Throwing Bombs in Birmingham

UFC 138 did not receive much media in the months leading up to the fight with UFC on Fox taking a lot of the focus. UFC on Fox is a big promotion for the UFC and it has rightly gotten a lot of media time with two heavyweights fighting and the premiere of UFC on network television. The issue with the media going to UFC on Fox is that the media was not on the fantastic card that would be featured in Birmingham, England this past Saturday. The UFC 138 card featured a number of great up and coming fighters who all had the ability to end fights quickly. It also featured the first non-title fight to be scheduled for 5 rounds in the UFC. This fight would feature two of the UFC’s most powerful middleweight fighters who both suspected that the fight would not go the scheduled 5 rounds. Chris Leben has become a fan favorite for one very simple fact and that is that he has the opportunity to win the fight of the night almost every time he steps into the octagon. Leben became a fan favorite through The Ultimate Fighter where his time on the show saw him break a door and earn the love of the fans for his fighting style. His style endears him to the fans because he never backs up even when hurt when he looks like a zombie relentlessly coming forward and earning KOs. Leben would take on Mark Munoz who has come into the UFC and transitioned from a wrestler to the future of ground and pound in the UFC. Munoz was a D-I wrestler in College and made the transition to fighter like so many before him. The difference with Munoz is that he took his wrestling skills to take opponents down and then used his strength to punish people on the ground. With his athleticism Munoz has begun to become a striker who stands and trades with people more and more. Both of these powerful fighters faced off in Birmingham in a fight that nobody expected to last long with a Knockout almost guaranteed. The fight started out with both fighters coming forward and throwing some major blows. Munoz seemed to land the worst of the blows at the start of the fight but Leben remained un-phased and kept going forward. Leben then landed a big left hand that really affected Munoz and made him wake up and follow the game plan. Munoz shot for a takedown but Leben was able to stuff it and get Munoz against the fence landing some big shots. The round ended and Munoz had not taken too much damage while Leben had looked out on his feet from time to time. The second round began much the same except Munoz earned his takedowns in the round and was able to get the top position and begin his ground and pound. While in the top position Munoz began landing some massive blows and all of them connected. With one big right hand Munoz opened up Leben over his left eye. As the two wrestled on the ground Leben was heard complaining that he couldn’t see but the fight continued while Leben took the advantage and attempted a guillotine. When they stood up the referee stopped the fight and had the doctor check Leben’s eye to make sure he could see. When the referee asked Leben if he could see Leben said yes and the fight continued with Leben bleeding over his left eye. When the round ended Leben told his corner that he could no longer see out of his eye. With this information his corner told the referee who stopped the fight giving Munoz the win. With the win Munoz will enter closer into a conversation about the middleweight title that has essentially been vacated besides the challenge of Chael Sonnen to the champion Anderson Silva. Leben will remain a fan favorite and has solidified himself as a member of the UFC so he is at no risk of leaving and will simply move back into a crowd pleaser and will try to get up the ladder again.

Before these two strikers faced off the UFC used their typical way of forming a fight card with plenty of hometown favorites filling the card. With a total of 8 English fighters on the card there was plenty for the English fans to cheer for. Altogether the British fighters went 4-3 and put on some great fights. This included the Co-Main Event when Brad Pickett made his long-awaited UFC debut against Brazilian Renan Barao. Pickett was hoping to show up in front of his home crowd and he put on a great show with Renan Barao. Pickett could not get the win in his first fight though as Barao caught him with a big shot that sent him to the mat and then proceeded to sink in a choke and finish the fight. Pickett still impressed in his debut but there were some other British fighters who impressed even more at UFC 138. First during the prelims Che Mills took on fan favorite Chris Cope in his first fight in the UFC. Mills had been making the rounds in the UK fighting all over the place in small promotions trying to make a name for himself. He finally got his shot to impress the UFC brass at UFC 138 as he looked to become a regular at UFC fights. He did exactly that as Mills came out in the first round and landed a devastating knee to Cope and then pounced on him to end the fight quickly. Mills made an impression in his first fight while fellow British fighter Terry Etim was making his first appearance in the UFC since he hurt his back 19 months ago. Etim was on the rise before his injury and was looking to get back into the mix in front of the British fans. Etim made an impression in his return as he took on Edward Faaloloto when he jumped on Faaloloto and sunk in a Guillotine Choke ending the fight and proving that he is back and ready to make another run. The showcase of British talent in Birmingham was a success as UFC fans got to see some great new talent even if they did lose. Expect a lot of the fighters from this card to continue to make impressions in the UFC in future promotions.

The UFC 138 bonuses totaled $70,000 for each fighter involved in the fights that impressed everyone this weekend. The “Submission of the Night” went to Britain’s own Terry Etim for his unique Guillotine Choke against Edward Faaloloto that gave Etim his first win since being injured 19 months ago. The “Knockout of the Night” went to another Brit in Che Mills who made his UFC debut against Chris Cope and earned the KO with a big knee. The “Fight of the Night” went to the co-main event between Renan Barao and Brad Pickett who fought a one round war that finished with Barao sinking in a submission.

 

Full Results:

Mark “The Filipino Wrecking Machine” Munoz def. Chris “The Crippler” Leben

(Corner Stoppage; Rd. 2)

 

Renan Barao def. Brad “One Punch” Pickett

(Submission; Rear Naked Choke Rd. 1)

 

Thiago “Pit Bull” Alves def. Papy “Makambo” Abedi

(Submission; Rear Naked Choke, Rd. 1)

 

Anthony “The Hippo” Perosh def. Cyrille “The Snake” Diabete

(Submission; Rear Naked Choke, Rd. 1)

 

Terry Etim def. Edward “Falo” Faaloloto

(Submission; Guillotine Choke, Rd. 1)

 

John “The One” Maguire def. Justin “Fast Eddy” Edwards

(Unanimous Decision)

 

Phil De Fries def. Rob “The Bear” Broughton

(Unanimous Decision)

 

Michihiro Omigawa def. Jason “Shotgun” Young

(Unanimous Decision)

 

“Beautiful” Che Mills def. Chris “C-Murder” Cope

(TKO; Rd. 1)

 

Chris “Kamikaze” Cariaso def. Vaughan Lee

(Split Decision)

 

Upcoming Events:

 

UFC on FOX: Velasquez vs. Dos Santos (November 12th; 9:00 pm)

– Live on FOX Sports/Sportsnet

– Anaheim, California (Honda Center)

– Main Event: Junior “Cigano” Dos Santos vs. Cain Velasquez (Heavyweight Title)

– Notable: Clay “The Carpenter” Guida vs. Ben “Smooth” Henderson

 

UFC 139: Shogun vs. Henderson (November 19th; 9:00 pm)

– San Jose, California (HP Pavilion)

– Main Event: Mauricio “Shogun” Rua vs. Dan “Hendo” Henderson

– Notable: Wanderlei “The Axe Murderer” Silva vs. Cung Lee

– Notable: “The California Kid” Urijah Faber vs. Brian Bowles

 

The Ultimate Finale: Team Bisping vs. Team Mayhem (December 3rd; 9:00 pm)

– Live on Sportsnet

– Las Vegas, Nevada (The Pearl)

– Main Event: Michael “The Count” Bisping vs. Jason “Mayhem” Miller

– The rest of the card will be made when the Reality show concludes

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