UFC 131 - The Review
Junior dos Santos is like Cain Velasquez – a big man that has finesse while Shane Carwin looks like Brock Lesnar – a big, gorilla-type bruiser.
Unstoppable object versus immovable force!
Let’s check out who wins!
DONALD CERRONE vs VAGNER ROCHA
Rocha got “The Cowboy” good on Round 1 but Cerrone managed to withstand and regain the advantage thanks to his vicious leg kicks. I mean Rocha is turning to desperation every time Cerrone snacks on his thigh. Cerrone owned this round.
“Don’t get kicked too much” – that’s what Rocha’s camp told him. Joe Rogan is puzzled as to why his camp didn’t advise him to not get kicked at all. Rocha almost took down Cerrone but to no avail. However, Rocha planted enough offense to make Cerrone bleed in Round 2. Cerrone though is playing in a different league and it was too visible to not see.
Cerrone went to the defensive at the start but Rocha couldn’t capitalize with the way his kicks were blasted. Rocha tried to bait Cerrone by lying down but Cerrone wouldn’t want to get out of his advantage. Cerrone scored a kick which dropped Rocha and Rocha is slow to get up. Crowd is booing because Rocha want Cerrone to get down on him but Cerrone wouldn’t want anything with it. Without the legs, Rocha is toast.
No surprise with the outcome. Rocha looked amateurish at times but he did give Cerrone a challenge. Cerrone like I said was in a different league.
WINNER: CERRONE VIA UNANIMOUS DECISION (30-27, 30-27, 30-26)
JON OLAV EINEMO vs DAVE HERMAN
Dave “Pee Wee” Herman came out with the Culture Club’s Do You Really Wanna Hurt Me.
WHAT THE FUCK!?!
“The Viking” Einemo came out with the Guns N Roses’ Sweet Child of Mine while holding the Vancouver Canucks flag.
While this translate as Herman being a wimp and Einemo becoming ultra dominant?
Herman’s style is refreshing. Heavyweights are solely bruisers and often I get bored with five-minute matches as such. Herman reminds me of what Charlie Chaplin could be like if he combined his comedic wit with MMA fighting. Herman is smiling almost all the time and it should annoy Einemo. Einemo takes down Herman and Mike Goldberg commented on how much a beast Einemo is on the ground but Herman manages to push his way out of the predicament. Einemo could have the advantage but I’m not that sure.
Einemo got off with a barrage of punches that Herman managed to elude. Herman then hit a bunch of knees to equalize. Einemo tried to score on a punch but Herman docks and the force catapults Einemo to the mat. Einemo continued his barrage and just when everyone thought Herman was down and out, Herman scored a kick-knee-punch combo that rocked Einemo. Einemo managed to get up but at that point Herman would score on a vicious knee, followed by a couple of punches that downed Einemo again. The referee stops the match afterwards.
WINNER: HERMAN VIA TKO (RD 2 – 3:19)
MARK MUNOZ vs DEMIAN MAIA
I’m going to go patriotic and say that the Filipino Wrecking Machine is going to win this bout. He is a former NCAA champion and a win against Maia should catapult him to the top.
Maia had a bunch of attacks but constant hugging made the crowd uneasy. Maia is doing well with those powerful kicks and very impactful hands. Munoz was in defense most of the time and he is caught off-hand. It seemed that Munoz got his old self back but it was too late. Maia owned Munoz in the first round.
Munoz started the second round with a combination of hard punches to Maia’s face. It was an indication that the Filipino Wrecking Machine is going to go for broke. Munoz made a lot of monstrous and impactful moves against Maia which brought the round constantly to ground and pound. Maia got off the ground but Munoz is relentless. Munoz got the match again to the ground but Maia tried a submission on him. Munoz gets out of it again and again Munoz takes Maia down. The ground and pound game Munoz employs is flourishing but he has to be worry with Maia’s submission skills. This was definitely a better round for Mark Munoz.
Munoz literally threw Maia to the ground but Maia sets him up to the crucifix! Munoz was able to spin out. Referee orders the two to return to the middle because they are just pausing. Munoz threw Maia again but Maia recovers. For the sake of the impact moves, Munoz scores the round.
Unless you understand jiu-jitsu, it was a hit or miss fight. I don’t understand jiu-jitsu and when Maia was constantly hugging Munoz, I thought for sure Maia would lose this fight.
WINNER: MUNOZ VIA UNANIMOUS DECISION (29-28, 29-28, 30-27)
KENNY FLORIAN vs DIEGO NUNES
Kenny Florian has identity issues. He has been going to too many divisions. However, I am excited for him to do well in the Featherweight division. The division needs big-named fighters and he could be an exciting prospect to mount a serious campaign for its title.
