Well, it is settled: Cain Velasquez and Junior Dos Santos are going to have a trilogy. You won't catch me complaining: last night, those two proved that they are by far the best two heavyweights in the world. Here are my thoughts on each of the fights:
Cerrone vs. Noons: Noons lasted a lot longer than I thought he would, but Cerrone still dominated him for three rounds. Not only did he outstrike him, but he took him down four times and pummeled him on the mat. In fact, he hit Noons with so many elbows on the ground that he cut his own elbow open! I don't think it will be too long before we see "Cowboy" in another title eliminator.
Maynard vs. Grant: In a shocking twist of fate, "The Bully" got bullied after getting dropped by a straight right. Grant finished Maynard off by smashing him against the cage with knees and punches to get a crazy KO victory. I hope that Benson Henderson was watching so that he can prepare for this Canadian tornado.
Texiera vs. Te Huna: I was surprised that this match ended so quickly. Nonetheless, I was certain that it would be decided via submission and I was right. After taking Te Huna down, Teixiera locked in a guillotine choke as they got back up to make him tap out. Hopefully Teixiera will finally get a top five opponent after this. The winner of Evans vs. Henderson would be a good test for him at this point.
Hunt vs. Dos Santos: Man, the Korean martial arts must be taking off in Brazil, because this is the third KO via spinning heel kick in the past couple of years, all by Brazilian fighters! Hunt put up a valiant effort, but Cigano simply had too much speed and endurance for him. That being said, I'm surprised that Dos Santos didn't swarm Hunt after dropping him with that overhand right in the first round. Maybe he felt like making a statement. If that was his intention, he succeeded, dropping Hunt with a Ninja Turtle-style spinning heel kick after stunning him with a left hook. He definitely earned his title rematch. I wouldn't be surprised if Tae Kwon Do and Tang Soo Do schools had a jump in membership after this bout.
Velasquez vs. Bigfoot: I personally felt that this match was stopped too early. Was that a great right hand by Velasquez? Absolutely. Was he mauling Bigfoot with strikes to his head after he took his back? He sure was, even though a couple were to the back of the head. Nonetheless, Bigfoot was in the process of standing up when the fight was called. He probably would have at least made it out of Round 1 if the match had continued. Alas, the referee made his decision and what's done is done. I do hope, however, that Bigfoot has more success in the division so that he can get another title shot.
On a side note, Mike Tyson was there! How cool is that? He came into the octagon with Chuck Liddell to congratulate Teixiera after his match. Not only that, but Dos Santos climbed out of the cage to shake "Iron" Mike's hand after his own victory. Does this mean MMA has finally been accepted by the mainstream? I certainly hope so. Not least because I want to see more boxers enter the sport to test their mettle. At any rate, it was a good sign of things to come and I look forward to seeing what will happen in this sport in the future.