UFC 92 Results and Thoughts

Quick Results:

  • Rashad Evans defeats Forrest Griffin via TKO in Round 3 
  • Frank Mir defeats Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira via TKO in round 2
  • Quinton Jackson defeats Wanderlei Silva via KO in Round 1
  • Cheick Kongo defeats Mustafa Al-Turk via TKO (Strikes) Round 1
  • CB Dollaway defeats Mike Massenzio via TKO (Strikes) Round 1
  • Yushin Okami defeats Dean Lister via unanimous decision
  • Antoni Hardonk defeats Mike Wessel via TKO in round two
  • Matt Hamill defeats Reese Andy via TKO in round two
  • Brad Blackburn defeats Ryo Chonan via unanimous decision
  • Pat Barry defeats Dan Evensen via TKO in round one

Fight of the Night: Forrest Griffin vs. Rashad Evans

Knockout of the Night: Quinton “Rampage” Jackson

Thoughts:

  • Rashad Evans in underrated.  He is a great striker with great wrestling skills.  He is a force to be reckoned with in the UFC.  He is now the UFC light heavyweight champ and maybe the best light heavyweight in the world.  He boasts wins over Michael Bisping, Chuck Liddell, and Forrest Griffin. 
  • Forrest Griffin will be back, but I do not know who he will face.  If Shogun beats Mark Coleman there could be a re-match.
  • I never expected Nogueira to get beat so badly.  Mir tore him a new one.  Nog didn’t show up.  Maybe he is past his prime.  Mir looke dreally good though.  Now we get the Mir vs. Lesnar re-match.
  • I didn’t expect Rampage to KO Wanderlei either.  It looks like Rampage could get a title shot.
  • C.B. Dolloway looked impressive in his win over a very good Mike Massenzio.  He showed good wrestling, good striking and good submission defense.
  • Cheick Kongo really impressed in his vicious TKO over Al-Turk
  • You say Yushin, I say Okami.  Yushin… (Okami).  Okami is deserving number one contender now that he walked through Dean Lister
  • Pat Barry has really good kicks and is a force in the heavyweight division
  • Antoni Hardonk keeps winning.  He may move up some rankings
  • Matt Hamill really impressed and probably knocked Reese Andy out of the UFC along with Dan Evensen, Ryo Chonan and Mike Wessel
  • This event set up some good potential match-ups…

                    – Quinton Jackson vs. Rashad Evans

                   – Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira vs. Randy Couture

                    – Antoni Hardonk vs. Pat Barry

                    -Frank Mir vs. Brock Lesnar

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MMA Blog’s UFC 92 Preview and Predictions

UFC 92: The Ultimate 2008 is one of the best cards of the year on paper.  This card features what many consider to be 3 super fights.  This card is sure to draw a good crowd and good pay per view numbers.  Also, this will end 2008 with a bang and the outcomes of these fights will dictate many key match-ups in 2009, including Brock Lesnar’s next opponent, possibly Anderson Silva’s next opponent at 205 lbs, and possibly the next contender at 205 lbs. 

Forrest Griffin vs. Rashad Evans

Forrest Griffin

vs.

Rashad Evans

   

Nickname

Sugar

1

MMA Blog Rank

6

205 Lbs.

Weight Class

205 Lbs.

16-4 (7-2 UFC)

Record

12-0-1 (7-0 UFC)

