PITTSBURGH, June 26 – The question leading up to Sunday’s heavyweight showdown between Cheick Kongo and Pat Barry was ‘who was the best pure striker?’ And for a while it looked like Barry, but it was Kongo who had the last word in the UFC Live main event with a crushing first round knockout victory that sent the crowd at the Consol Energy Center into a frenzy. See post-fight interview
“I had to win this fight,” said Kongo.
KONGO VS. BARRY
Both fighters traded thudding leg kicks in the early going in a painful game of ‘can you top this?’ Kongo used his reach advantage well, but when Barry got close, he dropped Kongo with a flush right hand. With Kongo appearing to be out, referee Dan Miragliotta looked closely, but Kongo got his bearings back and rose, only to get sent down a second time.
Again, Kongo rose to his feet, but just when it looked like Barry was about to score the knockout, the Frenchman fired back with two rights. The first one stood Barry up, and the second one sent him down and out, with Miragliotta having no choice but to call the bout off at the 2:39 mark.
With the win, Kongo improves to 26-6-2; Barry falls to 6-3. Kongo scored Knockout of the Night for the performance, which Joe Rogan called in-broadcast "the most amazing comeback I have ever seen."
BRENNEMAN VS. STORY
Saturday morning, Hollidaysburg, Pennsylvania’s Charlie Brenneman expected to be just another spectator for Sunday’s UFC Live show, but within hours, after Nate Marquardt wasn’t medically cleared for his main event bout against Rick Story, Brenneman was called into duty and he made the most of it in front of his home state fans, winning a clear cut three round unanimous decision over the rising welterweight star. See post-fight interview
Scores were 29-28 across the board for Brenneman, who improves to 14-2; Story, who was coming off a win over Thiago Alves at UFC 130 on May 28th, falls to 13-4.
Brenneman, who was originally brought in to face TJ Grant before Grant withdrew from their bout due to illness, kept the home crowd happy in the opening round, smothering Story and not allowing him to get untracked. And that was before “The Spaniard” got the takedown and fired off strikes as he held Story at bay for the rest of the opening five minutes.
Not straying from the gameplan, Brenneman kicked off round two with another takedown, but Story was able to reverse position and briefly catch his foe in a guillotine choke before the two broke and stood up. Brenneman made sure he didn’t stay there long, as he took Story down again, and controlled the pace and location of the fight. Story tried to catch Brenneman in a guillotine again, but the Pennsylvanian was never in trouble, and he moved into side control briefly before the bell sounded.
Story came out swinging in the final round, trying to turn things around, but he wound up on the mat in the opening 30 seconds. After a standup and a return trip to the canvas, Story worked for a submission, but to no avail. Changing gears, Story got into the mount position, but Brenneman held on, leaving Story little room to operate in order to pull off the miracle comeback.
BROWN VS. HOWARD
It wasn’t pretty, but welterweight Matt Brown salvaged his UFC career, breaking a three fight losing streak with a three round unanimous decision win over John “Doomsday” Howard. See post-fight interview
All three judges saw the bout 29-28.
The first round was a tough one to score, with Howard’s leg kicks and takedowns being countered by Brown’s more accurate and punishing striking to the head. The pace slowed in round two, with Brown (14-10) controlling most of the action on the mat, but he was unable to put Howard (14-7) in any significant danger. The same could be said for the final round, but with Howard getting more offensive light than in the previous frame. That didn’t appease the fans though, as they booed the lack of action in what was expected to be a Fight of the Night candidate.
MITRIONE VS. MORECRAFT
The Matt Mitrione Experience continues to captivate the MMA world, as the former NFL lineman moved to 5-0 in the main card opener with a second round knockout of fellow heavyweight prospect Christian Morecraft. See post-fight interview
After some sloppy striking from both men to start the bout, Mitrione drew first blood with a straight left that produced a flash knockdown. Morecraft rose quickly and rushed his opponent, but Mitrione calmly parried the attack and bloodied his foe’s mouth. With under two minutes left, Morecraft scored with his first good combination of the fight, yet Mitrione’s answering shot put the ball back in his court. Moments later, Mitrione dropped the Ithaca product, but as he moved in, he didn’t land the finishing blow flush. Morecraft was able to smother Mitrione on the mat to make it out of the round, yet it took him a few moments to get to his corner.
Mitrione continued to pepper his tired foe early in round two, but two minutes in, Morecraft (7-2) was able to score his first takedown of the bout. After a brief stall, Mitrione got to his feet, only to get taken to the mat again. After a restart, Morecraft looked spent, and Mitrione, sensing it, closed the show with a three punch combination to the head. Morecraft dropped to the mat hard, and Mitrione simply walked away as referee Marc Matheny waved off the bout at 4:28.
UFC Live Main Card Results: Reality Cheick - Kongo KOs Barry
Click below for main card results from Sunday's UFC Live card in Pittsburgh...
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