UFC 88: Breakthrough

Date: September 6, 2008
Location: Atlanta, Georgia
Venue: Philips Arena
Broadcast: Pay-Per-View (10pm ET)

Dan Henderson, Rich Fran

klin, and Karo Parisyan will all be making their return to the Octagon at UFC 88 in Atlanta, GA on September 6. The card is headlined by a light heavyweight bout between Chuck Liddell and Rashad Evans with the winner likely being very close to a title shot.

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Chuck Liddell

Dan Henderson, coming off a loss to Anderson Silva in March, will be stepping back into the cage against one of the UFC’s most highly touted international talents, Rousimar “Toquinho” Palhares. Henderson will be looking for his first victory inside the UFC since coming over after the collapse PRIDE. Toquinho recently steamrolled Ivan Salaverry in his UFC debut with a very slick armbar.

Rich Franklin, the former UFC middleweight champion, will be facing off against fellow Cincinnati fighter Matt Hamill in a battle at light heavyweight. Franklin is coming off a victory over Travis Lutter at UFC 83 and will be fighting at light heavyweight for the first time since hefought Ken Shamrock at the first ever Ultimate Fighter Finale. Matt Hamill (4-1, 4-1 UFC) recently beat Tim Boetsch at UFC Fight Night 13 in April and will be looking to make it two in a row since hisloss to Michael Bisping last year.

Karo Parisyan will be looking to prove to the world that he’s still top shelf in the UFC’s most talented division when he takes on one of the best Japanese stars that the UFC has signed in recent months, Yoshiyuki Yoshida. Parisyan is coming off a knockout loss to Thiago Alves at UFCFight Night 13, a fight that would have catapulted him into title contention should he have won. Yoshida recently made his UFC debut, throttling Jon Koppenhaver at UFC 84 in the opening momentsof round one.

Chuck Liddell is looking to reclaim the UFC light heavyweight title and a win over undefeated Rashad Evans will most likely set him up for a title shot. The same goes for Rashad Evans, who’s also looking for a title shot and possibly the biggest win of his career.

As the mixed-martial-arts world awaits the global broadcast of UFC 88, “Breakthrough,” the city of Atlanta is beginning to show signs of the approaching event on billboards and heavily posted walls all about the urban landscape. The UFC 88 main event will feature former heavyweightchampion Chuck Liddell as he faces off with the former Ultimate Fighter 2 winner, Rashad Evans.

UFC 88 will take place in Atlanta, Ga., on Saturday, September 6, setting up the first show for the promotion inside the “Peach State” in more than a decade.

In fact, UFC 11: “The Proving Ground” (September 1996) and UFC 13: “The Ultimate Force” (May 1997) were the only two shows ever held in Georgia, which took place at the Augusta Civic Center in Augusta.

UFC 88 Main Card:

Chuck Liddell vs. Rashad Evans

Rich Franklin vs. Matt Hamill

Karo Parisyan vs. Yoshiyuki Yoshida

Dan Henderson vs. Rousimar Palhares

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Thiago Tavares vs. Kurt Pellegrino

Dong Hyun Kim vs. Matt Brown

Tim Boetsch vs. James Lee

Roan Carneiro vs. Ryo Chonan

UFC 88 Fight Results

Rashad Evans shot himself straight to the top of the long list of challengers in the UFC’s light heavyweight division with a devastating knockout win over the sport of MMA’s top name and former champion, Chuck Liddell, Saturday night.

After a close opening round of their UFC 88 main event in Atlanta, Georgia Liddell appeared restless and eager to close in on Evans with strikes.

But it was Evans, a former Michigan State wrestler, that made an impact with his fists in the second round as he connected with an overhand right flush to the jaw of Liddell, knocking him unconscious immediately. Evans threw a jab fake at Liddell before unleashing his right hand just as Liddell himself loaded up on an uppercut that landed a millisecond too late to the arm pit of Evans.

Evans’ punch landed clean, however, as Liddell kept his left hand characteristically low and let the blow through unfettered. With the win, Evans stays undefeated at 17-0-1, and Liddell loses for the third time in his last four outings, dipping to 21-6 overall.

The win caps a three-year period for Evans since his UFC debut without a single loss and earns him top positioning to challenge 205-pound champion Forrest Griffin. But Evans says that even if he doesn’t get his just rewards immediately, he’ll remain patient.

“Hopefully (the win) puts me right up there, but I’m a patient man … whatever it takes and however long it takes,” he said.

In other action, Dan Henderson (23-7) won a unanimous decision over Rousimar Palhares (17-2),

Nate Marquardt (30-8-2) TKO’d Martin Kampmann (13-2) in the first round,

welterweight Dong Hyun Kim (11-0-1) won a split decision over Matt Brown (10-7) and lightweight Kurt Pellegrino (18-4) won a unanimous decision over Thiago Tavares (17-3).

Rounding out the card, Tim Boetsch (8-2) won by TKO over Michael Patt (15-3) in the first round

Jason MacDonald (22-10) submitted Jason Lambert (23-9) in the second and Ryo Chonan (15-8) won a split decision over Roan Carneiro (12-8).

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