Lightweight Title: (c) Frankie Edgar d. Gray Maynard (KO – Round 4, 3:54)
Frankie Edgar is my new man crush. This dude is my hero. The fight last night started much like their previous contest, Maynard scoring big early and coming close to finishing the fight. Edgar survived and looked much better from the second round on, but was then able to knock Maynard out in the fourth round.
I have no idea what’s wrong with Gray Maynard. Does he just blow his load in the first round and give up for the rest of the fight? He probably could have ended the fight in the second if he pushed forward and got in Edgar’s face, but the champ prevailed and impressed the hell out of me.
Ideally, Edgar will take on Strikeforce Lightweight Champion Gilbert Melendez sometime in early 2012, while Maynard should take on the winner of Guida vs. Henderson for the next title shot. I’m hopeful this will work out for Melendez’s debut as he absolutely deserves a title shot right away.
Featherweight Title: (c) Jose Aldo d. Kenny Florian (Unanimous Decision)
This fight ended up being pretty close, but to me, Aldo was very clearly the winner. His striking looked more crisp and he just seemed more comfortable here. Aldo will go on to greet another challenger, likely Chad Mendes, while who knows where Florian can go. Toil near the top of the featherweight division? Move back up to lightweight? He seems to have exhausted all of his options here and that’s kinda sad.
Middleweight: Chael Sonnen d. Brian Stann (Submission – Round 2, 3:51)
Briefly, Chael Sonnen looked scary good and dominated Brian Stann during this fight. End of story, right?
Oh, except Chael Sonnen called out Anderson Silva telling the champ that he “absolutely sucks” and challenging him to a loser leaves town match. That is, Sonnen will leave the UFC if he loses but Silva must leave the middleweight division if Sonnen wins. Silva looked bemused by the challenge and I’m sure we’ll be seeing the fight at the Super Bowl weekend card. Oh, and Chael Sonnen complimented Anderson Silva’s dancing after the fight.
This is awesome.
Lightweight: Joe Lauzon d. Melvin Guillard (Submission – Round 1, 0:47)
This win for Joe Lauzon may have surprised many, but I actually thought Lauzon could win. Guillard was so hot coming into this fight and a knockout win for the “Young Assassin” seemed to be a likely outcome, but Lauzon caught Guillard early and was able to pull off a quick submission.
Featherweight: Nam Phan d. Leonard Garcia (Unanimous Decision)
This turned out to be quite the exciting fight and was especially notable since Leonard Garcia lost a decision! Nam Phan looked pretty good last night and won the striking battle with Leonard Garcia, earning a clear decision victory that should be a measure of retribution for their previous fight.
Middleweight: Demian Maia d. Jorge Santiago (Unanimous Decision)
Jorge Santiago kind of sucks, doesn’t he?
Lightweight: Anthony Pettis d. Jeremy Stephens (Split Decision)
This fight wasn’t as close as the decision might lead you to believe. Pettis was in control for the majority of this fight, winning the limited striking exchanges and controlling most of the fight on the ground. The top of the lightweight division is so congested and Pettis is going to have to keep winning fights like this to stay relevant in the division.
Heavyweight: Stipe Miocic d. Joey Beltran (Unanimous Decision)
Middleweight: Aaron Simpson d. Eric Schafer (Unanimous Decision)
Middleweight: Mike Massenzio d. Steve Cantwell (Unanimous Decision)
Featherweight: Darren Elkins d. Zhang Tie Quan (Unanimous Decision)
Welterweight Tournament Semifinals: Ben Saunders d. Luis Santos (Submission – Round 3, 1:45)
Ben Saunders looked really great last night and strung together some great submission attempts. He was finally able to finish the fight with a third round keylock, gaining entry to the welterweight tournament finals. Saunders is tough and keeps working and will be a tough opponent for anyone.
Welterweight Tournament Semifinals: Douglas Lima d. Chris Lozano (KO – Round 2, 3:14)
Douglas Lima will be really hard for Saunders to get past in the tournament finals the way he brutally knocked out Chris Lozano last night. Lima has looked good in the tournament thus far and is quickly climbing the ranks at 170 pounds. Saunders vs. Lima may not have been the likeliest outcome, but it should be a good finals match.
Featherweight: Ronnie Mann d. Kenny Foster (Submission – Round 1, 3:51)
Foster was completely outmatched here and was submitted by Mann in relatively short order. Mann will now be a participant in the season six featherweight tournament next spring, giving him another chance to earn a title shot.
