Brock Lesnar returns to the Octagon tonight as the UFC presents their last show of 2011 to face UFC newcomer/most recent Strikeforce heavyweight champ Alistair Overeem. The rest of the card, which will come to you live tonight starting at 7pm EST from the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, is stacked with fights that promise to provide excitement and relevance. Just look at the Facebook prelims which include fighters such as Diego Nunes, Efrain Escudero and Dong Hyun Kim. We will be bringing you all of the action tonight starting with the very first contest and concluding with Lesnar’s first fight in 14 months.
Manny Gamburyan (146) vs. Diego Nunes (145)
Luis Ramos (171) vs. Matt Riddle (170)
Efrain Escudero (155) vs. Jacob Volkmann (155)
Dong Hyun Kim (171) vs. Sean Pierson (171)
Spike TV Prelims
Danny Castillo (156) vs. Anthony Njokuani (154)
Junior Assuncao (145) vs. Ross Pearson (145)
Main Card PPV
Jim Hettes (145) vs. Nam Phan (146)
Alexander Gustafsson (203) vs. Vladimir Matyushenko (205)
Jon Fitch (171) vs. Johny Hendricks (170)
Donald Cerrone (156) vs. Nate Diaz (156)
Brock Lesnar (266) vs. Alistair Overeem (263)
BREAKING: The fight between Matt Riddle and Luis Ramos has been scratched due to Matt Riddle’s illness. The start time of the card has been bumped back to 7:30pm EST.
Diego Nunes (16-2) vs. Manny Gamburyan (11-6)
Round 1– Nunes throws a spinning back kick to open. Nunes keeps the pace up with jabs. Leg kick for Nunes. He throws another but Gamburyan gets out of the way. Another leg kick for Nunes. Gamburyan goes for the take down but Nunes stands up to it and delivers a knee to the body. Leg kick to the thigh from Nunes. Gamburyan goes for a double leg takedown but he simply can’t get it. He drives Nunes into the cage and after a few seconds he gets Nunes to the mat. Nunes keeps his offense at bay and gets back to his feet. Gamburyan keeps a hold of him and lands a shot. Front kick from Nunes does no damage. Nunes charges with a combo that lands. Gamburyan tries for another double leg but he gets nowhere with it. Spinning back kick for Nunes lands. The round ends without much action in the final few seconds. 10-9 Nunes.
Round 2– Both fighters throw boms in the opening seconds. Nunes fakes the knee and Gamburyan hits a huge right that stuns Nunes. Gamburyan presses him up against the cage. Nunes tries to break and Gamburyan grabs part of his back. Nunes shakes him off but cannot fully get Gamburyan away from him. Spinning back kick for Nunes lands to the mid-section. Another spinning back kick lands. Left hook for Nunes. Joe Rogan theorizes that Gamburyan may have injured his hand which would make this fight very difficult for him going forward. Gamburyan wrestles Nunes to the ground. Nunes works the half guard but Gamburyan starts to enact some ground and pound. Gamburyan grabs Nunes head looking for some sort of modified guillotine. Nunes stands up and has a small cut on his face. Gamburyan keeps him tied up. They break and Nunes hits a nice looking knee. He tries for the clinch and knee but it is defended well. Nunes tries for a head kick but it is blocked. The round ends. Gamburyan 10-9 to tie things up on our scorecard.
Round 3– The fighters bounce around the cage early on in round 3. Gamburyan lands a solid right to the face. Nunes returns with a leg kick. Leg kick from Nunes and Gamburyan counters with a jab. Another leg kick from Nunes. Leg kick for Nunes. Another. leg kick for Nunes, this one from the left. Gamburyan misses with a huge hook. Gamburyan goes for the double leg but Nunes again blocks it. Knee for Nunes on the break. Leg kick for Nunes. They come together again but nothing really comes from it. Head kick blocked by Gamburyan. Gamburyan hits another right hook to the head. A few more leg kicks for Nunes. head kick for Nunes is only partially blocked. Spinning back fist by Nunes, Gamburyan ducks under it and tries for a takedown. He gets it for a second or so but Nunes escapes. Leg kick from Nunes. That one hit below the belt and a time out is called. Gamburyan hits with two big fists, then ducks under a kick and gets a takedown but Nunes is able to stand up out of it. Gamburyan tries for a slam to end the fight but it is not to be. 10-9 Nunes giving him a 29-28 victory on our scorecard.
