Monday, December 31, 2012

Cain Brings The Pain At UFC 155!

UFC 155 wasn't the best PPV that I have ever seen, but it was still a decent card.  The last two matches, however, were awesome!  I regret not betting on Cain Velasquez to get my three dollars back, but since I only predicted the winners of two out of the five bouts, I think I will hold off on putting money on matches for now.  Here are my thoughts on each match:

Leben vs. Brunson: I didn't expect much from this fight and wasn't disappointed.  Brunson dominated Leben with better wrestling in Round 1 and gassed in Round 2, which I though was pretty even.  In Round 3, they traded back and forth, but Brunson managed to secure the decision with another takedown.  It's nice to see a Strikeforce guy do well in his UFC debut for a change, because the other two guys whom I've seen come over from Strikeforce got smashed in their first fights.  Antonio "Big Foot" Silva and Shane Del Rosario got crushed in their UFC debuts, so I'm a little skeptical every time a Strikeforce guy comes over.  That being said, Strikeforce also had Dan Henderson, Fabricio Werdum, and Nick Diaz, so they obviously did something right.  As much as I like Alistair Overeem, I'll withhold comment until I hear the results of his next post-fight drug test.

Okami vs. Belcher:  Belcher had early success in their standup exchanges in Round 1, but Okami was just too tough and too strong.  He controlled Belcher with better grappling throughout the rest of the match and easily powered out of "The Talent's" guillotine choke attempts.  It's clear that "Thunder" is going to stay a top-ranked middleweight for the next few years and that his loss to Boetsch was only a minor setback. 

Boetsch vs. Philippou: Boetsch was doing well in Round 1, but then he injured himself and it showed in Rounds 2 and 3 with inferior takedown attempts.  Getting cut open by an accidental headbutt didn't help things.  Philippou clearly took control in Rounds 2 and 3 with ground-and-pound to get a TKO.  I think that this win was due to luck more than anything.  That being said, Philippou showed a lot of class and respect to Boetsch after the match, so I hope that he gets a chance to fight a higher-ranked middleweight to prove me wrong.

Miller vs. Lauzon: Now I see why lightweight is considered by many to be the UFC's most stacked division.  Miller and Lauzon possibly put on the best match of the entire year!  Miller cut Lauzon open with a flurry of elbows and managed to keep control through most of the fight with better striking.  That being said, Lauzon refused to give up, attempted to slam Miller in Round 2 and getting a leg lock, which he was ultimately too tired to keep.  That didn't stop him from attempting two more submissions in Round 3, including another leg lock from a flying scissor kick (similar to Ryo Chonan's submission of Anderson Silva in Pride) and then transitioning to a guillotine choke.  However, there wasn't enough time left on the clock for Miller to submit, so he won the decision.  Due to the skill demonstrated by both of these men, I won't be surprised if either of them get a title shot in the next year or two.

Velasquez vs. Dos Santos: Cain has redeemed himself!  Just as I thought, he was too clever to try to stand with Dos Santos right off the bat again.  He got two takedowns, but after that, Dos Santos managed to stuff all of his other attacks and seemed too quick for him.  However, that all changed when Velasquez rocked Dos Santos with a hard right and followed up with some ground-and-pound in Round 1.  That, combined with the fact that he gassed in Round 2, led to Dos Santos getting a beatdown for the rest of the fight.  I definitely see a third fight between these two in the future, not least because the heavyweight division isn't stacked at all.  The top 5-6 guys are miles above the rest of the division and Daniel Cormier is probably going to drop to light heavyweight so that he won't have to fight Velasquez, who is his teammate on AKA.  If that does happen, I'll be disappointed, because I want to see more talent in the heavyweight pool.  Nonetheless, I'll get over it if he dethrones Jon Jones as the light heavyweight king.  But I digress.  Cain Velasquez is back on top, and I hope that he manages to stay there for a long time!       

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