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By Rich Hansen, MMA Torch Columnist:
UFC 132: CRUZ VS. FABER
JULY 2, 2011
LIVE FROM LAS VEGAS< NV
MMA Torch is providing full coverage for tonight's UFC 132 card, emanating live from Las Vegas, NV. We will be providing live results of the fights that stream on Facebook, as well as live play by play of the fights televised on Spike and PPV.
- Jeff Hougland defeated Donny Walker via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 30-27)
- Anthony Njokuani defeated Andre Winner via unanimous decision (30-26, 30-26, 30-27)
- Brian Bowles defeated Takeya Mizugaki via unanimous decision (29-28, 30-27, 30-27)
=====SPIKE TV CARD=====
FIGHT ONE: GEORGE SOTIROPOULOS (Sots) VS. RAFAEL DOS ANJOS
ROUND ONE: Yves Lavigne is your referee. Sots comes out aggressively with his boxing. dos Anjos catches Sots and knocks him out with one huge right haymaker. dos Anjos landed a shot or two on the ground even as Lavigne was trying to pull him off.
WINNER: Rafael dos Anjos by KO at 0:59 of round one
STAR RATING: (**+) Nothing happened until the KO, but this was a fantastic KO for dos Anjos.
RAMIFICATIONS: Sotiropoulos is never going to sniff a title shot anymore. dos Anjos opened some eyes tonight, showing one punch KO power that nobody could have known he possessed. I think 30 players in the MMA Torch Betting contests had Sots in a parlay bet. Sorry, gentlemen (myself included).
Spike TV is broadcasting the 3-round fight between Anthony Njokuani and Andre Winner, beginning at 14 minutes past the hour. Spike/UFC are in a tough spot here, since Nicolas Cage doesn't have a crappy movie to promote with a 15 minute trailer, so they need to either shoehorn in a prelim fight that went to decision, or vamp for 15 minutes. You'd think with as many crappy movies that Nicolas Cage makes that they'd have a trailer ready to roll. Oh well.
Anyhow, point being that there will be some down time between not and the Guillard fight with Shane Roller.
FIGHT TWO: MELVIN GUILLARD VS. SHANE ROLLER
ROUND ONE: Josh Rosenthal is your referee. Amazed that this is Guillard's 59th pro fight. Guillard comes out fast with a head kick and flying knee, neither of which hit. Guillard is about 42 times faster than Roller. Guillard catches Roller in the eye. Fight continues 30 seconds later. Guillard is keeping his hands down, and eats a hook as pennance. Next exchange, in the time it takes Roller to throw one hook, Guillard lands a left uppercut, right hook combo knocking Roller down hard. Roller gets back up, but gets knocked down again. Three more shots on the ground, and it's ALL OVER.
WINNER: Melvin Guillard by KO at 2:12 of round one.
POST FIGHT: Guillard gives a nice interview to Rogan, giving credit to his family and friends back home in Nawlins. Doesn't want a title shot until the good Lord says so. Begs the UFC for a shot on the Houston card, though.
STAR RATING: (**+) Melvin Guillard is fantastic.
RAMIFICATIONS: Roller's going to be lucky to keep his job. Guillard is one win away from a title shot, and he could make the case for it right now.
We're more than 10 minutes from the beginning of the PPV. Unfortunately, Nicolas Cage was unable to churn out a new movie to pimp, so Goldy and Rogan are going to have to vamp for a long, long time.
(Apropos of nothing... I like the gladiator and crap nu-metal intro.)
FIGHT ONE: CARLOS CONDIT VS. DONG HYUN KIM
ROUND ONE: Stun Gun came out to the PRIDE theme music, despite never fighting for PRIDE. He was signed to them when Zuffa bought them out, though. Steve Mazzagatti is your referee. Both guys feeling each other out for the first 30 seconds. Condit takes a head kick. Condit shoots, Kim takes him down, pushes him to the cage. Condit sweeps, gets mount, goes for a guillotine, Kim escapes, and we're back to standing 1:15 minute in. Awesome stalemate, more or less. Condit tries the Belcher Superman punch, but was too far from the cage to pull it off. not a lot of action, Condit making sure to stay on the outside. Condit's landing a couple of shots, but nothing huge here. Condit with a flying knee that knocks Kim down against the cage. Flurry of punches, and this fight is freaking over!
WINNER: Carlos Condit by TKO at 2:56 of round 1.
