**** UFC 97 Play by Play SPOILER *****
Eliot Marshall vs. Vinny Magalhaes
Evenly aggressive and circling in the first part of round one. Trading punches with a few leg kicks by Magalhaes. A head kick by Marshall blocked. The crowd starts to boo the lack of action. Good left jab to the face by Magalhaes. Marshall continues to jab. The crowd boos some more as Marshall blocks another head kick attempt. A stiff right from Marshall snaps Magalhaesí head back. The round ends with the pair against the cage. 10-9 Marshall.
Vinny is the aggressor as he presses Marshall into the cage. Marshall pushes him away and fires a high kick that is easily defended. Two nice left body kicks by Magalhaes follow. Marshall is caught partially by a kick countered with right straight. The crowd is booing due to tentative single shots. Right hand to the body by Marshall then more circling. Nice three punch combination from Marshall, followed by more circling and more fan booing. They trade kicks and Maghaeles catches Marshall's leg and scores a nice takedown before moving into side control. Straight to mount, Magalhaes is getting a few elbows in. Marshall squirms out and gets into half guard, before finally getting to his feet to end the round. 10-9 Maghales.
Marshall starts the round with a low kick and then the pair reverts to being tentative and the crowd boos once again. One-two combination finds the mark for Marshall and Magalhaes is bleeding from the nose. This round should decide the victor but neither fighter seems to want to press the action. Magalhaes presses forward with left and right body kicks that are both blocked. Right body kick by Magalhaes is countered by a right straight by Marshall. Magalhaes pushes Marshall against the cage and takes him down with a thud into side control and immediately into mount with some elbows to follow. Marshall rolls over to escape and the round ends with Magalhaes throwing down punches from above. 10-9 Magalhaes.
The official scorecards read 30-27 (twice) and 29-28 for Marshall, who takes the unanimous decision.
Ryo Chonan vs. T.J. Grant
The Canadian Grant walks out to thunderous applause, while Chonan comes out with Dan Henderson to meet an indifferent crowd. Low kick by Grant to start the fight and Chonan counters. The fighters are trading hooks and Chonan judo throws Grant to the ground and moves into side control. Grant works busily on his butterfly guard and makes for Chonan's arm but no luck. Grant gets full guard and Chonan attempts a few week hooks from top. Grant attempts to throwpunches from the bottom and the crowd chants "TJ, TJ." Grant goes for an arm again and again Chonan escapes. Chonan stands up to drop a right hand and falls back into full guard. Pretty sweep by Grant and he regains his feet. Trading punches and Grant skips underneath a Chonan left and takes him down into half guard. Chonan escapes and they get back to their feet. Wild haymakers from both end the round. 10-9 Grant.
A four-punch combination from Grant and then they clinch against the cage. Chonan works a single-leg takedown and gets Grant down. Theyíre on their feet and it's Grantís turn for the takedown, and ends up on Chonanís back briefly before going to guard. Chonan posts up and drops ineffective single shots. Again in Grantís full guard, Chonan tastes an upkick to the face. Chonan tries for an ankle and Grant rolls out to take his back. Again Chonan rolls into guard to end the round. 10-9 Chonan.
Chonan connects with a few punches to the face and misses with an uppercut. Grant ducks underneath another punch and takes him down into half guard. where he delivers short elbows and is looking to pass. Chonan grabs a leg and puts Grant to his back in half guard. Now in Grantís full guard, Grant tries for a triangle, but Chonan has none it. Both fighters looking tired as Chonan stands out of guard, only to have Grant kick his foot out and Chonan falls back into guard. Grant takes a single and puts Chonan down and Chonan gives up his back. He looks to escape but Grant won't let him up and briefly traps his left arm to deliver some solid shots to Chonanís unprotected face. 10-9 Grant.
The official judges see the fight: 29-28 for Chonan and 30-27, 29-28 for the winner by split decision, T.J. Grant.
Mark Bocek vs. David Bielkheden
They come out and touch gloves then clinch against the cage, where Bocek presses and lands some knees to the thighs. Two reverses off the fencing and Bocek grabs a leg and takes Bielkheden down to half guard. Bocek is grinding his forearm on Bielkhedenís face and he moves to side control. Bocek is looking strong on top and moves to full guard. Bocek posts and lands a few punches. Bocek tees off and moves to half guard, then immediately to side. A hard elbow by Bocek and then he goes back to half guard. The crowd starts to chant ďOle.Ē Bocek takes mount begins to unload as the crowd goes nuts. Bielkheden gives his back and Bocek wins by an amazingly quick rear-naked choke at 4:57 of the first.