Former Strikeforce Middleweight champion Luke Rockhold made his UFC debut last May, but Vitor Belfort soured it by knocking him out in highlight reel-like fashion in the first round of the contest.
Tonight, at UFC Fight Night 35 in Duluth, Georgia, he compensated for that loss by dominating Costas Philippou, defeating Philippou by TKO after connecting on multiple kicks to the liver as well as an uppercut that sent Philippou reeling. You could tell that last liver kick ‘did it’ when, right before the shot connected, Philippou tensed up, and after the kick was landed he was in immediate pain and no shape to continue fighting.
When I think of liver shots, punches, kicks, etc., just like anybody I think of Bas Rutten, who is/was famous for them. These days it’s an underutilized move, but when it’s done correctly, man oh man is it a dastardly way to gain an upper hand on the opponent.
Brad Tavares defeated Lorenz Larkin by unanimous decision to pick up his fifth consecutive victory in his career. Tavares wanted a big fight and he got one. Larkin was angered and frustrated by the third round after spending the entire second being the victim of Tavares’s ground game.
TJ Dillashaw picked up an impressive victory over Mike Easton. Props to him. Easton is no joke, and tonight he showed that he probably has the best chin in all of the Bantamweight division. Dillashaw controlled the pace of the fight and drilled punches and kicks with absolute succession. Easton was clearly gassing as the fight came to a close and Dillashaw dodged everything Easton had to throw at him.