UFC 77: Hostile Territory Live Recap

Date: 10/20 8:55 PM
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Written by Stevie J

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The usual video package and introductory music air. Anderson Silva says this is the most important fight in his career. Rich Franklin says this fight will be a war. Silva says it will be difficult to take the belt from him, and Franklin says this will be a completely different fight than their last bout. We are coming to you from the Nationwide Arena in Cincinnati, Ohio. Joe Rogan and Mike Goldberg run down the card and then it's time for our first fight!

* Kalib Starnes v. Alan 'The Talent' Belcher (UFC middleweight fight)

Belcher comes out to "Under Pressure" by Queen. Starnes comes out to a Rage Against the Machine song. Starnes has some advanced cauliflower ears for someone so young in his career. Belcher has a three inch reach advantage on Starnes, 75" to 72", but that's the only significant difference. Belcher is 10-3 and fights out of Biloxi, MS. Starnes is 10-2-1 and fights out of Surrey, British Columbia, Canada. Yves Lavigne is our referee in charge as we get a shot of Nick Lachey in the crowd.

Round one is underway! Belcher immediately goes to the muay thai clinch and even tries to land a flying knee. Starnes is bleeding from the head as he bulls Belcher to the canvas but Belcher immediately pops right back up. Starnes tries to get in the hooks and the fight stalls, prompting light boos from the crowd. They get into the cage fence and Belcher tries another flying knee followed by an elbow. Starnes throws rights and connects with a few. Starnes continues to push forward and lands a series of combos. Belcher may have a cut on the top of his head over the right ear. Belcher lands a knee. Starnes face is starting to turn crimson, but his stand-up is undiminished. Lavigne says he may need the doctor soon for a big gash over the right eye of Starnes. Belcher lands an uppercut and a big knee. Starnes shoots in for a takedown and Belcher just misses with what would have been a KO knee. 30 seconds to go. Leg kicks by Belcher. Starnes tries to counter and eats a right. Starnes covers up and tries to just last out the round, which is a successful strategy. Hard to call the round either way but if you went by who looks less fucked up it would be Belcher 10, Starnes 9. The gash over Starnes eye looks really nasty between rounds but they manage to momentarily staunch the bleeding.

Round two is underway! Belcher would clearly like to open that cut back up. He keeps trying to set up the punch with leg kicks. He smiles as Starnes bulls him into the fence and lands a few big shots, apparently just to piss him off and say they weren't doing any damage. Starnes is now bleeding again as Belcher continues to look for the clinch. Lavigne sends the fighters to their neutral corners to check Starnes cut again. Starnes says the blood is going in his eye. Lavigne waves off the fight. ALAN BELCHER WINS BY REF STOPPAGE. Starnes is visibly upset. "Don't you do this to me! I told you I wanted to fight! FUCK YOU!!!" Nonetheless the doctor apparently told Starnes he could see his skull, which is why it was stopped. Belcher d. Starnes via doctor stoppage at 1:39 of R2. Belcher knows the crowd is upset with the stoppage and tries to babyface himself by saying he loves Cincinnati and he's having a great time. Rogan interviews him. "Uppercut, bam bam!" He thanks too many sponsors to name and his fiancee, closing with "Thanks for watching me get out here and look stupid!" Rogan calls it a muay thai clinic and I'd have to agree.

* Eric Schafer v. Stephan 'American Psycho' Bonnar (UFC light heavyweight fight)

Schafer comes out to Kanye West's "Stronger." Bonnar's song seems familiar but I can't put a name to it. It sounds like the kind of music they'd play in an arena before a basketball game or wrestling meet. Bonnar is clearly pumped, jumping around and ready to roll. Both fighters are 30, only a half pound seperates them, the biggest difference being Bonnar has a 4" reach advantage at 80". Schafer's record is 9-2-2 and he fights out of Milwaukee, WI. Bonnar's record is 13-4 and he fights out of Las Vegas, NV. Our referee in charge is 'Big' John McCarthy. Wanderlei Silva is in the crowd watching.

Round one is underway! Bonnar gives chase looking for strikes and Schafer moves away. When Bonnar tries to close Schafer hooks in looking for a takedown. Nothing happens and they break apart with Rogan reminding us that www.UFC.com will have prelim fights and post-fight interviews. Schafer goes for a leg kick then pulls guard as Bonnar comes over the top. Eventually it gets back to the feet and Bonnar is warned about grabbing hold of the cage, and as soon as he lets go of it Schafer picks him up and slams him to the mat. Schafer is looking to transition to the back but Bonnar is defending fairly well. Eventually though Shafer takes the back and starts looking for jiu-jitsu positions to get a finish. Bonnar is still on his knees and he's being patient, not letting Schafer flatten him out. Schafer has one hook in and he's looking for a triangle. 40 seconds left in the round and Schafer loses the hook. Bonnar turns out to escape with 10 seconds to go and survives. Schafer gets 10-9 on my card for ground control.

