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Articles of 2006

The Usual Weighty Fluff – Pound-for-Pound

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LAS VEGAS, July 7 – There was a time, when my brain was as nimble as my brawn, a time I could make up lists like the ten greatest Italian operas or the ten sleaziest personalities in boxing or my favorite George Bush jokes. Alas, I am reduced now to that oldest of argument-stirring devices needed by a columnist who doesn’t feel like working too hard: the pound-for-pound list. Remember, though, don’t tell me where and why you disagree. Take it to the TSS Forum.

I write this knowing that there are two fights this weekend that could influence, or emend, these rankings. Tonight, from Phoenix on ESPN2, we get the privilege of a Joel Casamayor sighting. The Olympic and pro champion from Cuba is now 34, and who knows how much he’s slowed since losing a hard-fought match to Jose Luis Castillo and having a draw with Kid Diamond. He’s facing Lamont Pearson, who’s even older and has never approached Casamayor’s heights, but who could knock the southpaw completely out of my top 25 just by making it close.

Casamayor is No. 17 going into tonight’s bout. Roman Karmazin and Cory Spinks are unlisted, but their contest tomorrow night in St. Louis for Karmazin’s junior middleweight title could catapult the winner to a place of honor. Karmazin won his title against one of my up-and-coming pound-for-pounders, Kassim Ouma, last year. I did not move him into the rankings, though, since I knew from Eric Bottjer, one of the most astute boxing minds in the world, that Ouma was ailing. Bottjer, who just signed to be matchmaker for DRL (a combination, I’m sure that will be busy, heading by Dan Wise, Roberto Duran and Luis DeCubas), was working then for Don King and “spying” on Ouma. He told me he saw the African throw up after the workout and heard that he and a few members of the camp had been suffering from an illness. Therefore, I didn’t consider that Karmazin’s victory was over the “real” Kassim Ouma.

However, if he could beat Leon’s son, and Michael’s nephew, in Spinks’s home city of St. Louis, I might have to reconsider. Spinks had been in the ratings until he was stopped by the best Zab Judah there ever was in their rematch. The Next Generation had already beaten Judah and also holds a welterweight unification victory over Ricardo Mayorga. If the long rest has truly refreshed him, he might soon be back among the elite.

No. 1 – For the moment, though, I’m sticking with Floyd Mayweather Jr. at No. 1. What’s more, the “Fraud” movement – akin to the old Roycott ranters – I believe will come crashing down when the Pretty Boy finally stops beating up second-class citizens and goes after the overrated Antonio Margarito. I believe Mayweather, coming off his breakdown of Zab Judah, needs to fight someone “real” in his fall appearance and Margarito now makes the most sense – unless Sugar Shane Mosley again beats Fernando Vargas and can cut a deal that gives Pretty Boy the same money he might expect from a Margarito fight.

Mosley, of course, would be entitled to a greater share of any purse than Margarito would. After all, Margarito may be a tough guy, but he’s never beaten any one remotely of the caliber of Mosley’s opponents – including of course two victories over Oscar de la Hoya. Negotiations with Mosley would be rather difficult so perhaps Margarito, who would be getting a much smaller share of a Mayweather purse, might be the easier choice.

The Fraudulent Folk think Mayweather is reluctant to fight Margarito because of the size difference. It should not be news, though, that Mosley is bigger and stronger than Margarito and knows a bit more about boxing. What I think is really holding up this fight being made is Bob Arum, who has been bought out as Mayweather’s promoter and has since berated his former charge as being afraid of Margarito. Arum says he’s offering $8 million to the Mayweather camp. I’m not sure Mayweather couldn’t do almost as well by hiring a neutral promoter, just so Arum doesn’t control the bout. Where is Dan Goossen?

No. 2 – If Mayweather turning down $8 million for Margarito seems cowardly, what should we make of Winky Wright turning down half as much for the same opponent? Wright is still my No. 2, pound-for-pound. He either beat Jermain Taylor or was held to a draw. He did not lose, though. And he’s bigger than Margarito. If he could make 154 pounds, he’d have a size advantage over the 147-pound WBOgus champion. It is almost impossible to imagine Margarito beating Winky, so $4 million – which would be his biggest purse – seems almost like charity. Maybe he doesn’t want to fight for Arum, too. But if I were his management – if he has any – I might reconsider. Certainly, Margarito would be a nice tune-up for either a rematch with Taylor, one of the so-called middleweight titleholders, or a move up to 168 for Joe Calzaghe.

