By Jaime C. Feal
Cain Velasquez got his revenge, and did so in an emphatic way. Although he was unable to finish Junior Dos Santos, Velasquez was all over him for five rounds. Velasquez used a steady diet of takedowns and ground and pound to control Dos Santos. Surprisingly, Velasquez also won the stand-up portion of the bout, and really asserted himself as a complete mixed martial artist. In the co-main event, Jim Miller exploded early with punches and cut Joe Lauzon wide open. Miller threw everything but the kitchen sink at Lauzon, but he just couldn’t put the gritty Massachusetts native away. Lauzon came back strong in the third and nearly finished the fight with a guillotine at the very end. However he ran out of time, and lost a decision in the action packed bout.
Middleweight Division (185 lbs.):
Yushin “Thunder” Okami (27-7 11-4 UFC) vs. Alan “The Talent” Belcher (18-6, 9-4 UFC)
The fighters begin pawing with the jab, Belcher throws the first kick. Belcher again with a head kick that is partially blocked. Okami with a one-two. Belcher slips an Okami combo nicely. Belcher throws a head kick and misses, falls on his back but springs back up. Okami clinches him and muscles him against the fence. Belcher working to get free, but Okami has him locked up, working knees now. Belcher falls on top of Okami in a scramble. “The Talent” working for a guillotine, pulls guard, loses the choke. Okami now in full guard working light ground and pound. “Thunder” being very tactical with his strikes, passes to side control. Okami may be looking for an arm-triangle here, but they are right up against the cage. Okami passes to side control now. Belcher scrambles to his knees, exposing his neck. Okami looking for a rear naked, Belcher looks at the clock as it winds down. 10-9 round for Okami.
Belcher goes back to the jab, Okami rushes in and gets double underhooks. Okami looks for a trip takedown and again Belcher winds up on top. Belcher goes for the same guillotine, pulls guard, and promptly loses the choke again. Okami passes to half guard. Yushin striking just enough to keep the ref from standing them back up. Ref stands them up while Yushin was in side control. Big straight right from Belcher wobbles Okami, but he recovers instantly. Okami again comes forward and looks to grapple on the cage. “Thunder” looking for a single, Belcher denies that. Okami still all over him, winning the round, drags him down. Okami in half guard. Ref stands them up again. Straight right from Belcher, round ends. 10-9 round for Okami.
Belcher comes out swinging wildly, clips Okami. Yushin falls but gets up. Belcher with his hands down now. Okami rushes Belcher against the cage, and again looks for the trip takedown. Belcher once again lands on top, except this time he wisely does not go for a guillotine. Belcher in full mount, Okami gives up the back. Belcher looking for a rear naked choke, Okami stands up and escapes. Now Belcher working for a standing guillotine, doesn’t look tight. Okami takes him down, slips out of the choke. Okami passes to half guard, then methodically to full mount. Crowd booing because Yushin not trying to finish. Okami holding him down, striking but not with bad intentions. Okami takes Belcher’s back, looking to flatten him out. Only ten seconds left, Yushin rides out the round. 10-9 round for Okami.
The judges score the fight 30-27, 30-27, and 29-28 for the winner by unanimous decision, Yushin “Thunder” Okami.
Middleweight Division (185 lbs.):
Tim “The Barbarian” Boetsch (16-4, 7-3 UFC) vs. Constantinos Philippou (11-2, 4-1 UFC)
Boetsch moving forward, looks for a takedown. Philippou has his back to the cage, but is upright and defending. Boetsch is able to muscle Philippou to the ground, but Philippou gets back up. “The Barbarian” is warned to stop grabbing the fence. Boetsch leaning on Philippou. The middleweights break, and Boetsch lands a nice inside leg kick. Good left hook to the body from Philippou. Another good inside leg from Boetsch. Philippou lands a huge right uppercut that Boetsch eats. Boetsch then nails a double leg takedown. Philippou just locking Boetsch up, earns a stand up. Good leg kick from Philippou, then a nasty combination that Boetsch takes on the chin no problem. Nice front kick from Boetsch knocks Philippou down to end the round. 10-9 round for Boetsch.