Diego Nunes def. Manny Gamburyan via Unanimous Decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
Efrain Escudero (18-3) vs. Jacob Volkmann (13-2)
Round 1– Volkmann throws a nice inside leg kick to start. Escudero returns fire. Volkmann goes for a takedown but Escudero grabs a guillotine and takes Volkmann down. He seems to have a good grip on it but not good enough to finish. Volkmann escapes and lands a few shots from the top. He comes down and takes side control and grabs Escudero’s head. He has control of Escudero though he isn’t landing a lot of shots. Escudero tries to escape but Volkmann grabs his head and puts him back in his place. scudero starts throwing elbows from the bottom. Escudero gets flattened out and Volkmann starts landing punches to the face. Volkmann gets a warning to stay busy from Herb Dean. Volkmann starts to work the body and the crowd begins to get restless already. Volkmann gets a headlock on him stopping Escudero from doing anything. The round ends with Volkmann clearly in control. 10-9 Volkmann, no question.
Round 2– Volkmann again goes for a takedown and again Escudero goes for the choke and we are right back to where we were for most of round 1. Volkmann starts to land shots to the body, probably just to stay busy. Volkmann takes a swing at the face but it is mostly blocked. Again the crowd starts to boo and it will be interesting to see if that affects Herb Dean. Escudero grabs a full guard and Dean does indeed stand them up. Volkmann charges with his strikes but eats one for his trouble. Volkmann grabs the back and tries to wrestle him to the ground. Volkmann slams Escudero down to the ground. Escudero has a nice gurad going for a few seconds but Volkmann wiggles around it and takes the back and has a full mount. He seems to looking for a rear naked choke. He had it for a second and then lost it. Escudero is able to sit up but Volkmann still has the back. escudero tries to soften up the thighs. Another easy round for the American, 10-9 Volkmann.
Round 3– Volkmann hits an uppercut to start but it lands softly. Escudero lands a few strikes of his own. In a weird case of double deja vu, Volkmann goes for the takedown, Escudero goes for the choke and Volkmann ends up on top near the beginning of the round. He wrestles his way around and once again has the back. Volkmann lands a few blows to the side of Escudero’s face. Once again Herb Dean stands them up but that one is very questionable as Volkmann still had his back. Volkmann goes for a single, Escudero lands a few elbows. He gets the back again as they are both in a standing position. Volkmann tries to score a single leg takedown but Escudero isn’t going for it this time around. Still he has had pretty much no offense. Then he finds a miracle choke and takes Volkmann down with it. He has a very nice North south choke. Volkmann stands up but Escudero adjusts and takes him down again. Volkmann seems on the verge of going on but it is a bit too late in the game and somehow Volkmann survives the round and thus the fight. 10-9 Escudero thanks to that late choke, but the fight remains Volkmann as we have him winning 29-28 on our scorecard.
Jacob Volkmann def. Efrain Escudero via Unanimous Decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
Dong Hyun Kim (14-1-1) vs. Sean Pierson (11-5)
Round 1– Leg kick from Kim to start. Another one. And another, all to the outside of Pierson’s leg. Pierson ties things up and has Kim against the cage. They break. Kim keeps throwing strikes. They come together and Pierson lands a shot. Kim throws a kick but Pierson catches it. Outside leg kick for Pierson. Pierson with a two strike combo to the face. Hook from Kim lands. Switch kick from Kim is caught by Pierson. 1-2 combo from Kim with the second shot landing clean. Pierson comes back with a combo of his own though the shot is not devastating. Pierson catches another kick but the real story is his inability to capitalize on it. Kim grabs a front headlock and it switches to a guillotine then tosses Pierson to the ground. Pierson rolls and gets on top and then takes the back. The action stalls and the round ends. Super close round, possibly a tie, but we will call it 10-9 Kim.