Heavyweight: Thiago Santos d. Josh Burns (Submission – Round 1, 2:23)
In the war of the fat boys, it was the most massive fat boy who pulled off the win. That is, the extremely tall and scary Thiago Santos choked out Josh Burns. With an injury in the heavyweight tournament, it looks like Santos might get a shot in the heavyweight tournament semifinals.
Middleweight: Giva Santana d. Darryl Cobb (Submission – Round 1, 2:00)
Catchweight (175 lbs.): A.J. Matthews d. Rudy Bears (Unanimous Decision)
Light Heavyweight: Raphael Davis d. Myron Dennis (KO – Round 2, 0:29)
Catchweight (157 lbs.): Emanuel Brooks d. Greg Scott (TKO – Round 2, 2:40)
Welterweight: David Rickels d. Levi Avera (Submission – Round 2, 1:06)
Catchweight (140 lbs.): Luis Nogueira d. Zak Laird (Submission – Round 1, 0:51)
Bantamweight Title: (c) Dominick Cruz d. Demetrious Johnson (Unanimous Decision
Cruz and Johnson put on a show last night, both men utilizing great speed to entertain us all for 25 minutes. In the end, Cruz’s striking and grappling won out as “Mighty Mouse” was just outmatched. Cruz landed some nice suplexes and almost finished the fight with some submissions, notably a rear naked choke in the third round. Cruz appeared to tire a bit, but he still won what was a closely contested bout.
Dominick Cruz is the best fighter in the world. You can’t change my mind, he’s proven this during his stellar run at bantamweight. Cruz has been completely dominant with fighters currently ranked 2, 3, 4, 5, and 7 at bantamweight. He also has a win over 2nd ranked flyweight Ian McCall. Cruz has very little left to prove, though Brad Picket should probably get a shot. I figure that the winner of Bowles/Faber will take on Cruz, then Pickett should earn a shot, and then…who knows? Maybe Cruz vs. Aldo?
For Demetrious Johnson, his next fight should realistically be at flyweight. Dana White confirmed that flyweights should be competing in the UFC at the end of this year or beginning of 2012, so Johnson could see his next bout at 125 pounds. Johnson is one of the more exciting fighters in MMA, pushing a constant pace and hanging in there with some of the best in the world. I think he could really be a fixture at 135 pounds, but should he choose to drop down, he can be a force at flyweight.
Heavyweight: Stefan Struve d. Pat Barry (Submission – Round 2, 3:22)
Ugh, what a fucking awful fight. The first round was supremely boring, as we saw a seven foot tall fighter who had no clue how to use his reach as Barry stood by waiting for Struve to use his reach. The second round saw Struve gain control and score the win with a triangle choke, surviving a big slam attempt from Pat Barry.
This was a solid win for Struve, who needed a victory to get back on track. Of course, Pat Barry was the perfect opponent as he somehow has no idea how to fight despite being very talented. It’s as if Barry turns off his brain at fight time and just kinda hangs out. I’m a Pat Barry fan, but he really pisses me off. Goofing around and being everybody’s friend is fine until you end up getting cut for not being very good. Bellator has a bit of a void at heavyweight, so maybe Barry can ply his trade there!
Welterweight: Anthony Johnson d. Charlie Brenneman (KO – Round 1, 2:49)
Though the stoppage seemed a little early, it was just a matter of time before Brenneman was murdered by Rumble. Anthony Johnson was landing pretty much everything and Brenneman had no answer but to pray. By the time Johnson landed a big head kick, Mario Yamasaki was quick to stop the fight despite Brenneman being totally conscious.
Frankly, I think continuing the fight would have delayed the inevitable. Brenneman wouldn’t have been able to finish Johnson and he couldn’t have lasted 15 minutes in that fight. Rumble is looking pretty scary and should see a step up in competition at welterweight.
Lightweight: Matt Wiman d. Mac Danzig (Unanimous Decision)
This was a really great battle between Wiman and Danzig that could have gone either way, but somehow, all three judges scored the contest for Wiman. Wiman did look very good, but I’m surprised that Danzig didn’t win on at least one scorecard. Wiman was very active with submission attempts, while both men traded some heavy strikes in an exciting fight. I’m not disappointed in the win for Wiman, whose looked very good at 155 pounds as of late.
