UFC Live 4 Post Fight Analysis: Marquardt Absence Steals Show

Matt Mitrione shows the goofball personality that has made him a star (Photo by Ryan Pierse/Getty Images)

Nate Marquardt was nowhere to be seen Sunday night on Versus. But The MMA Encyclopedia author Jonathan Snowden says he was still the talk of the UFC nation postfight as questions linger about his future in the sport.

Even in his absence, Nate Marquardt dominated media coverage of UFC on Versus Live 4. The veteran middleweight star, making his first appearance in the UFC as a welterweight, did not clear his Pennsylvania medicals and was subsequently unceremoniously fired by UFC President Dana White on Twitter. Charlie Brenneman proved to be an able fill in, upsetting Rick Story in a fight downgraded to the co-main event. But at the end of the night, Marquardt was the story.

  • The Versus prefight show started with reporter Ariel Helwani stepping on Stephan Bonnar's cue and coining the term "unmedically" cleared. No real news was broken on the Marquardt situation, but White came on the show and went after Marquardt with a fury. Although Pennsylvania law prohibits the release of personal medical information, White made it clear that Marquardt's actions "were disgusting" and he promised the fighter would never compete in the UFC again.
  • I like the idea of a prefight show for MMA, but this one is poorly executed. I'd like to see Versus invest in some video packages and personality pieces letting fans get to know the fighters better. This was more of a "news" program, with the main issue being the complete lack of news associated with this show. A formula that includes some predictions, some prelim fights, and some video packages would be a nice addition to the Versus live experience.
  • Matt Mitrione's likable personality and interview prowess has blinded some MMA fans and pundits who insist the 32 year old former NFL player is a legitimate prospect. In truth, Mitrione was taken down by a middling Christian Morecraft and rescued from the ground by an overzealous referee. His knockout was a thing of beauty, his decision to walk away rather than inflict more damage a rare show of Octagon class. But I think we leave the event with the same question marks attached next to Mitrione's name.
  • Brenneman outwrestled Rick Story to win a unanimous decision. The Pennsylvania Athletic Commission, praised by White on the prefight show, struggled throughout the night but never worse than they did here. Story was stood up in the middle of a submission attempt, something that should be absolutely unacceptable in 2011. He worked hard to finish in the third round, but it was too little too late. Brenneman took a decision and usurped Story's spot as the top prospect in the welterweight class. It was a surprise to many, but not Bloody Elbow's Leland Rolling who warned fans on Twitter not to sleep on the tough Brenneman.
  • "That was the most amazing comeback I have ever seen," announcer Joe Rogan yelled after an explosive first round ended with a decisive knockout. Cheick Kongo looked to be in trouble after Pat Barry clobbered him with an overhand right. He was on wobbly legs and the announcers were calling for the fight to be stopped. But Cheick Kongo was not done with his work for the evening. He caught a wild Barry charging in for the finish, landing a right hand right on the chin. Barry was knocked unconscious and an evening of subpar fights may have been saved by a highlight reel finish.
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