Round 2– Leg kick from Kim is counter by a shot to the face by Pierson. Kim tries and fails with a head kick. Inside leg kick for Kim. Another one. Pierson throws a heavy shot that is blocked. He ties KIm up though and starts to work him on the body. Pierson backs him up with shots to the face. Big left from Kim but Pierson grabs him. We have another very close round on our hands. Sharp outside leg kick from Pierson. They tie up against the cage with Pierson in control of the body. Body shot for Kim followed by another leg kick. Switch kick connects for Kim then he quickly cracks Pierson in the face with a punch. Hook for Kim lands. Leg kick for Pierson that Rogan really liked for some reason. Kim lands a perfect switch kick to the face of Pierson that nearly knocks him out. There are only a few seconds left so Kim stalks him and lands a few punches. He cannot finish him with those, tries a knee in desperation but the round ends. 10-9 Kim.
Round 3– Pierson looked terrible between rounds, not even able to find his corner but he is back out there nonetheless. Pierson is able to back him up against the cage but his offense seems very muted. Leg kick for Kim lands. The two fighters box a bit but Kim uses the opportunity to take down Pierson. Pierson stands up pretty quickly and Kim grabs him against the cage. Kim struggles but wrestles him to the ground. Kim is in Pierson’s full guard and isn’t able to land much. Kim presses his forearm down on his throat. He stands up out of the guard. Then comes back down but they get stood up quickly. Inside leg kick for Kim. Hook for Kim lands. Pierson seems out of gas but he keeps at it with the boxing. More boxing. Kim lands a Superman punch but Pierson returns with one of his own. The round and the fight end. 10-9 Kim though each round, with maybe the exception of the 2nd were close so it should be interesting how it is scored. We have it as 30-27 Kim.
Dong Hyun Kim def. Sean Pierson via Unanimous Decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
Danny Castillo (12-4) vs. Anthony Njokuani (15-5)
Round 1– Njokuani comes out swining but can’t really connect. Castillo goes for a power double leg takedown and gets it. Njokuani stands up and Castillo transitions around to the back and starts dropping knees. They get back down to the ground with Castillo in control. Not much going on but Castillo remains very easily in control. They stand up but castillo will not relinquish control of Njokuani’s back. He takes him down and Njokuani stands right back up. Finally Castillo seems to get a good position and grabs a rear naked choke but Njokuani beautifully tansitions out of it. Njokuani goes for a choke of his own but Castillo slams him down and once again gains control. Njokuani escapes and they end up back on their feet with the round coming to a close. 10-9 Castillo in a rather dull round.
Round 2– Castillo comes out jabbing. Njokuani returns Head kick for Njokuani sort of lands. Jab for Castillo misses. Castillo tries for a takedown but nothing really comes of it. Body shot for Njokuani. Castillo seems to be a little gassed early on in the second. Leg kick for Castillo misses. Njokuani grabs the clinch and starts to hammer him with knees. He probably landed three of them in there before Castillo escapes. Jab for Castillo. Another. Njokuani hits him with a nice hook that drops Castillo for a second. Castillo grabs a hold of him to stay on his feet but Njokuani lands a knee. Still Castillo powers through it and scores a takedown though he looks spent once they hit the mat. He throws some body shots. Njokuani stays busy with elbows from the bottom. Castillo is really not taking full advantage of his top position. Njokuani stands up, Castillo tries for a takedown and Njokuani goes for a funky counter. The round ends, very very close though we will say 10-9 Njokuani.
