UFC 131: Dos Santos too good for Carwin
‘Brutal’ is the only word that could describe the bout. Dos Santos was clearly faster than his opponent and his fluid boxing skills seemed to confuse Carwin.
Nearing the end of the first round, Dos Santos hurt and dropped Carwin and began to pound relentlessly.
If the fight had been stopped then there would have been no objection but Carwin was allowed to see the end of the round. His face bore the damage as he started the second with a crimson mask and an obviously broken nose.
The onslaught continued though and Dos Santos cruised to a substantial unanimous decision win.
Dos Santos will get a crack at champion Cain Velasquez in October in what should be a cracker of a bout. ‘Cigano’ shrugged off Carwin’s takedowns with ease in this bout but Velasquez’s wrestling is at a completely different level.
I’m leaning towards Velasquez in the bout but Dos Santos’s performance clearly showed that he is a worthy and dangerous opponent.
As for Carwin, there is no denying the man’s heart and his chin but it’s clear that his skills just aren’t up to snuff to take on the elite of the division.
By all reports he suffered, in addition to a broken nose, three deep lacerations on his head, and had to undergo a CT scan at the hospital. The time it takes for him to heal up should give him a good idea on what he wants to do with his career.
In the co-main event, Kenny Florian started slow but made his featherweight debut a successful one with a unanimous decision win over Diego Nunes.
He had some hairy moments though as Nunes rocked him at the end of the first and third rounds. It was Florian’s superior gas tank that won out though as he wore down his highly regarded opponent and clinched the last two rounds.
I’m still not convinced that Florian has what it takes to claim the featherweight title. While taking out Nunes on his featherweight debut is a remarkable achievement, he still looked lethargic starting the bout and seemed to tire on the homestretch.
These traits are something we haven’t been accustomed to seeing from Florian in his lightweight days. Listening to Florian at the post-fight press conference though it sounds as like there were other factors at play that made the cut more difficult than it should have.
According to UFC president Dana White, It looks like Florian is going to get an immediate shot at Jose Aldo’s title, so he won’t get a chance to perfect the cut before being thrown into the fire.
Demian Maia and Mark Muñoz made good on my predictions for the fight by putting on a highly technical and thoroughly enjoyable middleweight contest. Muñoz prevailed though, in an insanely close decision.
Maia took the first with his vastly improved stand-up skills but Muñoz rebounded in the second, halting Maia’s momentum with his Hulk-like power.
The fight came down to the incredibly close third round that saw Maia threaten with a crucifix position and Muñoz threaten with takedowns.
The rest of the round was taken up by tit-for-tat striking exchanges. The fight was given unanimously to Muñoz (with one dubious 30-27 scorecard) which means he will continue his rise up the middleweight ranks.
UFC newcomers Jon Olav Einemo and Dave Herman put on a wild and dramatic two-round battle in the second of the night’s three heavyweight fights. The first round was a hard fought affair that saw Einemo get the edge but the second round just went nuts.
Einemo rocked Herman badly with a knee and looked on his way to closing out the bout, but Herman responded brilliantly by flooring Einemo with a knee of his own. The jiu-jitsu stand out returned to his feet but he no longer had his legs under him. Herman poured it on and Einemo wilted, forcing the referee to stop the bout.
In the pay-per-view opener, Donald Cerrone brutalised Vagner Rocha’s lead leg for three painful rounds. Rocha found himself outmatched on the feet which caused him to shoot for wild takedowns that Cowboy easily stuffed.
Legkicks and takedown defense. Rinse and repeat for three rounds. Cowboy picked up his second UFC win while Rocha’s leg will look like Grimace in the morning.
Sam Stout capped off the night’s preliminary action with an amazing left-hook knockout of veteran, Yves Edwards. The knockout blow saw Edwards felled like a tree, his head bouncing off the mat in disturbing fashion.
Amazingly, the exchange that led to the knockout saw Edwards land first with a right hand to Stout’s jaw. The blow didn’t stop Stout’s hook though, and the Canadian now finds himself with back to back UFC wins.
Chris Weidman continued his impressive development from prospect to contender with a clinical dispatching of Jesse Bongfeldt. Weidman dominated on the ground for the majority of the first round before locking up a standing guillotine choke that forced Bongfeldt to tap with only seconds left in the frame.
In other preliminary action, Krzysztof Soszynski outlasted Mike Massenzio in the evening’s lone light-heavyweight bout.
Ultimate Fighter 11 contestant Nick Ring submitted UFC newcomer James Head, with an awkwardly-applied rear naked choke. Featherweight up-and-comer Dustin Poirier defeated Jason Young via unanimous decision, while Joey Beltran stopped Strikeforce veteran Aaron Rosa in a three-round battle that UFC commentator Joe Rogan described as “human rock ‘em sock ‘em robots”.
Finally in the event’s opening bout, Darren Elkins upset Michihiro Omigawa by a highly controversial unanimous decision. Dana White decided to award Omigawa his win bonus because he felt the Japanese fighter was robbed.
At the post-fight press conference UFC management handed out $70,000 bonuses to certain fighters. The awards are as follows:
Fight of the Night – Dave Herman and Jon Olav Einemo
Submission of the Night – Chris Weidman
Knockout of the Night – Sam Stout