SETH PETRUZELLI VS. RICARDO ROMERO
Seth Petruzelli is a serious veteran of the sport. He’s been fighting since 2000, was on the first season of The Ultimate Fighter, and is credited for single-handedly shutting down Elite XC after knocking out the then much hyped Kimbo Slice within 14 seconds with one punch in a main event match. Always willing to be a serious crowd pleaser, Petruzelli went into this fight looking to up the spectacle in his usual game, in order to impress the UFC executives, and this time, have a longer stay inside the world’s biggest MMA organization.
His opponent, Ricardo Romero, actually has a pretty opposite history. He’s been involved in the sport for a relatively short time, and isn’t very well known. He has shown some very impressive performances in the past, however, and this is his shot at making it in the UFC.
Petruzelli opponent may not be known as one of the top fighters in the Light Heavyweight division, but he is genuinely tough, extremely aggressive, and very experienced, as heavily evidenced in this fight. Despite being dominated in much of the fight, and even coming dangerously close to losing, Romero gutted it out and won the fight in a very convincing fashion.
BRENDAN SCHAUB VS. CHRIS TUCHSCHERER
Schaub is very young in the sport, but has had a very long career as an athlete, what with his long experience with professional football. He leapt into the spotlight as part of the cast of the tenth season of The Ultimate Fighter and doesn’t seem to have left since. His opponent, Chris Tuchscherer, has been around MMA for more than twice as long as he has, has an extremely massive frame and a very impressive record, and looks to be a genuine threat.
That didn’t seem to have much bearing in the actual, however, since, after about a minute of feeling each other out, Schaub drops Tuchscherer to the ground with a quick overhand right and finishes him off with some quick ground and pound. He didn’t even break a sweat. An incredible win from an incredible athlete, Schaub seems to be climbing the UFC Heavyweight division at a very impressive pace.
GERALD HARRIS VS. DAVE BRANCH
As expected, Harris’ experience allows him to mostly dominate the fight. Branch tried his best all throughout and showed some tremendous heart and athleticism, but that apparently wasn’t nearly enough to prevent Harris from controlling him standing up, against the cage, and on the ground. In the second round, Branch jumps on Harris to attempt a guillotine choke, but Harris slams him down viciously onto the ground and knocks him out with a very impressive win.
What was even more interesting was that, Harris immediately recognized that Branch was knocked out cold from his slam, and held off on any additional ground and pound before the ref even stepped in; A nice bit of meaningful respect there which all the more shows Harris' experience within the Octagon.
KENDALL GROVE VS. GORAN RELJIC
unfortunate comments by Kendall Grove about The UFC’s longtime cable TV partner, Spike TV. Grove quoted to Tapout Radio: “Spike TV officials only care about ratings and getting "as much drama and stupidity out of us" as possible with little regard for the cast members' career”.
Grove should be more cautious about his words, especially since he came into this fight with an unimpressive 11-7 record. Despite being The Ultimate Fighter season 3 winner, his career with the UFC has been in recent doubt. His opponent, Goran Reljic, has been around the sport for nearly the same amount of time as Grove, but has had only 9 fights prior. Reljic is known for his abilities both standing up and on the ground, but Grove clearly has experience on his side.
The fight has very back and forth the entire time and each round became more and more difficult to call. Grove, as always, used his incredible reach advantage to continuously keep Reljic within his game, but Reljic stuck through it and showed some great offense. The fight ends with a very close split decision favoring Kendall “Da Spyder” Grove.
Take a look at the rest of UFC 116, including the main event: Lesnar vs. Carwin, the co-main event, Leben vs. Akiyama, and the rest of the main card!
And check out more incredible pics of UFC 116 over at the official UFC website!