First win since 2006? Yeah, we’d probably savor the moment a little longer than we should as well. (Pic: MMAWeekly.com)
Just a few fights into last night night’s card I was looking at my watch. It wasn’t because the fights were boring, nor because my wings had yet to arrive. It was the pace at which the fights, and fighters, were dropping. For the first time ever, I was concerned that the UFC didn’t have enough lame movie and video game promos to spam throughout the event. In more ways than one, time was the theme of UFC 132. The evening’s bouts marked the end of a long run, good and bad, for many of the fighters on the card.
(4 Years, 3 Months) Tito’s last taste of victory
Have you ever seen anyone so elated to win a fight? Rightfully so, as there was no ambiguity as to “The Huntington Beach Bad Boy’s” position in the UFC: win, or get the fuck out. Few gave him a chance against Ryan Bader, a guy who seemed to hold every advantage and who’d amassed an impressive 11-1 record, all during Tito’s infamous slide down the rankings. Ortiz quickly connected with a short right hook, dropping his opponent to the mat, and less than two minutes into the fight Bader was quite literally choking in his second consecutive defeat. As much as we give Tito a hard time—and it is almost always deserved—it was nice to see him finally get a win in the organization that he helped carry for many years. Now, can he do it again?
(4 Years, 4 Months) Wanderlei’s Pride reign of terror ended
We hate to say it, but “Uncle Chael” was right. We all knew it would be a wild brawl with one man going out on his shield, but no one expected (or at least no one wanted) to see a legend crumbled so quickly. Wanderlei Silva, the longtime savior of Japanese bloodlust, has gone a depressing 2-4 since bringing his violent talents stateside, and he’s once again found himself on the business end of a highlight reel knock out. Although he exited Pride on a two-fight skid, he was still considered a savage in his prime; those days are gone. While Tito has likely staved off his pink slip for now, Dana White said that this is “probably the end of the road for Wanderlei” at the post fight presser. As tough as it is to see stars slowly fade away, it’s more painful to see them snuffed out quickly. Silva’s berserker-style isn’t a double-edged sword, it’s a double-edged battle axe, and if this was his last fight it’s been an honor to watch him swing it with reckless abandon.
(4 Years, 3 Months) Cruz waits for revenge
It took a perfect 9-0 stretch to earn Dominick Cruz his first shot at Urijah Faber back in 2007, and less than two minutes for the WEC Featherweight Champ to hand him his first and only loss. Since that time Cruz strung together another eight consecutive wins and picked up a WEC/UFC belt of his own, but until last night he’d have to wait for his revenge. The evening’s “Fight of the Night” was a razor thin, tough-to-call decision in favor of “The Dominator” (50-45? Probably not). The back and forth action lasted the full five rounds, stealing the show on a card chock-full of “holy shit” stoppages. Prior to 132 there was talk of Brian Bowles earning his shot with a win over Mizugaki, and there’s a nice storyline in him challenging the man that took his belt, but there are already murmurs of a rubber match between Faber and Cruz and from where Dana White’s sitting those two may have pre-sold tickets to that event last night.
Full Results (via MMAWeekly.com)
Main Bouts (On Pay-Per-View):
-Dominick Cruz def. Uirjah Faber by Unanimous Decision (50-45, 49-46, 48-47), R5
-Chris Leben def. Wanderlei Silva by KO (Punch) at 0:27, R1
-Dennis Siver def. Matt Wiman by Unanimous Decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28), R3
-Tito Ortiz def. Ryan Bader by Submission (Guillotine Choke) at 1:56, R1
-Carlos Condit def. Dong Hyun Kim by TKO (Strikes) at 2:58, R1
Preliminary Bouts (On Facebook):
-Brian Bowles def. Takeya Mizugaki by Unanimous Decision (29-28, 30-27, 30-27), R3
-Aaron Simpson def. Brad Tavares by Unanimous Decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27), R3
-Anthony Njokuani def. Andre Winner by Unanimous Decision (30-27, 30-26, 30-26), R3
-Jeff Hougland def. Donny Walker by Unanimous Decision (29-28, 29-28, 30-27), R3