Meanwhile, in a place where hockey is important and the Vancouver Canucks are loved, Florian goes to the arena wearing his hometown’s jersey which is also Vancouver’s opponent in the ongoing Stanley Cup, the Boston Bruins.
Ken-Flo is hearing it from the crowd.
Nunes did a lot of fancy kicks but it was enough for Ken-Flo to attempt a takedown. However, it was Nunes who scored on slam although Florian got out of it quickly. A loud “Florian Sucks” erupted. Florian then takes down Nunes but Diego escapes. At the end, Nunes gives Florian a massive straight that wobbles him down and if not for time, Diego could have scored further damage. Nunes wins Round 1.
Nunes is swinging wildly while Florian is looking for Nunes to drop down. Nunes then trips Florian to get the advantages but eventually gives it up when Florian attempted for a triangle. Both fighters are keeping their fists busy and then Florian takes down Nunes. The huge pool of blood at the back of Nunes’ head happened via Ken-Flo’s elbows and Florian is unrelenting. This time, Florian gets the round.
Nunes’ quickness slowed down as he is being brought to Florian’s game. Florian takes advantage on Nunes’ adrenalin dump with an easy takedown. Then Florian adds another Nunes pool of blood through his slicing elbows and punches. Nunes escapes the takedown but Florian still has control. Nunes then throws a bunch of wild punches and kicks to no avail. At this point, Florian has outclassed Nunes... even with the superb fist Nunes threw to end the round.
Florian is the only big-named fighter in the young featherweight division. While I expect a lot of names to drop down to 145, at this point, Florian is the best fighter to face the champion (if that is still Jose Aldo).
WINNER: FLORIAN VIA UNANIMOUS DECISION (29-28, 29-28, 30-27)
JUNIOR DOS SANTOS vs SHANE CARWIN
Both have identical 12-1 win-loss records although Dos Santos has yet to lose in UFC. Carwin boasts a knockout punch but ever since the Brock Lesnar bout people saw Carwin’s vulnerability.
As these two fighters clash, Cain Velasquez awaits recovery.
Winner faces Cain.
Carwin doesn’t look too big at the sight of Junior. Carwin hunts for the closer but is also weary at Junior’s capabilities. Both men predicted knockouts but at this stage, they are merely feeling each other. Crowd chants “boring” at one point of the round. While Carwin is connecting in hard punches, Dos Santos is imposing a jab-straight combo, taking a page out from the Georges St-Pierre against Josh Koscheck match. All of a sudden, Dos Santos explodes with a terrorizing straight that made Carwin’s legs give up. Junior went for the kill with a bunch of punches that kept Carwin from hitting. Referee Herb Dean was too nice with Carwin because for any other ref, that would have been over. Carwin escaped in the dying seconds with a very, very bloodied face and with Dos Santos claiming round victory.
Did Junior punched his way out? Carwin is in desperation mode and add the fact that he has limited offense, he is easy pickings for Dos Santos. At this point, Carwin’s face is a total wreck. Carwin is going towards Junior and while he is successful in unloading a couple of punches, he is often caught with an array of jabs. Then Dos Santos nails Carwin with an imposing head kick. Dos Santos ends the round with a vicious fist combo. Carwin’s swagger was revived momentarily but the only he can defeat Dos Santos is via knockout.
Carwin dodges a takedown attempt and it backfired for Junior. Still though, Junior looks fresh compared to a battered Carwin. The jabs are again effective for Junior as it stops Carwin from moving towards him. At the middle of the round, Herb Dean stopped the fight to let the doctor see a very bloody Carwin. When the doctor okayed Carwin, Dos Santos then takes down Carwin. Dos Santos then finishes the fight by sending Carwin again down the mat. Junior Dos Santos can do no wrong in this fight.
Dos Santos is ready to take Cain’s strap. Dos Santos looked big and acted mean and that combination should give him the advantage. As for Carwin, unless he finds a way to develop more offense other than a solid stand up game, the more agile fighters come to the heavyweight division, the more problems he’ll encounter.
WINNER: DOS SANTOS VIA UNANIMOUS DECISION (30-27, 30-27, 30-26)
Most of the action went to distance. The Dos Santos fight was pretty much a talent showcase on what to expect from him when he face Velasquez. I enjoyed the Herman fight and the Florian bout.
It is hard to watch a UFC PPV without a title at stake. The card is still solid though.
UFC 132 is up next!