St. Pierre tops Serra at UFC 83

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MONTREAL—Complete match-by-match coverage of UFC 83 from the Bell Centre in Montreal, where Georges St. Pierre defeated Matt Serra to win the UFC welterweight title.

UFC welterweight title: Matt Serra (champion) vs. Georges St. Pierre (interim champion)

 Round 1 2 3 4 5 Total

 Round 1 2 3 4 5 Total

Round one: St. Pierre took him right down. St. Pierre is trying to pass guard but Serra is holding him in place. St Pierre threw a few weak shots to the ribs and connected once to the head. St Pierre hit an elbow. Serra worked for a triangle and St. Pierre connected with a few punches. St. Pierre cracked an elbow to the face and hit body punches. St. Pierre passed guard and got Serra’s back. He’s throwing punches to he side of the head. Knee to the ribs by St. Pierre. Serra was up for 50 seconds left. A second takedown by St. Pierre with 15 seconds left and got his back and threw a kick when at the horn. 10-9, St. Pierre.

Round two: St. Pierre took Serra down once but Serra got back to his feet. Serra threw a high kick that whiffed. St. Pierre tried a spinning back kick that didn’t connect. Serra threw some punches that connected. St. Pierre peppered him with jabs. St. Pierre got another takedown. Serra regained guard. St. Pierre did some ground and poun from the top. St. Pierre hit enough punches to keep busy and then got Serra’s back. He was punching to both ears and kneeeing the body hard. He unleased some strong ground and pound and really hard knees to the body and at 4:45 of round two, it was stopped.

With the win, St. Pierre became the youngest man to regain a championship in UFC history. St. Pierre praised Serra and said the things he said were only trying to hype the fight. Serra ended the fight with both his eyes blackened. The fans, who vociferously hated Serra, cheered him on his exit. -DM

Middleweights: Rich Franklin (25-3) def. Travis Lutter (12-5)

How: TKO (strikes) at 3:01 of the second round

Key moment/turning point: Franklin came out in the second round and imposed his will, slowly Lutter breaking down.

Analysis: While middleweight champ Anderson Silva seems to have Franklin’s number, the former kingpin is still clearly the second-best fighter in the middleweight division. In his first match back since losing a rematch to Silva in October, Franklin had exactly the type of win a fighter needs to shake off a tough TKO loss. Lutter had his moments in the first round and nearly caught Franklin with an armbar. But in the second round, Franklin resorted to his classic style and wore down Lutter with his freakishly strong punches. -DD

Middleweights: Nate Quarry (16-2) def. Kalib Starnes (10-4-1) via unanimous decision, on judges’ scores of 30-26, 30-27, and 30-24

Y! Sports score: 30-27, Quarry

Key moment/turning point: Starnes, in training, apparently worked on running the 40-yard dash at full speed, only backwards. That set the tone for the match.

Analysis: Starnes, from British Columbia, was defensive to the point the Canadian crowd switched 100 percent, cheering Quarry loudly at the end after booing most of the fight. Quarry stayed in the pocket and came forward throwing punches and low kicks. But Starnes continually backpedaled so Quarry never had him in trouble. The lopsided scoring of any round had to be more Starnes being docked points for not fighting because Quarry never had him in trouble. Quarry mocked Starnes in the last minute, once running in place and later folding his arms and daring Starnes to come forward. -DM

Middleweights: Michael Bisping (16-1) def. Charles McCarthy (10-5)

How: TKO (strikes) at 5:00 of the first round.

Key moment/turning point: After nearly getting armbarred on the ground late in the round, Bisping got back to his feet and unleashed a series of knees that led to McCarthy’s downfall.

Analysis: This was Bisping’s much-anticipated middleweight debut, and “The Count” sure looks like he belongs at 185, a division in need of fresh talent. Bisping frequently looked soft around the middle in his light heavyweight days, but showed up to Montreal absolutely ripped. He pushed the pace from the get-go and never slowed. Bisping showed heart in working through trouble on the ground and getting the match back standing, where he finished off McCarthy. -DD

Lightweights: Mac Danzig (19-4-1) def. Mark Bocek (5-2)

How: Submission (rear naked choke) at 3:28 of round three.

Key moment/turning point: The match was even going into the third round, and Bocek was getting the better of the early round. In an exchange, Danzig caught Bocek with a knee that busted his left eye. Bocek was game and tried to fire back but was beaten to the punch in every exchange and Danzig picked him apart, got him on the ground and finished him with the choke.

