Heavy Night in the UFC (UFC 146 Review)

UFC 146 was a night of heavyweights as it seemed that the entire division was in action throughout the main card. With so many big fighters in the octagon many expected fireworks and that is exactly what they got. A total of 5 heavyweight fights made the night a special one as fans got to see all levels of the division. There were heavyweights making their debut and fighters midway through their climb up the ladder. Then there was the main event were the reigning champion Junior dos Santos would take on top challenger Frank Mir. Santos had taken his shot last year beating Cain Velasquez in the biggest heavyweight fight in UFC history in front of a national audience on FOX. Meanwhile Frank Mir was working his way back to the top when the two-time champion was put into the championship fight after Alistair Overeem was suspended due to a failed drug test. Mir looked to take advantage of his chance and was hoping to become the second fighter to win the championship three times and join Randy Couture as the only other fighter to do so. There was also an extra storyline to follow in this fight as both fighters were connected beyond their match up. Junior dos Santos has always been the best boxer in the division but he is also a BJJ Black Belt. This black belt came from the UFC legend and former UFC heavyweight champion Antonio Nogueira. Frank Mir is very familiar with Nogueira as their fights have been some of the most anticipated in the division. Their first meeting saw Frank Mir become the first fighter to finish Nogueira and did so with a KO to win the title. Their second meeting saw Mir enter the record books again becoming the first fighter to ever submit Nogueira as he locked in a kimura and broke Nogueira’s arm. Mir’s dominance over Nogueira might have given Santos a bit of added motivation coming into UFC 146 as he may have had vengeance on his mind. Santos might have been looking to get revenge for his master who lost twice to Mir in order to take some honour back. It must have been somewhat a motivation but it clearly was not the biggest as Santos simply wanted to be the next legend in the UFC and would try to start his cleaning out of the division with Frank Mir. The fight started with both fighters standing and looking to find their range. Both men were even in the opening half of the round but Santos changed that quickly. JDS began showing his boxing skills as he continued to throw great shots all of which hit Mir. With 30 seconds left in the round Santos landed his first really big shot that sent Mir back. With Mir shook up JDS pounced as he started to unload on the former two-time champion while Mir scrambled in an attempt to show he was still in the fight. It was less than convincing but it did the job long enough to get him out of the round. The second round saw Mir still reeling from the barrage in the first round but he remained standing with Santos. JDS dropped Mir again early in the second round but he returned to his feet to challenge the champion again. Mir was still seemingly out on his feet when Santos threw another big shot that sent Mir to the mat again. JDS backed up to let Mir up but Mir could only get up to a knee until falling again forcing JDS to throw another hammerfist that ended the fight. Junior dos Santos remained the champion and will now move on to continue an attempt to clear out the division. There are plenty of challengers including a rematch against Cain Velasquez, Strikeforce Champion Daniel Cormier, or Roy Nelson. One thing is for sure as JDS looks like he could hold the belt for a while but every challenger will look to be the one that beats him. Meanwhile Frank Mir took the loss and may be looking at one more run at the title but the man who has the most wins in the UFC may be close to the end of a legendary time in the UFC.

Before the top two fighters in the division faced off another 8 heavyweights were in action as all were looking to find their place in the ladder. Rarely in one night does a division get reshaped but with so many fighters in action that is exactly what happened at UFC 146. First was a fight between Stefan Struve and Lavar Johnson. Struve was looking to make it back into the elite of the division while Johnson was just looking to continue his early success. Struve won the fight via submission moving him into the elite section of the division while Johnson did not move much as he took the fight on short notice. Next was the fight between two up and comers in Stipe Miocic and Shane del Rosario. Rosario was looking for a win in his debut while Miocic was looking to continue to impress in a young career. Miocic won the fight via TKO making him one to watch in the division while Rosario will remain at the bottom of the division. Roy Nelson and Dave Herman faced off next in a key fight for both men. Nelson was looking to add another win to his record and possibly earn a title shot or at least become part of the conversation while Herman was looking to move up to the next level in the division. Nelson won the fight via TKO and will now be a part of the title conversation although he may need one more win to get his shot while Herman remains close to the bottom of the division as he will need to refocus to get back. In the co-main event former champion Cain Velasquez took on UFC newcomer Antonio Silva. Velasquez needed a win to show that he deserves a rematch for the title while Silva was simply looking to match the hype that he came in with. Velasquez won the fight via TKO proving that he deserves another shot and he may just get it while Silva moves to the middle of the division as his debut was not the best showing. With so many heavyweights earning a spot among the elite at UFC 146 the conversation for the title continues to move on with at least 3 members in the debate.

