The shorts don’t lie. (Pic: UFC.com)
In the weeks leading up to last night’s Heavyweight Championship bout, Dana White trumpeted that “whether this fight goes 30 seconds or 30 minutes, this is going to be a fight right here.” It was a fight, and it was slightly longer than 30 seconds, but in the post fight analysis Dana appeared frustrated and was searching for a reason that his champion went down so quickly. With all of the buildup and hype, I can’t help but think that first time viewers were equally confused and found the whole affair to be anticlimactic. Were that all the action we got to see last night, we’d probably be disappointed as well, but thank god for Facebook.
With regards to the main event, there’s not a lot to say, really. Junior Dos Santos hits hard. Cain’s game plan has been under attack, but it’s not like he got butchered on his feet for two rounds while doggedly refusing to shoot for a single. Velasquez got nailed with a huge overhand right just 55 seconds into the bout after already trying unsuccessfully for a takedown. Obviously, getting Dos Santos off of his feet quickly would have been Cain’s best option, but for a versatile heavyweight fighting under the brightest lights ever shone on a UFC fighter, shooting in for a Couture-Toney ankle pick with the opening bell still ringing wouldn’t do. Props to Dos Santos for getting it done quickly and violently in the Knock Out of the Night. It wasn’t the most epic fight that the UFC and FOX could have hoped for, but it was a memorable one. That Dos Santos did it with a torn meniscus is all the more impressive.
It’s easy to say that the Henderson-Guida bout should have been broadcast in hindsight, but it was pretty obvious ahead of time as well. There was no doubt that their fight would be balls to the wall, and it may have been the organization’s best chance of finally securing the Prell sponsorship that’s eluded them for all these years. Guida’s style relies on a relentless pace and a controlling top game, but he met a superior wrestler and a cardio-equal in Bendo. His take down defense gave him control of the fight and his crisp striking allowed him to counter Guida’s wild barrages. It’s a shame that only a small fraction of those who caught the FOX broadcast are even aware of their Fight of the Night performance, but I’m sure the extra $65k makes up for it a little.
Cub Swanson headed into his bout with Ricardo Lamas with an abundance of confidence and some of the ugliest tattoos I’ve seen since “Katie’s Revenge”. After getting the better of Lamas in the striking department, Swanson nearly ended the fight with a deep guillotine in the first. He seemed indifferent as Lamas took him down and worked his way behind him, but that apathy was nowhere to be seen as he struggled to break free from an arm triangle. Lamas secured the tapout, and the Submission of the Night bonus, at 2:26 of R2.
Alex Caceres put on an absolute clinic against Cole Escovedo in his debut at 135 lbs. “Bruce Leroy” came after the former WEC champ from every possible angle with every strike in the book from the opening bell. On the ground Caceres was too much as well, coming close to sinking in a triangle and an armbar as he transitioned from one sub to the next. He picked up the unanimous decision—his first win in the Octagon–in his bantamweight debut.
Tough break for Mackens Semerzier. No one wants to get knocked out, but when it comes from an illegal (albeit accidental) headbutt it’s a lot harder to swallow. Hopefully he can get the “L” overturned.
Darren Uyenoyama knows a thing or two about grappling. Kid Yamamoto is now 0-2 in the UFC with only one win in his past five fights, and once again JMMA looks to be on life support. I’m sure Kid will be kept on board for Zuffa’s upcoming visit to Japan. His slide started just after divorcing this. We’d be depressed too, Kid.
This was Clay Harvison’s second straight loss, and it came via knock out at the hands of a mid-pack fighter just 1:34 into the bout. It was a nice recovery for DaMarques Johnson, but I don’t think Clay’s up to snuff.
Full Results: (via: MMAWeekly.com)
Main Event (On Fox):
-Junior dos Santos def. Cain Velasquez by KO at 1:04, R1
Undercard (On Facebook and FoxSports.com):
-Benson Henderson def. Clay Guida by unanimous decision (29-28, 30-27, 30-27)
-Dustin Poirier def. Pablo Garza by submission (d’arce choke) at 1:32, R2
-Ricardo Lamas def. Cub Swanson by submission (arm triangle choke) at 2:16, R2
-DaMarques Johnson def. Clay Harvison by TKO at 1:34, R1
-Darren Uyenoyama def. Norifumi “Kid” Yamamoto by unanimous decision (30-27, 30-26, 30-27)
-Robert Peralta def. Mackens Semerzier by TKO at 1:54, R3
-Alex Caceres def. Cole Escovedo by unanious decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
-Mike Pierce def. Paul Bradley by split decision (28-29, 30-37, 29-28)
-Aaron Rosa def. Matt Lucas by majority decision (28-28, 30-26, 30-26)