Lightweight: Paul Sass d. Michael Johnson (Submission – Round 1, 3:00)
Bantamweight: Mike Easton d. Byron Bloodworth (TKO – Round 2, 4:52)
Lightweight: Yves Edwards d. Rafaello Oliveira (TKO – Round 2, 2:44)
Lightweight: T.J. Grant d. Shane Roller (Submission – Round 3, 2:12)
Welterweight: Josh Neer d. Keith Wisniewski (TKO – Round 2, 5:00)
Bantamweight: Walel Watson d. Joseph Sandoval (TKO – Round 1, 1:17)
Heavyweight Tournament Quarterfinals: Mike Hayes d. Neil Grove (Split Decision)
Well this was fairly surprising. Not only did Neil Grove not knock out Mike Hayes, but he didn’t even win! Hayes won a fairly uneventful fight in somewhat convincing fashion. Grove didn’t do a ton throughout the fight and Hayes took the second and third rounds of the fight. Grove had previously been a favorite in this tournament and his loss will likely open things up a bit.
Heavyweight Tournament Quarterfinals: Blagoi Ivanov d. Zak Jensen (Submission – Round 2, 2:35)
Jensen was a late substitution for Thiago Santos, who was unable to enter the country for this fight. Jensen was rewarded by being choked unconscious by Blagoi Ivanov. Ivanov looked good last night, getting the better of the striking and flashing some grappling skills. I ultimately think he’s the favorite in this tournament given Grove’s loss.
Heavyweight Tournament Quarterfinals: Eric Prindle d. Abe Wagner (Unanimous Decision)
Ugh, what a mess of a fight this was. Prindle should have finished the fight some time in the second round, but instead, we were subjected to a three round fat boy mess. Wagner looked gassed less than half way through the contest, though Prindle wasn’t in much better shape.
Heavyweight Tournament Quarterfinals: Ron Sparks d. Mark Holata (KO – Round 1, 1:24)
So Ron Sparks likes to punch people. This isn’t something new, we’re all aware of it. Unfortunately, Mark Holata found out the hard way when he was pounded by Sparks last night.
Catchweight (150 lbs.): Genair da Silva d. Bryan Goldsby (Submission – Round 1, 3:51)
Heavyweight: Justin Frazier d. Liron Wilson (TKO – Round 1, 1:50)
Catchweight (213 lbs.): Matt Van Buren d. Nick Nichols (TKO – Round 2, 2:29)
Lightweight: Josh Quayhagen d. Cosmo Alexandre (Unanimous Decision)
Light Heavyweight Title: (c) Jon Jones d. Quinton Jackson (Submission – Round 4, 1:14)
I should say first that I was pretty pleased with Rampage’s performance. His defense was solid as he avoided a lot of Jones’ big strikes and defended the takedowns well. I thought he fought a smart fight and looked to be in shape and I really think Rampage has a lot to be proud of.
That said, Jon Jones still looked incredible. Rampage’s defense may have been good, but he couldn’t do anything on offense. Jones kept Rampage at a distance, landed strikes, controlled the clinch, and eventually submitted Rampage in the fourth round. I think Rampage showed that there are ways to defend against Jones, but we still haven’t seen any fighters mount significant offense against “Bones.”
Now we’ll see the very contentious title fight between Jones and Rashad Evans, while Rampage has lots of potential opponents. Shogun Rua in Japan and Lyoto Machida seem like the most likely at this point.
Welterweight: Josh Koscheck d. Matt Hughes (KO – Round 1, 4:59)
This fight looked so promising for Hughes – until Koscheck started to hit him. Hughes’ tentative striking seemed to be pretty effective, but then Koscheck decided to hit Hughes harder and for more prolonged periods of time. The result was a knockout that very well could have ended Matt Hughes’ career.
We might see Koscheck go up against Diego Sanchez or the loser of GSP vs. Carlos Condit (meaning Carlos Condit), while it seems likely that we’ll never see Hughes again. Hughes stayed competitive even until the later portions of his career, but knockout losses to B.J. Penn and Koscheck don’t bode well for the former Welterweight Champion. A shame, since Hughes has always been a fan favorite.
Heavyweight: Travis Browne d. Rob Broughton (Unanimous Decision)
Rob Broughton did nothing except get his ass kicked last night. Travis Browne needs a step up in competition since I think he can hang with the middle tier fighters at heavyweight, especially after his previous win over Stefan Struve. I think a Browne vs. Roy Nelson fight could be nice, though I’m not sure what Big Country’s status is right now.
Lightweight: Nate Diaz d. Takanori Gomi (Submission – Round 1, 4:27)
Wow did Diaz look sharp. He kept Gomi at a distance with his superior reach and chained together some great submission attempts before finishing Gomi with an armbar. Diaz definitely belongs at 155 pounds since he won’t have to get thrown around like he did against Rory MacDonald. Good showing for Nate.
