This card was dealt a serious blow when PPV kingpin Brock Lesnar dropped out due to his ongoing battle with diverticulitis, and the hits just kept coming. Despite the constant deck shuffling, Joe Silva’s cooked up a decent batch of chicken salad, setting up a headlining bout that in many ways is more compelling than the original and a few match-ups that pose some interesting questions. How will a Jenny Craig’d Carwin perform in his first fight back after undergoing surgery? Will Florian finally find a stable home at 145lbs? Can you even call it “ring rust” after a five year layoff?
A lot of tonight’s fights are tough to call, but we’ll call them just the same. If you tuned in to YouTube or Facebook for the pre-prelims, you were treated to copious amounts of leather (and some questionable judging). We’ll hold off on the results of those fights and the Spike undercard in case they make it to the PPV broadcast. As always, your witty and insightful comments are more than welcome. Your shitty ones, not so much.
I hear poor quality opera singing and see some dude putting on a gladiator costume, so that can only mean one thing…We…Are..LIVE!!!!
We aren’t wasting much time here on video game commercials and Jason Statham previews…yet. The first fighters are already making their way to the Octagon.
Vagner Rocha vs. Donald Cerrone
Round 1: Cerrone opens up with a pair of hard leg kicks, but the second one clips Rocha’s junk. No real delay and we’re back to action. Nice knee by Cerrone. The two are feeling things out, exchanging a few leg kicks back and forth. Double leg to Rocha. Cerrone tries an oma plata or armbar, but Rocha shakes him off and they’re back on their feet. No secret where Rocha wants this as he fails in another takedown attempt. Both men reserved, picking their strikes. Rocha fails in a half-hearted takedown. Cerrone faceplants Rocha as he dives for another fruitless takedown. And another. Meanwhile Rocha’s eating some heavy leg kicks. Does he know how to check them? Pretty easy 10-9 for Cowboy.
Round 2: Rocha’s corner advises that he doesn’t get kicked so much. Sage advice, let’s see if he listens. Cerrone with a nice kick, shocker. Rocha snags Cerrone’s ankles and nearly completes the takedown, but Cerrone stays up and Rocha presses him against the cage. Cerrone shakes off another takedown and they’re back in the Bud Light logo. Another kick from Cerrone. Rocha needs to shoot, shoot, and shoot again until this fight is on the ground. Rocha with a leg kick but he eats a straight left counter. Rocha dives in again, but is easily rebuffed. Cerrone drops him with a jab and briefly follows him down before standing back up. Cerrone with more chopping kicks and a front kick. Rocha with another desperate takedown attempt, but he’s no closer on this try or the subsequent one than he has been all night.
Round 3: Rocha needs a stoppage here. How he’ll get it is anyone’s guess. Front kick from Cerrone to open things up. Cerrone’s holding back, considering he’s tooling Rocha as he pleases. Rocha with an obligatory failed takedown. No urgency from either man, just sporadic leg kicks and failed takedowns. Whoa, a three bitch slap combo from Rocha. Unprecedented. Rocha doesn’t look like he’ll be standing if he eats more kicks, and he will. Another shot, another easy sprawl for Cerrone. And a shot/buttscoot from Rocha. A few more leisurely kicks, but if Cerrone turned on the kicks this would be over. Hard kicks and a knee from Cerrone, and he drops Rocha with less than ten seconds on the clock. Should be a cut and dry decision for Cerrone.
Donald Cerrone def. Vagner Rocha: Unanimous Decision (30-27 x 2, 30-26)
Cerrone thanks “the Vancouver people” and “the Vancouver customs” before apologizing for holding back and fighting not to lose rather than fighting to win.
Jon Olav Einemo vs. Dave Herman
Herman comes out to Culture Club, “Do you really want to hurt me”. Classic. Shit, Einemo comes out to G ‘N F’n Roses. Well done, boys.
Round 1: Herman opens with a push kick and inside leg kick. Einemo clinches and forces him to the cage as he works for the takedown. Herman defending well, and lands a few knees as he gets away. Big right by Einemo, lets see how that Golden Glory time has been spent. Einemo with an uppercut as he pushes things to the cage, but Herman spins out and lands a few shots of his own. Herman landing some decent kicks. Einemo really charging in with his shots, but not really landing anything too serious. Herman lands a few punches and a knee before Einemo lands the double with two minutes left. Einemo works his way out of guard and into side control against the cage. Herman spins out and kicks him off and they’re back on their feet. The two trade knees and Einemo scores with a right hand. More knees exchanged as they clinch against the cage. Einemo with another right, and scores a takedown at the last second.
