Chris Leben vs. Derek Brunson
Round 1 – Brunson opens with a high kick that goes no where but a nice combination to follow. Brunson throws a kick that gets caught, Leben can’t finish the takedown and Brunson gets it instead. Leben in full guard as he goes for an armbar from the bottom that Brunson sees and avoids. Leben is looking for it again as a scramble, with Leben elevated, lands Brunson back in half guard. Brunson’s top control is a bit light as Leben is attacking fairly regularly from the bottom. Leben with a triangle and Brunson stands up out of it, jumps right back on and into side control. Brunson grabs an arm triangle but Leben gets the arm free, but is stuck in mount. He rolls out of it, nearly giving up his neck, but lands half guard. He eats an elbow as well. Brunson is using his upper body to smother him more as he’s pressing Leben’s hips down to prevent the armbar attempts. Brunson postures up and lands some strikes, stands and then jumps back into Leben’s guard to land some more. Leben with a wall walk attempt but Brunson nearly mounts him. He lands some big shots and it’s up against the cage. Round ends with Leben circling out of Brunson’s cage dancing. Brunson 10-9
Round 2 – Leben comes out and catches Brunson’s kick again but Brunson backs out as soon as he catches it. Double leg stopped by Leben but he gets Leben against the cage and has the clinch against the cage. Leben pummels out of it and Brunson tries to drag him down but can’t quite finish. Double leg gets in deep and Leben’s on his back in full guard. Brunson looks a bit gased as Leben wall walks his back up, Brunson goes for a guillotine but can’t finish it. Leben lands a nice uppercut but Brunson lands some nice combinations, another double leg from Brunson that he can’t finish. He looks really sloppy right now; he’s close to being gassed right now. Brunson is landing some jabs but he’s not throwing them powerfully; much more like pawing than jabbing. Brunson gets in deep with another high clinch that he can’t finish. Some light striking exchanges and another attempted takedown from Brunson isn’t completed. Leben circles out with 15 seconds left and he looks to have significantly more in the gas tank. Some wild strikes that don’t connect end the round. Brunson 10-9, 20-18
Round 3 – Leben is much more aggressive to start as Brunson is looking to counter more. Another double leg isn’t completed; Brunson’s shots are that of a tired man. He’s just bending at the waist and grabbing at this point; he does it again and gets Leben to the ground. Brunson is landing some light ground and pound and Leben is back up with there minutes left. Leben looks gassed as well; Brunson is stalling at this point and Leben doesn’t have anything left to push the pace and steal the win. Brunson is using light strikes and pawing jabs to keep Leben at bay. At this point he’s keeping away from Leben; Brunson with another double that’s sloppy and goes nowhere. Leben with a nice left that wakes up Brunson but he circles away before Leben can do anything. That big left two years would’ve dropped Brunson, who ducks under a series of big left haymaker style hooks and he gets the takedown. Not much on the ground and Brunson lets him back up. Last 10 seconds are Brunson actively moving away from Leben. Brunson 10-9, 30-27
Official Decision – 29-28 x 3 for Derek Brunson
Yushin Okami vs. Alan Belcher
Round 1 – Belcher comes out significantly more aggressive with his leg kick game as Okami is pretty tentative. Belcher gets a bit close and Okami lands a couple of nice punches. Jumping kick and Okami catches him with a jab and Belcher face plants, up quickly though. Okami with a clinch and presses Belcher against the cage, looking for a takedown. Belcher is looking to catch one of Okami’s knees and get the takedown but Okami is using his leverage really effectively to keep him back. Okami goes for a trip but can’t finish it, Belcher goes for the takedown and a scramble leaves Okami in full guard. Belcher going for mission control but Okami defends well. Belcher wraps Okami up to try and force a stand up, Okami moves into side control after some jockeying for position. Okami’s looking to set up a kimura attempt but Belcher is keeping his arms out of reach. Belcher rolls to his belly and then back to his knees, then gives up back as Okami rides him out for the round’s remainder. Okami 10-9