The UFC had a tough time handing out bonuses at UFC 146 but each fighter involved received $70,000 for their efforts. There was no “Fight of the Night” at UFC 146 as fights did not last long enough or were simply not good enough to hand out the award. The “Knockout of the Night” had two winners as Dan Hardy earned one for his KO of Duane Ludwig and Roy Nelson earned the other bonus for his KO of Dave Herman. “Submission of the Night” also saw two winners as Paul Sass earned one bonus for his win via Triangle Armbar against Jacob Volkmann and Stefan Struve won his bonus for his win against Lavar Johnson via Armbar. Overall UFC 146 was a massive event that changed the heavyweight division for the brief future including the championship conversation as the heavyweights out on a show for everyone and showed that they are the superstars of the UFC.

 

Full Results

Main Event:

Junior “Cigano” dos Santos def. Frank Mir [Heavyweight Title]

(TKO, Rd. 2)

 

Main Card:

Cain Velasquez def. Antonio “Bigfoot” Silva

(TKO, Rd. 1)

 

Roy “Big Country” Nelson def. Dave “Pee Wee” Herman

(TKO, Rd. 1)

 

Stipe Miocic def. Shane del Rosario

(TKO, Rd. 2)

 

Stefan “Skyscraper” Struve def. Lavar “Big” Johnson

(Submission; Armbar, Rd. 1)

 

Undercard:

Darren “The Damage” Elkins def. Diego “Ceara” Brandao

(Unanimous Decision)

 

Jamie Varner def. Edson “Junior” Barboza

(TKO; Rd. 1)

 

CB “The Doberman” Dolloway def. Jason “Mayhem” Miller

(Unanimous Decision)

 

Dan “The Outlaw” Hardy def. Duane “Bang” Ludwig

(KO, Rd. 1)

 

Paul Sass def. Jacob “Christmas” Volkmann

(Submission; Triangle Armbar, Rd. 1)

 

Glover Teixeira def. Kyle “Kingsbu” Kingsbury

(Submission; Arm Triangle, Rd. Rd. 1)

 

Mike Brown def. Daniel “The Pit” Pineda

(Unanimous Decision)

 

Upcoming Events:

The Ultimate Fighter Finale: Ellenberger vs. Kampmann (Friday June 1st; 9:00 pm ET)

– Live Free on FX/FX Canada

– Las Vegas, Nevada (The Pearl)

Main Event: Jake “The Juggernaut” Ellenberger vs. Martin “The Hitman” Kampmann

Notable: Michael “Maverick” Chiesa vs. Al Iaquinta [TUF Live Champion/UFC Contract]

 

UFC on FX: Johnson vs. McCall (Friday June 8th; 9:00 pm ET)

– Live Free on FX/Sportsnet

– Sunrise, Florida (Bank Atlantic Center)

Main Event: Demetrious “Mighty Mouse” Johnson vs. Ian “Uncle Creepy” McCall

Notable: Erick Silva vs. Charlie “The Spaniard” Brenneman

 

UFC on FX: Maynard vs. Guida (Friday June 22nd; 9:00 pm ET)

– Live and Free on FX/Sportsnet

– Atlantic City, New Jersey (Revel Casino)

Main Event: Gray “The Bully” Maynard vs. Clay “The Carpenter” Guida

Notable: Sam “Hands of Stone” Stout vs. Spencer “The King” Fisher

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