In any case, I can not lower Wright for a draw with Taylor in the champion’s hometown suburbs, not when most of the ringsiders I respect had the Wink winning clearly.

No. 3 – But gaining on the top two is Manny Pacquiao, who this year avenged his loss to Erik Morales with a dominating ten-round knockout, and is coming off an impressive performance against tough Oscar Larios. The Pac Man seems to be getting better and better the longer he is with Freddie Roach and with the rubber match coming up in November against Morales should close the year no lower than third.

No. 4 – One of the reasons for Pacquiao’s lofty status, of course, is his demolition of Marco Antonio Barrera. The great little Mexican may be starting to slide, witness the trouble he had with game Rocky Juarez, but I’m going to leave him up here. I thought he won that fight and I was again impressed with that championship quality of being able to dig down when necessary.

No. 5 – Okay, we knew he was good and maybe Jeff Lacy was highly overrated, but the job Joe Calzaghe did in one of the greatest beat-downs of the year was eye-popping. Just wish he would stay healthy enough to offer us repeats. Now he says he’s probably going to retire after three or four more bouts – just when he’s become interesting.

No. 6 – I cannot ignore Jermain Taylor any longer. I’m not sure he wasn’t 0-3-0 in his last three fights instead of 2-0-1, but anyone who can be that close to Bernard Hopkins twice and Winky Wright must have real quality. He still hasn’t mastered boxing. Nobody’s perfect.

No. 7 – Okay, I’m nostalgic. For one last time, Bernard Hopkins returns to the top ten. Look, I wasn’t surprised by his domination of Antonio Tarver. I thought the 37-year-old former light-heavyweight champion was much older than the 41-year-old former middleweight champion. But Hopkins, newly sculpted by Mackie Shilstone (who maybe should get some trainer of the year votes), looked Billy Crystal fabulous. Enjoy retirement, Bernard.

No. 8 – Having escaped Bob Arum, maybe the little dynamo Rafael Marquez can resurrect his career before it’s altogether too late. The man beat Marc Johnson, when Too Sharp was in my top ten, and stopped Tim Austin, ditto. Please, let’s see him in real fights against real opponents.

No. 9 – Diego (Chico) Corrales hasn’t fought this year and is coming off the knockout by Jose Luis Castillo when the playing field wasn’t level. I can not punish him for this, but he desperately needs to meet and beat a live opponent if he expects to remain top ten.

No. 10 – Losing isn’t everything on my list. Erik Morales, despite the beating he took from Pacquiao, remains for past distinguished service. In November, he could be facing retirement.

No. 11 – Ricky Hatton had the anticipated trouble with Luis Collazo and maybe 147 is a bit too much for him. At 140, though, he deserves his high ranking. Would love to see him fight No. 1, but I think he’s smart enough to look for some easier money first.

No. 12 – Jose Luis Castillo can’t beat the scales, but sight unseen, I believe he still can fight a bit. Trouble is, at what weigh? At welterweight, he may be small fish. At 140, perhaps he can make the same kind of splash he did at lightweight.

No. 13 – With Antonio Tarver’s demise, I believe the old Road Warrior, Glen Johnson, is now the king of the light-heavyweights. It may not be much of a realm, but at least there’s real class at the top.

No. 14 – Chris John. Not many of us have seen him and maybe his points victory at home in the Indonesia jungle over Juan Manuel Marquez was questionable, but all reports say he can really fight. Like to see a Marquez rematch some place neutral – like Las Vegas.

No. 15 – The first of a group of super superflyweights, Martin Castillo, is coming off a split decision victory over Alex Munoz and has a defense coming up later this month in Japan. He fights and he fights often and while not the greatest puncher in the world, he is fun to watch.

No. 16 – Juan Manuel Marquez may be declining and not simply because he’s been mismanaged by Nacho Beristain. He needs a meaningful victory or two to at least set up a rematch with Pacquiao, with whom he gained an undeserved draw (that’s my opinion, of course, but of course I’m right). Next time, the Pac Man will knock him down four times in the first round.

No. 17 – My man Joel Casamayor. I thought he definitely beat Acelino Freitas and that his losing rematch to Diego Corrales could have gone either way. As far as I’m concerned, the only guy that clearly beat him was Jose Luis Castillo. I hope he still has lots left.

No. 18 – Sugar Shane Mosley, I believe, is really a welterweight trapped in the 154-pound division with a lucrative rematch against Fernando Vargas. Mosley might have been lucky in his first meeting with Vargas because of the grotesque swelling around El Feroz’s left eye, and the rematch next week may be tougher, but I still think at 147 he might be the best bet against Mayweather. Imagine that fight at 135 a few years ago.