POST FIGHT: Condit thanks his training camp without mentiong the camp (Jackson's) by name. Rogan talks about how sick Condit was in training, asked Condit if he was close to pulling out of the fight (No). Condit asked Joe Silva is he (Condit) was ready for a title shot.
STAR RATING: (***-) Both of these guys are supremely talented. I loved the exchange on the mat at the first minute. That, combined with the highlight reel KO, bumps this KO above the two KOs from earlier in the evening.
RAMIFICATIONS: Condit's flying knee KO is going to resonate in Dana White's head after GSP/Diaz. He might have moved himself to the next title shot after Nick Diaz. Jon Fitch shed a single tear.
FIGHT TWO: RYAN BADER VS. TITO ORTIZ
ROUND ONE: Mario Yamasaki is your referee. Tito looks as good physically as he has in years. bader throwing low kicks early, while they feel each other out. More than a minute in, still a lot of circling, nothing of note landing. Crowd starts chanting for Tito. Tito drops Bader with a short right hook to the jaw, gets on top of Bader and goes for a guillotine on the ground. Bader taps, it is all over! I'm in total shock.
WINNER: Tito Ortiz by submission at 1:56 of round one.
POST FIGHT: Tito immediately goes for the gravedigger routine. I'm surprised he remembered how to do it since he hasn't had the chance to do it for five years.
STAR RATING: (***) I'm as big of a Tito Ortiz detractor as there is, but that was phenomenal. Tito thanks Dana and Lorenzo, and is clearly ecstatic. Tito did about 42 Ric Flair WHOOOOOs, and thanked his team and his boys.
RAMIFICATIONS: Ryan Bader has now lost two in a row, and one of them was to an old guy who had not won a fight in 42 fights. As for Ortiz, um, I don't know what's next because I never for a moment thought he had a chance in hell of winning.
FIGHT THREE: DENNIS SIVER VS. MATT WIMAN
ROUND ONE: Yves Lavigne is your referee. No touch of the gloves. They trade simultaneous leg kicks right off. More striking in the first 20 seconds of this fight than in the first 20 seconds of the first two fights on the PPV combined. Wiman shots, stuffed. both guys are being aggressive here. Siver ducks under a Wiman head kick that had nasty intentions. Both guys throwing leg kicks like crazy here. Exchange of fists, Wiman closes the ditance, Siver gets away, reset. Wiman gets a takedown, but Siver pops up immediately. Wiman has double underhooks on Siver, in the fence. Siver defending the takedown well. Wiman drops under, grans a single, but Siver defending well. Wiman's gonna get guillotined here if he doesn't give up the single here. It's a stalemate. Siver got the guillotine, but let it go to land 2 shots and escape from the cage. Back to the middle. Siver with the takedown in the middle of the cage. Wiman is looking for a kimura, but Siver pulls out. Steps away, and back to our feet. Siver fakes a superman and goes for a single leg. Lets it go because he had no leverage. Siver's starting to land, and Wiman pushes Siver into the cage. Take down for Wiman, into side control.
Hansen's Scorecard: 10-9 Wiman. Could go either way, but the round was fought more in Wiman's preferred style than Siver's.
ROUND TWO: Wiman grabs a Siver kick, tries to take Siver down with it but just pushes him into the cage. Grapple grapple grapple, and the crowd gets restless. Wiman's working for the takedown against the cage, Siver's defending well by grabbing Wiman's neck which forces Wiman to regroup. 2 minutes into the round, and Wiman gets the takedown, in Siver's guard, and not up against the cage. Siver's got a cut, high on his forehead, from a Wiman elbow. Siver's doing well to defend from the bottom, but Wiman's landing here and there. More elbows are starting to get through. 2:15 left in the round. more elbows, Siver is starting to really feel these now. Siver is doing a worse job of controllong Wiman's posture. Siver's forehad is bleeding heavily. Wiman's unloading hammer fists now, about 5 seconds at a time. 1 minute left. 5 right elbow in a row, and Siver's bleeding from multiple cuts. This is reminiscent of the third round between Fitch and Penn, but there's blood, and it's not against the cage.
Hansen's Scorecard: 10-9 Wiman. That is as dominant as a 10-9 round can be without being 10-8.
