Sonnen and Marquardt both took home “Fight of the Night” honors, while Thiago used a sleep-inducing d’arce choke on Mike Swick earning him the “Submission of the Night”, and Matt Serra landed a huge overhand right to KO Frank Trigg, collecting his “Knockout of the Night” award.
Although Sonnen and Marquardt each earned “Fight of the Night” awards, it was Sonnen that dominated and brutalized the number one contender Nate Marquardt, earning every penny of his $60,000.
Sonnen took the fight to Marquardt from the beginning, putting “Nate the Great” on his back early and often, and utilizing a bruising, grinding ground and pound strategy throughout the first stanza.
It was more of the same in round 2, with the only strike or offense of any significance coming from Marquardt, being an elbow from his back that sliced open a gaping cut above the eye of Sonnen.
The cut bled profusely and sprayed blood all over the canvas, but did little to slow the dominance of Sonnen throughout the rest of the fight.
Marquardt found himself on his back once again in the final round, and almost pulled off the come from behind submission with a tight guillotine attempt. Sonnen visibly winced as Marquardt continued to choke, but worked his way out surviving the last 20 seconds of the fight, earning a clear cut unanimous decision victory over Marquardt and “Fight of the Night” honors.
Paulo Thiago stood with Mike Swick and was landing some nice strikes of his own before eating a big right hand that wobbled him. Swick moved in for the kill but dropped his hands as Thiago countered with a big left hand, dropping the AKA product.
Thiago followed Swick to the ground, and as Swick scrambled for position, Thiago locked up a fight ending d’arce choke that left Swick unconscious on the mat, earning him a cool $60k and “Submission of the Night” honors.
Matt Serra stayed patient with his striking throughout the first half of the first round against Frank Trigg looking to avoid the take down.
Serra then found a home to the body of Trigg, and followed up with a big overhand right that floored “Twinkle Toes.” Serra followed up with three more big shots to the jaw of Trigg on the ground, before the referee could get in and stop it.
Serra’s stoppage of Trigg was the “Knockout of the Night”.