Main Card Falls Short in Vegas (UFC 155 Review)

Junior Dos Santos vs Cain VelasquezThe heavyweight division has always been an interesting division in the UFC as the title has change hands multiple times. Since 2011 though, the heavyweight division had seemingly seen their dominant champion rise to earn the title. It was November 2011 when Cain Velasquez and Junior Dos Santos faced off in one of the biggest fights in UFC history. It was one of the most important fights because it would be the first fight on FOX and the first fight on a major national network. For the fighters it would be bigger as Velasquez was looking to begin his reign as UFC champion after beating Brock Lesnar who many thought was unbeatable. For Dos Santos this  was a chance for him to achieve a dream and become champion after running through most of the division. As both fighters faced off many believed it would not go to a decision and those people were right. Dos Santos quickly ended the reign of Cain Velasquez earning the heavyweight title. After the win Dos Santos would be considered one of the most promising champions in the UFC as he was considered a hard person to beat. The strength and boxing of Dos Santos were the difference as he was a much better boxer than most in the division and was one of the strongest fighters in the heavyweight division. He would show that in his first title defence against former champion Frank Mir when he earned the KO victory in the second round of the fight. As Dos Santos continued his reign as the heavyweight champion it seemed like he was on the edge of becoming the next dominant champion in the UFC. He would need to take on the man he beat for the title first though as Cain Velasquez asked for a rematch to earn the belt back. Both would face off for the second time at UFC 155 as Velasquez was looking to earn the belt back and prove that he was not at his best in the first fight. Dos Santos was looking to get the win and prove that he did not just get lucky and is the true champion of the heavyweight division. The fight was thought to be another quick one as many expected another knockout to determine the heavyweight division as a five round fight was not on anyone’s mind. The fight would start out at a very fast pace as Velasquez would make good on his promise to push the pace this time around. Velasquez came out with constant pressure and eventually would begin looking for the takedown. He would eventually get the champion to the ground but it would last long as Dos Santos would stand up quickly. The round would be a constant back and forth with Velasquez looking to get the takedown and Dos Santos preventing the fight from going to the mat. Then Velasquez would open up and land a big right hand that would drop Dos Santos. The fight seemed like it was over as Dos Santos was on the ground getting punished by Velasquez. Still Dos Santos would stay in the fight and get to his feet while still defending himself just enough to keep the fight going. From that round on the fight would be very one-sided and extremely sluggish. It seemed that Dos Santos would not get his bearings until the late rounds and by then he was too tired to do anything. Velasquez seemed like he had punched himself out in the first round as he would not be able to capitalize on many opportunities that he had to end the fight. The rest of the fight would continue as both fighters were tired and couldn’t get much going and as the 5th round approached it seemed like both fighters just wanted the fight to be over as they couldn’t go much longer. After five rounds neither could get much going but It was clear that Velasquez had been the more active and had done a lot more damage than the champion. With a unanimous decision victory Velasquez would get the title back while Dos Santos’ reign as champion would end in his second title defence. Both fighters will likely see each other again soon as Velasquez-Dos Santos II will happen with Dos Santos wanting to win the title again.

The main card was full of great fights that were sure to provide sparks but then the injury bug hit again forcing a number of replacements. With the replacements a lot was unknown as great fights turned into fights that could be good but may be terrible. One of these replacements was Jim Miller who would replace Spencer Fisher in the co-main event of UFC 155. Miller would take the fight against Joe Lauzon in what many believed would be a battle on the ground between two very good ground fighters. That became far from true though as Miller and Lauzon would change the fight card with a standup war. Miller would press the action throughout the entire fight as he would swing for the fences hitting Lauzon with some big shots. J-Lau would not give up though as he would continue to come forward and challenge Miller. It would not be without damage though as Lauzon would get a cut over his right eye in the first round. With the cut Lauzon would be in danger of losing the fight as the doctor would watch closely every round to make sure it was not too bad to end his chances of winning. The fight would not end because of the cut but it made for a dramatic fight that Lauzon would eventually lose in a unanimous decision. The replacement fighter would come out on top after taking the fight and earning what was the fight of the night. Although Miller would showcase his talents the rest of the fight card would fall a little short of the build-up becoming yet another pay per view disappointment.

Even with the disappointing main card there was enough to earn $65,000 bonuses for the best performances of the night. The “Fight of the Night” would go to Lauzon and Miller for their war that became a late candidate for fight of the year. The rest of the bonuses would reside in the undercard as the KO f the night and Submission of the night would go to two great undercard performers. The “Knockout of the Night” would go the Todd Duffee who made his return to the UFC with a Facebook Fight and would earn the first round KO over Phil DeFries. The “Submission of the Night” would go to the first fight of the night as John Moraga would earn the bonus with a Guillotine Choke victory in the third round against Chris Cariaso. The Undercard would shine at UFC 155 while the main card would fall short of expectations in what is quickly becoming a pattern in the UFC.

 

Fight Results

Main Event:
Cain Velasquez def. Junior “Cigano” Dos Santos [Heavyweight Title]
(Unanimous Decision)

 

Main Card:
Jim Miller def. Joe “J-Lau” Lauzon
(Unanimous Decision)

Costa Philippou def. Tim “The Barbarian” Boetsch
(TKO, Rd. 3)

Yushin “Thunder” Okami def. Alan “The Talent” Belcher
(Unanimous Decision)

Derek Brunson def. Chris “The Crippler” Leben
(Unanimous Decision)

 

Undercard:
Eddie Wineland def. Brad “One Punch” Pickett
(Split Decision)

Erik “Gotye” Perez def. Byron Bloodworth
(TKO, Rd. 1)

Jamie Varner def. Melvin “The Young Assassin” Guillard
(Split Decision)

Myles “Fury” Jury def. Michael “The Menace” Johnson
(Unanimous Decision)

Todd Duffee def. Phil “S11” DeFries
(KO, Rd. 1)

Max “Blessed” Holloway def. Leonard “Bad Boy” Garcia
(Split Decision)

John Moraga def. Chris “Kamikaze” Cariaso
(Submission; Guillotine Choke, Rd. 3)

 

Upcoming Fights:

UFC on FX 7: Belfort vs. Bisping (Saturday January 19th; 9:00 pm EST)
– Free Live on FX/Sportsnet
– Sao Paulo, Brazil (Ibirapuera Arena)
Main Event: “The Phenom” Vitor Belfort vs. Michael “The Count” Bisping
Notable: Gabriel “Napao” Gonzaga vs. Ben Rothwell

UFC on Fox 6: Johnson vs. Dodson (Saturday January 26th; 8:00 pm EST)
– Free Live on Fox/Sportsnet
– Chicago, Illinois (United Center)
Main Event: Demetrious “Mighty Mouse” Johnson vs. John “The Magician” Dodson [Flyweight Title]
Notable: Rampage Jackson vs. Glover Teixeira

UFC 156: Aldo vs. Edgar (Saturday February 2nd; 10:00 pm EST)
– Las Vegas, Nevada (Mandalay Bay Events Center)
Main Event: Jose “Junior” Aldo vs. Frankie “The Answer” Edgar [Featherweight Title]
Notable: “Suga” Rashad Evans vs. Antonio Rogerio Nogueira
Notable: Allistair “The Reem” Overeem vs. Antonio “Bigfoot” Silva

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