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By: Jamie Penick, MMATorch Editor-in-Chief
UFC 146: DOS SANTOS VS. MIR
MAY 26, 2012
LIVE FROM LAS VEGAS, NEVADA
=====Facebook Preliminary Card Quick Results=====
--Mike Brown def. Daniel Pineda via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
--Glover Teixeira def. Kyle Kingsbury via submission (arm triangle choke) at 1:53 of the first round
--Paul Sass def. Jacob Volkmann via submission (triangle choke/armbar) at 1:54 of the first round
=====FX Preliminary Card======
-After again plugging the main and co-main event fights on tonight's preliminary card, Mike Goldberg welcomes fans to this four-fight prelims broadcast. The Facebook prelims got the night off to a fantastic start, and the UFC hopes that continues with four more excellent preliminary card matchups before we get to tonight's main card on pay-per-view.
FIGHT ONE: DAN HARDY VS. DUANE "BANG" LUDWIG (WELTERWEIGHT)
ROUND ONE: Both fighters circled around one another early on. Hardy landed the first strike of the fight with a short left jab almost a minute in. Ludwig then cracked Hardy with a right that hurt him. Hardy immediately grabbed for a clinch and pressed Ludwig to the cage. Ludwig landed a knee to the body. He added a couple more, along with a short forearm to the head. Hardy backed off with a really nice elbow and left hook, though. Hardy landed another nice combo and moved forward. Hardy landed a left, Ludwig landed a leg kick. Ludwig threw a head kick but it didn't reach. Hardy landed a leg kick. He popped in with a short combo. Ludwig landed a hard right. Hardy landed a hard left. Ludwig grabbed a thai clinch and landed a couple of hard knees as Hardy then drove him to the cage. Hardy landed a knee to the body. They traded strikes again and Hardy backed off the clinch. Hardy dropped Ludwig with a huge left hook! He then unleashed a big flurry of elbows on the ground that put Ludwig out cold and the ref stepped in. Hardy raised his arms after landing the left hook. After the stoppage he was absolutely ecstatic. He knelt down and kissed the mat in celebration. That's his first win since November of 2009.
WINNER: Hardy via KO at 3:51 of the first round
-Hardy said it's really good to be back. He said Ludwig's been kind of a hero to him, and he gave him a ton of respect after the fight.
STAR RATING: (***) Even if you're not a fan of Hardy's, that's still a feel-good type of finish. It's a bit like when Tito Ortiz picked up his win over Ryan Bader last summer. It was just a really long time coming, and after suffering four straight losses - which came after four straight wins got him to a title fight - this was huge for Hardy.
FIGHT TWO: JASON "MAYHEM" MILLER VS. C.B. DOLLAWAY (MIDDLEWEIGHT)
ROUND ONE:: Miller danced around in the center a bit as Dollaway circled on the outside. Miller then rocked Dollaway with a punch. Miller rushed at him, then tried to lock on a guillotine choke. Dollaway worked out and got Miller's back. Miller stood, but got taken down again. Dollaway kept his back as Miller stood up again. Miller grabbed a headlock and landed a couple of punches to get turned around. Dollaway landed a left. Miller continued moving forward. Dollaway landed a jab. Miller landed a right. Miller's knee went out on him and Dollaway came after him. Dollaway kept control of Miller's body on the ground. Dollaway wasn't doing much and the crowd booed. Miller got turned around at the cage. Dollaway completed another takedown and locked up Miller's right arm behind his back. He used it to move to mount. Miller gave up his back but got to the cage. Dollaway landed a knee to the body as Miller stood up. They traded strikes as the round ended.
Penick's Scorecard: 10-9 Dollaway. Miller was ahead for the first couple of minutes, but his leg gave out on him there and he lost the round on his back.
ROUND TWO: Miller tried to be the aggressor, but he was clearly limping. He ate a couple of jabs from Dollaway. Miller landed a couple of hard punches and had Dollaway hurt. Miller tried to chase him down but again Dollaway regained his bearings and took Miller down. Miller tried to work to his feet on the cage. He finally stood. He got to a sprawl and Dollaway held a body lock. Miller landed a knee, then grabbed for a guillotine. The crowd booed Dollaway's stalling on the cage. He scored another takedown as Miller tried to grab a headlock. Dollaway wasn't doing anything on the ground and the crowd booed. Miller couldn't do anything from his back, either, though. Miller landed a couple of elbows from the bottom. Dollaway landed a hammerfist. Dollaway ended the round on top.