Heavyweight: Mark Hunt d. Ben Rothwell (Unanimous Decision)
MARK HUNT!? REALLY!? Oh my God, that was insane. What were the odds last night that Hunt would submit Rothwell, because that almost happened. I think the world would have imploded if Hunt beat Rothwell with that second round armbar, so I guess I’m grateful that he didn’t finish the fight. Then again, I had to watch an extra round of that sloppy mess so who knows.
Middleweight: Tim Boetsch d. Nick Ring (Unanimous Decision)
After a tight first round that Nick Ring seemed to control, Tim Boetsch settled in and looked really good in the second and third rounds. Boetsch landed some big punches and took Ring down, including an absolutely gorgeous hip toss in the third round. I really, really love Boetsch at middleweight and this performance was quite impressive.
Lightweight: Tony Ferguson d. Aaron Riley (TKO – Round 1, 5:00)
Ferguson looked pretty sharp and beat Aaron Riley up pretty badly, breaking Riley’s jaw in the process. The fight was stopped after the first round due to the injury, but I didn’t see Riley coming back even if the fight continued. Ferguson looked pretty sharp in this one and could make some noise at lightweight.
Bantamweight: Takeya Mizugai d. Cole Escovedo (TKO – Round 2, 4:30)
Featherweight: Junior Assuncao d. Eddie Yagin (Unanimous Decision)
Light Heavyweight: James Te-Huna d. Ricardo Romero (KO – Round 1, 0:47)
Bantamweight Tournament Quarterfinals: Alexis Vila d. Joe Warren (KO – Round 1, 1:04)
There’s only one thing that matters from last night and that is pictured above. Congrats to Eduardo Dantas, Ed West, and Marcos Galvao for advancing to the bantamweight tournament semifinals, but this was one of the most stunning moments in Bellator history. Alexis Vila demolished current Bellator Featherweight Champion Joe Warren in under 90 seconds, brutalizing Warren with some devastating striking punctuated with the knockout shown above.
Vila is one of the top lighter fighters in the world and is my pick to win this tournament, and as I warned last night on Twitter, Zach Makovsky has good reason to be worried if Vila gets through this tournament. Warren can now defend his Featherweight Title against Patricio Freire in a fight he could easily lose.
Bantamweight Tournament Quarterfinals: Eduardo Dantas d. Wilson Reis (TKO – Round 2, 1:02)
Dantas proved emphatically that he’s a threat in this tournament following his TKO win over Wilson Reis. This was a surprised as Reis has been one of the most solid fighters at featherweight, but Dantas proved he’s the better man at bantamweight.
Bantamweight Tournament Quarterfinals: Ed West d. Luiz Alberto Nogueira (Unanimous Decision)
Ed West has trained with Don Frye. Ed West won this fight.
Bantamweight Tournament Quarterfinals: Marcos Galvao d. Chase Beebe (Split Decision)
“We’ll see this one go to a tight decision and I think Galvao will score the win here.”
Hey look! I really called that! I’m pleased to see Galvao get the win, since he deserved a bit of retribution after his bogus loss to Joe Warren. Galvao advances to the tournament semifinals where he certainly won’t get an easy draw. Vila, Dantas, and West are all super tough and I’m really pumped to see the semifinals of this tournament.
Bantamweight: Jessie Riggleman d. Farkhad Sharipov (Split Decision)
Women’s Catchweight (127 lbs.): Jessica Eye d. Casey Noland (Split Decision)
Featherweight: Frank Caraballo d. Dustin Kempf (TKO – Round 1, 1:19)
Light Heavyweight: John Hawk d. Allan Weickert (TKO – Round 2, 5:00)
Light Heavyweight: Dan Spohn d. Dane Bonningson (KO – Round 1, 1:09)
Lightweight: Joey Holt d. Clint Musser (KO – Round 1, 4:07)
Welterweight: Jake Ellenberger d. Jake Shields (TKO – Round 1, 0:53)
Middleweight: Court McGee d. Dongi Yang (Unanimous Decision)
Middleweight: Alan Belcher d. Jason MacDonald (Submission – Round 1, 3:48)
Featherweight: Erik Koch d. Jonathan Brookins (Unanimous Decision)
Lightweight: Evan Dunham d. Shamar Bailey (Unanimous Decision)
Bantamweight: Ken Stone d. Donny Walker (Submission – Round 1, 2:47)
