Cain Velasquez vs Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira
Another torch has been passed in the UFC Heavyweight division. From the start of the fight, the fast hands of Velasquez was on display as combination after combination landed to the face of the former champ. At about two minutes in to the fight, both fighters threw overhand rights but Velasquez’s punch landed first right on the chin, dropping Nogueira to the mat. From there, Velasquez blasted Nogueira with four or five more big shots that put Nogueira to sleep. Cain Velasquez adds his name to the number one contender carousel in the heavyweight division.
Wanderlei Silva vs Michael Bisping
This was an even fight from the beginning until the end. Silva would land the bigger shots while on the feet, but Bisping had many solid double leg take downs to even the score cards to the judges. I really think this fight came down to the last 15 seconds of the final round when Wanderlei Silva dropped Bisping with a strong right hand to the ear. If there was 10 more seconds left on the clock, Silva probably would have gotten the TKO victory. Without that last second knock down, this fight decision would have been a coin flip. It was good to see Silva get another victory in the octagon, but i still don’t think he has too much left to offer any of the top guys in the division.
George Sotiropolous vs Joe Stevenson
I was one of the few people to pick Sotiropolous to win this fight, but even I didn’t expect it to look so easy. Sotiropolous had his coming out party to the world in front of thousands of his countrymen. He showed much improved boxing, winning most of the exchanges on the feet. Also great take down defense against Stevenson, who since moving to Greg Jackson’s MMA has taken his foes down at will. But his wrestling/ju-jitsu game was top notch. Sotiropolous was winning the fight even from his back, when Joe Stevenson usually smothers his opponents from top position. An unbelievable performance from a fighter whose potential has no boundaries.
Ryan Bader vs Keith Jardine
Keith Jardine’s relevance in the light heavyweight division is gone. His “unorthodox” striking technique has bit him in the ass again. Unless you are Anderson Silva, Muhammad Ali, or Roy Jones Jr, you can not keep your hands down at your sides so often. Greg Jackson is an MMA guru, but why he can’t drill in to Jardine’s head that his chin is weak and every time he doesn’t keep his hands up, that he’s going to take an early nap is beyond me. Bader came in with a great game plan. He changed levels all throughout the fight, keeping Jardine guessing on what he was going to do. Bader still has a lot of work to do, until he’s ready to compete with the big dogs in the division but he’s definitely on the right track.
Mirko “Cro Cop” Filipovic vs Anthony Perosh
Ben Rothwell would have been a much more exciting fight i believe than Anthony Perosh. It didn’t really look like Perosh wanted to fight at all from the beginning. Understandably, Perosh didn’t want to get in an exchange on the feet, but even when the fight would hit the ground he wouldn’t make any real offensive moves. Cro Cop showed a great sprawl stuffing all of Perosh’s weak take down attempts, but instead of trying to pull guard or look for a sweep, Perosh would turtle up and take more of a beating. Cro Cop must have got bored, because after a knock down, he actually went in to Perosh’s guard and threw a vicious elbow that opened up a deep cut over the eye. Mercifully, the fight was stopped after the 2nd round due to the laceration. Even though Cro Cop was dominant in the win, he really didn’t show me anything that he can still offer a challenge to the top guys in the division.
Krzysztof Soszynski vs Stephan Bonnar
An unfortunate end to an other wise exciting fight. Soszynski looked to have the upper hand in the first round, but Bonnar was getting on a roll in the second looking to make it a war in the final frame. Early in the third, during a clinch attempt, both fighters bump heads and Bonnar was cut deep. The fight was halted and Soszynski was given the TKO victory, after replay showed the cut came from the accidental head butt. A tough loss for Bonnar, who now has lost 5 of his last 7 fights. Luckily for him, in a interview earlier this week, Dana White said that Bonnar would always have a home in the UFC due to his epic battle with Forrest Griffin. As for Soszynski, he now makes his UFC record 4-1.
Chris Lytle vs Brian Foster
Perennial “Fight of The Night” Award winner, Chris Lytle put his well-rounded skills on display again. Everyone always seems to forget that Lytle has really good ju-jitsu because the guy likes to stand and bang so often. Lytle rocked Foster with a right hand, who then went in for a take down to recover. Lytle then stuffed the take down attempt and smoothly transitioned in to a knee bar and forced Foster to tap quickly. It was kind of a disappointing performance for Foster, who looked so dominant in this thrashing of Brock Larson. As for Lytle, his persona of never having a boring fight lives on.
CB Dollaway vs Goran Reljic
After a two year lay-off due to injury, Goran Reljic finally made his anticiapted return to the cage at UFC 110. Unfortunately, CB Dollaway spoiled his night by using his top notch wrestling to keep Reljic from showing off his electric kick boxing skills. It was Reljic’s first career loss and i’m sure he will come back with a vengeance. For Dollaway, it’s his second win in a row as he climbs up the middleweight ladder.
James Te Huna vs Igor Pokrajac
The New Zealand native, James Te Huna, got his UFC career off on the right foot. Pokrajac didn’t go down without a fight. The opening two rounds were back and forth, as both fighters got in good shots on the feet. James Te Huna showed a lot of power with big slams, putting Pokrajac on his head. In the third, Huna slammed Pokrajac to the mat and took top position. During a scramble back to their feet, a flurry of punches from Huna found their mark, giving him the TKO victory.