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UFC 126 Results

Middleweight Title: Anderson Silva d. Vitor Belfort (KO – Round 1, 3:25)

See: above.  Anderson Silva had one of the most unbelievable, spectacular knockouts in MMA history, flooring Vitor Belfort with an incredible high front kick.  Belfort had no idea this was coming and promptly crumbled to the mat.  At no point was the champion in danger as he was able to land this kick very early in the fight.  I don’t know if the kick itself is more remarkable than the fact that it was taught to the “Spider” by Steven Seagal.  Greatest kick ever.

I feel like this is the logical direction for the rest of 2011.  GSP will have to defeat Jake Shields and Jon Fitch while Silva will likely defend against Yushin Okami.  Once GSP and Silva are through with those fights, they’ll likely schedule the superfight for the end of the year.  I would be stunned if Silva didn’t fight Okami next.

Light Heavyweight: Jon Jones d. Ryan Bader (Submission – Round 2, 4:20)

Jon Jones dominated yet another fight and pulled off a really nice submission victory in the second round.  Jones was in control for pretty much the entire fight.  I was really surprised how outmatched Ryan Bader looked in this fight – Jones just had his way.  Jones ground work is very different, landing chin strikes and attempting to leap over his opponent to take his back.

The biggest development to come from this fight is Jones becoming the number one contender to champion Mauricio “Shogun” Rua.  Rashad Evans apparently blew out his knee in training for the UFC 128 title fight and Jones will be taking his place.  I really dislike this option as I would sooner bump “Rampage” Jackson from his fight with Thiago Silva and give him the title shot.  From there, Jones could fight Silva himself.  I feel like while Jones is very impressive, a title shot might be too much for him.  Of course, what the hell do I know?  I didn’t even think Jones would win this fight, so my opinion doesn’t mean much.

Light Heavyweight: Forrest Griffin d. Rich Franklin (Unanimous Decision)

This fight wasn’t nearly as exciting as I was hoping.  Forrest was on top of Franklin for all of the first round, while the fighters exchanged sloppy, imprecise strikes for the second and third rounds.  The fight was very unimpressive and left a whole lot to be desired – very disappointing.

Nothing remarkable happened and neither fighter showed any reason to be in light heavyweight title contention.  At least with a win, Forrest might get another shot to sniff contention.  I just don’t see him beating anybody like Lyoto Machida or Rashad Evans.  For Franklin, a fight with Ryan Bader seems to make sense.  Phil Davis could be another option.

Welterweight: Jake Ellenberger d. Carlos Eduardo Rocha (Split Decision)

After a very exciting first round, featuring some fantastic back and forth grappling, the fight settled down in the second and third rounds.  Ellenberger looked sharper and in better condition for the fight, as Rocha appeared to have gassed slightly after the first round.  Ellenberger was more active and looked to have easily won the second and third rounds, especially given Rocha’s inactivity.

Ellenberger, in my eyes, was the clear winner of this fight.  Judge Adalaide Byrd saw differently, awarding all three rounds to Rocha.  Only one round of this fight should have gone to Rocha, just as the other judges scored, but I believe Byrd chooses fight winners by flipping a coin.  It’s not just Byrd, as both Cecil Peoples and Tony Weeks have both had serious lapses in judgment.  I hate all of this “don’t let it go to the judges” nonsense, but with decisions like this, do fighters even have a choice?

Bantamweight: Miguel Torres d. Antonio Banuelos (Unanimous Decision)

Miguel Torres scored the unanimous decision, but looked far from impressive in doing so.  Torres seemed perfectly content jabbing Banuelos into submission, doing little else to take advantage of his height and reach.  Torres is a much more skilled fighter than Banuelos, but you wouldn’t have guessed it just from watching this fight.  Banuelos was able to hang around for all three rounds and take the little bits of abuse that Torres dished out.  Not a great performance by either fighter.

Featherweight: Chad Mendes d. Michihiro Omigawa (Unanimous Decision)

Chad Mendes controlled all aspects of this fight, keeping Omigawa off guard with very effective striking and well timed takedowns.  Omigawa never got to settle in as Mendes kept the pressure on for all 15 minutes.  Mendes looked very sharp in this fight and should be moving up the featherweight rankings.

Lightweight: Donald Cerrone d. Paul Kelly (Submission – Round 2, 3:48)

Donald Cerrone looked very good in submitting UFC veteran Paul Kelly.  After a close first round, Cerrone took control in the second round and was able to choke Kelly out.

Bantamweight: Demetrious Johnson d. Norifumi Yamamoto (Unanimous Decision)

Demetrious Johnson controlled the majority of this fight and was able to take the unanimous decision from “Kid” Yamamoto.  Johnson used crisp strikes to set up his takedowns, which seemed to stymie the Japanese veteran.

Lightweight: Paul Taylor d. Gabe Ruediger (KO – Round 2, 1:42)

Paul Taylor’s striking looked very sharp and the Brit was able to score a devastating head kick knockout against Gabe Ruediger.  Ruediger’s takedown attempts were ineffective and Taylor’s offensive attack did the trick.

Light Heavyweight: Kyle Kingsbury d. Ricardo Romero (TKO – Round 1, 0:21)

Kingsbury absolutely overwhelmed Romero with knees and punches and took a very quick victory.  Kingsbury looked impressive in what turned out to be a very brief outing.

Welterweight: Mike Pierce d. Kenny Robertson (TKO – Round 2, 0:29)

Pierce’s experienced proved to be too much for Robertson as he dominated en route to his third consecutive win in the UFC.

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