Here we go with round two! Bonnar rushes in, Schafer backs up at first, then charges in for a clinch. Schafer pulls guard and Bonnar is on top. He sticks an elbow under Schafer's chin, pushes him down, and starts to rain down lefts and rights. Schafer is taking some vicious shots and the crowd pops for it. Bonnar is looking to pass and lands short elbows in the process. Everytime Schafer tries to move Bonnar punishes him. At 2:40 left he postures up and really pounds the hell out of him. Schafer is turtling and not defending, tries to roll to his back along the cage, and McCarthy finally steps in to stop the fight. OFFICIAL TIME OF 2:47 in R2 for Stephan Bonnar, winning via TKO.

Rogan interviews Bonnar. "He got me to the ground and I said YOU DUMB-ASS, don't get taken out like that. A couple of punches I thought I cracked his skull good, I had to keep punching and I'd finish him. I wanted to hit him good in the head and make sure it was a good stoppage and not a bad one." He goes on to thank his team and everybody at Xtreme Couture.

* Jorge Gurgel v. Alvin Robinson (UFC lightweight fight)

Alvin Robinson comes out to "Put You on the Game." Gurgel comes out to that Budweiser song that features vocals from Q-Tip, "Go All Out" or whatever it's called - they played it at the last UFC I went to in Vegas. The stats are so even the only difference is between their ages, 30 and 25. Robinson is 9-2 and fights out of Denver, Colorado. Gurgel is 14-2 and fights out of Cincinnati, Ohio. The referee in charge of this fight is Mark Matheny.

Round one is underway! Gurgel and Robinson touch gloves and immediately start trading blows. The fight quickly moves to the ground with Gurgel on top. He picks up Robinson's shoulders and slams them back to the mat. Robinson is defending well in guard with his knees and legs but Gurgel looks relentless. Gurgel keeps trying to pass and Robinson keeps spinning him around. Gurgel finally manages to get side control up along the cage. Robinson tries to push out with his hips and Gurgel briefly has North-South before retaking side control. Robinson is being controlled but Gurgel is not doing an extreme amount of damage. Gurgel ends up back in full guard and Robinson keeps moving his hips around trying to use his feet to push up off the cage. Gurgel gets side control again with 1:00 to go. Knee to Robinson's gut by Gurgel. Robinson tries upkicks, finds nothing, and Gurgel takes the mount again as the round ends. 10-9 for Gurgel.

Round two is underway! Robinson charges in trying to trade punches and takes Jorge to the ground. Alvin and Jorge keep spinning trying to take control on the ground. Robinson has over-under and fires a few lefts at Gurgel's head. Robinson is trying to roll to a kimura. Rogan: "Gurgel might get his arm broke before he taps." Gurgel fights through and winds up in Robinson's full guard again. Fight is stalling out, Gurgel is largely dominant, but he's not landing any big blows from guard. Robinson turns out at 2:30 and ends up on top. Jorge wants Robinson's right arm but he can't get it. Robinson is starting to land a few hammer fists and some ground and pound blows. Gurgel's face looks seriously bloodied with 1:00 left to go. The blood may be getting into his eyes but he could survive to the end of the round if he can control from guard a little better. 15 seconds left and more hammer fists and elbows. Robinson is passing with 8 seconds. He's got his back with 5 seconds and desperately tries to finish but the horn saves Gurgel. 10-9 for Robinson.

Round three starts where two ended, with Robinson immediately taking Gurgel down for more ground and pound. Blood and sweat are flying. Gurgel tries to push off the cage with his feet but Robinson takes side control. Robinson keeps hammering him in the face and everybody in the room watching with me is getting concerned. Gurgel is breathing heavily, his mouth is wide open, his face is bloody, and he looks more dazed and confused than Dave Chappelle on a two-day long bender. Nonetheless he's staying active and defending so Metheny seems reluctant to stop the fight. He's taking a beating as we pass two minutes left to go. He's not getting body control or stopping Robinson from posturing up on him. His face is hamburger meat. Rogan: "It's almost like he's going through the motions." Unless Robinson makes a big mistake he's going to get a unanimous decision. Speaking of mistakes Gurgel rolls with a minute left and tries to secure an arm. Robinson can probably just hang on and ride out R3 unless Gurgel can get a lightning submission. 15 seconds. Robinson gets to his back and drops bombs as the horn sounds. It's got to be 29-28 unanimous but let's see what the judges say.

