Octagonside by Anthony Springer Jr.
Earlier in the week, UFC heavyweight champion Junior dos Santos questioned Frank Mir’s heart.
Mir showed he had the heart, he just didn’t have enough of a chin to snare the title away from “Cigano.”
In the opening moments of the evening’s main event, Mir went for his Hail Mary of the night—an immediate takedown. Mir’s chances for victory slipped away as dos Santos slithered out of the submission specialists’ attempted heel hook.
“I knew he was difficult to take down, but I had to try and pull a foot lock,” a disappointed Mir said after the bout. “I didn’t want a boxing match with him, he just forced me into it.”
Playing into dos Santos’ specialty spelled certain doom for the Las Vegan. The champion landed body shots at will and finished the opening round with a flurry of pin point shots that forced Mir to the mat.
“This guy can take a punch. My hand is hurt,” dos Santos said of Mir.
The second frame was all about dos Santos. Mir hit the deck early in the round as it proved to be a sign of things to come. A straight right jab backed Mir up before dropping him and dos Santos was on the attack. A follow up right hand dazed Mir and as the challenger spun out to avoid further damage he was blasted with a right hammer fist. Clearly disoriented, referee Herb Dean called a stop to the contest at the 3:04 mark.
“I’m feeling awesome man!” dos Santos yelled immediately after the bout.
Though many tried to play up the drama of Mir defeating the champ’s mentor, Antonio Noguiera twice, dos Santos refused to take the bait in the aftermath of the win.
“That fight is between them. I don’t care about that. I come here to defend my belt and I did it.”
With a vintage performance from Cain Velasquez, one can only wonder if a rematch of the biggest heavyweight title bout in UFC history is on the horizon.
Velasquez mauls Silva in brutal, one sided affair
It started with a quick takedown. What follows was another few minutes of sheer carnage. Cain Velasquez made a statement in the night’s co-main event in a total mauling of Antonio “Bigfoot” Silva.
Velasquez scored a takedown in the opening moments of the fight and never let up. The former UFC heavyweight champion stayed busy with punches. In a move that would put any slasher flick to shame, Velasquez used a short elbow to slice open the face of Silva.
After a brief stop in the action to examine the cut, Velasquez went on the war path again. A lunging right hand connected on Silva’s face to set up the fight ending barrage. After what seemed like forever, referee Josh Rosenthal dove in to halt the bout.
Time of stoppage was 3:36.
With the win, Velasquez makes a hell of a case for another title shot.
Nelson flattens Herman
Ultimate Fighter winner Roy Nelson earned a standing ovation in a :51 knockout win over Dave Herman. In the opening moments, Nelson smashed Herman with his trademark overhand right. Herman took a seat on the mat and “Big Country” landed a few more blows for good measure.
Miocic bloodies, finishes Del Rosario
In a battle of the unbeaten, Stipe Miocic roughed up Strikeforce transplant Shane Del Rosario en route to a second round TKO finish. After a relatively slow first round that saw both fighters testing each other with one and two-punch combinations, the paramedic stepped it up in round two. Miocic scored a takedown and thumped Del Rosario with a hammer fist in the second stanza. On the canvas, Miocic caught Del Rosario with a series of vicious elbows that ripped his opponent open. After the barrage went undefended, the referee dove in to halt the bout. Time of stoppage was 3:14.
Struve taps Johnson
Raw power was no match for precision as heavyweight submission specialist Stefan Struve tapped Lavar Johnson at 1:05 in the opening round with an arm bar. Johnson rushed Struve in the opening moments of the fight. While tied up against the cage, Struve pulled guard and immediately went for an arm bar. “Skyscraper” ate a few punches on the canvas but kept the hold locked in, forcing Johnson to tap.
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