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Lesnar avenges lone loss
GSP dominates Alves; Henderson KOs Bisping at UFC 100

Octagonside by Anthony Springer Jr. & Andreas Hale

At UFC 81 at the Mandalay Bay Events Center, Brock Lesnar (4-1) entered the Octagon for the first time. The man standing on the opposite side of the cage was former UFC heavyweight champion Frank Mir (12-4). In a short, but highly talked about battle, Mir emerged victorious, catching Lesnar with a knee bar in the opening round.

At UFC 100 inside the Mandalay Bay Events Center, UFC heavyweight champion once again stood in front of Frank Mir. This time, Lesnar would have the last laugh, defeating the Las Vegas by knockout at 1:48 in the second round.

While the heavyweights were the headliners, most of the fireworks occurred in the run up to the fight. Mir and Lesnar went back and forth for weeks in a verbal war of words and the capacity crowd was explicitly pro-Mir.

Lesnar came out looking to make a statement early, taking Mir down and holding him to the ground. The former college wrestling standout was patient, refusing to cave to crowd pressure demanding action. He hammered Mir with punches from a dominant top position for nearly four minutes—turning Mir’s face into something that looked like raw beef.

The second round went much like the opener. Mir immediately took the center of the Octagon and appeared to hurt—or daze—the champion with a big punch and a knee. With Mir leaving his feet, Lesnar seized the opportunity to take the fight back to the mat. The takedown spelled the beginning of the end for Mir.

Lesnar used his superior size and strength advantage to pound Mir into the side of the cage forcing Herb Dean to halt the bout.

What followed can only be described as bizarre. There were no post fight pleasantries, as Lesnar walked up to a battered and bloody Mir and quipped, “Talk all the shit you want now.” In response to a chorus of boos, Lesnar gave the finger to the capacity crowd.

Antics aside, the heavyweight division has a new bully on the block and his name is Brock Lesnar. – Anthony Springer Jr.

GSP Dominates Alves

In the evening’s co-main event, George St-Pierre made a tremendous statement as quite possibly the top pound for pound fighter in the world today after completely dismantling a very game Thiago Alves and defending his welterweight title. Scores were all in favor of GSP (50-45, 50-44, 50-45).

Clearly the crowd favorite, GSP put together one hell of a display as he dominated Alves from beginning to end. It wasn’t as if Alves had simply laid down (a la BJ Penn). Rather, the fighter they call “Pit Bull” did everything he could possibly do but was simply two steps behind the champion’s masterful chess game.

From the outset, Alves tried to throw kicks and punches to distract GSP but the champion waited for an opening and began the first of many, many takedowns that would punctuate the evening.  The first round saw “Rush” take Alves down to the canvas multiple times but Alves would scurry to his feet and seemed to gain confidence. That is, until GSP would wrangle him back down to the mat a mere few moments later. St-Pierre wouldn’t grant his opponent air to breathe as he smothered Alves throughout the first two rounds and busted the America’s Top Team fighter open with a lethal ground and pound in the second frame.

The third round saw Alves looking a bit better on his feet until St-Pierre pulled the rug out from under him with a straight right hand and pounced the wounded “Pitbull” and closed out the round as he battered him from inside the guard.

St-Pierre was seen moving gingerly back to his corner at the end of the round and was later revealed to have a severe groin injury. It wouldn’t phase his game however as he continued the night of takedowns in the fourth as Alves had absolutely no answer to GSP’s incredible skill set. Even when Alves assumed the top position, he did very little damage and allowed the champion to get away unscathed.

The final frame was a replica of the previous frames as GSP continued to take down Alves at will and Alves could do nothing but attempt to get back to his feet. At the end of the fight it was clear who took away the victory as Alves raised the French-Canadian’s hand when the horn sounded calling for the end of the fight.

After the scores were read, many wondered what lies in the road ahead for George St-Pierre.

But the question isn’t necessarily “Who’s Next?” but rather “Who’s Left?”

The victory puts GSP in rare company as both he and Randy Couture share the UFC record for most victories (14) and he has cleaned out the division’s best. It’s going to be difficult to find a tantalizing match-up for GSP – unless you consider the prospect of St-Pierre moving up to 185 to face Anderson Silva. –Andreas Hale

“The Count” Counted Out Against Henderson

The two coaches from The Ultimate Fighter season 9 finally got to settle their differences in the Octagon and the end result was quite the brutal one. MMA legend Dan Henderson made sure that the UK wouldn’t continue the momentum they gained after sweeping both contracts as he knocked out Michael Bisping in spectacular fashion.