No. 19 – Miguel Cotto may show some big-league flaws, but love his calm demeanor, his ability to turn a round around with one body shot and his warrior mentality. If he’s moving up to 147, would be nice to see him against the Carlos Baldomir-Arturo Gatti winner, then if he gets by that, Jose Luis Castillo.

No. 20 – He has moves like Sugar Ray Leonard and now the question is whether Joan Guzman can carry his power with him from 122 to 130. It will be fun to watch.

No. 21 – There’s an old trick used by managers and promoters. Call out top-flight opponents often enough until the public begins to think your guy is in the same class. Bob Arum has made Antonio Margarito a lot bigger than the Tijuana native deserves by just such a tactic. In his most recent fights, Margarito has beaten guys Manuel Gomez, Kermit Cintron, Sebastian Andres Lujan and Hercules Kyvelos, while losing to Daniel Santos and Arum says this is the best welterweight in the world? Yes, he’s tough, but his punches are wide and believe me, Sugar Shane Mosley should be a 3-1 favorite against him.

No. 22 – Jhonny Gonzalez’s parents may not be able to spell – so what’s the excuse of Jhonny Peralta, the Cleveland shortstop? – but their kid can flat-out fight. After beating Fernando Montiel, one of those terrific super-flies who moved up to 118, Jhonny has his guns set on Rafael Marquez.

No. 23 – Fernando Montiel. Losing to Jhonny should not detract from a possible matchup with Martin Castillo.

No. 24 – Alex Munoz has lost two close decisions to Martin Castillo; maybe he should try someone like Montiel.

No. 25 – Because this is pound-for-pound, the arithmetic favors Jorge Arce at 115 pounds over Jeff Lacy at 168. So does the recent record. Arce, stepping up from 112, next fights South Africa’s talented Masibulele (Hawk) Makepula for a 115-pound title. Welcome to the club.

PENTHOUSE: Eric Bottjer, one of the game’s good guys, landed on his feet after Don King Promotions, in an economy move, let the matchmaker go. He’s now with the Florida-based DRL…Love Roman Karmazin’s line at St. Louis press conference about his fighting in Cory Spinks’s hometown: “Behind me,” said the Russian, “I have an entire country and three kids.”

OUTHOUSE: I see Edwin Valero, banned in this country after an MRI showed a spot on the brain, continues to flaunt American rules and is now fighting for a WBA title in Panama. If Joe Mesi had done something like this, he’d have been boiled in ink.

Articles of 2006

Peter/Toney Ii: Peter Has The Brutal Punch

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Samuel Peter claims he has dynamites in my two hands?

Heavyweight contenders Samuel “The Nigerian Nightmare” Peter and James Lights Out? Toney get it on a second time this Saturday from the Seminole Hard Rock in Hollywood, Fla. (Showtime).

The hard-slugging Peter, unlike Toney, is one of those strong, silent types notorious for letting their fists to the talking one the opening bell sounds, but the Nigeria Nightmare is as confident as ever and determined to turn Lights Out’s lights out for good.

I have got dynamites in my two hands,? said Peter, according the Lagos, Nigeria Vanguard, and I will crush James Toney once and for all. The Toney camp made the mistake of their lives by protesting and seeking a rematch. I am ready to teach him a bitter lesson.?

Sam Peter walked away with the W for Peter/Toney I at the Staples Center in LA last September, but it was by disputed split decision a verdict so disputed, there was even a dispute about the dispute which forced the WBC’s hand into mandating Saturday’s rematch.

Samuel Peter is the biggest thing to hit African boxing since Ghanaian superstar Azumah Nelson rocked the feather and junior welterweight divisions. The President of the Nigeria Boxing Board of Control, Prince Olaide Adeboye, admitted, according to allAfrica.com, We are rooting for Samuel Peter, of course. He is one boy we believe in to bring back the country’s lost glory in professional boxing. I am personally making arrangement to be at the ringside to see him fight Toney again. I was at the first fight in Los Angeles in September.

Peter has the brutal punch, and to me he was the clear winner of the first fight. But the WBC Board of Governors, of which I am a member, voted 21-10 for a rematch. There was nothing those of us Africans on the board could do in the circumstances. But I believe Peter will confirm he is better than Toney and will then go ahead to meet the champion and claim the belt for Nigeria and Africa.?