Round 3– Jab for Njokuani early on. Jab from Castillo. A nice straight lands for. They grapple together and Castillo gets a takedown. He gains control on the ground but again he can’t really do anything with it. Njokuani rolls and tries to get a leg lock that does not work for it allows him to stand up. Njokuani hits a solid kick. Castillo goes for an ankle pick and he works it getting another takedown. Njokuani stands up but Castillo simply holds on to him, boring the audience but remaining in control of the third and pivotal round. Castillo holds on to him from behind but with 30 seconds left. Njokuani tires to work some magic with limited time ramaining but the hill seems too steep. With just a few seconds left he hits a flying knee but it does not knock Castillo out and shouldn’t be enough to win the round. 10-9 Castillo giving him a 29-28 edge on our scorecard.
Danny Castillo def. Anthony Njokuani via Split Decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)
Junior Assuncao (13-4) vs. Ross Pearson (12-5)
Round 1– Leg kick for Pearson to start. Assuncao throws some wild looking kicks that don’t even come close. Assuncao scores a takedown and starts to work over Pearson. Person gets free and lands a few nice looking knees on the break. Leg kick for Pearson. Pearson catches him in the clinch and lands a nice knee to the chest. Assuncao wraps him up and presses him up against the cage. He is working hard for the takedown but can’t get it and Pearson breaks free. Leg kick for Pearson. He tries another but it only glances off. Pearson stalks him across the cage. Leg kick for Assuncao lands as Pearson comes in. Pearson comes forward with a kick of his own. Assuncao tries a kick but it is nearly caught. another body kick from Pearson and a very close round ends. 10-9 Pearson
Round 2– Assuncao throws a few lightning fast shots. Assuncao wraps up his legs, gets a takedown but Pearson escapes quickly. Strong leg kick for Pearson. Assuncao goes for a single leg and eats a shot to the face. He keeps working on the takedown though. Pearson grabs the clinch and uses it to escape. Assuncao eats an uppercut. More tying up against the cage from these two fighters. Assuncao is getting the better of it. Assuncao misses a bomb. Knee to the body from Pearson. Now he ties up his opponent against the cage. Assuncao neutralizes the action pretty well. They break and Assuncao gets control of the action and tries to score a single leg takedown. Most of this fight has looked exactly the same. Pearson trips Assuncao for a takedown. When Pearson comes in Assuncao reverses it and ends up in Pearson’s guard. On the stand up Assuncao unloads with some massive fists and the round ends. 10-9 Assuncao in another close one.
Round 3– Big leg kick from Pearson early on. He goes for another but Assuncao counters and gets a takedown. They scramble and Assuncao grabs his back and starts going immediately for a rear naked choke. Pearson escapes. They start boxing and Assuncao lands a stiff shot to the face. Assuncao hits a nice knee to the face. Then he ties up Pearson again but he seems clearly in control of the round. Outside leg kick for Pearson. Two punch combo for Assuncao. Assuncao ties him up against the cage. Pearson lands a nice shot to the face and uses the momentum to spin things around. Pearson cracks off a massive kick to the face but Assuncao seems unhurt by it. Pearson remains in control and starts to unload with some massive blows. The round ends and it seems to me as though he stole the round and the fight there. 10-9 Pearson.
Ross Pearson def. Junior Assuncao via Unanimous Decision (29-28, 29-28, 30-27)
Nam Phan (17-9) vs. Jimy Hettes (9-0)
Round 1– Hettes gets Phan down quickly and starts to ground and pound. Phan stands up but Hettes keeps on him. They head back down to the ground and Hettes goes for a guillotine. Phan breaks away and Hettes goes crazy, cracking him with a massive load of clean shots directly to the face. Phan seemed close to going out but he holds on and spins around to his back to slow the aggression of Hettes. Hettes waits for him to come back around and lands a few more shots. Phan gets back to his feet and gets a clean break. Hettes tries for a knee but misses. Hettes does look a bit tired and Phan starts to throw a few of his own. They tie up and Hettes nails a beautiful hip toss that lands him in side control. He moves easily into full mount. Phan tries to defend but Hettes gets a nice looking arm bar on him. Hettes pounds away on Phan’s face to try and loosen him up for the hold. He starts working the body but Phan will not give him the arm bar. There is a decent amount of blood on Phan’s face. Some more ground and pound to finish the round. 10-8 Hettes in a nasty beat down of a round.
