Friday, January 26, 2007

Scary ending to UFC main event

Sean Salmon is knocked cold by Rashad Evans, but is expected to be OK. Herring is upset in his debut.

The Ultimate Fighting Championship Spike TV special event Thursday night in Hollywood, Fla. had a spectacular, and scary ending. The main event was a battle of former college wrestlers turned light-heavyweight mixed martial arts fighters. Rashad Evans (15-0), who was losing the fight, connected with a right high kick to the jaw of Sean Salmon (9-2), knocking Salmon out cold. Salmon laid motionless on the ground for several minutes before being carried out on a stretcher.

There was an uneasy feeling in the building as Salmon didn't move at all as he was carried out. He was rushed to a hospital, but UFC officials later reported at a post-show press conference that Salmon was conscious, talking and appeared to be OK.

The kick will no doubt be replayed repeatedly, and will almost surely be high on any list for the most spectacular finishes in any combat sport of 2007.

Perhaps the most interesting exchange took place after the show at the press conference. When a reporter asked about a prospective match with Evans vs. Keith Jardine, who made a name for himself by knocking out Forrest Griffin on Dec. 30 in Las Vegas, UFC President Dana White said that sounded like a great idea. Evans shot back that he trains regularly with Jardine in Albuquerque, and he would never fight him. White said that if he made the match, he'd fight him. Evans shot back that he would not, and the awkward exchange ended at that point.

The show at the Seminole Hard Rock Cafe drew a sellout crowd of 5,287 fans, and in the televised matches, saw a couple of upsets.

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