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UFC 124 recap: St. Pierre outclasses Koscheck, Struve finishes McCorkle

After enduring verbal jabs from Josh Koscheck for months leading up tonight’s main event at UFC 124, Georges St. Pierre used his boxing jab to do his trash talking in the Octagon.

St. Pierre established his jab early in the fight, causing the right eye of Koscheck to swell very early in the first round. The champion stuck with his crisp, straight boxing to beat Koscheck to the punch repeatedly throughout the opening stanza.

An early take down by GSP was nullified by Koscheck, as he quickly scrambled back to his feet, but Koscheck may have faired better had he stayed on the mat and tested his ground game. Once the fight was back on the feet, St. Pierre simply outclassed Koscheck with an astonishing array of combinations, mixing in kicks and a variety of punches to keep his opponent constantly off balance.

By the time the second round started, Koscheck’s eye was closing fast, and his chances of winning the fight were fading just as quickly. St. Pierre continued to pour on the punishment in large doses, landing his jab, and making it even more effective by doubling it up in addition to landing short left hooks to the damaged eye.

It will be interesting to see the CompuStrike numbers when they come out, but when they do, it will truly show how one-sided this title fight turned out to be.

Between the fourth and fifth rounds, Koscheck could barely tolerate his corner applying ice to his swollen eye, and as the bell sounded to mark the start of the final round, the eye was swollen almost completely shut. St. Pierre switched stances and targeted the eye constantly in the final round, and it was clear by the end that Koscheck had not only lost his vision in the damaged eye, but had also lost every round in his bid to dethrone the welterweight kingpin.

St. Pierre (21-2 MMA, 14-2 UFC) failed to deliver on his promise of a finish, but the dominating victory over a much improved Koscheck was truly impressive, and reinforced the opinion that St. Pierre is one of the best pound-for-pound fighters in the world.

In stark contrast to their first meeting, where St. Pierre repeatedly put Koscheck on his back, this time around, the champion saw a tendency in the punches of Koscheck to capitalize with his boxing.

“I know Josh Koscheck likes to throw his punches circular, and I’m a straight puncher, so the issue was to keep him on the outside and, if he came too hard, to go for the take down,” said St. Pierre. “But he’s a very good wrestler, and he’s very tough.”

The only question remains now is what is next for St. Pierre?

Stefan Struve pounds out McCorkle

The trash talk on the internet between Stefan Struve and Sean McCorkle was epic leading up to their heavyweight match up in the co-main event. After the fight, bragging rights now belong to Stefan Struve.

McCorkle got exactly what he wanted early, getting the fight to the ground with a big slam, and once the fight hit the ground, McCorkle put Struve into immediate danger by isolating an arm and going for a kimura.

Struve remained calm and managed to work his arm free, then turned the tables on McCorkle, using a kimura of his own to get a sweep, ending up in full mount.

Struve dropped huge shots from the mount position, forcing McCorkle to roll, and after delivering more unanswered shots, the referee stepped in to stop the bout.

The victory moves Struve to 21-5 overall and 5-2 in the UFC.

Jim Miller subs Charles Oliveira

Jim Miller said coming in that he wanted a submission victory over the fast-rising and undefeated phenom, Charles Oliveira. Tonight, Miller got what he wanted.

After Oliveira landed some snapping kicks on the feet, it looked like Oliveira may be the one walking out of the Octagon with a submission victory. Oliveira seamlessly transitioned between several submission attempts from his back, but after going for a leg, Miller saw his opportunity to put the young brazilian into trouble.

Miller looked for a leg lock, and after readjusting his grip, locked up a very tight knee bar that forced Oliveira to tap almost immediately.

After the very impressive victory, Miller pleaded his case for a title shot. It would be hard to argue that Miller doesn’t deserve a shot, as the win marks his sixth consecutive win in the UFC, and improves his overall record to 19-2 overall, 8-1 in the Octagon.

Mac Danzig KO’s Stevenson

With losses in 4 of his last 5 bouts, Mac Danzig HAD to win tonight. Tonight, Danzig did just that.

After a pretty even first half of the opening round, Stevenson ramped up the aggression, coming forward to throw a big right hand, as Danzig looked to retreat. Danzig countered the right hand with a short left hook as he back peddled, uncorking a stunning one-punch KO, as Stevenson fell to the canvas completely unconscious.

It was a dramatic end to a contest that most had predicted to go the entire distance in a very competitive and closely matched bout.

Danzig likely saved his job with the victory, evening up his UFC record at 4-4, and improving overall to 20-8-1.

Thiago Alves dominates John Howard

Thiago Alves came into his bout with John “Doomsday” Howard, not only on weight, but on top of his game as well, displaying a vintage “Pitbull” performance in a dominating and punishing display of striking prowess.

Alves wasted little time in showing Howard who had the best kicks, blistering the lead leg of “Doomsday” from the start of the first round. Alves mixed up his kicks, with inside leg kicks, big knees, and staggering straight, laser guided punches.

Howard would then go for a take down but Alves easily avoided the attempt, and instead got a take down of his own from a throw after clinching with Howard.

Although Howard started to settle in and score with his own striking in the second stanza, Alves continued the onslaught of kicks, and after taking Howard down again, “Pitbull” finished the second round on top, landing big punches, and short elbows from the top position.

Alves (18-7 MMA, 10-4 UFC) dominated the final round as well, dropping Howard with a big straight right hand. The fight would go to the judges, with Alves being awarded a dominating unanimous decision victory with a score of 30-27 on all cards.

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