By Jaime C. Feal
A huge card loaded with exciting matchups did not disappoint, as four of the five main card fights ended by way of knockout or submission. A third meeting between Cain Velasquez and Junior Dos Santos appears to be more imminent than ever. Both Heavyweights scored impressive Knockout victories, with Velasquez remaining champion and Dos Santos firmly entrenching himself as the #1 contender. Starting off the main card, Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone dominated KJ Noons en route to a unanimous decision victory. Cerrone both outstruck Noons and took him down, battering him with all sorts of elbows on the mat. By the end of the fight Noons was a bloody mess, a rude awakening in his UFC debut.
Lightweight Division (155 lbs.):
Gray “The Bully” Maynard (11-1-1, 9-1-1 UFC) vs. TJ Grant (20-5, 7-3 UFC)
Maynard pressing forward and Maynard landing with left hooks and an uppercut. Maynard again stings Grant with a punch. Another right counter hook lands for Maynard, Grant lands a right hand a short time later. Now both fighters are landing well, Grant has Maynard backed up against the cage and lands a knee. Maynard gets away then gets absolutely rocked b y a right hand from Grant. Maynard goes down hard, and Grant starts swarming on him with punches. Maynard tries to get up, only to eat another huge barrage of punches. Maynard gets up one last time. And Grant finishes him off with a series of devastating strikes. Finish was reminiscent of when Edgar TKO’d Maynard in the final match of their trilogy.
TJ Grant wins by TKO at 2:07 of Round 1.
Light Heavyweight Division (205 lbs.):
Glover Teixeira (20-2, 3-0 UFC) vs. James Te Huna (16-5, 5-1 UFC)
Teixeira goes for a takedown right away, Te Huna defends but eats a heavy right hand on the break. Te Huna trying to work leg kicks, Teixeira coming forward. Te Huna lands an uppercut, Teixeira takes him down with a single leg. Teixeira in half guard, looking to pass. Teixeira starting to work some ground and pound. Teixeira with a hard elbow, Te Huna just hanging on. Te Huna regains full guard. Teixeira passes right back to half guard. Te Huna tries to reverse, gets back to his feet. Teixeira working on an arm in guillotine, drops into full guard and really squeezes on the guillotine, which is fully locked in, Te Huna taps out about 4 seconds after hitting the mat.
Glover Teixeira wins by submission (guillotine choke) at 2:38
Heavyweight Division (265 lbs.):
Junior “Cigano” Dos Santos (15-2, 9-1 UFC) vs. Mark “Super Samoan” Hunt (9-7, 4-1 UFC)
Dos Santos pawing with the jab, trying to find his range. Hunt lands an outside leg kick. Nice lead left hook for Hunt. Counter left hook lands for Hunt. Now the Super Samoan comes forward, trying to land heavy punches, but JDS covers up nicely. Dos Santos with a HUGE overhand right that sends Hunt stumbling. Hunt gets up but eats some hard left hands from Dos Santos, and Hunt is wobbly. JDS still being cautious, respecting Hunt’s massive power. Hunt taking deep breaths, regaining his composure. JDS lands a jab to the body. Two minutes two go and Hunt looks recovered. JDS bleeding slightly under his right eye. Dos Santos lands a right hand. Spinning back fist misses for Hunt, JDS with a counter left. Dos Santos lands another very hard overhand right, and a left hook after it. Great round for JDS. 10-9 round for Dos Santos.
Nice leaping right hand for Hunt. Good right to the body from Do s Santos. Left hook for Hunt lands. Outside left kick for Hunt, JDS counters with a right. Crowd beginning to chant “Cigano.” Big right hand to the body lands for Hunt. Two jabs and a big right land for JDS. Stiff jabs land for Cigano. Big rights land for Hunt, Cigano gets off the cage nicely. Hunt plodding forward, eats two jabs. Hunt misses with a huge right. Hunt nails JDS with some big shots against the cage. Dos Santos survives and takes him down. JDS in half guard. Dos Santos landing short elbows, taking control of the round. Now JDS starts working in right hands, looking to pass to side control. JDS passes to side control and lands some goods elbows to end the round. 10-9 round for Dos Santos.
Hunt swings and misses with a wild right hand. JDS partially lands a right. Good counter right from Hunt, but JDS looks much fresher. Dos Santos still bouncing around, whereas Hunt is just plodding. Fight beginning to get a bit sloppy now, another swing and a miss for Hunt. Jab lands for Hunt, halfway through the final round. Dos Santos again lands his signature right. Hunt misses with a big overhand right. JDS lands a quick, hard uppercut. Nasty counter left staggers Hunt. Both fighters swing with huge punches but miss. Under a minute to go. Spinning wheel kick clips Hunt, who falls on his back. Hunt lands hard on his head and is already badly, badly hurt. Cigano jumps on top and lands another punch to seal the deal, knocking Hunt out bad. Statement win for Dos Santos.
Junior “Cigano” Dos Santos wins by KO at 4:18 of Round 3.
Heavyweight Division (265 lbs.):
Cain Velasquez (11-1, 9-1 UFC) vs. Antonio “Bigfoot” Silva (18-4, 2-1 UFC)
Velasquez immediately goes for a single leg, but Bigfoot hops out of it. Velasquez locks up with Silva, tries to throw him. Bigfoot gets away. Hard outside leg kick lands for the champion. Huge overhand right lands flush on the chin, Silva drops like a ton of bricks. Velasquez swarms all over Bigfoot, who is turtled up. Cain lands several hard right hands before the ref steps in to save him. Quick and impressive win for Velasquez.
Cain Velasquez wins by TKO at 1:21 of Round 1.