ROUND THREE: Wiman pushes Siver up against the cage, Siver stuffs a takedown. Back to the middle of the cage, the pace has slowed from both guys. Siver lands his Andy Hug like spinning back kick (I kid). Wiman's corner is yelling 1-1-2, and 2-3-2, and he listens and tries every time. Wiman is having his way standing this round, although Siver's landing some as well. Wiman shoots, stuffed. 2 minutes left, and this round is slower than anything else on the PPV so far. Stalemate against the cage, Wiman going for a choke, loses it. Goes for an omaplata, loses that as well. Both men in the middle. siver kicks, gets taken down, and siver's got 30 seconds left to get a fluke finish. Siver gets out, but only 20 seconds left. Siver knocks Wiman down, but Wiman flails and grabs a leg. Fight ends with Siver looking for a choke.
Hansen's Scorecard: 10-9 Siver. The round picked up as it went along. This is Wiman's fight, 29-28. Great performance by Wiman.
WINNER:Dennis Siver by Unanimous Decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
POST FIGHT: Wiman stormed out of the cage as soon as Siver's name was announced. This was a robbery.
STAR RATING: (*+) Too much cage work for my tastes, but both guys are good fighters and fought well. The awful decision took a full star away.
RAMIFICATIONS: More would be fans stop watching MMA because these judges don't know what in the hell they are doing.
FIGHT FOUR: WANDERLEI SILVA VS. CHRIS LEBEN
ROUND ONE: Josh Rosenthal is your referee. Silva takes the center of the cage. Both guys trading haymakers. Silva is down, Leben attacks on the ground, and this fight is over fast.
WINNER: Chris Leben by KO at 0:27 of round 1
POST FIGHT: Wanderlei was knocked so loopy that he started fighting the referee after Leben was pulled off of Silva. Very sad. Silva is toast. Leben dropped a Holy S*** on the mic. He's fired up. Leben says he might have a broken nose. Leben called Silva his hero.
STAR RATING: (***) Would be higher, but I feel sad seeing punch drunk veterans get beaten down.
RAMIFICATIONS: Silva needs to retire. Leben is back to being a very marketable high level gatekeeper. There is going to be serious competition for KO of the night.
It is 10:30 Eastern (7:30 AM in Abu Dhabi), which means we have 90 minutes left to go. and the fights that haven't been on TV all stink. Please Nicolas Cage, make a movie trailer FAST. It doesn't have to be for a real movie, it can be for a fake movie like Grindhouse. It worked for Danny Trejo after all.
Goldy just interviewed Jason Momoa. I don't know who that is. Maybe had I paid attention to the interview I would know.
Rather than air one of the boring decision victories from the prelims, UFC is going to start setting up the main event at 10:36 PM.
FIGHT FIVE: UFC BANTAMWEIGHT CHAMPION DOMINICK CRUZ VS. URIJAH FABER
ROUND ONE: Steve Mazzagatti is your referee. Crowd loves Faber, dislikes Cruz. The fight begins with no touching of gloves. Cruz lands on his first punch. Faber fakes a shot. Crowd loves Animal House, as they are chanting for Faber. Faber takes Cruz' back standing, but can't finish it. Faber lands a left as he pushes away. Cruz lands a couple of kicks in the middle. Fast pace so far, of course. Cruz constantly changing stances, and uses that to throw kicks as he changes stances. Cruz lands a knee as Faber lands a punch. Cruz down, but pops up immediately. Not a slip, but not exactly a knockdown, either, you know? Both guys look good. Faber consistently landing the last shot when they separate from each other. Cruz is so weird to watch (I like it). He throw punches like Dan Quisenberry pitches (I just dated myself). 90 seconds left. Faber grabs Cruz and puts him into the cage. Lands two punches as they separate. Great action here. Another exchange, Cruz wins that one. 20 seconds left. Both guys have brought their A-games. Great round.
Hansen's Scorecard: 10-9 Faber. Could go either way, but Faber wins the round because he's landing more in each exchange.
ROUND TWO: Faber goes for a takedown, stuffed. Pace is slightly less frenetic. I wrote that right as Goldy talked about how frenetic the first round was. 1 minute in. Cruz lands a hook, then a combo. Well done by Cruz. Cruz with a leg kick, then again a few moments later. Faber with a big right, Cruz shakes it off. 2 minutes in. Cruz charges, Faber ducks away. Faber is landing more than anyone has on Cruz in years, but it's not like he's doing damage. 2 minutes left. Cruz is not landing much anymore. both guys missed haymakers. Cruz starting to breathe hard. Lots of punches from both guys that are hitting air. Faber caught Cruz right a right, knocking Cruz down against the cage. Cruz gets up before Faber can really capitalize. Cruz with a takedown with 30 seconds left. In guard. Urijah scranbles to his feet, and lands a left hook on the way out.