Boetsch has a broken hand, keeps shaking it out. In between rounds the corner just kept saying “ignore it and take him down.” Philippou clinches but eats a knee. The middleweights break, and Boetsch is split wide open from an accidental headbutt. Philippou with a nice jab. Boetsch gets poked in the eye, ref calls time. The fight resumes and Boetsch throwing kicks, shoots for a takedown. Philippou sprawls beautifully. Philippou sprawls again, and Boetsch pulls guard. Philippou is landing nice shots with the right hand. Philippou finishes the round strong with elbows and right hands from half guard. 10-9 round for Philippou.
Philippou absolutely stuff another takedown and gos back to heavy right hands. Boetsch in a world of hurt with a cut and broken hand. Boetsch doesn’t want to give up but clearly can’t see at all. Boetsch is a bloody mess, desperately shooting for a takedown, gets stuffed. Philippou lands a huge hammer fist, and more right hands, Boetsch is turtled and not defending himself. Ref Kim Winslow steps in and stops the contest.
Constantinos Philippou wins by TKO at 2:11 of Round 3.
Lightweight Division (155 lbs.):
Jim Miller (21-4, 10-3 UFC) vs. Joe Lauzon (22-7, 8-1 UFC)
Miller rushes forward with a combo and Lauzon starts covering up. Miller the aggressor here, clinches and knees to the body. Lauzon starting slow, Miller looking sharp. Good left hands by Miller, Lauzon just covers up. Miller throwing tenancious punchers, Lauzon looks rattled. Lauzon is on the cage geeting teed off one. Finally Lauzon fires back with a knee to the body. Miller again throwing bombs and staggers Lauzon. Good left hook from Lauzon. Miller starts destroying Lauzon with huge left hand after left hand. Miller tries for a standing arm-triangle, but Lauzon slips out. Lauzon is a bloody mess from the most recent onslaught on punches, and ref Yves Lavigne calls time for the doctor to check the cut. The fight resumes, and Miller lands a big knee. Miller looks sensational, more big shots from Miller. Lauzon answers with an uppercut. Miller just ate a big knee that backed him off. Nice right hand from Lauzon. Big left hand from Miller. Another combination from Miller continues to hurt Lauzon. Miller has completely mutilated Lauzon’s face. 10-9 round for Miller.
Lauzon tries a one-two. Miller going right back to heavy shots looking to finish this fight. Miller takes down Lauzon with ease. Miller passes to half guard, then to mount. Lauzon regains half guard. Big elbow from Miller, now looking for a choke. Lauzon escapes and gets on top. Miller goes to the butterfly guard, but not threatening with submissions. Lauzon slams him down, but not with much impact. Lauzon drops for a leg lock, Miller escapes. 10-9 round for Miller.
The fighters trade inside leg kicks. Then they trade hands, good combo from Lauzon. Miller now starting to look tired. Hard inside leg kick from Miller trips Lauzon. Miller lets Lauzon up and foes to the jab, then a knee to the body. Miller still putting it on Lauzon. More punches from each opponent, who are clearly very tired, but both extremely game. Good knee to the body from Lauzon. Nice left hand from Lauzon, now getting the better of the stand up. What a war. Uppercuts from Miller. Big leftuppercut from Miller. Lauzon is a bloody mess again, back to the cage, getting teed off on. Lauzon gets off the cage but is losing the stand up again. Good right hand by Miller. Lauzon drops down with a beautiful entry into a heel hook. Miller escapes, Lauzon goes to a power guillotine, runs out of time or else he might have finished it. 10-9 round for Lauzon.
The judges score the fight 29-28, 29-28, and 29-28 for the winner by unanimous decision, Jim Miller.
