by Ken Pishna, MMAWeekly.com
ANAHEIM, CALIFORNIA – Most of the UFC 63 undercard action at the Arrowhead Pond was worthy of pay-per-view status in and of itself.
Though their bout went to a decision, Roger Huerta defeated Jason Dent and received “Fight of the Night” honors. Although the decision was 30-27 unanimously, Dent was not dominated as much as the scored would indicate. Though Huerta did edge out Dent over all three rounds with more frequent and more damaging punches and knees, Dent fought back hard the entire fight to force it to a decision.
In a heavyweight contest of newcomers to the Octagon, Eddie Sanchez dropped Mario Neto with a huge overhand right, mere moments into the second round. Sanchez followed him down, but referee John McCarthy immediately stopped the bout.
Ultimate Fighter participants Jorge Gurgel and Danny Abbadi also fought to a decision. The final score was announced as a split decision with Gurgel receiving a 29-28 edge on two scorecards to Abbadi’s single mark of 29-28. Judge Cecil Peoples later cleared up a misrepresentation of his scorecard, which was mistakenly credited to Abbadi. He stated that the result was actually to be a unanimous decision, 29-28 on all three scorecards, for Gurgel.
Gurgel was definitely the more aggressive fighter throughout the bout, giving chase to Abbadi over the first two rounds. Abbadi did make a game attempt to get back into the fight during the third period when he was much more effective with his strikes, but it was too little, too late.
The opening bout of the night was also the only fight that went to a submission finish. One of the hottest rising names in the game, Tyson Griffin, thoroughly dominated his British opponent, David Lee, en route to a rear naked choke victory, which earned him “Submission of the Night” honors and a $15,000 bonus.