Duane Ludwig def. Nick Osipczak via split decision
This fight was supposed to be on the undercard, but was upped to the televised broadcast after Jorge Rivera vs. Alessio Sakara was cancelled last-minute due to Sakara falling ill. First round was definitely Osipczak’s and the last belonged to Ludwig. Second was very close.
Kryzsztof Soszynski def. Goran Reljic via unanimous decision
Battle of the southpaws! The judges gave all three rounds to Soszynski, but rounds one and two were very close with back-and-forth strikes and lots of jockeying for position against the fence. Soszynski took the third round clearly with strong sprawling and ground-and-pound.
Amir Sadollah def. Peter Sobotta via unanimous decision
Two things here to take away from Sadollah’s performance: his tenacity and constant pressure, and the way he switches stance from orthodox to southpaw. No matter which leg he led with or how fast he switched back-and-forth, Sadollah was always aware for his body positioning, using jabs, crosses, etc.
Dennis Siver def. Andre Winner via submission (rear naked choke), round one
The first finish of the televised broadcast. Siver and Winner are both fantastic strikers, and they were putting on a great stand-up clinic until Silver caught Winner, dropped him, followed up with some bombs from knee-on-belly, then transitioned to the choke when Winner gave up his back. Great fight — I only wish the stand-up war had gone a little longer. Definitely the most dynamic fight of the night.
Yushin Okami def. Nate Marquardt via unanimous decision
Okami did a great job of doing what he does best: using his wrestling to slow a fight down to his pace. The surprising thing though was that Okami slowly started winning the stand-up game as well, bloodying Marquardt’s face. I gave Marquardt the second round, but still, he never seemed to find his footing. Okami wins his shot at the middleweight title to face the winner of Anderson Silva vs. Vitor Belfort.