This fight will be Forrest Griffin’s first title defense and a bout between the winner of the Ultimate Fighter 1 and the winner of the Ultimate Fighter 2.   Rashad is sort of a surprise number one contender here.  He earned the title shot with his highlight reel KO of Chuck Liddell.   Evans is an undefeated fighter with a solid wrestling pedigree and very impressive striking.  Forrest Griffin is already a future UFC hall of famer and one of the biggest stars.  He relishes being the undersog.  He was the underdog against Shogun.  He was the underdog against Rampage.  Forrest works as hard as anyone in the sport.  Forrest is also known for his incredible heart.  This is a very interesting match up style wise for me.  Forrest will stand and trade, but Rashad probably has the striking advantage (just ask Chuck Liddell and Sean Salmon).  The heart and toughness advantage would go to Forrest.  The wrestling advantage would go to Rashad, but the submissions advantage would go to Forrest.  Forrest will also have a slight size and reach advantage over Rashad.  Quite honestly I think this is a bad match up for Forrest.  I look for Rashad to use his wrestling to keep the fight standing or to scramble to his feet.  I also think that he may clip Forrest with a good shot.  However, he better watch for those leg kicks which devastated Ramapge.  Forrest would have to have the conditioning advantage.  If he is smart he will want to take Rashad past round 3.  Forrest is a proverbial “cardio machine”.  We saw Forrest win against Shogun due to his cardio.  This could be the achilles heel for Evans.  I think it is highly possible he will gas and that is Forrest’s best chance at winning.  Some people speculate that Rashad could be distracted due to the recent birth of a child.  However, I think that Rashad’s training with the legendary Greg Jackson will more than cover that possible distraction.  I expect Rashad to have a great game plan.  Hidden within this fight is a match up between two great camps Evans and Team Jackson and Griffin and Xtreme Couture.  Whoever has the better game plan will win.  It may be scary to say, but I do not know if we have seen the best of either of these guys yet.  I think rashad has more raw talent, but Forrest has the heart of a champion.  With that said, I pick Rashad to win by TKO in round 3 to become the new UFC light heavyweight champion. 

Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira vs. Frank Mir

Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira

vs.

Frank Mir

 

Minatauro

Nickname

 

1

MMA Blog Rank

3

Heavyweight

Weight Class

185 Lbs.

31-4-1 (2-0 UFC)

Record

11-3 (9-3 UFC)

I am just gonna call this one the way I see it.  Nogueira is a legend in the sport.  He is a near consensus number 2 heavyweight in the world.  He has fought the best in the world.  He is nearly impossible to knockout or submit.  He has the best heart in MMA.  Frank Mir has had good days.  He is a former UFC heavyweight champ.  He has solid all around skills and good ground skills.  However, I do not think Mir is near the calibur of Nogueira.  The two Ultimate fighter coaches will pair off for the interim heavyweight title and a chance to fight Brock Lesnar sometime in 2009.  Nogueira holds the interim title and is the first person to be PRIDE and UFC champ.  This fight gained exposure through season 8 of the Ultimate Fighter.  Nogueira was the clear fan favorite of the coaches.  In fact, Mir may have entered the reality show as the fan favorite, but the season ended with Nogueira being by far the favorite coach and becoming endeared by fans.  At the end of the season of TUF, I posted a poll on MMABlog asking about the favorite coach and 88% of the 200 people polled said Nogueira was their favorite coach over Mir.  I say that to say that Nogueira will be a fan favorite in Mir’s hometown.  In fact I cannot think of one area where Mir will have an advantage.  I think the key is mental.  Mir has not been the same since his bike wreck.  I also get the sense that he is intimidated by Nogueira.  Many interviews Mir speaks of Nog as his hero, as a “Frankenstein”, and as nearly impossible to beat.  I think Nogueira wins by submission in round 2…maybe even round 1.

Wanderlei Silva vs. Quinton Jackson

Wanderlei Silva

vs.

Quinton Jackson

 

The Axe Murderer

Nickname

Rampage

4

MMA Blog Rank

2

205 Lbs.

Weight Class

205 Lbs.

32-8-1 (2-2 UFC)

Record

28-7 (3-1 UFC)

This is the third installment of this particular fight.  Two times Wanderlei Silva has destroyed Jackson.  For those that have not see the previous two fights they are must sees, check them out here and here.  Jackson claims to be in better shape and better prepared than he has ever been.  Jackson also claims that Wanderlei is not the same guy he was in his days of dominance in PRIDE.  Jackson is coming off of a defeat to Forrest Griffin, a bizzare string of events and eventual arrest, and a change in camps which saw him move to England to train at Wolfslair.  Wanderlei is coming off of an impressive win over Keith Jardine at UFC 84.  He looks to build on that.   The winner of this fight could very well be in line for a title shot. 

        I do not know what makes this fight different than the previous two.  I have to wonder if Wanderlei does not just have Rampage’s number.  This fight will answer many questions such as: Is the difference in rules between PRIDE and UFC a big factor?  Is Wanderlei past his prime?  Is Rampage really better now than he was against Forrest?   All I know is that Rampage better avoid the clinch and the knee of Silva.  I do not see this fight going the distance.  I think that we will see this also be fight of the night.  I look for Wanderlei to win by TKO in round 2.