Here's Bruce Buffer with the official announcement: JUDGES SCORE THE FIGHT 29-28, 29-27, 29-28 FOR THE UNANIMOUS WINNER: ALVIN ROBINSON. The interview was pretty boring so with all due respect I have nothing to say about it. Joe Rogan is in the crowd with Brock Lesnar and almost calls him Brock Larson but then corrects himself as Lesnar mocks a fake choke at his neck - BROCK LESNAR HAS BEEN SIGNED BY UFC. "I finally made the big time baby! For me, I've always loved this sport and wanted to participate in it, I thank Dana White and the UFC, I'm on the big battleship USS UFC and I'm ready to fight baby!" Rogan says he's well prepared. "18 years as an amateur wrestler and I've been training 2 years in stand-up and jiu-jitsu." Rogan says Lesnar is a handful and the real Alpha Male. Lesnar: "I'm coming at'cha!"

* Brandon 'The Truth' Vera v. 'The Maine-iac' Tim Sylvia (UFC heavyweight fight)

Vera comes out to Jay-Z's "U Don't Know." Sylvia's some country song. He has a five inch height advantage and outweighs Vera by 38 pounds but the reach difference is only two inches. Vera's record is 8-0 and he fights out of San Diego, CA. Sylvia's record is 25-3 and fights out of Davenport, IA. Our referee in charge of this fight is Yves Lavigne. Minotauro is in the crowd watching this fight.

Round one is underway! Vera immediately goes for the clinch and tries to push him against the cage but Sylvia reverses it. Sylvia lands a short jab to the body and tries to get underhooks. The boos rain down immediately. Vera tries to throw knees at the legs. Sylvia with a right elbow to Vera's head. More boos as they stand clinched against the cage. They're not giving Sylvia any kind of change, it's only 90 seconds into the fight and we have yet to see either guy explode. Sylvia hits another good body shot and Vera seems overwhelmed on the cage. He escapes and tries to push Sylvia into the cage but Sylvia quickly overpowers and pushe shim back into the cage wall. Now I'm starting to side with the crowd - we're halfway through the round and nothing's going on. Rogan: "This is the night of the clinch against the cage it seems." Yeah but those other clinches had more action. The boos are getting louder with two minutes left in the round. Both men throw knees at each other's midsections. Lavigne is demanding more action from Vera. Sylvia throws hands. Vera lands a good shot to the head and follows up with a leg kick. Sylvia clinches and throws knees, and it's back to the fence again. They trade knees to the midsection. 45 seconds to go and more boos. Sylvia and Vera break apart and trade in the stand-up. Sylvia keeps looking for a big knee in the clinch but can't land a KO blow. Round one ends. I'll say 10-9 Sylvia by a fair margin.

Vera tries to start hot in round two but Sylvia immediately bulls him up against the cage fence again. 90 seconds into the ground Lavigne finally seperates them and Sylvia lands a few big hands before going right into the cage again. Clearly the weight and height advantage is just overwhelming Vera. Sylvia gets in a couple of token shots to the head and knees to the gut but it doesn't look like much on TV and probably looks like even less live. Nonetheless Lavigne is not breaking it up yet even though the crowd is not chanting BOR-ING. Vera reverses and takes Sylvia to the ground! The crowd pops huge for that. He has Sylvia up against the fence and is working his way to side control. Vera is landing knees to the body but not much else and Lavigne tells him to keep working, seemingly threatening a stand-up. Sylvia keeps guard and nothing from Vera is getting through but shoulders. Sylvia pops up and Vera hits a knee to the head as he has one knee on the ground. Since Sylvia was trying to stand Vera only gets a warning instead of being docked a point. Lavigne gives him as much time as he wants to recover. 12 seconds left to go and they both start swinging for the fences, which gets a big pop from the crowd. Vera falls down trying to hit kicks to the body and head. Vera wins round two 10-9 on my card.

Round three underway! Sylvia wants a clinch, Vera breaks away, Sylvia gives chase. Vera hits a right, Sylvia hits an inside leg kick. Sylvia starts landing elbows and bombs then gets Vera smothered against the fence. Sylvia keeps working knees to the body but are they doing damage or not - I can't really tell. The crowd is booing again 1:45 in and Vera tries to break away but ends right back up against the fence two minutes in. Vera reverses the position but Sylvia seems to be in contro. Vera goes for leg kicks. The two seperate and Sylvia is throwing big legs and rights. A big right and a knee. Vera with a headshot of his own. Sylvia gives chase. He clearly got the better of the stand-up and as Mike Goldberg said "controlled the whole flurry." Vera is running out of time and could end up losing 2 out of 3 rounds unless he does something dramatic. 90 seconds left to go. Lavigne calls for time to fix some tape on Vera's glove. When the fight restarts Sylvia manages to split Vera's head with a punch and the blood starts cascading down. A few quick boos as they're on the cage fence with 30 seconds to go and Lavigne seperates them. Sylvia is throwing bombs at Vera's head and Vera is offering no defense. To be honest no matter what the crowd thinks this is one of Sylvia's more exciting fights. I'm scoring it 29-28 unanimous. Lesnar claps and applauds in the crowd as he looks on.