Analysis: Danzig’s first match since winning The Ultimate Fighter was more competitive than many had expected. Danzig was taken down several times and each were working submissions on the ground. In fact, Bocek was ahead until the knee hit in round three. Danzig never lost his composure in adverse situations. -DM

Middleweights: Jason MacDonald (20-10) def. Joe Doerksen (39-12)

How: TKO (strikes), 0:56 of the second round

Key moment/turning point: MacDonald slipped early in the round, but got top position on the ground and rained down a series of nasty elbows for the win.

Analysis: A war of words in the buildup to the fight seemed to indicate a brawl, but instead, round 1 featured five minutes of tremendous jiu-jitsu, with several near-submissions. MacDonald sunk in a standing guillotine early, and Doerksen nearly tapped. Later, Doerksen popped out of another guillotine and gained side control, from which he sunk in a Kimura. Doerksen managed to isolate MacDonald’s head, but MacDonald rolled with it and got out. In round 2, Doerksen appeared to be trying to keep the fight standing, before the bout ended up on the ground. -DD

Middleweights: Jason Day (17-5) def. Alan Belcher (11-4)

How: TKO (strikes), 3:58 of the first round.

Key moment/turning point: Belcher got the first takedown, but Day used his legs to threaten a triangle, but connecting with a lot of punches and elbows from the bottom.

Analysis: When they got back to their feet, Day, a big crowd favorite from Lethbridge, Alberta, in his UFC debut, connected with hard elbows from the clinch. Belcher never fully recovered. He was rocked and Day got him in the corner and fired away. Belcher never recovered. He was eating punch after punch at the cage and the ref stopped the fight. -DM

Middleweights: Demian Maia (8-0) def. Ed Herman (16-5)

How: Submission (leg triangle choke), 2:27 of the second round

Key moment/turning point: Maia spent much of the match working from the bottom, as he nearly sunk in several submissions from that spot in the first round. He finally got the opening he was waiting on in the second, when he sunk in his winning submission.

Analysis: The Brazilian Maia impressed with his jiu-jitsu skills back at his UFC debut in October, when he choked out Ryan Jensen, and his follow-up effort furthered his momentum. While Herman had his moments, Maia never appeared to be in trouble as Herman worked from the top. The finishing maneuver was textbook, as he sunk in the leg triangle from the bottom and managed to flip over into top position, tightening the choke and isolating Herman’s head for several strikes, causing “Short Fuse” to tap. -DD

Lightweights: Rich Clementi (39-12-1) def. Sam Stout (14-4-1) via split decision on judges scores of 29-27, 28-29, 29-28

Yahoo! score: Clementi 29-28

Key moment/turning point: Clementi dominated the first two rounds with takedowns and better stand-up to do enough to take the fight.

Analysis: A good match made even more exciting by the hot crowd. The crowd was hot for Stout, a London, Ontario native, including a gigantic reaction when he escaped from a first round choke attempt. Clementi got the fight to the ground enough, and did damage with forearms, punches and elbows. In the third round, Stout did better on the stand-up and blocked most takedown attempts and turned it on at the end. -DM

Heavyweights: Cain Velasquez (3-0) def. Brad Morris (10-3)

How: TKO (strikes), 2:10 of the first round

Key moment/turning point: Velasquez twice dropped Morris with punches in the opening seconds of the fight and never looked back.

Analysis: Former Arizona State All-American wrestler Velasquez is among a handful of young heavyweights, including Brock Lesnar and Shayne Carwin, who are the company’s handpicked next generation. Despite his wrestling background, Velasquez, who trains with the San Jose-based American Kickboxing Academy, dominated the Australian Morris with his strikes, dropping him right at the outset and controlling the rest of the fight. Morris managed to get back to his feet, but ate a kick to the body and ended up back on the ground, where Velasquez used more powerful punches to finish him off. Two hours before the main card, the building is already full. -DD

Lightweights: Jonathan Goulet (22-9, 1 no contest) def. Kuniyoshi Hironaka (11-5)

How: TKO (strikes) at 2:07 of the second round

Key moment/turning point: Goulet, the huge crowd favorite, lost the first round after being knocked down and was staggered early in the second with a nasty mouse growing under his right eye. During an exchange, Goulet turned the tables by knocking Hironaka down hard. Now it was Hironaka who was running for safety, and Goulet caught him with a knee and more punches, with Hironaka going down hard and ref Dan Murigliota stopped the fight.

Analysis: Goulet was controlling most of the first round until being put down late in the round. The crowd was hot with loud chants for Goulet when he was down, and even louder when he made his come back. Huge standing ovation for the Quebec native winning. Strong opening match. -DM

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Updated Sunday, Apr 20, 2008