Penick's Scorecard: 10-10. Miller rocking Dollaway was the most significant offense of the round, but Dollaway spent the majority with top control. This is a weird fight, and Miller's not being helped by an injured knee here.
ROUND THREE: Miller swung some heavy shots early that landed, but then Dollaway immediately scored a takedown. Miller's takedown defense hasn't been good in the fight, but he's definitely being bothered by that knee. Dollaway locked up Miller's arm behind his back briefly, but Miller got free. Miller tried to scramble out, but Dollaway held control. He landed some strikes, then got Miller's back. Dollaway landed some short strikes. This fight is just ugly. The crowd booed again. Miller worked to his feet, but Dollaway picked him up and dropped him. Dollaway flattened Miller out and landed some strikes from back mount. Dollaway landed a few more punches, but just held control. Dollaway continued to stay busy with short punches. Miller just stood there taking the punches, and feigned indifference to them. Dollaway continued throwing, then Miller finally turned over. Dollaway got to half guard and the round ended to a chorus of boos.
Penick's Scorecard: 10-9 Dollaway. He didn't have much power, but Miller had nothing for him on the ground that round.
WINNER: Dollaway via unanimous decision (29-28, 30-26, 29-28)
-The crowd booed after the decision was read. Not at the decision, at the fight itself. Rogan called it an "excellent performance" from Dollaway, which is just all kinds of mind-boggling. Dollaway nearly got knocked out and mostly held control against an injured fighter who offered little resistance to anything he did on the ground.
STAR RATING: (*) The fight was ugly as all hell, and dragged down further by Miller's knee injury. Whether he would have had any answer for Dollaway's wrestling control with a healthy joint is debatable, but he had a really bad fight tonight, and it will probably be his last in the UFC considering the UFC's reaction to his loss to Bisping in December as well.
FIGHT THREE: EDSON BARBOZA VS. JAMIE VARNER (LIGHTWEIGHT)
ROUND ONE: Barboza took the center. He landed an early leg kick. He connected on another one shortly thereafter. Varner circled on the outside. Barboza threw a head kick, but Varner ducked under it and scored a takedown. Varner tried to work from the top, but Barboza kicked him off and got to his feet. He landed a nice strike and a couple more leg kicks. Varner landed a couple of nice strikes that drove Barboza. Varner landed a body punch. Varner hurt Barboza and pressed him to the cage. Varner continued the assault on the ground and finally the ref had to step in. That was an incredible return to the big stage for Jamie Varner!
WINNER: Varner via TKO at 3:23 of the first round
-Varner said once you've been to the bottom you can appreciate where you've been. He said he didn't care if he won or lost tonight, he just wanted to put on a show.
STAR RATING: (***) Amazing return for Varner. He took a few of Barboza's leg kicks, then took the fight to him from then on. Barboza had never lost in his career, and had been fantastic in the UFC through four fights. This was a legitimate young talent, and Varner took the fight on short notice. Just an incredible performance, and the former WEC Champ is now 4-1 since going winless in four straight in the WEC in 2010.
FIGHT FOUR: DIEGO BRANDAO VS. DARREN ELKINS (FEATHERWEIGHT)
ROUND ONE: Elkins circled around the outside early. Brandao landed a nice superman punch with a kick. Elkins ducked under a strike and tried for a takedown. Brandao nearly countered, but Elkins stayed on him. Brandao then grabbed for a kimura and reversed into mount. Elkins escaped and moved to guard. Elkins tried for a kimura of his own, but Brandao got out and backed away. Brandao sprawled on a takedown attempt and then they traded strikes. Brandao then landed a huge flying knee and scored a takedown into side control. Elkins was definitely hurt by that knee. Brandao landed some elbows, and tried to pass to mount. Elkins kicked him off and he backed away. Brandao stalked as Elkins had his back to the cage. Brandao countered a punch with a really nice strike. He hurt Elkins with a few more and Elkins was dropped to his back. Brandao engaged on the ground and got to side control. Elkins tried to get out but Brandao got out. Elkins then dropped in with a huge right hand. He landed a few more as Elkins recovered guard. Brandao landed another big right. Brandao's strikes are really well placed for the most part. He stood up again and dropped down with a couple more big strikes. Brandao ended the round in the guard. Good start.