Round 2 – Belcher leads with a kick that doesn’t connect, Okami bull rushes and gets the clinch against the cage. Okami tries to drag him to the ground but Belcher winds up on top, Belcher grabs a guillotine but doesn’t have it in against the cage. Okami’s out and into half guard, looking to move to side control. He’s working some light ground and pound as he smothers Belcher on the ground. Okami’s top control is really good right now; Belcher can not do a thing at this point as Okami is controlling him. Okami moves into side control and the ref stands them up in a really ridiculous decision. Belcher lands a big right kick but Okami isn’t hurt. Okami with a nice combination and back against the cage, grabs a single but can’t finish it. Okami gets behind Belcher and Okami drags him to the ground. Belcher into half guard and Okami is grinding him down again. Another standup with 20 seconds left and the round ends with some light striking exchanges. 10-9 Okami, 20-18 Okami
Round 3 – Belcher comes out crazy aggressive but Okami grabs the clinch, Belcher backs out. Big right from Belcher temporarily drops Okami but he’s right back and Belcher can’t capitalize on it. Belcher backs into the cage and Okami grabs a hold of him again. Okami goes for the trip and Belcher manages to land into full mount. Okami gives up his back and picks him up into the air. Belcher goes for a standing guillotine but doesn’t have it in tight, Okami drags him to the ground and he loses it. Back into side control and back to Okami’s smothering top game. Considering the last two standups it’s shocking that this fight is still on the ground. Okami grabs full mount with two minutes to go, the crowd not very happy, as Okami is grinding him down. Okami is riding out the clock at this point as he’s pounding Belcher out now with nothing serious. Round ends with Okami in mount, landing enough strikes to keep him there. Belcher rolls onto his back and Okami’s got both hooks in with 20 seconds to go, Okami’s positional dominance is incredible right now. Fight ends with Okami still dominating. 10-9 Okami, 30-27 Okami
Official Decision – 30-27, 30-27, 29-28 for Yushin Okami
Tim Boetsch vs. Costa Philippou
Round 1 – Boetsch uses really good movement to corner Costa against the cage, goes for a takedown but Costa defends well. Boetsch is throwing some nice knees to the body and eventually drags him to the ground with a single leg. Costa back up and we’re cage-dncing as Boetsch is going for the takedown and Costa defends. Costa eventually gets away and back to the center of the cage. Wild striking exchange that Boetsch wins but no significant damage. Boetsch is using his footwork really well; he’s backing Costa into a corner and making him fight in a close space. Costa with a nice right uppercut and Boetsch against the cage. Costa circles and throws some strikes, Boetsch ducks and grabs a double leg. Costa in full guard and it’s a stalemate as neither is doing much. Costa is holding on at this point and Boetsch isn’t doing much. Stand up and Costa with a nice combination. Front kick from Boetsch and Costa is rocked, time runs out before he can do anything with it. Boetsch 10-9
Round 2 – Boetsch with some light striking and back to the clinch; he might’ve broken his right hand from how his corner was talking to him between rounds. He can’t complete it, though, and Costa is doing a good job at using space. Boetsch is also bleeding, too. A double leg that doesn’t succeed as Costa defends it really well this time. Nice combination from Costa as Boetsch can’t finish a takedown. His right hand is his power hand when it comes to finishing takedowns and he can’t grasp it. Eyepoke from Costa and we have a break. Costa has really found his range coming out of the break; Boetsch is leading with a front kick and Costa’s footwork and hand speed are too much. That eye looks swollen as Boetsch pulls guard as Costa is on top in an open guard. Costa with some nice punches from top; Costa is teeing off as Boetsch is just holding on for dear life right now. Costa ends the round with some short elbows as Boetsch is bleeding profusely right now. Costa 10-9, 19-19
Round 3 – Boetsch with a wild takedown try and pulls guard off it ala Frank Mir and Costa dives into it, landing in an open guard. Costa lets him back up as Boetsch is spewing blood right now. This isn’t safe as Boetsch goes for another takedown and can’t complete it, pulling guard. Boetsch tries to ride it out and we’re back to our feet. Another takedown attempt and Costa is teeing off on, ref steps in at 2:11 of the third round. Costa Philippou wins via TKO at 2:10 of the third round.