Lightweight: Vagner Rocha d. Cody McKenzie (Submission – Round 2, 3:49)
Featherweight: Robert Peralta d. Mike Lullo (Unanimous Decision)
Welterweight: Lance Benoist d. Matt Riddle (Unanimous Decision)
Welterweight: Seth Baczynski d. Clay Harvison (Submission – Round 2, 1:12)
Welterweight: T.J. Waldburger d. Mike Stumpf (Submission – Round 1, 3:52)
Welterweight: Justin Edwards d. Jorge Lopez (Unanimous Decision)
Middleweight Tournament Quarterfinals: Bryan Baker d. Jared Hess (TKO – Round 3, 2:52)
Middleweight Tournament Quarterfinals: Alexander Shlemenko d. Zelg Galesic (Submission – Round 1, 1:55)
Middleweight Tournament Quarterfinals: Vitor Vianna d. Sam Alvey (Split Decision)
Middleweight Tournament Quarterfinals: Brian Rogers d. Victor O’Donnell (TKO – Round 1, 1:56)
Catchweight (140 lbs.): Shah Bobonis d. Marcos da Matta (KO – Round 3, 2:04)
Lightweight: Radley Martinez d. Brian van Hoven (Unanimous Decision)
Welterweight: Ailton Barbosa d. Ryan Keenan (Submission – Round 1, 1:55)
Welterweight: Cristiano Souza d. John Kelly (Unanimous Decision)
Middleweight: Brett Cooper d. Valdir Araujo (TKO – Round 3, 0:35)
Catchweight (156 lbs.): Marcelo Goncalves d. Dietter Navarro (Submission – Round 1, 2:01)
Lightweight: J.P. Reese d. Martin Brown (Unanimous Decision)
Heavyweight Grand Prix Semifinals: Josh Barnett d. Sergei Kharitonov (Submission – Round 1, 4:28)
Hey, it’s the one fight I predicted correctly! Barnett made surprisingly quick work out of Kharitonov, winning his second tournament fight by arm triangle choke. Barnett is my favorite in the finals at this point as he’s been pretty impressive thus far.
Heavyweight Grand Prix Semifinals: Daniel Cormier d. Antonio Silva (KO – Round 1, 3:56)
I was stunned by this one. Daniel Cormier appears to have boulders on the ends of his arms as he was absolutely rocking Silva with every strike he threw. Cormier completely stunned Silva and most of the MMA world with this huge win.
Middleweight Title: Luke Rockhold d. (c) Ronaldo Souza (Unanimous Decision)
I…don’t even know what I saw last night. I’m particularly embarrassed given how little of a chance I gave Luke Rockhold, but he kept Jacare confused all night and took a clear decision to win the Strikeforce Middleweight Title.
Light Heavyweight: Muhammed Lawal d. Roger Gracie (KO – Round 1, 4:37)
Okay, so I predicted this one correctly too, but it feels like a loss. I was pulling for Gracie, who got knocked out cold by King Mo at the end of the first round.
Lightweight: Pat Healy d. Maximo Blanco (Submission – Round 2, 4:27)
Blanco opened up promisingly enough with some scary looking strikes and his normal wildness. Then he kicked Pat Healy in the face illegally…a lot. Then he got submitted. So really, not a good night for Max White.
Light Heavyweight: Rafael Cavalcante d. Yoel Romero (KO – Round 2, 4:51)
Welterweight: Jordan Mein d. Evangelista Santos (TKO – Round 3, 3:18)
Light Heavyweight: Mike Kyle d. Marcos Rogerio de Lima (Unanimous Decision)
Women’s Welterweight: Alexis Davis d. Amanda Nunes (TKO – Round 2, 4:53)
Middleweight: Dominique Steele d. Chris Mierzwiak (Unanimous Decision)
I liked these fights because they were good to have on in the background while drinking and watching Strikeforce. Look, did I really pay attention to these fights? No. But I can read, so I can at least put the results on here.
Welterweight Tournament Quarterfinals: Luis Santos d. Dan Hornbuckle (Unanimous Decision)
Welterweight Tournament Quarterfinals: Ben Saunders d. Chris Cisneros (TKO – Round 3, 0:29)
Welterweight Tournament Quarterfinals: Chris Lozano d. Brent Weedman (Unanimous Decision)
Welterweight Tournament Quarterfinals: Douglas Lima d. Steve Carl (Unanimous Decision)
Catchweight (147 lbs.): Alexandre Bezerra d. Scott Heckman (TKO – Round 2, 1:38)
Welterweight: Giedrius Karavackas d. LeVon Maynard (TKO – Round 3, 1:32)
Heavyweight: Azunna Anyanwu d. J.A. Dudley (TKO – Round 2, 4:16)
Featherweight: Joel Roberts d. Brylan Van Artsdalen (Submission – Round 2, 1:47)
Catchweight (150 lbs.): Lester Caslow d. James Jones (TKO – Round 2, 0:15)