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Mirko Cro Cop, Anderson Silva, and Quentin Jackson - Victorious at UFC 67

By Robert Rousseau, ExtremeProSports.com
Come on, admit it. Most of you haven't been this stoked for a mixed martial arts event in a long time.

After all, if you're a hardcore fan then you finally get a chance to show all your not-so-hardcore friends why you talk about this guy Mirko Cro Cop Filipovic so much.

Or perhaps you're partial to that guy who howls before entering the ring and likes to slam people into the ground.

His name is Quinton "Rampage" Jackson. And he just so happens to be the last man to defeat Chuck "The Iceman" Liddell.

But how would they fair in their UFC debuts?

Further, there was the supposed UFC Middleweight Championship bout between Anderson Silva and Travis Lutter. Problem is that Lutter didn't make weight, changing this to a three round non- championship fight.

How did an experienced fighter like Lutter not make weight in the biggest fight of his career? It's not like Lutter is a stupid guy; nor does he have a poor work ethic ( as he exhibited on TUF 4 ).

Regardless, the match between Silva and Lutter certainly was a good one. But first thing's first.

Quinton "Rampage" Jackson versus Marvin Eastman

This one had a background story. Back on 6/24/00, Jackson walked into an MMA cage for the third time to face Eastman. Eastman won a close decision on that night. Ever since, Rampage has wanted a rematch.

On February 3, 2007 he got one in his UFC debut.

Rampage looked like he was breathing heavy for most of this fight. Afterwards, he indicated that he'd never been so nervous for a fight, which was probably the reason for the heavy breathing. For most of the first round, his patented aggressiveness was somewhat lacking (perhaps because of the nerves).

But then toward the end of the initial round Rampage broke out, landing a hard left while Eastman was coming in. Still, he couldn't close the deal.

Or at least not yet.

In the second round, we got to see the real Rampage Jackson. He grabbed Eastman's head with his left hand and began slamming uppercuts into his face. Eventually, Eastman fell to the ground. Rampage followed him, continuing the onslaught and knocking his opponent out.

And that's when the "Big" John McCarthy stepped in. Rampage won via KO at 3:49 of the second round.

When asked if he was ready for Chuck Liddell afterwards, Rampage indicated he wanted some more time to train. But he did invite Liddell out with him for a drink.

That Rampage is a funny guy.

Mirko Cro Cop Filipovic versus Eddie Sanchez

Well, if Rampage was nervous, Cro Cop certainly didn't look like he was. That same stone face we're all used to was evidenced early on.

So was that same devastating approach from his feet.

Here are the facts. Eddie Sanchez showed that he is a tough guy, lasting as long as he did. But he was absolutely outclassed in this one. For less than a round he basically retreated while Cro Cop landed straight left after left and kick after kick.

In the end, Cro Cop landed a hard left kick to Sanchez's head that stunned him. Then he landed a very hard left hand that wobbled Sanchez to the point that he fell down when his back met the Octagon wall. After a quick guillotine attempt, Cro Cop decided to mount Sanchez.

And following several unanswered blows by Cro Cop, the referee stepped in.

Mirko Cro Cop Filipovic won easily via TKO at 4:33 of the first round. Afterwards, he hardly had anything to say ( which is something that American fans are going to have to get used to about him ).

But if he keeps striking the way he does, they're not going to care.

Anderson Silva vs Travis Lutter

There were plenty of questions surrounding this one. How could Travis Lutter not make weight? How would Anderson Silva hold up on the ground against a BJJ Black Belt ( by the way, Silva is also a jiu-jitsu black belt )? Last, could Lutter stand with Silva for any length of time?

We found out at least some of these answers in what amounted to a great fight.

The first round started slow. Perhaps tiring of the inactivity, Silva attempted a flying knee that grazed Lutter.

A bad move that ended up putting him on his back. However, Silva immediately answered one question, showing enough guile to get back up.

Still, Lutter was able to grab an ankle and almost immediately deposited the Brazilian on his back again. Moments later, Lutter mounted Silva and started raining unanswered punches down on his face.

It looked bad for Silva. Utilizing his long legs, he managed to get them in front of Lutter in an attempt to push his opponent to his back in a last ditch effort ( and we are talking last ditch effort here as the fight was probably going to be stopped if it didn't work ).

Lutter decided to allow himself to go back with it, grabbing Silva's arm on the way down in an armbar attempt.

Bad decision.

The TUF 4 Champion's armbar attempt fell painfully short. And with that, so did his chances to end the fight.

A huge turnaround for Silva.

The second round found the champion on his back again. However, when Lutter broke down his guard, Silva did something he's famous for.

He used his legs. The Spider landed a kick from his back to Lutter's face which stunned the BJJ Black Belt. This led to Silva's opening. Unlike Lutter, he took advantage and sunk in a deep triangle.

Though Lutter showed heart fighting through the triangle for a long time, in the end, he had to tap after Silva landed a couple of hard, unanswered elbows.

Silva won via submission from strikes ( even though the announcer called it a triangle choke submission victory ).

In sum, UFC 67: All or Nothing was a great night and worth the money. We all got to see two soon to be UFC superstars in Mirko Cro Cop Filipovic and Quinton "Rampage" Jackson stop their opponents. Further, Anderson Silva showed the kind of scrappy heart a champion must have.

Still, you have to wonder if we saw a chink in the UFC Middleweight Champion's armor.

See what happened the rest of the night below.

Dustin Hazelett defeated Diego Saraieva via unanimous decision.

Lyoto Machida defeated Sam Hoger via unanimous decision.

Frankie Edgar defeated Tyson Griffin via unanimous decision.

Terry Martin defeated Jorge Rivera via KO at 14 seconds of round 1.

Patrick Cote defeated Scott Smith via unanimous decision ( this one was televised ).

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