Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) rang in the New Year TONIGHT (Sat., Jan. 1, 2011) with an action-packed pay-per-view fight card from the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada.
It was a match up that most fans and pundits prematurely billed unworthy of a carrying a major PPV event, but boy did it deliver in more ways than one.
Maynard absolutely destroyed Edgar in the first round, battering and pummeling him almost into unconsciousness. Perhaps the only thing more amazing about Edgar's survival skills was his ability to come back and actually make it a close fight.
So close, in fact, that the judges scored it a draw after five rounds.
It was a far cry from their first encounter, which Maynard won via lopsided decision. What a difference two years makes. Both fighters have come a very long way.
Maynard came oh so close again, but his record remains perfect nonetheless. The only difference is that he doesn't have a belt to show for it -- Edgar still keeps it.
And it's only because he has the heart of a champion. There's no other way to describe how he made it through that first round and was able to escape with a draw.
Rematch, please. Immediately.Chris Leben didn't believe that Brian Stann -- who actually asked to fight "The Crippler" -- would stand and trade with the heavy-handed and hard-headed slugger. Those who do, sans middleweight champion Anderson Silva, typically end up supine, staring at the stadium light.
Not "All American."
The former WEC 205-pound champion stood toe-to-toe with Leben, as promised, and beat the hell out of him en route to a first round technical knockout stoppage. Leben took a lot of abuse, and the referee gave him more than enough chances to rebound, but Stann just poured it on so heavy that it had to be stopped.
Huge win. And perhaps an even huger loss for Leben, who was sitting pretty with two impressive wins to close out 2010. He'll have to once again rally. Stann, meanwhile, put the stamp on Leben in a major way.
That has to count for something.
On a two-fight losing skid, Brandon Vera knew that his 205-pound clash with Thiago Silva was put up or shut up, his chance to prove that he does indeed belong in discussions as one of the most dangerous light heavyweights in the world.
Instead, he got his nose literally re-arranged by the ferocious Brazilian.
Silva didn't back down at all throughout the 15-minute brawl, trading kicks and punches and getting the better of the Muay Thai striker. He even got the better of the former wrestling prospect on the ground, whaling him with brutal ground and pound.
That's probably the reason one judge scored the fight 30-26. It was that lopsided.
"The Truth" is now headed to the plastic surgeon once again. And it wouldn't be too surprising if he and the company parted ways, too.
Silva, meanwhile, is back in the thick of the light heavyweight picture, which is bad news for whoever stands in his way next. He's one scary dude.
The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) 5 lightweight winner Nate Diaz was was trying his hand again in the welterweight division, trying to hand the undefeated Dong Hyun Kim the first loss of his professional career.
Didn't happen, but it wasn't for a lack of effort ... especially in the final minute of the fight.
Diaz poured it on as the seconds ticked down toward the end of the fight, realizing that he likely needed a finish to get the win. That's because Kim, for two rounds, basically out-grappled and out-hustled the Stockton jiu-jitsu specialist.
It was too little, too late.
That's now five straight wins for "Stun Gun" inside the Octagon, which is no small feat. The South Korean called out welterweight champion Georges St. Pierre, which likely won't happen anytime soon.
He'll need to beat a top division contender before that can happen ... not a super tough lightweight.
Former Pride FC standout Takanori Gomi was looking to build on his big knockout of Tyson Griffin in his last outing, trying to somehow corral the ridiculously over-energetic Clay Guida in a 155-pound bout.
He failed to do both.
Guida furiously juked and jived his way to a slick second round submission (guillotine), which he learned from no other than the guillotine master himself, Joe Stevenson, training at Greg Jackson's mixed martial arts academy. "The Carpenter" had "The Fireball Kid" off balance all night -- his "unusual movement" was, for lack of a better word, nauseating.
But it worked. And now Guida -- who has three straight submission wins -- is all set to challenge the top 155-pound fighters in 2011 and beyond. Too bad the red-hot Jim Miller already has an opponent lined up in March.
That fight needs to happen.
But that's enough from us -- now it's your turn to discuss "Resolution" in the comments section below. Sound off, Maniacs.