Photo of Mike Easton by Esther Lin via MMAFighting.com.
The UFC 148: "Silva vs. Sonnen 2" event taking place tonight (Sat., July 7, 2012) at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada, kicked off its main card with a bantamweight battle pitting late replacement Mike Easton against title hopeful Ivan Menjivar.
Easton, the 28-year-old "Hulk," came in with a spotless UFC record and hoping to score what would undoubtedly be the biggest victory of his career. Menjivar, meanwhile, simply hoped to continue his climb up the ladder and inch one step closer to that elusive title shot.
Back down he goes.
That's because he turned in a less than impressive performance punctuated by a unanimous decision loss to Easton by scores of 30-27, 29-28, and 30-27. "The Hulk" doesn't come out of this looking much better, as he certainly played his part in bringing out the boo birds in "Sin City."
Still, a win is a win is a win. Right?
Patience was the name of the game early. No one was eager to jump in too quickly and both spent plenty of time finding their range and rhythm. It was Easton who came in first, ducking under a head kick looking for a clinch. Nothing going, though.
Menjivar's punches were wild, winging all around while Easton bounced off his feet and maintained a good distance. This allowed him to stay just outside Menjivar's power punches while giving him the right range to pop off with a big head kick every now and again.
Unfortunately, the first round came to a close with very little action having taken place and the crowd getting a bit restless. After all, they had just sat through a mostly terrible preliminary card.
They came out firing in the second, both men looping long punches in the hopes of landing that one crushing blow to bring their night to a close. The problem, of course, is that neither of them connected properly and quickly went back to the tactical chess match of bouncing around while occasionally stringing together a combination.
Not only did this serve to sleep the crowd, it also made an already difficult job for cageside judges even more difficult. Easton was pressing forward but Menjivar was still controlling range, keeping "The Hulk" on the outside. Easton got pretty with a flying knee late but it did little to quiet the boo birds, who were out in force following the sound of the horn after 10 minutes.
The final frame saw much of the same, much to the chagrin of everyone watching the show, but Easton got smart and executed a takedown to score him some crucial points with just minutes to go.
That was enough and there you go.
Remember, too, to check out MMAmania.com's live ongoing coverage of the UFC 148 main card by clicking here.