UFC Heavyweight Championship (265 lbs.):
Junior “Cigano” Dos Santos (15-1, 9-0 UFC) vs. Cain Velasquez (10-1, 8-1 UFC)
Cain quickly comes rushing in, very aggressive, gets a takedown, Junior reverses and gets back up. JDS quick as a cat in a voiding the second takedown attempt. Velasquez is pushing the pace, rushing forward. Good jab from Cain. Good jab in response from JDS. Velasquez tries for another takedown, but JDS escapes easily. Good hook to the body from “Cigano.” Cain doing good work with the jab, misses another takedown attempt. Velasquez clinches and knees to the body. Good jab from Velasquez. JDS is looking tired already. Hard leg kick from Velasquez. Cain drops JDS with a big shot, wow! JDS is hurt big time. We’ve never seen Dos Santos like this. JDS is crumbled against the cage, Cain is pouncing with right hand after right hand. This fight is in big time danger of being stopped, ref Herb Dean taking a close look. JDS doing just enough o survive and scramble, but Cain keeps getting dominating positions, and finishes the round pounding JDS some more. Dos Santos is already bloody, swollen, and wobbly on his way back to the corner. 10-9 round for Velasquez.
Junior swings and misses with a Hail Mary uppercut, Velasquez slams him down. JDS is completely exhausted, he is getting destroyed. Velasquez spinning to take the back, Cain is just so hungry and focused right now. Velasquez tears him down again with a takedown. Velasquez is absolutely destroying him. Cain has Dos Santos in so much trouble, just dominant position after dominant position. Dos Santos gets up and eats a knee for his troubles. Velasquez back on top of JDS, just battering him with punches. Velasquez rolls for an armbar, JDS escapes. Velasquez all offense, JDS all defense. Dos Santos completely bewildered, wouldn’t be surprised if the ref stops the fight at some point out of mercy. 10-8 round for Velasquez.
Dos Santos’ right eye is swollen almost completely shut. He is completely exhausted, but lands an uppercut and a right hook to the body. He’s trying to come back, but he can’t stop Velasquez’s takedowns anymore. JDS does get back up, but Velasquez is clinched up with him on the cage, right where he wants it. Left hook from JDS, dirty boxing from Cain. Big right hand, left hook combo from Velasquez. Dos Santos again with his back on the cage, getting worn down. Dos Santos is being exposed, we haven’t seen a champion dominated like this since Rich Franklin relinquished his title to Anderson Silva. Left hook to the body from Dos Santos, Velasquez walks right through it. Cain in complete terminator mode, owning this fight. Big combination from Velasquez, out striking Dos Santos. Shocking fight unfolding here. Velasquez briefly gets JDS down with a whizzer, but Dos Santos gets up. Good right hook from Velasquez, Dos Santos is exhausted. Nice uppercut from Dos Santos. 10-9 round for Velasquez.
Right hand from JDS, doesn’t have his usual sting on his punches. Decent left hook from Dos Santos. Hard leg kick from Velasquez, then presses JDS on the cage. Velasquez tries for a takedown, briefly gets him down, JDS gets up. Velasquez opts to clinch with Dos Santos again. Velasquez gets Dos Santos down with a single, on top in half guard. JDS works his way up. Dos Santos showing the heart of a champion this round. Big right hand from Velasquez, JDS turns away. Velasquez clinched up again with Dos Santos. Cain working dirty boxing, but eats an elbow on the break. Good right hand from Dos Santos. 10-9 round for Velasquez.
Dos Santos’ eye now swollen shut, final round. Velasquez shoots for a single, Ref Herb Dean warns JDS not to grab the fence. Good left to the body from Junior. Velasquez lands a nice jab. Good right hand from Dos Santos. Velasquez goes for a takedown, but JDS defends well. Velasquez gets JDS down with a trip, passes to side control. Velasquez looking to take his back, JDS regains half guard. Ground and pound from Velasquez, JDS gives up his back. Dos Santos gets back up. Cain in on a single, bails on it when he eats an uppercut. One minute to go in the title fight. Big head kick lands for Velasquez. Dos Santos did well to survive that beating and not get finished. A trilogy is probably in order, but not immediately. 10-9 round for Velasquez.
The judges score the fight 50-45, 50-44, and 50-43 for the winner by unanimous decision, and new UFC Heavyweight Champion, Cain Velasquez.