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KELLER' UFC 131 BLOG
JUNE 11, 2011
LIVE ON PPV
-Boy, Sam Stout's celebration during the post-win interview with Yves Edwards was interrupted briefly when Joe Rogan noted Edwards hadn't gotten up yet and he hoped he was okay. But he apparently stood up during the promo as we got the applause from the crowd as he spoke. That was a knockout you'll have a hard time forgetting.
1 -- DONALD CERRONE vs. VAGNER ROCHA -- Lightweight
-I loved how in the pre-fight interview Rocha said he isn't going to make any predictions, then he went on to say the fight will end by submission, which submission, and that he'd be the won winning. That, my friend, is a prediction.
-Great line from Rocha's corner after round one: "Keep moving and don't get kicked so much."
-Rogan thought Cerrone should pick up the pace and try to finish him. Greg Jackson agreed and said he needs to push it because "it could go either way right now." That's the right thing to say to motivate a fighter, but he wasn't serious. Or maybe he saw the opening prelim fight on Facebook. Cerrone easily had the first two rounds on points.
-Not sure why the crowd booed Rocha going for takedowns in the final minutes of the fight. It's not like standing there getting kicked or punched was working for him, so it was a legit shot in the dark to see if he could get Cerrone down, even if the odds weren't great.
-Rocha sat at the end of the fight and applauded Cerrone as Rogan said that is about as clear of a decision as you'll see. It seemed like Cerrone was in a higher weight class the way he just pushed him around at the end.
RESULTS: Cerrone (30-27, 30-27, 30-26)
STAR RATING (**+): Too one-sided to be anything near a great fight, but a good display of leg kicks and just doing what needs to be done to win.
2 -- JOHN-OLAV EIMENO vs. DAVE HERMAN - Heavyweight
-Herman came out to Culture Club's 1980s song "Do You Really Want to Hurt Me?" Goldberg said it'll be the first and the last to come out to Boy George.
-Goldberg wished Brock Lesnar luck in his recovery during Herman's ring intro.
-Herman smiled throughout the first round, like he had a private stand-up routine going on in his head. The edge barely goes to Eimeno for pushing the action a little more, but it's a pretty arbitrary call as that was close.
-It's hard to even describe what happened in the last two minutes of the fight. They were like zombies out there being shot, but not in the forehead yet. They each took bullets from each other and were rocked, but then methodically just kept going.
DECISION: Herman at 3:19 of round two.
STAR RATING (***): The word to describe that second round is just "strange." Very entertaining and a great finishing minute of solid stand up to finish Einemo.
-Rogan told Herman it looked like he had a good time in there. Herman said he's tired.
IN THE CROWD: Cain Velasquez.
3 -- DAMIEN MAIA vs. MARK MUNOZ - Middleweight
-Maia was impressive in outdoing Munoz in stand-up in the first round. Muzoz won the second round by turning it up and landing way more (and more effective) blows, while Maia was unable to be effective with jiu jitsu.
-They hugged before the third round, drawing some boos. I agree. Save that for post-fight.
-Rogan with a minute left in the fight: "What a great tactical battle." Exactly.
RESULT: Muoz (29-28, 29-28, 30-27).
-Dana White on Twitter: "The judge who ruled that 30-27 should be beat with a stick." Good for him. I had Maia winning a very close decision, but in no way did Munoz win that first round. Stunningly inept judging.
-Post-fight, a very likable Munoz was elated and said Maia really brought it early. He thanked those who helped him learn some jiu jitsu so know what to expect.
STAR RATING (***+): A very cool battle of two different core disciplines with both fighters showing surprising aptitude outside of their core strengths. Good start to finish. I almost went to four-stars-minus here.
4 -- KENNY FLORIAN vs. DIEGO NUNES
35 years old vs. 28 years old. Seven inch reach advantage for Florian. Several inch height advantage for Florian (5-6 vs. 5-10). Nunes is 16-1, Florian is 15-5.
-Rogan noted that Featherweight is just two pounds lighter than boxing's welterweight division, which is so popular with Oscar De La Hoya.
-Nunes won a close round by taking Kenny down with two punches very late in the round. Kenny went for a triangle off his back, but time was low and Nunes finished with some punches.
-Kenny evened it up in the second round. Nunes could barely make it back to his corner out of exhaustion and taking quite a beating. The last minute especially tilted to scales to Kenny.
-Rogan: "A lot of people questioned this weight cut. I don't think they're questioning it anymore." The only question is how prepared and good Nunes is. Was it a true three-round test or not? Or did Nunes give everything he had in that first, and that was it, and thus is it really a tough test for Florian. Then again, we know how good Florian is. The fact that he had to cut more weight should have worked against him, but that didn't appear to be a factor.
-Tons of respect to Nunes for bringing it the second half of the last round and not giving up. Nunes got a second wind mid-third and he even landed a big right that brought Kenny to one knee very late that could have been a lot worse for Kenny if the clock didn't expire three seconds later on the fight. Nunes is for real even if he did get
RESULT: Florian via decision (29-28, 29-28, 30-27).
POST-FIGHT: Kenny to Rogan on the weight cut: "That was the hardest thing I've done in my life." He said he loves Vancouver even as they booed him. He said other than the boos, he loves them. Rogan asked if he'll stay at 145. Florian said yes, he wants to make a run at the belt.
STAR RATING (***+)
5 -- JUNIOR DOS SANTOS vs. SHANE CARWIN -- Heavyweight
-Rogan called it a "real pick 'em fight."
-Rogan said Carwin needs to turn it into a dirty boxing match. He said it's not to his advantage trying to battle Junior's speed.
-Dos Santos came out to the theme to "Rocky."
-The ref had every right to stop that fight in the final minute, but the way Shane was able to stand at the end and walk to his corner justified his not stopping it. Shane ended the round a bloody mess.
-It was the cumulative effect of Dos Santos's repeated left jabs to his nose that softened Carwin for the beating he took at the end of round one.
-Rogan noted that Carwin's wife buried her head in her hands, not able to watch.
-Dos Santos didn't appear to be punched out entering the second, as Carwin did when he won that first round against Brock Lesnar in a similar looking first round with his role reversed.
-At 3:00 Carwin tagged Dos Santos and backed him up, creating some doubt that this was just a matter of time before Carwin went down. It also gave Carwin his first point of the second round, as they were most tentative up until that point in this round. Carwin also threw some leg kicks.
-By the end of the round, another round to Dos Santos as he picked up the pace and definitely outscored Carwin. Carwin was surviving and looking for one big show.
-After the second round, Carwin asked if he could blow his nose. His corner said no, because his nose might be broken.
-Dos Santos pelted Carwin throughout the opening four minutes. With a minute left the ref called timeout to have the doc check his vision. The doc okayed him. Dos Santos took him down twice in the final minute to add an exclamation mark. Carwin had Dos Santos's head wrapped pretty tight as the horn sounded after he was taken down, so it might have been interesting had there been 20-30 more seconds.
DECISION: Dos Santos (30-27, 30-27, 30-26).
STAR RATING (***): Not competitive enough to be Fight of the Night, but Carwin showed great heart and Dos Santos showed, quite definitively, he's a level above Carwin and very much a legit contender to be considered the best heavyweight in the sport. But he has to beat Cain first to earn that. This is a much better fight to come off of into the title fight than the Roy Nelson fight.
-Dos Santos is now 7-0 in UFC, 13-1 overall. Great sales pitch for his shot against Cain Velasquez.
POST-FIGHT: Dos Santos said, regarding being the no. 1 contender for the title, "That is awesome." They brought in Cain to talk about facing Dos Santos next.
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