UFC President Dana White announced Saturday that UFC Live on Versus 4 headliner Nate Marquardt was scratched from the card and released by the UFC.
3 Total Updates since June 17, 2011
almost 2 years ago Update 0 comments
In a grand illustration of the UFC's dominance over the sport, ‘UFC on Versus 4' -- a card mired with injury replacements from its inception up to the eve of the event -- somehow evolved into one of the most exciting MMA displays of the last few months. Overall, the organization's return to Pittsburgh attracted an audience of 7,792 fans, and pulled in a live gate of $562,000.
Despite all of the turmoil, the event will be declared a success, due in large part to one of the greatest comebacks of the MMA year. In the makeshift main event, Cheick Kongo battled back from certain defeat, landing a picture-perfect right hook-right uppercut combination to the jaw of Pat Barry, even as the Frenchman was clearly out on his feet.
Immediately prior, Barry had leveled Kongo with a crackling right hand, before swarming the heavyweight and teeing off with a blistering series of shots to finish him off. Referee Dan Miragliotta appeared close to stopping the fight multiple times during the exchange, but Kongo, while incredibly wobbly, continued to move in an attempt to stay in the contest. Eventually the heavyweight veteran managed to briefly work his way back to the feet, but was crushingly sent back to the canvas by a pinpoint Barry right hook.
And still, somehow, the Frenchman remained conscious as he dizzily scrambled to his feet. Backing away, appearing noticeably dazed and confused, Kongo stunningly had the wherewithal to unleash the devastating combo off his back foot that instantly floored a charging Barry. ‘HD' was out before he hit the ground.
The hail-mary KO ignited the crowd, and explosively topped off an already exciting event. "It was perfect," a grinning Kongo said afterwards. The finish earned the Frenchman ‘Knockout of the Night' honors.
Surprises filled the remainder of the night's main card, as last-minute fill-in Charlie Brenneman pulled off an astonishing upset, defeating Rick Story via unanimous decision in their welterweight bout. The unheralded Brenneman exasperated the top-ranked Story with a ruthless pace, landing takedowns in each round. Despite fighting off continual submission attempts, ‘The Spaniard' nullified Story's attack enough to come away with the biggest victory of his career.
In retrospect, the bout had all the red flags of the classic ‘trap fight'. Story, less than a month removed from the biggest victory of his career against Thiago Alves at UFC 130, immediately signed on to headline 'UFC on Versus 4' against a revitalized Nate Marquardt, after his intended opponent, Anthony Johnson, dropped out due to injury. With little more than a few weeks preparation, Story was banking on the fact that two high-profile wins in such a short amount of time would virtually guarantee consideration for title contention.
However, no one could have planned for the stunning news that Marquardt would be cut from the organization the day before the event. But, as they say, all things happen for a reason.
Originally, Brenneman was scheduled to fight T.J. Grant on the night's undercard. That fight became void when Grant fell ill earlier in the week, leaving ‘The Spaniard' without an opponent. What looked to be a dire situation for the disappointed welterweight, quickly became the biggest break of his career. With little other options, Dana White and the UFC picked up the cast-aside Brenneman to fill Marquardt's spot, and the rest is history.
Also on the main card, TUF-7 veteran Matt Brown upset John Howard via unanimous decision. Throughout the bout Brown stifled the favorite with a crisp attack and stout takedown defense. The win broke the welterweight's three-fight losing streak.
Matt Mitrione maintained his undefeated 5-0 record, destroying Christian Morecraft in the second round of their heavyweight brawl. The TUF-10 alum outclassed Morecraft on the feet, blasting him with a series of unanswered combinations and leg kicks, before leveling him with a beautiful right hook, straight left, straight right combo that ended the fight. Mitrione, a former NFL player, continues to impress and progress every time he sets foot in the Octagon. With the win, he all but guaranteed a step up in opposition for his next fight.
On the undercard, Tyson Griffin overcame a slow start to win a back-and-forth affair against featherweight contender Manny Gamburyan via unanimous decision. Griffin scored effectively, peppering the Armenian with a variety of low kicks and close exchanges. The win breaks a three-fight losing streak, and is the Xtreme Couture standout's first at 145-pounds since 2005.
Joe Stevenson's first UFC featherweight foray was not as successful, as the TUF-1 veteran lost to newcomer Javier Vazquez via unanimous decision. A thirteen-year fight veteran, Vasquez made the most of his big break, outpointing ‘Daddy' in all facets of the bout. The loss marks the fourth in a row for Stevenson -- a former lightweight title challenger -- and may mark the end of his UFC career.