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Articles of 2006

The Sweet Science P4P Rankings for Asia

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There are claims that boxing is dying. Hogwash. The heavyweight division isn’t the only division in boxing and 2007 promises to be a banner year in boxing; especially for boxers hailing from Asia.

While Asia isn’t Vegas or Atlantic City, it is a region packed of diamonds in the rough; undiscovered gems and potential superstars who wait for their moment in the sun.

The Sweet Science P4P Rankings – Asia

1) Manny Pacquiao – There’s no way to dispute Pacquiao is the best fighter in Asia, if not all of boxing. He’s exciting, he wins with Je Ne Sais Quois and is definitely “the man” in boxing.

2) Pongsaklek Wonjongkam – Although his competition leaves much to be desired, his longevity and skills are undeniable. He is currently Thailand’s only world champion and is undefeated in ten years. Need I say more?

3) Chris John – A victory over Juan Manuel Marquez, however controversial, shows he belongs at the top of the heap. He easily outpointed Renan Acosta to close out 2006 and should have no trouble defending against Jose Rojas in February. A fight with Pacquiao would not be a good move on his part but a rematch with Marquez would not hurt – especially if he defeats the Mexican again.

4) Hozumi Hasegawa – Hidden away in Japan, Hasegawa is a sharp punching southpaw who put former champion Veeraphol Sahaprom to sleep. He recently bested Genaro Garcia and his herky-jerky style will give fits to any one who steps in the ring with him.

5) Masomori Tokuyama – Tokuyama has never shied away from a good fight and although he only fought once in 2006 (UD12 Jose Navarro), he ledger shows wins over Katsushige Kawashima (twice), Gerry Penalosa (twice) and In Jin Chi (twice). A fight with Hozumi Hasegawa is a distinct possibility in 2007.

6) Nobuo Nashiro – With only seven fights under his belt he took on WBA champion Martin Castillo – and defeated him. Although he’s only fought a total of nine fights, nearly all have been against quality opposition. A victory in a rematch with Castillo would cement his claim as the king of the 115-pound division.

7) Yukata Niida – This light-hitting minimumweight defended his title twice in 2006, winning a technical decision against unbeaten Eriberto Gejon (Tech Win 10) and the other on points over Ronald Barrera (W 12). Scheduled to meet Katsunari Takayama early next year – the best has yet to come for this WBA belt holder.

8) In Jin Chi – Won back the title he lost to Takashi Koshimoto in January from Rudolfo Lopez. While there’s little uncertainty to his skills, at thirty-three, 2007 may provide some insight as to just how much he has left.

9) Yodsanan Sor Nanthachai –Sor Nonthachai is an exciting, top-shelf fighter with an iron chin. Has no trouble making mincemeat of mid-level opposition and deserves a title shot in 2007. Time is running out.

10) Rey Bautista – He’s young, relatively inexperienced in big-time boxing, but will continue to shine in 2007. One of the better prospects in boxing, he should snag a title in 2007.

Asian Fighters Ranked in Ring Magazine

Pound for Pound:

Manny Pacquiao (Philippines): #2

Jr. Lightweight

Manny Pacquiao (Philippines): #1
Yodsanan Sor Nanthachai: #9

Featherweight

Chris John (Indonesia) #1
In Jin Chi (Korea) #3
Takashi Koshimoto (Japan) #5
Hioyuki Enoki (Japan) #7

Jr. Featherweight

Somsak Sithchatchawal (Thailand) #4

Bantamweight

Hozumi Hasegawa (Japan) #2
Veeraphol Sahaprom (Japan) #3
Ratanachai Sor Vorapin (Thailand) #6
Poonsawat Kratingdaenggym (Thailand) #10

Jr. Bantamweight

Nobuo Nashiro (Japan) #1
Katsushige Kawashima (Japan) #7
Pramuansak Phosuwan (Thailand) #10

Flyweight

Pongsaklek Wonjongkam (Thailand) #1
Takefumi Sakata (Japan) #7
Daisuke Naito (Japan) #10

Jr. Flyweight

Koki Kameda (Japan) #1

Minimumweight

Yukata Naiida (Japan) #2
Eagle Kyowa (Japan/Thai) #4
Katsunari Takayama (Japan) #5
Rodel Mayol (Philippines) #7

Boxing in Thailand

There’s no shortage of boxers in Thailand. With a huge pool of Muay Thai fighters to draw from and several talented amateur boxing prospects turning pro after the 2008 Beijing Olympics, Thailand seems destined to remain a boxing powerhouse in Asia.

