Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) brought the house down last night (Sat., Feb. 5, 2011) with an action-packed pay-per-view fight card from the Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas, Nevada.
"The Spider" endured a few minutes of noisy boo-birds (and a couple of fast scrambles from the challenger) to connect foot with jaw and add yet another clip to his amazing highlight reel, which probably already has the forums screaming for a Georges St. Pierre superfight.
"Ace" was in the hole for most of the first round, suffering from a distinct disadvantage in size after moving up from 185-pounds to compete at light heavyweight. Franklin was game in rounds two and three, landing cleaner strikes and keeping himself off the ground, but it wasn't enough to overcome Griffin's aggressive pace.
Forrest wins big in his first fight back after an extended layoff due to injury. Anyone think he's ready to make another run in the 205-pound division?
Time will tell.
Ryan Bader came into UFC 126 with a 12-0 record, an Ultimate Fighter (TUF) championship and a stellar collegiate wrestling career.
Against fellow light heavyweight prospect Jon Jones, it didn't make a lick of difference.
"Bones' continued his ascension up the light heavyweight ladder, looking otherworldly against "Darth" with a bona fide ass-kicking that ended with Bader submitting to a iron-clad guillotine choke.
Not only did it secure Jones' his twelfth career victory, it also vaulted him into a UFC 128 title fight against reigning division champion Mauricio Rua following today's surprise announcement that Rashad Evans injured his knee in training camp and was forced to withdraw from the March 19 event.
"Shogun" already derailed one hype train when he knocked out Lyoto Machida -- can he do it again?
Jake Ellenberger was originally booked to face perennial welterweight contender Jon Fitch during last night's pay-per-view until Fitch found himself promoted to the UFC 127 main event against BJ Penn.
Enter Carlos Eduardo Rocha.
The Brazilian grappling stud had some pretty big shoes to fill but made it very clear after a dominating first round that this was anything but a tune-up fight for Ellenberger.
"Ta Danado" put on a jiu-jitsu clinic for the first five minutes of the contest, but failed to do much else for the remainder of the bout. The pace slowed for both men and Ellenberger used two last-minute takedowns (literally) to steal rounds two and three.
In the end, Rocha came up on the wrong end of a split decision but in the process, let the rest of the 170-pound division know that he's not to be taken lightly. As for Ellenberger, his much sought-after Fitch fight hinges on the outcome of the UFC 127 headliner on Feb. 27.
Former WEC Bantamweight Champion Miguel Angel Torres got a chance to strut his stuff in front of a live UFC crowd for the first time in his career as he and Antonio Banuelos made their Octagon debuts in the opening fight of the night.
Torres won the fight, but lost the crowd.
The lanky veteran came out with a Surfin' USA offensive stance, keeping his shorter foe off balance and too far out of range to make any kind of significant impact. In fact, Banuelos seemed content to simply counter-punch from two feet away despite getting picked apart by the jab for the better part of fifteen minutes.
If UFC fans were wondering what all the hype was about surrounding the recent WEC merger, Torres and Banuelos did little to satisfy their curiosity.
Not that anyone will remember after such a sensational main event.
That's enough from us -- now it's your turn to discuss "Silva vs. Belfort" in the comments section below. Sound off, Maniacs.
For complete UFC 126 results and detailed blow-by-blow commentary of the televised main card fights click here.