Lesnar weathers storm, stuns Carwin
Octagonside by Anthony Springer, Jr.
Photos courtesy of Josh Hedges, UFC
In the run up to the UFC’s biggest heavyweight title fight in the company’s history, two questions surrounded the fight: Does Brock Lesnar have a chin and can Shane Carwin fight past the first round?
The answer to the first question was yes. The answer to the second was no.
Brock Lesnar did what 12 other men couldn’t do, weathering a storm of powerful punches from Carwin to earn a submission victory in round two of the title fight.
The NCAA Division I standout was rocked early by a big left hand from the Colorado fighter and spent most of the opening stanza trying not to get knocked out.
Carwin gave Lesnar everything he could handle, recovering quickly after being taken down and battering Lesnar against the cage. With an average fight time of just 1:08 inside the Octagon, the unstoppable Lesnar seemed to be little more than the next victim in Carwin’s ascent to the top.
Remarkably, Lesnar survived the first round and stormed back in the second.
When the fight resumed, Lesnar returned to what brought him to the big dance: his wrestling. He wasted no time taking Carwin down and advancing position. After mounting Carwin, Lesnar called an audible, switching to side control and locking in an arm triangle. When Carwin refused to tap, Lesnar tightened the hold.
“The Monster” barely mustered the strength to tap at the 2:19 mark.
"This is about my family. This is about my doctors. This is about my training partners," the champion said. "I am blessed by god. I stand before you a humble champion, but I'm still the toughest SOB you'll ever meet."
Leben subs Akiyama; two wins in two weeks
Chris “The Crippler” Leben is having the best two weeks ever.
Coming off of an exciting TKO win over Aaron Simpson at the Ultimate Fighter Season 11 finale, the TUF alum capped a whirlwind fourteen day stretch with a submission win over Japanese star Yoshihiro Akiyama in the night’s co-main event.
Leben was forced to eat his words early as the Judoka had his way with “The Crippler” in the early going. Akiyama controlled the action with Judo throws that sent Leben crashing to the mat.
But as followers of Leben know, the man fighting out of Hawaii is most dangerous when he’s in trouble. Akiyama made the mistake of standing in front of Leben, who took advantage of the lack of movement and teed off “Sexyama’s” dome with a series of punches and head kicks.
To Akiyama’s credit, he kept the action moving, rocking Leben with a punch in the second frame.
All three judges scored the fight 19-19 going into the third.
Akiyama appeared to have the fight locked up in the final minutes, scoring a final takedown, though Leben was the more active fighter from the bottom. The turning point came with time ticking away as Leben snared Akiyama in a triangle choke and forced a tap out bringing the MGM Grand Garden crowd to its feet.
The official time of the fight was 4:40 in the third round.
With the win, it’s safe to say that Leben is right back in the mix of the middleweight title picture.
Lytle taps Brown
Chris Lytle showed he’s more than his moniker, “Lights Out” suggests, submitting Matt Brown with an arm bar at 2:02 in the second round.
The Indiana fire fighter wasted no time, winging wild, looping punches in hopes of scoring a quick knock out. Most of the punches fell short and Brown weathered the early storm.
“The Immortal” nearly pulled off a submission of his own , securing a tight D’arce choke with more than two minutes remaining in the opening frame. Miraculously, Lytle was able to retain consciousness and escape.
“That was real tight. I knew I couldn’t get out of it,” Lytle said after the fight. “I was just going to sit there and let him where himself out and that’s what happened.”
When Lytle got an opportunity for a sub, he made the most of it. When the action hit the canvas, he beautifully transitioned from half guard to side control, locking up Brown’s neck and arm in the process. Brown verbally tapped as Lytle put pressure on the arm.
The submission is Brown’s second straight in the UFC.
Bonnar back to winning ways in rematch with Soszynski
When Krzysztof Soszynski and Stephan Bonnar locked horns at UFC 110 in February, the bout ended prematurely when Bonnar suffered a fight ending cut after a head butt from “The Polish Experiment.” In the rematch, “The American Psycho” served up a dish of revenge, defeating Soszynski via TKO at 3:08 in round two.
The pair wasted no time picking up where they left off in February, winging wild punches at each other in the middle of the ring. Bonnar was cut by a Soszynski punch in the early going.
A bloody Bonnar turned the tide for good, flooring Soszynski with a big knee that sent him to the canvas. Seizing the opportunity, Bonnar pounced, landing a series of unanswered punches before Mario Yamasaki called the bout.
“I know I hurt him,” Bonnar said of the knee. “I just kept throwing punches and telling myself, ‘They’re not gonna take this fight from me;l nobody’s gonna take this fight from me.’”
The win ends a long drought for Bonnar, who dropped three straight prior to the win.
Sotiropoulos defeats Pellegrino in fifteen minute war!
On paper, the bout between Kurt “Batman” Pellegrino and George Sotiropoulos had fight of the night written all over it. The opening fight on the pay-per-view didn’t disappoint. Pellegrino and Sotiropoulos waged war for fifteen minutes. When the final bell sounded the judges awarded the contest to Sotiropoulos via unanimous decision.
Most of the action took place on the feet as the two men with boxing backgrounds went toe-to-toe exchanging punches. From the outset, the Australian was the crisper striker, landing jabs at will.
When the action hit the mat, Sotiropoulos kept The Caped Crusader off balance with elbows and slick jiu-jitsu. Eddie Bravo’s Rubber Guard was on full display as Sotiropoulos kept Pellegrino from doing damage in the top position.
Pellegrino nearly pulled off the upset in the final moments of round three. He caught Sotiropoulos with a big knee, sending the fighter from down under to the canvas. Time expired before Pellegrino could take advantage of the move.
The judges scored thebout 30-27 (twice) and 29-28. The win is Sotiropoulos’ sixth in the Octagon.
Spike TV Prelims
An overhand right from former NFL player Brendan Schaub ended Chris Tuchscherer’s night early. After “The Crowbar” hit the canvas, Schaub followed up with a flurry of punches from the top position. Tuchscherer appeared to protest the stoppage to referee Herb Dean and fell back to the mat. The official time of the bout was 1:07 in the first.
Ricardo Romero and “The Silverback” Seth Petruzelli put on a hell of a show to open up Spike TV’s live prelims. After a raucous back and forth fight, Romero, making his UFC debut, tapped Petruzelli with an arm bar at 3:05 in the second stanza. Petruzelli hit Romero with some big shots in the opening round, but the Jersey fighter weathered the storm and nearly pulled off several submissions. “Nothing hurt,” Romero said. “I knew I was losing on the score cards.”
In another razor thin split decision, Ultimate Fighter winner Kendall “Da Spyder” Grove defeated Goran Reljic. The bout went back and forth with both fighters struggling to gain the upper hand. Grove remained active wherever the fight went, striking Reljic repeatedly after being taken down, scoring with knees in the clinch and an up kick in the first that sent Reljic to the canvas. The judges scored the bout, 28-29, 30-27 and 29-28.
Gerald “Hurricane” Harris knocked out Dave Branch at 2:35 in the final round. Branch attempted to pull guard from the standing position and was brutally slammed by the Ultimate Figher alum. The blow separated Branch from consciousness and Herb Dean promptly halted the bout.
Daniel “Ninja” Roberts defeated Forest “Meat Cleaver” Petz by split decision. After three hard fought rounds that saw the jiu-jitsu practitioner nearly finish in all three, the judges scored the contest 29-28, 28-29 and 29-28.
In the night’s opening bout, John Madsen defeated Karlos Veloma via unanimous decision. Madsen used superior wrestling to grind out the win. All three judges scored the bout 30-27.