The country is known for having tough, determined and disciplined fighters who give their all whenever the step in to the ring. However, consistently losing while fighting abroad and padding their records with no-hopers has done nothing to enhance their reputation.

Whether because of a lack of marketability, a lack of funds or their unwillingness to travel abroad, the vast majority of boxers from Thailand remain a mystery to fans in the west. If anything though, the boxing scene involving Thai fighters will be active. In fact, it’s one of the most active in the world; since 2000, the number of fights has nearly doubled in the country.

The Sweet Science P4P Rankings – Thailand – August 2006

1) Pongsaklek Wonjongkam
2) Poonsawat Kratingdaenggym
3) Somsak Sithchatchawal
4) Wandee Singwancha
5) Sirimongkol Singwancha
6) Yodsanan Sor Nanthachai
7) Veeraphol Sahaprom
8) Pramuansak Phosuwan
9) Terdsak Jandaeng
10) Oleydong Sithamerchai

Current Sweet Science P4P Rankings – Thailand

1) Pongsaklek Wonjongkam (Flyweight) – Definitely the top dog in Thailand

2) Yodsanan Sor Nanthachai (Super Lightweight) – He’s a seasoned fighter who has proven himself in the big-time. He’s one Thai who can fight outside of Asia. He has an abundance of skills and one-punch power. His overall ability and ease in dispatching anyone other than championship caliber get him the runners-up spot.

3) Poonsawat Kratingdaenggym (Super Bantamweight) – After losing to Vladimir Sidorenko he’s bounced back. He’s young, he can punch, but the former interim champion needs to prove himself against a name fighter.

4) Somsak Sithchatchawal (Super Bantamweight) – Was his win over Monshipour a fluke or was Celestino Caballero just that good? Did Sithchatchawal catch Monshipour at the right time and can he rebound from the devastating loss? The jury is still out.

5) Wandee Singwancha (Flyweight) – He doesn’t have much of a punch which will be his downfall in the end. He can box, as was evidenced in his recent victory over Juanito Rubillar, but this won’t be enough. He can no longer make the Jr. Flyweight limit and with no punch he’ll have a hard time competing against the “big boys.” Although he’s now rated second by the WBC, he doesn’t deserve to be.

5) Sirimongkol Singwancha (Super Lightweight) – Get this guy a fight. He’s better than Jose Armando Santa Cruz and would have beat up Inada had the fight taken place. He’ll fight anyone but his biggest obstacle is staying motivated fighting tomato cans in Thailand. Like many Thais, he needs a fight against a name opponent.
6) Wandee Singwancha (Flyweight) – He doesn’t have much of a punch which will be his downfall in the end. He can box, as was evidenced in his recent victory over Juanito Rubillar, but this won’t be enough. He can no longer make the Jr. Flyweight limit and with no punch he’ll have a hard time competing against the “big boys.” Although he’s now rated second by the WBC, he doesn’t deserve to be.

7) Pramuansak Phosuwan (Super Flyweight) – A genuine tough guy. Always calm and focused no matter how heated the battle. But at thirty-eight, he’ll be in trouble should he fight one of the division’s elite.
8) Veeraphol Sahaprom (Bantamweight) – Will be lucky to get another crack at the title. Although he has a puncher’s chance of winning a belt, that’s about all he has left at this point. A third shot at Hasegawa is unlikely.

9) Oleydong Sithamerchai (Minimumweight) – He’s fought better than the usual opponents faced by Thais at his level and he moves up one spot with the departure of Terdsak Jandaeng. He lacks the punch and is in the wrong division to become a superstar. He’ll need to defeat a name opponent to convince me.

10) Saenghiran Lookbanyai / Napapol Kittisakchokchai (Super Bantamweight) – These two square-off in early March, supposedly to see who deserves a shot at Israel Vasquez. Kittisakchokchai has the edge in experience but some feel Lookbanyai has the edge in heart and is the favorite.

Neither has defeated a top twenty fighter and yet are ranked number one and two respectively in the WBC’s world.

In Kittisakchokchoi’s lone shot at the big-time, he was TKO’d in 10 by Oscar Larios. His dreadful performance against Larios and lack of quality opposition leads me to believe Saenghiran might have more of a shot at beating him than some suspect. Regardless, neither of them lasts longer than six rounds with Israel Vasquez.