C.B. Dolloway vs. Mike Massenzio

C.B. Dolloway

vs.

Mike Massenzio

 

The Doberman

Nickname

 

27

MMA Blog Rank

28

185 Lbs.

Weight Class

185 Lbs.

7-1 (1-1 UFC)

Record

11-2 (1-0 UFC)

I am not going to defend the placement of this fight on the main card over Yushin Okami vs. Dean Lister, but I will tell you this will be a good fight.  These guys may not be as high up the middleweight ladder as Okami and Lister and they may not have the same name recognition, but both of these guys are solid prospects. 

     C.B. Dolloway burst onto the scene in the Ultimate Fighter 7.  He was the heavy favorite throughout the whole season, but was upset in the semi-finals by Amir Sadollah.  However, he was given a second chance following the booting of Jesse Taylor.  C.B. beta Tim Credeur handily to earn a second crack at Sadollah for the TUF title.  C.B. lost int he same way to Amir int he finale.  However, he bounced back with a highlight reel submission of Jesse Taylor by way of peruvian necktie a submission that many consider a submission of the year candidate.  C.B. is an accomplished wrestler out of Arizona State University who trains at Arizona Combat Sports with other MMA stars like TUF 8 winner Ryan Bader, WEC lightweight champ Jamie Varner, and WEC welterweight champ Carlos Condit. 

     Mike Massenzio is 1-0 in the UFC.  He won is his UFC debut quickly over UFC vet Drew McFedries.  He sunk in a kimura forcing McFedries to tap.  Massenzio is a very good prospect who is very good on the ground.  Massenzio is one of the fighters the UFC picked up from the now defunct IFL. 

        The question for me on this one is can C.B. avoid Massenzio’s submissions.  He couldn’t avoid Amir’s.  C.B. may elect to keep the fight standing if he can.  He also may want to work some ground and pound.  A lot of people like Mike Massenzio in this fight.  However, I think C.B. is going to prove too good standing and too strong on the ground.  I pick C.B. to win by unanimous decision.

  

 

Cheick Kongo vs. Mustapha Al Turk

Cheick Kongo

vs.

Mustapha Al-Turk

   

Nickname

 

5

MMA Blog Rank

12

Heavyweight

Weight Class

Heavyweight

12-4-1 (5-2 UFC)

Record

6-3 (0-0 UFC)

This fight will be the first fight to air on the main card.  Cheick Kongo may be one the most inconsistent fighters in the UFC.  He beats Cro Cop, but eats a loss to Heath Herring.  I do think Kongo is one of the top 10-15 heavyweights out there, but he needs a big win.   Kongo wants a title shot.  He makes no bones about it.  A win here may inch him closer, but it won’t put him next in line.  He still has guys like Carwin, Gonzaga, and Couture ahead of him.  However, rumor has it that a win here could garner him a fight between former UFC fighter Jeff Monson. 

    Al Turk is the former Cage Rage hevayweight champion.  I am sure Al Turk would like to get out of here unscathed.  Either way we could see Al Turk return at UFC 95 in England against new heavyweight signee Neil Grove.  Al Turk seems to be a decent striker, but I do not know if he can hang with Kongo.

I pick Kongo by unanimous decision.

The Undercard:

Yushin Okami vs. Dean Lister

Lister is a world calss grappler and jiu jitsu player.  Okami is a top 3 middleweight in the world.  Many people (including me) think Okami is deserving of a title shot.  If Okami beats Lister it will be hard to withhold a title shot from him.  There are two reasons Okami has not gotten that shot.  First, he is not very marketable.  Second, he is coming off of an injury.  He would have gotten the shot over Cote, but an injury slowed Okami.  Tehre are tons of people in line at 185 lbs. including Thales Leites, Nate Marquardt, Michael Bisping, and Demian Maia.  I believe Lister could submit Okami, but I have to pick Okami to win this by decision.

Quick Picks:

Matt Hamill vs. Reese Andy – Hamill by Unanimous Decision

Brad Blackburn vs. Ryo Chonan – Blackburn by Unanimous Decision

Antoni Hardonk vs. Mike Wessell – Hardonk by TKO

Dan Evensen vs. Pat Barry – Barry by TKO

MMABlog’s Light Heavyweight MMA Rankings

 

Here are my 205’ers.  The UFC clearly has the deepest and best pool of 205 lb fighters.  I only see a couple of non-UFC fighters being top 25 material. 