Penick's Scorecard: 10-9 Brandao. Almost damage enough for a 10-8, but not quite. Still, fantastic round for Brandao. Really accurate strikes, and they're almost all damaging.
ROUND TWO: Elkins looked to engage early, but it was Brandao landing the first major strike of the round with a nice knee. Brandao landed an uppercut, but ate a counter right from Elkins. Elkins landed a couple of strikes. Brandao landed a side elbow. Brandao slipped on a front kick and Elkins got into his guard. Brandao landed an elbow from his back. Brandao kicked Elkins off and landed an upkick, but he ate a few strikes from Elkins. Elkins got back to half guard, but Brandao regained guard. Elkins stayed busy in the guard and passed to half guard. He passed to full mount with a minute to go. Elkins started landing some big strikes in the mount. Brandao tried to defend. He bucked out of the mount, but Elkins stayed on top. Elkins rode out the round on top, and he's right back in this.
Penick's Scorecard: 10-9 Elkins. Completely different round. Elkins had some nice work from the top on the ground, and Brandao slowed considerably. He needs to find some energy for the third frame.
ROUND THREE: Elkins scored a takedown early in the round after a couple of exchanges. Elkins moved up in the half guard and landed a couple of elbows. Elkins continued to work from top position. He passed to full mount again with half the round left. Brandao got half guard back, but Elkins continued working from top position. Brandao tired himself out looking for the finish in the first. Elkins landed a vicious series of body punches and looked for a guillotine from the top. He finally let it go, and Brandao tried to get to his feet. He did, and then dropped down onto Elkins with a big right hand from the top. Brandao tried to posture up, but Elkins held control of his body. Brandao landed a couple of strikes from the top, as the round came to a close.
Penick's Scorecard: 10-9 Elkins. There wasn't a ton of action on the ground, but Elkins worked effectively for three minutes on top. Not enough for a 10-8, and if Brandao got a 10-8 first (as he may rightfully have), this could be a draw. Good on Elkins for a big comeback after the first round though.
WINNER: Elkins via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
-Elkins said his whole camp was about surviving the first few minutes and going from there. That worked for him as he took over after a very good onslaught from Brandao in the first round.
STAR RATING: (**+) That was a very solid fight. Elkins is extremely tough, and he survived what was a very good first round from the Ultimate Fighter's 14th season winner. However, Brandao didn't have the cardio to compete with Elkins down the stretch, and he paid for it tonight.
=====Pay-Per-View Main Card=====
-It's been an excellent night of preliminary card fights overall, with several surprising finishes setting the stage for the UFC's first all-heavyweight main card under the Zuffa banner. Tonight's going to feature a lot of big men throwing leather, and it should be a fantastically entertaining main card. Rogan and Goldberg welcomed the pay-per-view audience with a rundown of what's on tonight's main card.
FIGHT FIVE: STEFAN STRUVE VS. LAVAR JOHNSON (HEAVYWEIGHT)
ROUND ONE: Johnson tried to rush Struve early and landed a good uppercut as he pressed him to the cage. Johnson tried to work in the clinch. Struve then pulled guard and threw up for an armbar. He got it locked on and Johnson tapped. Johnson's arm may be broken. He tapped immediately and Struve let it go as soon as he felt the tap, before the ref could get there. That went as expected.
WINNER: Struve via submission (armbar) at 1:05 of the first round
STAR RATING: (**) That went exactly as most expected it to happen as soon as the fight hit the ground. Pulling guard was the smart move on Struve's part. He avoided the power of Johnson, and one the fight where he was clearly better. Smart performance and another win for the 24-year-old.