It didn't take long Joe Lauzon to get back to his winning ways. The TUF-5 contestant rebounded from his UFC 123 loss to George Sotiropoulos with a relentless first round blitz of Curt Warburton. His vicious kimura halted the fight just 1:58 into the first-round. The impressive finish garnered the lightweight ‘Submission of the Night' honors.
Lastly, the event's token controversial decision came during Charles Oliveira's second round submission victory over Nik Lentz. The two combatants were engaged in an exciting back-and-forth brawl until a wayward Oliveira knee smashed into his downed opponent. Referee Chip Snider failed to see the illegal blow, however, and the resulting opportunity led to the opening the Brazilian needed to secure the victory. It is likely the Pennsylvania State Athletic Commission will review the foul. Nonetheless, the UFC made sure Lentz did not leave empty-handed, as the pair of fighters both took home ‘Fight of the Night' honors.
UFC Live 4 Results:
Cheick Kongo def. Pat Barry via KO (Punch) at 2:39 of Round 1
Charlie Brenneman def. Rick Story via Decision (Unanimous)
Matt Brown def. John Howard via Decision (Unanimous)
Matt Mitrione def. Christian Morecraft via KO (Punches) at 4:28 of Round 2
Tyson Griffin def. Manny Gamburyan via Decision (Unanimous)
Javier Vazquez def. Joe Stevenson via Decision (Unanimous)
Joe Lauzon def. Curt Warburton via Submission (Kimura) at 1:58 of Round 1
Rich Attonito def. Daniel Roberts via Decision (Unanimous)
Charles Oliveira def. Nik Lentz via Submission (Rear-Naked Choke) at 1:48 of Round 2
Ricardo Lamas def. Matt Grice via TKO (Head Kick and Punches) at 4:41 of Round 1
Michael Johnson def. Edward Faaloloto via TKO (Punches) at 4:42 of Round 1
Knockout of the Night: Cheick Kongo ($50,000)
Submission of the Night: Joe Lauzon ($50,000)
Fight of the Night: Charles Oliveira vs. Nik Lentz ($50,000 each)
almost 2 years ago Update 0 comments
Despite a seemingly insurmountable number of injury withdrawals, and a controversial pre-fight afternoon -- in which the headliner was not only kicked off the card, but also out of the organization entirely -- Dana White and the UFC brass have still managed to put together a relatively good card of free MMA to entertain fight fans. ‘UFC on Versus 4', also known as ‘UFC Live: Kongo vs. Barry', will be held June 26th at the Consol Energy Center in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
As is customary, the entire preliminary card of ‘UFC on Versus 4' will be streamed live on the UFC's Facebook page beginning at 6 p.m. ET/3 p.m. MST. Highlighting the prelims are featherweight debuts for two of the UFC more recognizable faces. Electrifying brawler Tyson Griffin -- on the heels of a three-fight losing streak -- will return to the division for the first time since 2005, and square off against top-5 145-pounder Manny Gamburyan. Also, Joe "Daddy" Stevenson will throw his name into the featherweight discussion, taking on heralded up-and-comer Javier Vazquez.
Following the prelims, 'UFC on Versus 4' begins at 9 p.m. and can be viewed live on Versus. The headlining bout is a heavyweight scrap between Cheick Kongo and Pat Barry.
Originally the card was scheduled to be headlined by a welterweight tussle between Rick Story and Nate Marquardt, however the day before the event Marquardt failed his medicals and was subsequently cut from the UFC. As always, one man's mistake is another's opportunity, and Charlie Brenneman immediately stepped into the empty spot.
Also featured on the main card is a welterweight bout between John Howard and Matt Brown, as well as a heavyweight bout between TUF-10 competitor Matt Mitrione and Christian Morecraft. Thus far in his UFC career Mitrione has exceeded all expectations, racking up an perfect 4-0 record, with a blistering highlight reel to boot. With a win, he is likely to climb into the second tier of the heavyweight pecking order.