Round 2– Hettes ties him up early. Phan breaks free and Hettes lands a shot. Hettes takes him down. Phan tries for a leg lock from the bottom. Hettes gets on top of him with a choke. Phan weathers it, Hettes goes for a different type but can’t finish it and somehow Phan finds himself on top. They tie up against the cage and Hettes is ruthless in the way that he works over the bloodied face of Phan. They break and instantly Hettes scores another takedown. Phan uses the cage to stand back up. Phan throws a knee but it lands softly. Phan hits a nice looking knee. Hettes tries for another judo toss but they both sadly fall to the mat. Hettes easily transitions to side control and begins to pound in the face of Phan again. Phan stands for a second but instantly gets flattened down again. The second round conmes to a close and once again it is all Jimy Hettes. 10-9 Hettes.
Round 3– Hettes misses a punch and shows a little bit of gas. Phan lands a body shot. Phan finds his range and starts working his boxing. Another hook lands for Phan. Hettes has seen enough of all that and takes Phan down in an effort to control the clock. Phan’s forehead is a bloody mess. Phan stands up and Hettes keeps working for and gets a double leg takedown. The pace slows down as Hettes is content to just keep Phan locked up against the cage. They start to box again and Hettes’ exhaustion is quite obvious. He gets a takedown and keeps working over the face of Phan. There are only 2 minutes left for Phan to pull off a miracle comeback. Hettes starts to go for an arm triangle and seems to be heading in the right direction. Phan blocks it well and Hettes has to resort to more ground and pound. Hettes hits a big elbow on the face of Phan that sends blood flying. Hettes finishes strong at the bell. 10-9 Hettes giving him a 30-26 win on our scorecard.
Jimy Hettes def. Nam Phan via Unanimous Decision (30-25, 30-25, 30-26)
Light Heavyweight Bout
Alexander Gustafsson (12-1) vs. Vladimir Matyushenko (26-5)
Round 1– Both fighters are tentative to start. Gustafsson ducks under a huge shot from Matyushenko. Gustafsson lands a crisp uppercut. Matyushenko grabs a kick and tries for a takedown. Gustafsson unloads a big kick/punch combo. Matyushenko hasn’t really tried for anything thus far. They come together and both lands punches but the jab from Gustafsson floors Matyushenko. He instantly turtles up and Gustafsson swarms him and begins to pound him out. it takes Yves Lavigne very little time to pull him off and stop the fight.
Alexander Gustafsson def. Vladimir Matyushenko via TKO- Round 1 (2:13)
Jon Fitch (23-3-1) vs. Johny Hendricks (11-1)
Round 1– They meet in the center of the cage and instantly Hendricks uncorks a massive left that clocks Fitch right ont he temple. Fitch falls straight back, Hendricks rushes in and nails him one more time before Mazzagatti can get in there for the save. Big big win for Johny Hendricks as he gets a KO over the almost unbeatable Jon Fitch.