Rank

Name

Organization

Next Fight

1

Forrest Griffin

UFC

Evans (#6), 12/27

2

Quinton Jackson

UFC

W. Silva (#4) 12/27

3

Lyoto Machida

UFC

T. Silva (#10) 1/31

4

Wanderlei Silva

UFC

Jackson (#2) 12/27

5

Mauricio “Shogun” Rua

UFC

Coleman (NR), 1/17

6

Rashad Evans

UFC

Griffin (#1), 12/27

7

Dan Henderson

UFC

Franklin (#12), 1/17

8

Keith Jardine

UFC

 

9

Chuck Liddell

UFC

 

10

Thiago Silva

UFC

Machida (#3), 1/31

11

Antonio Rogerio Nogueira

Affliction

Moisa (NR), 11/3

12

Rich Franklin

UFC

Henderson (#7), 1/17

13

Brandon Vera

UFC

 

14

Vladimir Matyushenko

Affliction

 

15

Luiz Cane

UFC

 

16

Rameau Thierry Sokoudjou

UFC

 

17

Ricardo Arona

 

 

18

Renato “Babalu” Sobral

Affliction

Southworth (NR), 11/21

19

Matt Hamill

UFC

Andy (NR), 12/27

20

Tito Ortiz

 

 

21

Rafael Feijao

EliteXC?

 

22

Steve Cantwell

UFC

Al-Hussan (NR), 12/10

23

Stephan Bonnar

UFC

Jones (NR), 1/31

24

James Irvin

UFC

 

25

Brian Stann

UFC

 

Also considered: Jon Jones, Tim Boetsch, Bobby Southworth, Mark Coleman (Didn’t include him because he hasn’t fought again.  He probably is top 25 material)

UFC News: Matt Hamill vs. Reese Andy at UFC 92

UFC 92 is already a dominant card that will put great fights on the undercard.  One of those fights appears to be a light heavyweight cout between Matt Hamill and Reese Andy.  Andy and Hamill are both coming off of loses to newcomers to the UFC Light Heavyweight divison in Rich Franklin and Brandon Vera. 

Both of these guys are very good wrestlers and are strong guys.  Matt Hamill would obvious be the favorite going into the fight, but one shouldn’t sleep on Andy.  Looks to be a solid fight, but I doubt it makes the main card, which has a trio of headliners in bouts between Forrest Griffin vs. Rashad Evans, Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira vs. Frank Mir, and Wanderlei Silva vs. Quinton Jackson.  Wow!

UFC 88 Thoughts and Recap

Quick Results:

Rashad Evans def. Chuck Liddell by KO in round 2

Rich Franklin def. Matt Hamill by TKO in round 3

Dan Henderson def. Rousimar Palhares by unanimous decision

Nate Marquardt def. Martin Kampmann by TKO in round 1

Dong Hyun Kim def. Matt Brown by split decision

Jason MacDonald def. Jason Lambert by submission in round 2

Tim Boetsh def. Mike Patt by TKO in round 1

Kurt Pellegrino def. Thiago Tavares by unanimous decision

Ryo Chonan def. Roan Carneiro by split decision

Fight of the Night: Kurt Pellegrino vs. Thiago Tavares

Submission of the Night: Jason MacDonald

Knockout of the Night: Rashad Evans

My Predictions: I went 6 of 9 (I missed the Rashad Evans vs. Chuck Liddell, Martin Kampmann vs. Nate Marquardt and Kurt Pellegrino vs. Thiago Tavares fights)

My Thoughts on UFC 88:

