UFC 116: "Lesnar vs. Carwin" took place tonight (July 3, 2010) from the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Brock Lesnar and Shane Carwin met in perhaps the biggest heavyweight title unification match ever ... at least if size is any indicator. And the tempo set in the first round was equally as big, if not bigger.
Carwin came out furious, pounding Lesnar nearly into submission and totally destroying him. It wasn't even close. The referee, on more than one occasion, could have stopped it without controversy.
It was that lopsided.
Lesnar somehow survived, taking Carwin into the second round for the first-time ever in his spectacular 12-fight mixed martial arts career. And that was all it took, but not the way ANYONE would have predicted.
The decorated division one wrestler got an early takedown, got full mount and hopped into side control for a triangle choke submission finish. Yes, Lesnar defeated Carwin via submission to unify the heavyweight title in the most unlikeliest of outcomes.
You had to see it to believe it. INCREDIBLE resilience, return and fight for the "toughest SOB around."
Impossible to argue otherwise tonight.
Two fights in two weeks? No problem for Chris Leben.
"The Crippler" put on an absolute show tonight against Yoshihiro Akiyama, who wasn't too impressed before the event with his last-minute replacement for Wanderlei Silva. Maybe now the Japanese standout has a new-found respect for his colorful counterpart.
Akiyama did great in the first two rounds, getting the better of several exchanges and even putting the iron-chinned Leben in sleepwalk-mode in round two. He had great trips, even solid submission attempts, but he learned the hard way that if you don't put Leben away, he'll come back and get ya.
And he did just that, with the clocking ticking down in the third and final round, and possibly a loss if it went to the judges, Leben caught Akiyama in a tight triangle choke that made him tap ... and the crowd leap to its collective feet.
It was a fantastic fight and an even better finish. Leben, clearly ecstatic after the fight, called out Silva in his post fight remarks. And I doubt there are few fans tonight who don't want to see it.
Bring it on.
Matt Brown and Chris Lytle had all the ingredients of an awesome slugfest -- they both love to bring the heat. Only tonight it was a beautiful volley of crafty submissions that told the tale.
"Immortal" almost turned the "Lights Out" on Lytle (something no one has ever done) with a tight darce choke in the first round. Lytle was able to weather the storm and eventually freed himself after several precarious minutes.
In round two, Lytle took Brown to the canvas and got real busy in the guard. He went from full mount, to a mounted triangle to an armbar from the mounted triangle submission. It was so smooth. Brown had no choice but to tap or snap.
For someone who loves to bang until he bleeds, Lytle has one serious, and very creative, submission game.
It was literally "do or die" for The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) legend, Stephan Bonnar, coming off three straight losses and heading into a tough rematch against Krzysztof Soszynski.
He almost died, but he definitely did what he had to do ... in typical "American Psycho" fashion.
Bonner won a bloody two-round slugfest, eating his fair share of blows from the "Polish Experiment." But it was his epic will to survive that carried him through to victory, dropping Soszynski in the second round with a knee in the clinch that led to an eventual technical knockout stoppage.
It was an awesome back-and-forth fight, one that Soszynski more than likely would have won handily against a lesser opponent. But Bonnar proved once again that his might and mettle is second to none win or lose.
Fortunately, for him, he lives to fight another day inside the Octagon. Although it's difficult to comprehend him ever going elsewhere ... he's damn near impossible to finish. He's whacky dude, too.
Pure unadulterated entertainment, before, during and after his fights. Keep 'em coming.
Something had to give when lightweights Kurt Pellegrino and George Sotiropoulos hooked 'em up in the first fight of the main card action -- both fighters were on impressive winning streaks (four and six, respectively).
Unfortunately, for "Batman," it was too little, too late. Literally.
Pellegrino hurt Sotiropoulos bad with a knee to the face, left hook combination that appeared to have the Aussie in big, big trouble. Just one problem: It came at the buzzer of the third and final round.
That was Pellegrino's brightest moment, who appeared to be off tonight after Sotiropoulos tagged him early and often. In fact, Pellegrino -- who on paper had the advantage in the stand up -- was not his aggressive self after getting dropped early in the opening frame.
Sotiropoulos was just too sticky all night long, refusing to give up an inch standing or on the ground. Pellegrino, as a result, could never really get going until the final minutes. It's a huge step back for the New Jersey native, who quipped before the fight that he might as well retire if he couldn't win tonight.
He didn't -- Sotiropoulos got a well-deserved nod from the judges. However, it was hotly contested from bell-to-bell.
No shame in that.
That’s enough from us — now it’s your turn to discuss "Lesnar vs. Carwin" in the comments section below. Sound off, Maniacs.
Let’s hear what you have to say: Did Sotiropoulos earn a spot in the 155-pound title hunt? Is Bonnar finally ready for bigger and badder competition? Leben, what more can we say? And if Carwin can't beat Lesnar, can anyone? Good luck, Cain.
For complete UFC 116 results and detailed blow-by-blow commentary of the televised main card fights click here.