The UFC finished off 2012 in grand style as Cain Velasquez (11-1) retook his Heavyweight title from the very man that won it off of him a year ago, Junior Dos Santos (15-2). In episode 013 of the Getting Lucky MMA podcast, I am joined again by co-host Marcus Mitchell to review all the action and the low points of UFC 155. In part 1, we review all of the prelims on the Facebook and FX undercards. On part 2, we move on to the main card.
UFC 155 Prelim Reviewhttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9DwpvQq3wwQ
UFC 155 Main Card Reviewhttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VGBvj2nL_Es
Episode (#013) SummaryFacebook Card: The card started out with an exciting Flyweight match-up with John Moraga (12-1) taking a third round submission over #7 ranked Chris Cariaso (14-4). This certainly puts Moraga solidly into the top ten and likely puts him a fight away from being a true contender.
They were followed by split decision king, Leonard Garcia (15-10-1) against upcoming prospect Max Holloway (7-1). Surprisingly, it was Garcia that came out on the wrong end of a split decision this time around despite clearly earning the better exchanges in the fight. The final fight on the Facebook undercard was the promotional return of Todd Duffee (8-2) earning a spectacular first round knockout over English grappler, Phil de Fries (9-2, 1 NC).
FX Card: The FX card featured some of best match-ups on the entire card, including the emphatic win of Myles Jury (11-0) over Michael Johnson (12-7) with a dominant statement. Jury, at only 24 years old, is clearly going to be a major contender in the Lightweight division for years to come. They were followed by another Blackzilian losing as Melvin Guillard (30-12-2, 1 NC) was bettered on the feet and on the ground by Jamie Varner (21-7-1, 2 NC) in a Split Decision. Varner simply outclassed the Young Assassin and even a Split Decision was perhaps too kind to Guillard.
The final fight on the undercard featured Brad "One Punch" Pickett (22-7) against fellow Bantamweight contender, Eddie Wineland (20-8-1). Wineland showed the diversity in his stand-up with counters, movement, and angles against the plodding, but courageous Pickett. With Dominick Cruz out for another six months, the Bantamweight division is rising to a boil with all of the legit killers waiting his return.
Main Card: The main card fell flat almost immediately as promotional newcomer Derek Brunson (10-2) earned a cautious, measured, and uneventful decision over a cement-footed, lethargic Chris Leben (22-9). They were followed by the worst type of grappling display from Yushin Okami (28-7) as he hugged Alan Belcher (18-7) from half-guard for 15 minutes to earn the worst win in recent memory. Okami celebrated after the win, probably because he didn't have to actually watch the fight like we did.
The hits kept coming as MW Tim Boetsch (16-5) was finished by Costa Philippou (12-2, 1 NC) in an example of some of the worst officiating possible for a PPV. Kim Winslow, the referee, let a bloodied and blinded Boetsch wander about the ring without stopping to check his vision until Philippou eventually grounded him and mercifully ended the charade.
Thankfully, Jim Miller (22-4) and Joe Lauzon (22-8) were up next. I can assure you that this fight earned not only Fight of the Night honors, but Fight of the Year honors, as well. Miller stormed across the cage in the first round landing elbow after elbow after elbow in a half-clinch/half-plum. Lauzon was cut and cut badly and often, but had the steely resolve to battle back to take Round 2. Miller ultimately pulled a unanimous decision victory, but in truth no one lost in this fight, particularly the fans.
The last fight of the night saw Cain Velasquez use his indomitable spirit and bottomless gas tank to swarm and overwhelm the back-pedaling Junior Dos Santos. The Brazilian fared well initially, but his retreating movement clearly affected him as he countered only with solo jabs rather than the flurries that have solidified him as the best boxer in the Heavyweight division. Landing a knockout and relentlessly pushing the pace, Cain wore out JDS in a five round battle that was never close.
With Cain's victory, the UFC is certainly headed to Mexico in 2013 with their new favorite son carrying the strap.