Joe Lauzon vs. Jim Miller
Round 1 – Both guys come firing out of the gate. Miller’s hands look really good right as his combinations looks really good right now. Nice inside leg kick and Miller lays into Lauzon for a little bit; his standup looks significantly better than it did against Nate Diaz on Fox this summer. Miller is landing some great strikes, an inside leg kick nearly drops Lauzon. Lauzon can’t quite get off right now as Miller looks really crisp right now. Miller lands some big shots and grabs the clinch, lands some massive knees and Lauzon is a bloody mess. Standing arm triangle can’t be finished as Lauuzon’s cut needs to be looked at by the doctor. He’s pouring blood everywhere. They wipe him off and he’s ready to fight. Miller has more of Lauzon’s blood right on him right now than Lauzon has in him, I think. Nice head kick from Miller and Lauzon is landing some nice shots in response. Miller is dictating the pace right now as Lauzon is a bit shell-shocked. Both fighters slip as they kick each other at the same time. Miller’s standup looks remarkable right now; so much crisper than it’s ever been. Lauzon is continuing to fight but he’s just bleeding like a pig. Body shot from Miller and Lauzon is returning fire. What a round so far. Round ends and the crowd erupts. Just what this card needed. 10-9 Miller
Round 2 – Lauzon’s bleeding has stopped and Miller opening up on him. 30 seconds in and Miller grabs a double, Lauzon into butterfly guard. Miller postures up and is going for that cut. Lauzon is bleeding like a pig again; it’s like a horror film. Miller is going for an arm triangle and Lauzon knows and is defending well. Miller grabs the mount off an attempted sweep from Lauzon, then back into half guard. Miller looks like he’s going for a darce choke and Lauzon rolls him onto his back. Miller is looking for rubber guard but can’t get his leg over. Lauzon postures up and we need to cut some tape away. Restart in the same spot and Miller has mission control but Lauzon picks him up and slams him back to the mat. Lauzon defends it well and Miller lets go of it. Lauzon grabs a knee bar and has it deep but can’t quite finish it; Lauzon grabs a darce attempt but can’t finish that either. What a fight so far! Miller 10-9, 20-18
Round 3 – These guys aren’t leaving anything in there; both guys are gassed, or close to it, and they’re going for it. Miller with some nice leg kicks to the inside, including one at 4 minutes that drops Lauzon. He lets him back up and we’re to them throwing down. Miller is back to using the clinch for a knee or two but Miller’s arms might be gassed because he doesn’t hold on for long. Lauzon has nothing in his arms, either, as both guys are throwing shots but not much is behind it from either man. At the two minute mark Lauzon is bleeding form another place; if this were a movie about MMA people would complain that someone bleeding this much would be totally unrealistic. Both guys aren’t throwing combinations; it’s one shot and hope the guy goes down. Miller finally uses the clinch with 90 seconds left to land some solid uppercuts; he’s got nothing on them or else Lauzon might’ve gone out. Lauzon grabs a heel hook with 30 seconds left, turns it into an ankle lock as Miller is fighting him off. Lauzon grabs a guillotine as time runs out but can’t finish it. Lauzon 10-9, 29-28 What a fight … and what heart from Joe Lauzon.
Official decision – 29-28 x 3 Jim Miller
UFC Heavyweight Championship:
Junior dos Santos vs. Cain Velasquez
Round 1 – Cain comes out significantly more aggressive than the first time. Grabs a single and drags him down, JDS back up and Cain goes for the takedown and JDS is back up again. Third time and no success. Cain wants that leg like a starving dog wants a bone right now. Cain is pushing a ridiculous pace even for him right now with no success; another takedown attempt and nothing. Junior isn’t landing a lot of strikes but he’s landing flush whenever he throws. Cain’s takedown attempts are coming from jab attempts; JDS is using his movement to stay away as yet another takedown attempt goes flat. Cain is landing some great strikes as he grabs a clinch against the cage; Cain is putting a pace on him we haven’t seen before. Cain with a nice combination as JDS is wearing down and a big right hand from Cain drops the champion with a minute left and Cain gets the takedown, has back and Cain is raining strikes on him. He’s not landing flush but this isn’t pretty. JDS back to his and Cain finally gets him down and has back control. He’s teeing off on him right now and gets into side control. Cain is teeing off as JDS is just trying to survive right now. Round ends and JDS is in all sorts of bad places. 10-8 Cain
Junior’s in a bad place right now. How he comes out now will be something to see.
