"Red" Falls, Belcher Victorious
In a night of grueling battles, Eric Schafer was unable to match the aggressiveness of his more experienced opponent, Stephan Bonnar.
Schafer slammed "The American Psycho" to the ground and attacked him with submissions in the first round, but whenever the fight took to the ground, Bonnar was able to maintain enough distance to land strikes to Schafer's head. Dazed from the punches, Schafer found himself in more and more precarious positions, all while suffering from relentless punches. Ultimately, Schafer was overwhelmed, prompting a referee stoppage at 2:47 in the second round.
Alan Belcher and Kalib Starnes kicked off the main card, Belcher making his entrance with Thomas Denny and Duke Roufus. "The Talent" looked as though the Octagon was his home, in contrast to his very stern opponent.
Knees and elbows were Belcher's weapon of choice, weapons that Starnes tried to match with crisp, accurate boxing, but a grin lit up Belcher's face the more Starnes punched it. A beautiful elbow strike from Belcher aggravated a deep gash on Starnes brow, prompting the ref to interrupt the fight. After a doctor announced that he could see Starnes' skull, the fight was ruled a TKO at 1:39 in Round 2.
Rich "Ace" Franklin challenged Anderson Silva for the middleweight title that Silva took from Franklin one year ago. A new and improved Franklin entered the cage in Cincinnati, his hometown, but he faced the same Silva who has been terrorizing the middleweight division. "The Spider" simply outclassed the hardworking challenger, almost finishing him in the first and taking him out at 1:07 into the second round.
Tim Sylvia is officially back on the road to a third heavyweight title after being granted a unanimous decision over the previously undefeated Brandon Vera.