Honorable Mention: Wethya Sakmuangklang, Denkaosan Kaovichit, Devid Lookmahanak, Nethra Sasiprapa, Chonlatarn Piriyapinyo, Pornsawan Kratingdaenggym

Thai Fighters Ranked in Ring Magazine

Pongsaklek Wonjongkam: #1 Flyweight
Pramuansak Phosuwan: #10 Jr. Bantamweight
Veeraphol Sahaprom: #3 Bantamweight
Ratanachai Sor Vorapin: #6 Bantamweight
Poonsawat Kratingdaenggym: #10 Bantamweight
Somsak Sithchatchawal: #3 Jr. Featherweight
Yodsanan Sor Nanthachai: #9 Lightweight

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Articles of 2006

Iceman Stops Tito Ortiz Win Streak

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LAS VEGAS—UFC light heavyweight champion Chuck “Iceman” Liddell’s fists proved too much for Huntington Beach’s Tito Ortiz who was stopped in the third round before a sold out crowd at the MGM Garden Arena on Saturday.

The punching machine Liddell (20-3, 13 KOs) repeated his victory in UFC 66 over the much-improved grappler Ortiz who has improved his punching and blocking. Ortiz was trying to avenge his loss of April 2004.

Despite all the new weapons displayed by Ortiz it wasn’t enough as Liddell pummeled the former champion and retained his title with a technical knockout at 3:59 of the third round. Referee Mario Yamasaki stopped the bout.

“This was the most satisfying victory of my career,” said Liddell, 36, of Santa Barbara. “Tito came back real tough.”

Ortiz (15-5, 8 KOs), a former wrestler, worked on his boxing technique knowing he would need it against the former boxer Liddell. But Liddell’s experience allowed him to find the right moment to pounce on Ortiz.

“I had him hurt, I just kept throwing punches,” said Liddell who also knocked down Ortiz in the first round with a left hook.

Ortiz was gracious in defeat.

“Chuck is the best fighter Pound for Pound in the (mixed martial arts) world,” said Ortiz, 31, who suffered a gash on the side of his left eye from a punch. “I’m disgusted by myself. I let my fans down.”

Other bouts

Underdog Keith Jardine (12-3-1) knocked out Forrest Griffin (13-4) at 4:41 of the first round in their light heavyweight showdown. A right uppercut followed by a left hook wobbled Griffin who was sent to the floor by a barrage of punches. On the ground Jardine landed right after right until referee John McCarthy stopped the fight for a technical knockout.

“I couldn’t believe he was hurt,” said Jardine about Griffin who is known for his resiliency. “I was so nervous coming into this fight, but now I know I belong here.”

Canada’s Jason McDonald (18-7) choked out Chris Leben (15-3) in a middleweight bout that was up for grabs. Though Leben seemed to control the fight with stunning left hands, once the fight went to the ground McDonald managed a chokehold at 4:03 of the second round. Referee Steve Mazagatti saw Leben was unconscious and stopped the fight.

Former UFC heavyweight champion Andrei Arlovski (12-5) caught Brazil’s Mario Cruz (2-2) with a sneak right hand while both were tangled on the ground. Then the Belarusian pummeled Cruz until referee Herb Dean stopped the fight at 3:15 of the first round.

Third season winner of the Ultimate Fighter television reality season Michael Bisping (12-0) of Great Britain won by technical knockout over Eric Shafer (9-2-2) at 4:29 of the first round. A knee knocked Shafer groggy then Bisping knocked him to the ground and pounded him. Referee Mario Yamasaki stopped the bludgeoning.

Thiago Alves (16-4) caught Peru’s Tony De Souza (15-5) with a knee as he attempted to dive for his legs in a welterweight contest. After that it was pretty much over as Alves pummeled De Souza at 1:10 of the second round forcing referee John McCarthy to halt the bout.

Gabriel Gonzago (7-1) proved too strong for Carmelo Marrero (6-1) in a heavyweight bout. At 3:22 of the first round Gonzago of Massachusetts manipulated his way into arm bar forcing Pennsylvania’s Marrero to tap out.

Japan’s Yushin Okami (19-3) pounded Georgia’s Rory Singer (11-6) into submission at 4:03 of the third round of a middleweight bout. Okami seemed the more-rounded fighter with effective kicks to the head and more accurate punching.

Christian Wellisch (8-2) jumped to a quick start with an accurate left hook that rattled Australia’s Anthony Perosh (5-3) in a heavyweight bout. During the first round it seemed the Sacramento fighter might end the fight but the Aussie hung tough. Wellisch won by unanimous decision.

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