St. Pierre regains UFC title

Apr 20, 2008 - 6:58 AM By Anthony Malakian Special to PA SportsTicker

MONTREAL (Ticker) - The second fight between Georges St. Pierre and Matt Serra turned out the way most thought their first fight would - with a dominant victory by St. Pierre.

The native of Montreal looked spectacular against Serra, stopping the Long Island native at 4:45 of the second round to regain the UFC welterweight belt at UFC 83.

St. Pierre displayed a perfect blend of strikes and takedowns during Saturday's main event from the Bell Centre in Montreal. By doing so, St. Pierre completely exorcised the demons that tortured him since their battle at UFC 69 in April 2007.

In their first fight, Serra came right out and caught St. Pierre early and stopped the Canadian three minutes into the encounter. St. Pierre learned his lesson and immediately took Serra down to start Saturday's match.

Once on the mat, St. Pierre (16-2) never allowed Serra a chance to gain any momentum, as he applied an overwhelming ground-and-pound game onto his former conqueror throughout the entirety of the opening stanza. All Serra had to show from the round was a nasty welt under his left eye.

The second round was more of the same as the 26-year-old St. Pierre took Serra (16-5) back down to the mat. The Canadian deftly moved from half-guard to side-mount to rear-position, never giving Serra, 33, an angle.

The end came late in the second as St. Pierre, on top, landed several punishing knees to Serra's side while he was on all fours. Referee Yves Lavigne mercifully stopped the beating.

St. Pierre is on an incredible run since losing to Serra in April, as he has rattled off victories against Josh Koscheck (Udec 3), former-conqueror Matt Hughes (Sub 2) and Serra. In those victories he showed an increasingly improving grappling game that led him to his ultimate retribution tonight.

"My strategy was to make a very physical fight; make him tired as much as I can because I know I have the conditioning, so I was trying to mix as much up-down, up-down, ground and pound, and that is how I won the fight," St. Pierre said after the fight to a raucous partisan crown. "I tired him out and then I took the fight."

There was some bad blood before the bout, but the two fighters quashed their differences and said nice words about one another.

"He caught me with some good shots, as you see," said Serra, referencing his swollen eye. "I'll be back and I will fight who ever they put in front of me. I want to congratulate Georges, he was phenomenal tonight and he is the best in the world."

In the co-main event, Rich Franklin survived a first-round armbar attempt by Travis Lutter and stopped the Texan three minutes into the second round. Franklin did his best Anderson Silva impersonation and mixed knees and punches to finally stop the exhausted Lutter.

Nate Quarry won a unanimous decision over Kalib Starnes, but the real story was Starnes unwillingness to fight. Starnes literally ran at points during the fight, and earned a showering of boos at the fight's conclusion.

Michael Bisping picked apart Charles McCarthy, convincing McCarthy to quit at the conclusion of the first round.

Mac Danzig, winner of "The Ultimate Fighter 6", bludgeoned Mark Bocek on his way to a second-round rear-naked choke victory.

Jason MacDonald stopped Joe Doerksen just 54 seconds into the second round.

Jason Day upset Alan Belcher, stopping him four minutes into the opening round.

Demian Maia submitted Ed Herman with a triangle choke 2:27 into the second round.

Rich Clementi won a split decision over Sam Stout.

Cain Velasquez stopped Brad Morris two minutes into the first round.

Jonathan Goulet stopped Kuniyoshi Hironaka two minutes into the second round.

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