From the outset Henderson stalked “The Count” with his deadly right hand cocked. He knew it was coming, Bisping knew it was coming and everyone watching UFC 100 knew it was coming. It was just a matter of if and when the bomb dropped. Bisping boxed well early but continuously circled to his left and into the wheelhouse of Henderson’s power punch. As Bisping flicked a few jabs to keep Henderson off balance, the former PRIDE champion winged power shots to no avail throughout the first round.

The second round would be a different story as Bisping continued to peck away with a jab and barely get away from the hammering right. But a small error on Bisping part became a costly one as a jab hung out in the air for too long and allowed Henderson to connect with the brutal right hand flush. Bisping stiffened on impact and crashed to the canvas in a heap as Hendo landed one more right hand to punctuate the end of the fight before Mario Yamasaki could rush in and wave the bout off at 3:20 in the 2nd round.

This would be Bisping’s second loss in his MMA career and first since moving down to 185lbs and gathering three consecutive victories. For Henderson this may lead to a rematch with Anderson Silva – who choked him out back on UFC 82. But Hendo wasn’t worried about the future after the fight. Rather, he was just happy to finally put and end to Bisping’s endless yap.

"I think that one was just to shut him up a little bit," Henderson said of the extra shot on an already unconscious Bisping. –Andreas Hale

Lawlor Corrals Dollaway

As “Filthy” Tom Lawlor entered the Octagon to the tune of “Who Let The Dogs Out” (an obviously shot at CB “The Doberman” Dollaway), the man they call “Filthy” played dog catcher and swiftly put an end to Dollaway via guillotine choke at :55 in the 1st round. Dollaway began the fight landing a nice lead right hand and looked as if he may have the advantage standing. However, as Dollaway lunged in for a sloppy takedown, Lawlor seized the opportunity to sink in a tight guillotine and moments later saw Dollaway tapping out.

Lawlor’s response to Joe Rogan regarding how he felt about the quick victory? “I just wanna know who let the dogs out.” –Andreas Hale

Kim Leaves Grant Stunned

The undefeated Dong Hyun “Stun Gun” Kim utilized superior Judo and grappling to completely nullify any offense TJ Grant attempted to put together en route to an easy unanimous decision victory. From the outset, Grant’s attempts at a takedown were stuffed by the “Stun Gun” as Kim managed to utilize stay on top of Grant and rain down multiple elbows on his opponent. Grant would lose a point in the second when an up kick hit Kim in the groin but it wouldn’t matter much as Kim totally outclassed Grant through the duration of the fight. –Andreas Hale

The Godfather Lives Up To His Name

If the “Godfather of Ground & Pound” had one more fight left in him, he certainly left a mark as Mark “The Hammer” Coleman wore down Stephan Bonnar and pulled out an impressive unanimous decision victory. In the first stanza, Coleman attempted a single leg takedown but was stuffed and spent the duration of the round allowing Bonnar to wail away at his head with elbows and punches. But the second round found “The Hammer” coming alive as he would take down “The American Psycho” and split his head with a vicious elbow from Bonnar’s half guard. With the crowd clearly behind the cagy veteran, Coleman would respond as he landed hammerfists and elbows while Bonnar failed at multiple omoplata attempts.

The fight was up for grabs in the third and final round but with the crowd’s support Coleman would prove why he is truly the godfather of ground and pound as he would take Bonnar down and trap him through the duration of the round. Coleman didn’t have to do much but an attempt at a rear naked choke at the end of the round sealed the deal and gave Coleman the 29-28 unanimous decision. –Andreas Hale

Gugerty Chokes Out Grice

It took Shannon Gugerty just 2:43 to defeat Matt Grice in the opening bout of UFC 100.

After a brief feeling out process, Gugerty scored a quick takedown. Following a brief skirmish on the Octagon mat, Gugerty locked in a tight guillotine choke but was unable to finish his opponent.

Remaining resilient, Gugerty never relinquished the choke and dropped his foe to the mat a second time with the maneuver. Referee Herb Dean was forced to halt the bout after Grice blacked out from the choke.

With the victory, Gugerty moves to 12-3.  – Anthony Springer Jr.