FIGHT SIX: STIPE MIOCIC VS. SHANE DEL ROSARIO (HEAVYWEIGHT)
ROUND ONE: Miocic stalked early. Del Rosario landed a good body kick. He landed a kick low. He went to the body again. Miocic landed a leg kick and a right. Del Rosario tried to rush in but didn't connect. Miocic landed a right in the midst of a flurry. Del Rosario covered up well as he came in again. Del Rosario landed another hard kick to the body that hurt Miocic. He landed it again. Del Rosario again went to the body, then mixed it up with a couple kicks to the legs. He covered up as Miocic landed several short strikes. Del Rosario again went to the body with the kick. Again he landed it. Del Rosario landed a short flurry, but Miocic backed off. Miocic connected on a solid right. Del Rosario covered up and defended another flurry. Del Rosario missed a head kick. Miocic got through with a punch. He ate another body kick. Del Rosario ducked under a punch and landed a big uppercut. Miocic recovered quickly. He landed another leg kick. He got in a knee to the body. He grabbed a clinch and they traded knees at the cage. Miocic landed a left after they separated. Del Rosario landed another combination. Miocic ducked under a punch and scored a takedown late. He landed an elbow, but let Del Rosario up before the horn.
Penick's Scorecard: 10-9 Del Rosario. Very good round. He attacked well, and defended just as well throughout the round. This is only the second time he's left the first round, though, so we'll see how his cardio holds up.
ROUND TWO: Del Rosario continued the attack with his kicks to start the round. Miocic engaged but ate another kick to the body. He landed a couple of good punches but they were blocked. Miocic scored a takedown and landed a couple of punches as he dropped into side control. He stepped into mount but Del Rosario got back to half guard. Miocic stood and dropped down with some hammer fists. He landed a knee to the body and tried to stay active on top. He landed a couple of short forearms to the face. Del Rosario's nose began bleeding. Miocic continued landing and then moved to the mount. Del Rosario regained half guard, but Miocic stayed on top, bloodying Del Rosario's face up. He hurt him with a big series of elbows and forearms and the ref stepped in. Great turnaround by Miocic. Impressive second round after the first.
WINNER: Miocic via TKO at 3:14 of the second round
-Miocic gave Del Rosario credit for hitting hard.
STAR RATING: (**+) Miocic had a very solid performance in a good heavyweight fight. Del Rosario's striking was superior in the first round, but Miocic's wrestling was the difference, and his ground and pound was very damaging in that second round. He also had good recognition of the situation when Del Rosario was hurt there. Good stuff.
FIGHT SEVEN: ROY NELSON VS. DAVE HERMAN (HEAVYWEIGHT)
ROUND ONE: Herman towered over Nelson, and walked forward early with a few straight kicks. He landed a knee to the body and avoided the counter from Nelson. Herman landed a push kick. Nelson dropped Herman with a huge overhand right that crumpled him. He landed one more on the ground and Steve Mazzagatti stepped in. Herman then popped to his feet, but the second punch woke him up. That was a good stoppage.
WINNER: Nelson via KO at :51 of the first round
-Nelson thanked Herman for taking the fight after losing two other opponents. He thanked all the fans who came out to the event.
STAR RATING: (**) Not much to that one, but it provided an awesome sight as Herman crumpled from the right hand. Nelson's got that power with that overhand right, and he gets his second win in three fights.
-A replay of Dan Hardy's win over Duane Ludwig is up next.
-More prelim action is fit in with tonight's main card running quick. Next up is Jamie Varner's upset win over Edson Barboza.
FIGHT EIGHT: CAIN VELASQUEZ VS. ANTONIO "BIGFOOT" SILVA (HEAVYWEIGHT)
ROUND ONE: Velasquez immediately scored a trip takedown and went to work. He stood up and landed some strikes as Silva tried to cover up. Velasquez landed a solid elbow as he tried to pass. He landed a nasty elbow that split Silva open. He landed another elbow and a series of strikes. Silva was bleeding profusely. Silva continued to attack. That's just a ton of blood. Silva tried to grab for a leg lock and Velasquez backed away. The action was halted to check the cut. The cut was right between the eyes. The doctor gave him the go ahead. The action was restarted on the ground. Velasquez went back on the attack and continued landing big strikes. The blood was awful on Silva's face as Velasquez continued to hold him on his back. Silva got to his knees and Velasquez took his back. Silva tried to roll out, but Velasquez stayed on him. Velasquez landed some big strikes that hurt Silva, and then he unleashed a flurry as Silva tried to cover up. That prompted the stoppage. That was a total and complete ass kicking by the former Champ.