Round 2 – Cain comes out with a beautiful combination and then ragdolls him to the ground; this is the Cain that wrecked Brock Lesnar. Cain is burying him in strikes right now; JDS can’t do anything without eating a lot of punishment right now. He’s got back control and JDS has taken an absolute beating. He looks absolutely gassed right now. Cain rains strikes on him and goes for an armbar with a minute left. JDS gets out of it but he’s taken a beating. This is Franklin/Silva I in terms of a champion to take a shellacking. Cain 10-8, 20-16
Round 3 – JDS lands a nice uppercut to start but he doesn’t know where he is right now. My god what a warrior .. Cain is going after him and Cain bulldozes him to the ground with another double leg. JDS back to his feet and it’s against the cage. JDS needs seperation and finally gets some but as soon as he gets space Cain closes that gap and is on him throwing down some more. Cain’s pace is slowing down but he’s landing some big time strikes on JDS; how he’s still standing is baffling. Takedown attempt misses for once as Cain’s hard pace has slowed to a crawl. JDS seems to be coming back when he gets space but Cain is fighting him really smart; he’s not letting him get any space. Two minutes left and JDS just EATS some big bombs from Cain. Anyone else would’ve wilted by now; the fact that he’s still standing is something. Cain has thtown everything he has and JDS isn’t quitting. Cain has tired considerably but he keeps doing what’s succesful; fight him in a phone booth, unload body shots and keep him close to the fence. Junior clips him with a big uppercut near the end. He seems to be getting some wind back but the look in his eyes says a lot. 10-9 Cain, 30-25 Cain
Round 4 – Cain comes out doing what’s worked; shrink the cage, press the pace. JDS is starting to fight significantly better; Cain doesn’t have the pep in his takedown and JDS is defending it better. He’s still eating punishment though. Cain finally gets a takedown a minute in but JDS is right back up. Junior reverses spots and looks for a takedown of his own. JDS is starting to surge but Cain takes him down to the mat. JDS up but Cain is teeing off; Cain walks through an elbow from JDS as he’s looking to get another takedown. Cain backs off and both guys look gassed. Cain with another takedown attempt but can’t quite finish it up. He has JDS against the cage for a good chunk of the round as the two exchange short strikes. JDS with a nice punch that wobbles Cain; he’s not going gently into the night, that’s for sure. Cain with a single leg to close out the fourth he can’t finish as they trade some nice strikes. Cain 10-9, 40-34
JDS has to knock him out. He knows this. Cain knows this. This is going to be fun.
Round 5 – Cain comes looking for the takedown again but can’t finish. JDS lands a nice left to the body in the scramble but Cain is doing what has won him the fight so far: keep the fight close, go for the takedown and press him against the cage. JDS is landing more now as he’s fighting desperately. He knows he has to knock him out and he’s unloading the smidgen he has left. Velasquez works on a single and finally gets it halfway through the round. Cain grabs back control and Junior rolls to his back. Cain smothers him and is laying into him some more. JDS back to his knees but Cain is relentless; JDS to his feet and Cain presses him against the cage. JDS is landing some big shots right now but he’s gassed and has nothing behind the strikes. 40 seconds left and a big head kick from Cain sends him back into the cage. Cain grabs a hold and looks like he’s going to ride out the final 20 seconds. He keeps him there and the round ends. Cain 10-9, 50-43
Official Decision – Cain Velasquez wins the UFC heavyweight title by unanimous decision 50-45, 50-44, 50-43