After a great night of fights a lot of questions were answered in the UFC. Starting off with the Prelims on Spike, Chris Weidman is crazy strong, he needs to improve his stand up, but grappling wise the guy is a stud. Even if there had been more than just his submission on the PPV, I think a standing guillotine would have been good enough for the bonus anyway.
Sam Stout just made himself relevant once again in the lightweight division. Stout didn’t put himself in title contention or anything, but he did remind everyone that he is one of the best strikers the division has to offer. With the nastiest K.O. I’ve seen in quite some time it was good to see Stout rewarded with the K.O. of the Night bonus.
Now onto the main card, where suprizingly, there were a lot more decisions than anyoone expected. Donald Cerrone continues to impress and move his way up the lightweight division rankings. The only thing to be critical of about Cerrone’s performance was that he didn’t really go for the finish until the last minute of the fight, even though it was clear that he was the better fighter at the start of the second round. I’d be interested in seeing a Cerrone vs. Stout fight set up after tonight’s results, should make for an exciting fight.
While the Jon Olav-Einemo vs. Dave Herman fight won the Fight of the Night honors(I don’t think it should have)it was the least entertaining fight on the card for me. Herman won which he should have, Einemo hadn’t fought in over five years, and yet until Herman got the knockout Einemo was very much in this fight and arguably could have been winning it. If it wasn’t for “ring rust”, or cage rust in this instance, Einemo likely would have beaten Herman. Dave Herman does not look the part of the prospect he was thought to be, and he certainly doesn’t appear to be on the level of the other UFC prospects, Brendan Schaub, Matt Mitrione, or Travis Browne, I would even say that had they not cut Duffee last year, that he would take out Herman.
Damian Maia vs. Mark Munoz, the fight that I felt should have been awarded the Fight of the Night bonus, was spectacular. Early on Maia showed everyone that he is evolving by being the better striker than Mark Munoz who on paper was clearly the better striker according to most. The first round was all Maia with solid strikes that hurt Munoz on a couple occasions, then in the second round Munoz rebounded with some viscious ground and pound that seemed to wear out Maia., and then in the third we had the pleasure of watching a back and forth battle for the last five minutes. Munoz came out the victor, and supisingly it appears that Maia’s jiu-jitsu game was his undoing, as he looke to force failed takedowns that set up a lot of Munoz’s attack, even though he was clearly winning the striking battle. The only disappointing thing related to this fight was the one judge who scored all three rounds for Munoz even though Maia worked him over for the entirity of that round.
Kenny Florian looked good against Diego Nunes in his featherweight debut. Nunes was competitive early, but after the first round, Florian really found his range and wore down Nunes. Florian possibly would have finished the fight if it wasn’t for the numerous times that Nunes grabbed the fence to keep him self upright, which he was continuosly warned for doing, but never reprimanded for. Florian looked great, but I’m not exactly ready to see him thrown against Aldo just yet, Florian likely dropped down from lightweight to avoid the powerful wrestlers of the division and I feel that a fight with Chad Mendez will tell us whether or not Kenny has improved his wrestling or not.
Finally in the main event, we had a fight that lasted all three rounds when I didn’t believe that it was gonna make it more than a couple minutes. While it was a one-sided affair, we did get to see a great display of heart on the part of Shane Carwin after the beating he took in the first round, which likely should have been stopped. We also got to see that Junior dos Santos has great takedown defense, and that when he is taken down that he can get up rather quickly and with relative ease against elite wrestlers. Dos Santos has now set himself up for the title fight with Cain Velasquez that he had already earned before the fight with Carwin. Dos Santos has the well rounded skill set to put Velasquez in dangerous spots in a fight, which is something that none of Cain’s previos opponents have brought to the table.
It was a very entertaining night of fights, and now we only have a week before the return of the Strikeforce heavyweight Grand Prix, which is sure to bring another night of exciting mma action.