  • Rashad Evans was impressive as heck.  I was utterly shocked.  I thought after round 1 Chuck would finish it.  Rashad looked good all round 2.  He was winning that fight even before the KO.  By the way, that was one of the most vicious KO’s I have ever seen in one punch.  That will be a highlight reel KO for years to come.  That will be knockout of the year candidate.  Rashad Evans showed he was no joke.  I don’t know if he deserves the title shot he was granted in December, but I won’t complain about it too badly.  I still think Machida deserves it.
  • Rich Franklin is back.  I love Rich Franklin.  He is a class act fighter.  He is super talented and always improving.  His striking is world class.  He is a threat in the light heavyweight divison.  There are some guys he would lose to, but I think he would beat Forrest or Rashad right now.  I am glad to see him back on track.
  • Matt Hamill looked good in the loss.  He showed he is improving his striking.  I think he still needs to rely on his bread and butter more of take downs and ground and pound, but he wants to show his striking.  Rich was just too experienced for him and found a weakness in his game and exploited it.  Hamill will be back and in my opinion he is still a top 15 light heavyweight.
  • Dan Henderson looked alright, but nothing special.  I think that is because Palhares is that good.  Palhares has a solid chin and superior submissions.  Keep his name in mind because he will be back too.
  • The most impressive performance to me was Nate Marquardt.  Nate has always had excellent grappling and submissions, but he showed versatile and skilled striking against a dangerous Kampmann.  He looked crisp and solid.  He is in the top heap at 185.  I’d love to see him fight Dan Henderson or Michael Bisping with the winner getting a title shot.  However, it may be that after Cote, Silva will get Okami.  Then Bisping is likely the next guy in line.  Then perhaps a re-match with Marquardt or Henderson. 
  • Some people think Matt Brown should have gotten the decision over Dong Hyun Kim, but I don’t think so.  I think Kim won round 1 due to submission attempts and a near finish and I think he won round 3 due to the take downs and big elbows out the end.  I think Kim looked really good against a tough as nails Matt Brown who showed some improvement.  Kim is a contender at 170 and though many people think he shouldn’t have won, and though I am sure he would have rather finished the fight, a win is a win and he will climb the ladder.
  • Tim Boetsh looked impressive against UFC newcomer Mike Patt, and I think if he can gain some cardio he can be a contender at 205.

UFC News: Wanderlei Silva to Return in December

According to MMA Junkie, Wanderlei Silva has been told by UFC officials to prepare for a December return.  It appears he will be on the December 27 card which will feature a heavyweight title match between Frank Mir and Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira as well as a possible match between B.J. Penn and Georges St. Pierre.  This is what Wandy had to say:

“I’m talking with (UFC co-owner) Lorenzo (Fertitta), they’re talking about December because it is the best event of the year. (Antonio Rodrigo) Nogueira is going to fight (Frank) Mir for the belt for the heavyweights. This is the best event. It’s much more promotion. They told me to be ready to fight in December. They gave me 10 (possible) names. My division is the best division in the world. They have so many names. I think they’re going to give a good opponent to me. I wanted to fight [Jackson] again and I think it’s a very good match. For me, I have time to fight for the belt in the future, no problem, I’m going to wait for my opportunity. I’m going to give my best on every fight. After I win my fights, I’m going to have an opportunity to fight for the belt. For me, no problem, I’ll fight with everybody.”

So, the question is who will he fight in December.  Process of elimination may help.  We would figure he would get a top 10-15 opponent seeing as how he just beat a top guy in Jardine.

  • Lyoto Machida is booked for a fight with Thiago Silva
  • Rameau Theirry Sokoudjou is booked for a fight with Luis Cane
  • Brandon Vera is booked for a fight with Keith Jardine
  • Chuck Liddell is booked for a fight with Rashad Evans
  • Shogun should return in December, but Wanderlei won’t fight him
  • Dan Henderson is booked for a fight at UFC 88
  • Rich Franklin is booked to fight Matt Hamill at UFC 88

That leaves Forrest Griffin, Quinton Jackson, Stephan Bonnar and Goran Reljic

  • I wouldn’t object to Wanderlei getting the title shot, but it isn’t likely yet.  They train together also, but I am sure they would fight if the price is right, but I doubt they can push aside Machida for Silva.
  • Stephan Bonnar may be a good option as he should return by that date, but I don’t know if he is the calibur that Silva wants to fight.  He wants someone to get him into contention
  • Goran Reljic os good and also possible, but not likely because he isn’t ranked high enough
  • Quinton Jackson has to be the most likely but seeing as how he has all sorts of legal problems, I don’t know if it will happen.
  • The other option is a quick turn around for someone fighting in Semptember like Chuck Liddell, Rashad Evans, Dan Henderson, Rich Franklin or Matt Hamill, or even Andre Gusmao.  Any of those would be interesting and UFC 88 may dictate Silva’s opponent. 
  • The final option is some new to the UFC guy.  A new signing could be possible, but it is unlikely it would be someone that could jump right in and be cosndiered Silva level.  Someone like Vladimir Matyushenko is possible, but not likely.

