Posted 09/06/2008 at 08:08 PM
8:00 p.m. Eastern: I have arrived at Philips Arena to cover my first UFC event and I'm stoked! Great seat on media row about 7-8 yards from the octagon, seated next to Vegas radio personality Steve Cofield, who I slammed beers galore with last night.
The first fight of nine is about to get started and I'm going to hang in to watch it and provide a few thoughts. Shortly however, I'm going to have to walk across the street and watch my Gators put it on Miami for at least the first quarter (maybe the entire first half), but I'll be back by 10:00 at the latest to give you play-by-play of the card's top 4-5 fights.
In this first fight, we have Roan Carneiro fighting out of Atlanta against Ryo "The Pirahna" Chonan from the 170-pound division. We're at the 1:50 mark of the first round and both fighters have spent most of the time on the mat. From this view, Carneiro has mostly had the upper hand.
They go back to their feet with one minute left in the first round. Carneiro landed a nice right that made a small cut above Chonan's right eye. The first round ends and I've got to score that round clearly to Carneiro.
Clear momentum shift in Round 2 which I scored in favor of Chonan. Meanwhile at The Swamp, my Gators have just taken a quick and easy lead over Miami on a 14-yard TD pass from Tim Tebow to Aaron Hernandez.
Chonan ended up winning a split decision to improve his record to 15-8.
10:30ish: Matt Brown just lost a controversial split decision to Dong Hyun Kim, who improved to 11-0-1 in his career. Although the crowd disagreed with the decision, Hyun Kim clearly controlled the final minutes of the pivotal third round, bloodying Brown with a slew of elbows to the face.
Now we have Martin "The Hitman" Kampman set to square off against Nate Marquardt, who brings a 29-8-2 record into this match. Kampman is unbeaten in the UFC and has a 13-1 career record in MMA.
Editor's note: For the rest of Brian's UFC 88 scoop, including "Sugar" Evans' surprising KO of Chuck "The Iceman" Liddell, click here.