Round 2: Herman’s corner chastised him for standing still and not moving. Let’s see if he adjusts in the second. Einemo forces Herman to the cage, but Pee Wee escapes. Herman does just as his coaches told him not to, and eats a couple of punches. Herman fires back and lands a light axe kick. Big knee from Einemo in the clinch. Herman is in trouble. Einemo hunting him down with punches. Einemo slips and hits the ground, but Herman can’t take advantage. Pause for mouthpiece… Big knee and punches have Herman in trouble, but he responds with some big shots of his own and drops Einemo! Herman landing elbows on from half guard. Herman lets him stand, and he does, very slowly. These guys both looked rocked and exhausted. Now it’s Herman with big knees again. Einemo drops from the blows (and it looked like fatigue as well), and the ref calls an end to the bout.
Both men were in trouble in that round, on more than one occasion.
Dave Herman def. Jon Olav Einemo: TKO (R2- 3:19)
Round 1: Slow start as they feel each other out. Munoz got tagged with something and looked wobbled, but he seems to have recovered. Maia lands a big right and clinches Munoz against the cage. Stalling against the cage prompts a break from the ref. Maia is coming after Munoz on the feet with kicks and punches. Again, he’s charging after him. Not what anyone, including Munoz, probably expected. Maia with a body kick. Munoz tries for a head kick and eats a big punch. Maia crowds Munoz toward the cage, threatening to launch some strikes. Maia is not intimidated at all. Both men trading strkes as the round ends with Munoz shooting for a takedown. That was Maia’s round.
Round 2: Let’s see if Munoz regroups now that he knows what to expect. Munoz tags Maia and follows him down with some power shots to the body- dozens of them. Action has slowed, and Maia turns into guard briefly before they stand up. Now it’s Maia looking to tee off, but Munoz answers with a punch of his own. Maia gets stuffed on a takedown and Munoz locks up a D’Arce, but lets go and Maia’s on top. They’re back up, and Maia shoots again but Munoz sprawls and lands more of those whalloping shots to Maia’s ass. Munoz is in half guard, but Maia gets full guard. This is right where Maia wants to be, but Munoz gets back up. Now it’s Munoz working for a single, and he’s on top of Maia in half guard against the cage and scores a couple of short elbows. With 10 seconds left, they’re stood up to close the round.
Round 3: Awkward hug to start things off. Munoz lets loose some head kicks, but Maia blocks. Munz gets the takedown, but Maia’s right back up. Munoz working a single with Maia clenched against the cage, but Maia slips around to Munoz’s back and comes close to securing a crucifix. They’re back on their feet and back against the cage with Munoz working toward another takedown. Wall & Stall prompts a restart, and Munoz is launching body kicks and gets the takedown, but once again Maia pops right back up. Both men trade body kicks. Maia shoots and is stuffed once more before they close the round throwing punches.
Mark Munoz def. Demian Maia: Unanimous Decision (29-28 x 2, 30-27)
Munoz admits he was surprised and caught off guard by Maia’s improved standup, and says Maia had him doing the ‘Stanky Leg’, undoubtedly a tribute to boxing coach Al Stankie.
Up next is the incredible shrinking Florian. Can he finish fights at 145? Rogan lists the many kicks Nunes brings to the fight. Noticeably absent is the side-check kick. The Canadian fans did not take kindly to Florians Boston Bruins get-up at yesterday’s weigh-ins, judging from the boos.
Round 1: Florian launches two head kicks, and Nunes responds in kind. Both men kicking and striking, but so far most of what’s thrown is being slipped. Florian looks for a takedown and succeeds for half a second before Nunes springs up and presses Kenny against the cage. Nunes scores his own takedown against the cage, but Florian is back to his feet. Florian catches a kick, but can’t get Nunes down. This hockey crowd is tearing Florian up. Nunes drops KenFlo momentarily with a low kick, but he pops right back up. Nunes lands a spinning back fist, but Kenny hangs in there. Now Nunes lands a high kick, but Florian is ok. Nunes is showing off those kicks Rogan told us about. With 40 seconds left, Florian gets the takedown but does little with it before Nunes works his way up. Another spinning elbow and Nunes drops him with a combo and follows him to the ground as the horn sounds.