Hansen's Scorecard: 10-9 Faber, 20-18 Faber. Cruz did nothing other than a couple random shots and a takedown that did no damange.
ROUND THREE: Faber lands a leg kick. Cruz is going forward more than usual tonight, and he's down 2-0 on my cards. Less side to side than usual. Weird fight so far. they clinch, break apart, and Cruz lands a glancing high kick. Both guys are missing a zillion strikes apiece. 2 minutes in, lots of moving, but not a lot of contact. Nice exchange as I say that. Cruz is landing more in the third than in the first two rounds. Faber seems confused, but that's normal when fighting Cruz. Faber sets up a shot with a front kick. Gets his back, but Cruz scrambles out and gets on top. Then Faber escapes, gets up, and lands a right hand. Nice action. Cruz with a lunging left. 90 secons left. Cruz with a right kick left kick combo, but not much damage being done. This is destined to go the distance, unless there is a flash submission. 1 minute left. Faber misses another wild haymaker, Cruz lands a straight right. Cruz still breathing heavy. Faber shoots, crowd begging for a knee, but it never comes. Cruz reverses, pushes Faber into the fence as the horn sounds.
Hansen's Scorecard: 10-9 Cruz, 29-28 Faber.
ROUND FOUR: Cruz lands a fast combination. Faber with a shot of his own. 1 minute in, Faber knocks down Cruz with a big right. By the time Faber charges in, Cruz is back up, and barely escapes the follow up strike. Crowd begging Faber to win. Faber shoots, stuffed, lands a hook and an uppercut. Pace is slowing, especially on Cruz' part. As I type that, Cruz lands a nice kick to the body. Cruz is fatiguing, and lands another lunging left. Faber stuffs a Cruz takedown attempt. Nice exchange in the middle as Cruz lands a right hook. Cruz is not setting up his strikes well right now, lots of lunging left uppercuts. Faber comes over the top with a right. Cruz swings for the fences and misses. 30 seconds left. Cruz goes for another takedown, stuffed, and Faber pushes Cruz into the fence. Cruz reverses, and the round ends.
Hansen's Scorecard: 10-9 Faber, 39-37 Faber. this fight could be scored pretty much any way, but this was Faber's best round.
ROUND FIVE: Cruz comes out hyper-aggressive, landing knees and a head kick. Cruz has Faber pressed into the cage, and is trying to take his back standing. Loses his back, but still has Faber into the cage. They break, but Faber doesn't land on the way out. 90 seconds in. Faber lands a knee, gets taken down, pops back up and lands a left as they break. Cruz retreats. How do you score this? Cruz throws a hook, Cruz ducks under and takes him down. Faber escapes, doesn't land on the way out. Faber with a jab, clinch, takedown, Faber up, doesn't land on the way out. Again. Cruz has Faber into the fence, stalemate with 2 minutes left. Cruz backs off, doesn't eat a knee from Faber on the way out. Cruz iwth a leg kick, he's clearly winning the fifth round. 1 minute left, crowd is very loud. Cruz with another takedown, Faber up, and eats a knee to the head on the way back up. Cruz presses Faber into the cage, but nothing comes of it and they break with 20 seconds left. Round, and fight, ends with Cruz shooting.
Hansen's Scorecard: 10-9 Cruz, 48-47 Faber. This could go any score from 49-46 Faber to 49-46 Cruz.
WINNER: Dominick Cruz by Unanimous Decision (50-45, 49-46, 48-47)
POST FIGHT: Faber and Cruz embraced before the scores were read. Cruz gave Faber plenty of credit during the interview.
STAR RATING: (***) It's hard to score a Cruz fight, because there are so few fantastic exchanges in any Cruz fight. Cruz is elusive and lacks KO power, so his fights can be hard to watch sometimes. I thought Faber won the fight, and I assume lots of other people thought the same.
RAMIFICATIONS: If there's no immediate rematch, then I don't know where Faber goes from here. I would assume they get a rubber match booked fast, because Brian Bowles blew his shot by looking so uninspiring in his fight earlier in the evening.
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