 

Mid Year MMA Awards

Best Knockout

Honorable Mention: Luis Arthur Cane KO Jason Lambert, Shane Carwin KO Christian Wellish, Murilio Rua TKO Tony Bonello, Matt Wiman KO Thiago Tavares

5. Anthony Johnson KO Tommy Speer

4. Wilson Gouveia KO Jason Lambert

3. Brian Stann KO Doug Marshall

2. James Irvin KO Houston Alexander

1. Wanderlei Silva KO Keith Jardine

Best Submission

Honorable Mention: Antonio Nogueira submits Tim Sylvia by Guillotine, Yoshiyuki Yoshida submits Jon Koppenhaver by Anaconda choke, Nate Diaz submits Kurt Pellegrino, Cole Miller Submits Jorge Gurgel by Triangle Choke

5. Demian Mia Submits Ed Herman by Triangle Choke

4. Frank Mir Submits Brock Lesnar by Kneebar

3. Rousimar Palhares Submits Ivan Salaverry by Armbar

2. Dustin Hazelett Submits Josh Burkman by Armbar

1. Shinya Aoki Submits Katsuhiko Nagata by Aokiplata

Best Fight

Honorable Mention: Shinya Aoki vs. Gesias Calvancante, Cung Le vs. Frank Shamrock

5. Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira vs. Tim Sylvia

4. Urijah Faber vs. Jens Pulver

3. Robbie Lawler vs. Scott Smith

2. Quinton Jackson vs. Forrest Griffin

1. Miguel Torres vs. Yoshiro Maeda

Best Fight Card

5. WEC 34: Faber vs. Pulver

4. UFC 80: Rapid Fire

3. UFC 81: Breaking Point

2. DREAM 4

1. UFC 84: Ill Will

Upset of The Year:

Honorable Mention: Jason Day over Alan Belcher,

5. Thiago Alves over Karo Parisyan

4. Kevin Burns over Roan Carneiro

3. Fabricio Werdum over Gabriel Gonzaga

2. Josh Thomson over Gilbert Melendez

1. Forrest Griffin over Quinton Jackson

Fighter Of The Year:

Honorable Mention: Anderson Silva, Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira, Michael Bisping, Georges St. Pierre, Diego Sanchez

5. Miguel Torres

4. Forrest Griffin

3. Thiago Alves

2. Shinya Aoki

1. B.J. Penn (2 Impressive wins over Sean Sherk and Joe Stevenson)

Best UFC Newcomer:

Honorable Mention: Shane Carwin, Brock Lesnar

5. Rousimar Palhares

4. Dong Hyun Kim

3. Yoshiyuki Yoshida

2. Goran Reljic

1. Cain Velasquez

Worst Calls By A Ref. or Judges

5. Forrest Griffin over Quinton Jackson –  Not just that Forrest got the win, but that it was unanimous.  Many, including me scored the fight either a draw or to Jackson

4. Brandon Vera vs. Fabricio Werdum- Dan Miragliotta stopped the fight in round 1 when Werdum was mounted on Vera throwing down punches.  There was just 10 seconds remaining and Vera seemed to be defending himself well. 

3. Nate Marquardt vs. Thales Leites — Leites got the win, but lost the fight.  He lost the fight due to two points taken away from Marquardt.  One point was justified, but the other was due to elbow to the back of the ehad that wasn’t to the back of the head.  I will confess, that another point could have fairly been deducted for an illegal slam, but I hated to see Marquardt get a loss on his record that I feel he won

2. Phantom split decisions — How was Evan Tanner vs. Kendall Grove a split deicsion?  How was Heath Herring vs Cheick Kongo a split decision?  The right person got the decision, but how was it split?

1. Kimbo Slice vs. James Thompson – Dan Miragliotta stopped the fight in the 3rd round while Thompson was still standing and failed to stop it when Thompson was mounted on Kimbo raining down elbows