Johny Hendricks def. Jon Fitch via KO- Round 1 (0:12)
Donald Cerrone (17-3) vs. Nate Diaz (14-7)
Round 1– Cerrone goes in big. They tie up. Diaz goes for a takedown but can’t quite get it. They are stuck against the cage. Diaz hits a knee. Right by cerrone lands. Cerrone tries for a trip but can’t get it. Diaz lands a two punch combo that dazes Cerrone. He lands another beautiful shot. Diaz can’t miss in one round. Another jab from Diaz. Another one finds a home on Cerrone’s chin. Leg kick from Cerrone. Cerrone doesn’t seem to have found his groove yet. A few more land for Diaz. Head kick for Cerrone lands. Diaz slips about four more punches through the guard of Cerrone. Diaz just continues the onslaughtRogan begins to think that Cerrone may have a broken jaw. A big combo for Nate Diaz. A few more shots land for Diaz. This is just becoming ugly. Diaz 10-8 in a nasty round.
Round 2– Cerrone does come out of the corner and there is no indication of a broken jaw. Cerrone hits a nice leg kick that knocks Diaz down. Big knee for Cerrone kind of lands. Another leg kick knocks Diaz off his feet but he seems scared of Diaz’s guard. Diaz comes in and easily takes the back but Cerrone escapes. Cerrone lands another knee to the head. Diaz lands some more punches to the face. Cerrone hits another head kick that knocks Diaz over but again Cerrone walks away from the guard. The crowd certainly seems to be on Cerrone’s side. They both exchange punches. Diaz gets in a series of shots. Cerrone goes for another head kick but this one misses. Diaz keeps up the pressure peppering him with shots. Cerrone trips Diaz off his feet again. There is a lot of blood coming out of Cerrone’s mouth. Very close round but we will go 10-9 Diaz due to a consistency of offense.
Round 3– Diaz is looking rather cocky early in the round. Cerrone lands a left. Combo by Diaz lands. Diaz keeps insulting Cerrone and knocks him off his feet and taunts him some more. Two punch combo for Diaz. Cerrone responds in kind. Knee for Cerrone connects. Another trip for Cerrone doesn’t work out well enough. Diaz comes at him with some big punches. Cerrone scores another trip takedown but will not grapple. Knee to the body for Cerrone looked awfully close to dirty. Big combo for Diaz. Another big combo for Diaz. Jab for Diaz. Trip for Cerrone, that is the only move of his that has worked tonight. Flying knee for Cerrone nearly connects. Diaz continues to pummel him. Cerrone lands a head kick. Cerrone’s cardio seems to have betrayed him. The fight ends. 10-9 Diaz giving him a 30-26 victory on our scorecard.
Nate Diaz def. Donald Cerrone via Unanimous Decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28)
Brock Lesnar (5-2) vs. Alistair Overeem (35-11)
Round 1– Outside leg for Lesnar. Overeem misses a big right. Lesnar paws at him. Lesnar tries for the single leg but Overeem escapes. Overeem has a cut over his eye. Overeem gets him up agianst the cage but can’t do much with it. Overeem hits a series of big knees. Overeem tries for a body kick but it is mostly caught by Lesnar. Lesnar slips a jab through but Overeem turns up the heat and starts to unload on Lesnar. Overeem connects with a perfectly executed kick to the body that hurts Lesnar in a major way. He stumbles backwards in pain and Overeem moves in and starts to pound on Lesnar’s face. Lesnar covers up and Overeem hits him once more in Lesnar’s bad stomach and that is all it takes to earn the victory via stoppage.
Alistair Overeem def. Brock Lesnar via TKO- Round 1 (2:26)
After the fight Brock Lesnar takes the BJ Penn path and announces his retirement. He claims that he promised his wife that if he didn’t win he would retire and thus he will no longer compete in the Octagon.
Tags: Alexander Gustafsson, Alistair Overeem, Anthony Njokuani, Brock Lesnar, Danny Castillo, Diego Nunes, Donald Cerrone, Dong Hyun Kim, Efrain Escudero, Johny Hendricks, jon fitch, Luis Ramos, Manny Gamburyan, Matt Riddle, Mixed Martial Arts, Nam Phan, Nate Diaz, Ross Pearson, Sean Pierson, UFC 141, Vladimir Matyushenko