WINNER: Velasquez via TKO at 3:36 of the first round
-Velasquez called the win a step in the right direction. He said his teammate Daniel Cormier gave him some ideas on how his fight with Silva went.
STAR RATING: (***) That was a fantastic and gruesome beating by Velasquez to put himself right back in line for a title shot. He beat the hell out of Silva for the entirety of that round, and after opening one of the worst bleeding cuts in UFC history he still got the first round finish. Excellent work by Velasquez.
MAIN EVENT FIGHT NINE: JUNIOR DOS SANTOS VS. FRANK MIR (HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMPIONSHIP)
ROUND ONE: Mir closed the distance early and shot in for a takedown. He tried to pull guard and grab a leg but dos Santos broke free and forced him to stand. Dos Santos landed a jab. He landed a hook as Mir tried to close the distance. Mir landed a left. Mir tried to stalk as the Champ circled on the outside. Dos Santos landed a left as Mir connected on a leg kick. Dos Santos landed a nice combination. Mir landed another leg kick, but ate a jab to land it. Mir landed a left and a short right hand behind it. Dos Santos landed a hard body punch. He landed a few jabs. Much slower pace to this fight than we've seen the rest of the main card. Both prepared to go deep if necessary. They traded strikes. Dos Santos tagged Mir with a big strike. He unleashed a huge flurry on the cage and Mir was hurt. He dove for a single leg but dos Santos backed off. Mir stood slowly and moved ahead as the horn sounded.
Penick's Scorecard: 10-9 dos Santos. He was winning a close round as it was, but the final 20 seconds certainly sealed it for him. Mir can't stand with him much longer.
ROUND TWO: Mir tried to move forward early. Dos Santos cracked him with a straight right. The Champion was gaining confidence. He landed a big short flurry. He knocked Mir down with a nice punch, then made him stand up. Mir almost connected on a left. He then connected on it. Mir threw a side kick. He tried to press in but got hit with a left. It may have poked him in the eye, but ref Herb Dean said he had to keep fighting on. Dos Santos landed a right. Dos Santos threw an uppercut to the body. The pace slowed a bit. Mir landed a couple of leg kicks. He landed a knee. Dos Santos dropped him with another right. He landed a few strikes on the ground, then backed off as Mir tried to engage his arm. Mir flopped over and couldn't stand, and the fight was called off. Slightly anticlimactic, but dos Santos was clearly on another level in the striking game than Mir, and his takedown defense is still quite excellent. Very smart fight by dos Santos tonight.
WINNER: Dos Santos via TKO at 3:04 of the second round
-An ecstatic dos Santos said he was feeling awesome. He said the fight was amazing, then said "not bad for a nice guy, huh?" He again made it clear he didn't care about the Mir-Nogueira fights, and said he came to defend his belt tonight and that's what he did. He did say Mir can take a punch, and that he hurt his hand. Dos Santos brought in the young boy from his gym in Brazil whose family dos Santos (and the UFC) flew to Vegas for this fight. He put him on his shoulders.
-Mir was interviewed. He said dos Santos was fast, hit hard, and hurt him. He said dos Santos is a very dangerous guy. Mir said he didn't want a boxing match, but he was forced into it.
STAR RATING: (**+) It wasn't a classic title fight, and it went about as expected as Mir couldn't bring the fight to the ground, but it was still a very smart performance by the Champion in making his first title defense.
-The opening bout between Mike Brown and Daniel Pineda makes the broadcast with a full hour left in the pay-per-view time.
-Glover Teixeira's immensely impressive UFC debut made the pay-per-view broadcast as well, the third time it has aired tonight.
-With more time still remaining, more prelims make the broadcast. Up next is the Jacob Volkmann vs. Paul Sass bout, meaning all three Facebook fights made the broadcast tonight.
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Jamie Penick, editor-in-chief
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