Vera is being worked on in his corner and is also telling the officials that his left hand is broken. We go back to Nick Lachey watching in the crowd as they work on him. Here's Bruce Buffer with the official decision: JUDGES SCORE: 29-27, 29-28, 29-28 for the WINNER by unanimous decision Tim 'The Maine-iac' Sylvia. Sylvia says Vera is a tough kid and will be a force to be reckoned with in a couple of years. "Surgery helped my back tremedously - I hopped out of bed with no pain. Cheick Kongo is going around picking fights with people, he should pick on somebody his own size. Randy's kind of in limbo right now, but I don't want to wait. I hope it will be a #1 contendership." Sylvia says he wore Vera out in the first round and Rogan congratulates him on the victory, even as the crowd boos. You know to be honest that was not the worst Sylvia fight I've ever seen. Vera apologizes because he broke his hand in the first round and says nobody should boo Sylvia because he's a good guy. "Just because I lost I'm not going away. I'm gonna be back soon, real soon. I'm gonna ask the crowd, did Tim whip my ass! (Noooo.) Then I'm staying heavyweight bitches."

* Anderson Silva {C} v. Rich 'Ace' Franklin (UFC Middleweight Championship)

Franklin comes out to G'n'R's "Welcome to the Jungle" and a huge pop. Silva comes out to DMX's "Ain't No Sunshine." You already who's who, who the champ is, et cetera. 53% of the voters in UFC's live poll think Franklin is going to redeem himself, but only time and the fight will tell. Buffer introduces the fight, sanctioned by the Ohio Athletic Commission. The referee in charge is 'Big' John McCarthy. Xyience and Toyo Tires are the sponsors, along with "Saw IV." LADIES AND GENTLEMEN, THIS IS THE MOMENT YOU'VE ALL BEEN WAITING FOR. TWO UFC WARRIORS HAVE ENTERED THE OCTAGON TO GO TO WAR FOR THE SECOND TIME. IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIT'S TIME!!! FIVE ROUNDS FOR THE MIDDLEWEIGHT WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP. Franklin is 24-2 and hails from Cincinnati, OH. He is the challenger and former middleweight champion! Silva is 19-4 and fights out of Cuitaba, Brazila. He is the defending UFC middleweight champion Anderson 'Spider' Silva! McCarthy says he wants a clean fight and asks if there are any questions. There are none.

Round one - "LET'S GET IT ON!" Highly competitive first round. Franklin was chasing, landing the occasional head shot and leg kick, but any time Silva got in the clinch you could hear the air visibly go out of the building. Silva picked up the pace as the round went on, Silva was landing shots at will, and got so confidant that well... GOOFING OFF would be the best word for it. He was smiling, doing an exaggerated bob and wave, hitting flying knees, and even connected with a spinning back kick. At the end of the round Silva had landed all the big shots and Franklin seemed to be dazed. 10-9 Silva.

Silva came out like a house of fire in round two, sensing that Franklin was already on the ropes, and just kept coming after him until Franklin was too fucked up to continue and the referee stopped the fight. Franklin's nose appears to be broke again! Bruce Buffer confirms the result - Anderson Silva retains the UFC middleweight championship via TKO at 1:07 of R2.

Silva thanks Franklin and says he's a fighter with class via the translator. Franklin says that Silva is a great guy and that they shouldn't boo him, and that it was only about 30 seconds ago that he realized he was in Cincinnati. "I'm gonna have to watch the tapes! I've gotta get my head cleared, it's still a little scrambled." Rogan compliments him as a great former champion and a classy man, and he apologizes for not putting on a better show. Rogan tells him there's no need to apologize even as Franklin wishes a happy birthday to his wife Beth.

* Ryan Jensen v. Demian Maia

Since this is a bonus fight check the UFC 77 Dark Match Results. If you didn't this should tell you - Rogan and Goldberg announce Maia as the winner of the "Submission of the Night." Great UFC 77 PPV, great time was had by all watching, thanks for reading our live results from this show!

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