“Bones” Puts Light Heavyweights on Notice in Victory

Undefeated Jon “Bones” Jones put on another show, defeating “Irish” Jake O’Brien with a guillotine choke at 2:36 in the second round.

Both fighters struggled to find their range in the opening frame. Jones wowed the crowd with various high kicks that ultimately failed to find their range while O’Brien was limited to single shots.

Though O’Brien took the center of the Octagon in round two, it appeared that Jones settled into a rhythm early on. First, O’Brien was caught with a flying kick and later floored with a spinning back elbow. The shot, which appeared to land on top of O’Brien’s head signaled the beginning of the end for the wrestler.

After sensing that O’Brien was vulnerable, Jones kept the pressure on his foe, sinking in a standing choke while pinning O’Brien against the cage.

The victory moves the 21-year-old Jones to an impressive 9-0. With two impressive Octagon performances to his credit, Jones will be a force in the future. – Anthony Springer Jr.

Miller Too Much For Danzig

Jim Miller defeated Ultimate Fighter winner Mac Danzig in a lopsided decision win.

The always-tough Miller controlled the pace from the outset, out striking Danzig on the feet and planting his Vegan adversary with relentless double leg takedowns.

Danzig spent the majority of the three round contest staring at the lights inside the Mandalay Bay Events Center. In the opening stanza, Miller unleashed a vicious elbow which split the head of Danzig wide open. Despite a major loss of blood, Danzig survived the round and avoided a doctor’s stoppage.

The Xtreme Couture fighter nearly pulled off an upset victory at the end of the second round. As Miller shot in for another takedown, Danzig was able to sink in a tight guillotine choke with time threatening to expire. As Miller rolled over onto his back, the bell sounded as the sand in the hourglass of Danzig’s UFC career continued to run.

The third and final round looked much like a repeat of the first two. Miller controlled his foe striking and caught Danzig with a Superman punch early in the round. Always displaying a warrior spirit, Danzig fought until the sound of the final bell. Despite the valiant effort, the final tally was hardly a surprise.

All three judges scored the fight 30-27 for Miller. The loss is Danzig’s third in a row in the UFC. – Anthony Springer Jr.

Akiyama Edges Out Belcher

Alan “The Talent” Belcher played the role of spoiler when he defeated middleweight star Dennis Kang at UFC 93. At UFC 100, Belcher would attempt to play the role of spoiler again, welcoming Yoshihiro Akiyama to the Octagon. However, despite a solid effort, “Sexyama” edged out “The Talent” with a hard fought split decision.

Belcher took an early lead in the fight, getting the better of the Japanese fighter. The two exchanged strikes early with Belcher narrowly winning the exchanges including a body kick that landed with a deafening thud. Akiyama also found himself sitting on the canvas courtesy of a Belcher left hand late in the round.

Both men exhibited less than sportsmanlike conduct in the first. Belcher temporarily halted the action with a kick to the groin of Akiyama, who responded in kind with a late hit at the close of the first.

Round two belonged to Akiyama, who was able to score a takedown effortlessly and rain down strikes from the top position. Despite the impressive showing on the mat, Belcher never appeared to be out of the fight.

With the match all even going into the third and final round, both men opened up and let their hands—and feet—go. Belcher caught first blood, catching Akiyama with a Superman punch in the early going. Akiyama sealed the victory with a late takedown.

While both Fight News writers gave Akiyama the victory, the judges scored it 29-28 for Akiyama, who moves to 13-1 (2NC) by split decision. – Anthony Springer Jr.

Fitch Avenges Teammate, Dominates Thiago

The night’s final matchup was a “swing” bout that saw Jon Fitch put on a dominant grappling exhibition en route to a unanimous decision win over Paulo Thiago.

Thiago made headlines several months ago by stunning Fitch’s American Kickboxing Academy teammate Josh Koscheck in an upset victory. Though Fitch shrugged off the idea that this bout was motivated by redemption, he showed no mercy when it came to Thiago.

In addition to showcasing his ground skills, Fitch also showed heart and determination by escaping what was perhaps the longest guillotine choke in the history of MMA. Thiago sank in a tight choke and held the position for several minutes but was unable to make Fitch say “Uncle.”

Aside from the choke, it was all Fitch, all the time. True to his word, the Californian dominated the standup, rocking Thiago several times with straight right hands and scored takedowns at will.

Fitch won the bout on all three score cards, 30-27, 29-28, and 29-28. – Anthony Springer Jr.

 

 


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