melvin.

Beltran and Rolles face off at weigh-ins. Photo: Josh Hedges

Rolles Gracie vs Joey Beltran

The first Gracie to enter the UFC octagon since Royce, Rolles was unlucky on his debut for the organization.Against Joey Beltran, who replaced Mustafa Al-Turk as his opponent  a few days before the challenge, the Jiu-Jitsu black belt tried to apply takedowns and master control the action on the ground.In the first round he managed the takedown, but Beltran held his own and avoided the worst. In the second, Beltran avoided the takedowns and ended the fight pounding on Rolles from above till the referee intervened.

UFC 109
Las Vegas, Nevada, USA
February 6, 2010

Randy Couture submits Mark Coleman via rear-naked choke in R2

Chael Sonnen defeated Nate Marquardt by unanimous decision

Paulo Thiago submitted Mike Swick via arm triangle at 1:54 min of R2

Demian Maia defeated Dan Miller by unanimous decision

Matt Serra defeated Frank Trigg by TKO at 2:23 min of R1

Preliminary Fights

Mac Danzig defeated Justin Buchholz by unanimous decision

Melvin Guillard defeated Ronys Torres by unanimous decision

Rob Emerson defeated Phillipe Nover by unanimous decision

Phil Davis defeated Brian Stann by unanimous decision

Chris Tuchscherer defeated Tim Hague by majority decision

Joey Beltran defeated Rolles Gracie via TKO at 1:32min of R2

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