Round 2: Nunes is putting all of his power into his punches, but isn’t connecting. Florian works him to the cage and gets a leg up over his head, but Nunes maintains his balance and doesn’t go down. Great takedown defense from Nunes, and now HE lands a takedown. Florian throws up his legs looking for a triangle, but Nunes works free. Nunes standing over Florian, and dives in to administer some ground and pound. Nunes gets up and the ref brings Kenny to his feet. Kenny scoops up Nunes in his best takedown yet, and the crowd lets the boos flow. Nunes is bleeding from the back of his head, leaving pools of blood on the mat. Florian dropping bombs from the guard. Nunes throws his legs up and stops any more punches from coming before the round ends.
Round 3: Nunes was looking good until the end of that round, but he’s looking a little tired now. Florian looks fresh, chopping away at Nunes with some kicks. Kenny with a knee to the body from the clinch, and scores an easy takedown. Florian passes into half guard, landing some elbows from the top. Kenny passes into side control, but after a stalemate Nunes spins free and clinches Florian against the cage. Nunes looking to end this with a big kick, but it isn’t coming. Nunes swinging away, but Florian evades. Nunes is exhausted, but he’s not hiding. Big knee by Florian. The two trade shots in the clinch, and Nunes drops Florian to a knee with seconds left in the fight. This one goes to the judges.
Kenny Florian def. Diego Nunes: Unanimous Decision (29-28 x 2, 30-27)
Predictably, the crowd is displeased. Florian says the cut was very, very difficult, “the hardest thing [he's] ever done in his life”. KenFlo says he’s at Featherweight to stay, and that he wants to chase down the belt.
Time for the main event. Carwin has maniac eyes in his staredown graphic.
Junior Dos Santos vs. Shane Carwin
Round 1: Here we go! Carwin shoots for a single after circling for a bit, but Junior stays upright. Junior with a body shot and Carwin with a straight right. Right from Dos Santos. Junior with a combo, Carwin with a jab. Junior with a quick jab; speed is certainly on his side. Both men feeling each other out, but Junior’s loosing up. Carwin with a single, but Junior right back up. Carwin’s face is a little red from these jabs. Junior connecting with combos and carwin is in big trouble. Junior has his back and is hammering away. Thirty seconds left. This has to be almost over as Junior fires away with a look to Herb Dean. Carwin is up, but his face is crimsoned. He’s a bloody mess.
Round 2: Carwin’s nose is probably broken, and his expression looks like he’s a beaten man. Dos Santos with a head kick. Carwin charges in, but there’s nothing there. Junior tries to connect with an uppercut. Junior with a jab and hook to the body. Carwin misses with a left, but lands a nice pair of leg kicks. Junior with a stiff jab, but Carwin stalks him down and lands a nice punch. Junior goes to the body and Carwin gets him with a right hand. Both men are cautious here. Junior throwing out those jabs. Big head kick by Junior, but Carwin blocks some of it and eats the rest looking no worse for wear. Junior lets off a combo and two digging body shots to end the round.
Round 3: Carwin’s face is a mess, but he’s ready for round 3. Carwin shoots right in for a single as Junior swings. He has Junior down for a moment, but Dos Santos stands back up without absorbing any damage. Carwin missing with a big left. Misses with another. Not much action going on as both men wait for their shot. Carwin stalks Junior, but he evades. Dos Santos lands a stiff jab and a nice left hook. Junior is starting to fire off combos and he’s finding his mark. Carwin looks tired with 90 seconds left. Junior’s hands are finding their home as Herb Dean halts the bout so doctors can check out Carwin’s face. Carwin’s busted up, but he’s game to continue and they allow it. This is it- one minute left. Junior with a big takedown, and he tees off with body shots until Carwin pops up. Carwin needs to go berserk here, but Junior puts him on his back once more as the horn sounds to end the fight.
Unless there’s a judging catastrophe, Junior will face Cain Velasquez for the Heavyweight title.
Junior Dos Santos def. Shane Carwin: Unanimous Decision (30-27 x 2, 30-26)
Velasquez is brought in to exchange a few complimentary words with the challenger to his throne. Up next is the Stout-Edwards bout from Spike, so I’ll leave you to that. Full results from the evening are below:
Darren Elkins def. Michihiro Omigawa: unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 30-27)
Joey Beltran def. Aaron Rosa: TKO- punches (R3- 1:26)
Dustin Poirer def. Jason Young: unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28)
Nick Ring def. James Head: submission- rear naked choke (R3- 3:33)
Krzystof Soszynksi def. Mike Massenzio: unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-26)
Chris Weidman def. Jesse Bongfeldt: submission- guillotine (R1- 4:54 )