UFC Live 4 Betting Odds & Predictions
Cheick Kongo (-200) vs. Pat Barry (+160)
SB Nation Arizona prediction: Kongo via unanimous decision
Rick Story (-500) vs. Charlie Brenneman (+300)
SB Nation Arizona prediction: Story via second round TKO
John Howard (-250) vs. Matt Brown (+190)
SB Nation Arizona prediction: Howard via third round KO
Matt Mitrione (-280) vs. Christian Morecraft (+220)
SB Nation Arizona prediction: Mitrione via unanimous decision
Preliminary card (to be streamed on Facebook):
Manny Gamburyan (+190) vs. Tyson Griffin (-250)
SB Nation Arizona prediction: Gamburyan via unanimous decision
Joe Stevenson (-225) vs. Javier Vazquez (+185)
SB Nation Arizona prediction: Stevenson via second round submission
Joe Lauzon (-300) vs. Curt Warburton (+240)
SB Nation Arizona prediction: Lauzon via first round TKO
Rich Attonito (-115) vs. Daniel Roberts (-115)
SB Nation Arizona prediction: Attonito via unanimous decision
Nik Lentz (+110) vs. Charles Oliveira (-140)
SB Nation Arizona prediction: Lentz via split decision
Matt Grice (+145) vs. Ricardo Lamas (-175)
SB Nation Arizona prediction: Lamas via unanimous decision
Edward Faaloloto (+300) vs. Michael Johnson (-500)
SB Nation Arizona prediction: Johnson via first round TKO
almost 2 years ago Update 0 comments
In a bizarre turn of events, ‘UFC on Versus 4' headliner Nate Marquardt has been scratched from the card and released from the UFC. Promotion head Dana White posted a video on his official twitter account confirming the shocking news.
"I'm sure you heard that Nate Marquardt is out," White said. "It's true. He failed his medicals. Not only is he out of this fight, and out of the main event on Versus, he will no longer be with the UFC."
No further information has been revealed to the public regarding the organization's decision. The former middleweight contender has yet to speak publicly on the matter.
The announcement comes a day before the UFC's fourth broadcast on Versus, initially intended to feature Marquardt's debut in the welterweight division. The UFC, and cable partner SPIKE, will likely stand to lose quite a bit of money in the aftermath after extensively marketing the fight and planning a ten-hour ‘Marquardt Marathon' to be aired throughout Sunday as a lead-in to the event.
The cut marks the end of a long and tumultuous relationship between Marquardt and the UFC. Always a contender, ‘The Great' never was able to break through, falling just short in several high-profile disappointing bouts. In the past White made headlines by remarking that he felt the middleweight was ‘a choker' due to his erratic performances. Marquardt had 14 bouts in the UFC since his 2005 promotional debut, including a fight against Anderson Silva in 2007 for the middleweight title.
almost 2 years ago Update 0 comments
The fourth installment of UFC Live on Versus will be held June 26th at the Consol Energy Center in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The event is headlined by a welterweight bout between Nate Marquardt and Rick Story, which will mark Marquardt's debut at 170 pounds. Originally the former middleweight contender was slated to face Anthony "Rumble" Johnson, however Johnson was forced to withdraw due to injury. Rick Story, fresh off last month's destruction of Thiago Alves, jumped at the opportunity to fight another big name opponent. The winner of this bout will likely entrench themselves deep into the welterweight title discussion.
Co-headlining UFC on Versus 4 is a heavyweight bout between Frenchman Cheick Kongo and American Pat Barry. Additional main card scraps between welterweights John Howard and Matt Brown, and TUF 10-heavyweight Matt Mitrione and Christian Morecraft will be featured as well.
And yet, despite all of this free MMA goodness, somehow the preliminary card is still filled from top-to-bottom with high-quality fights featuring several big UFC names. Former featherweight title contender Manny Gamburyan will take on the always thrilling Tyson Griffin, and former lightweight contender Joe Stevenson will make his featherweight debut against Javier Vazquez. Other bouts to keep an eye on are the lightweight duel between TUF 5-veteran Joe Lauzon and Curt Warburton, and the welterweight scrap between TUF-11 veteran Rich Attonito and Daniel Roberts.
Welterweight bout: (#5 MW) Nate Marquardt vs. (#23 WW) Rick Story
Heavyweight bout: (#16 HW) Cheick Kongo vs. Pat Barry
Welterweight bout: John Howard vs. Matt Brown
Heavyweight bout: (#23 HW) Matt Mitrione vs. Christian Morecraft
Featherweight bout: (#4 FW) Manny Gamburyan vs. Tyson Griffin
Featherweight bout: Joe Stevenson vs. Javier Vazquez
Lightweight bout: Joe Lauzon vs. Curt Warburton
Welterweight bout: Rich Attonito vs. Daniel Roberts
Welterweight bout: vs.
Lightweight bout: (#23 LW) Nik Lentz vs. Charles Oliveira
Featherweight bout: Matt Grice vs. Ricardo Lamas
Lightweight bout: vs.
All rankings are courtesy of USA Today/SB Nation's consensus rankings last updated on May 26th.