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    UFC 146: Dos Santos Continues to Roll, Retains Title

    May 27, 2012

     

       With a main card packed with heavyweight fights two things were certain. Action packed fights and early finishes. This was an event that did not disappoint, with 3 of the 5 main card fights finishing in the first round. A lot of statements were made in the heavyweight division Saturday night. 

       The opening bout between Stefan Struve and Lavar Johnson lasted less than a minute with Struve submitting Johnson via arm bar. Johnson couldn't find the range quick enough, Struve took the powerful striker down and ended the fight before he did find the range.

       The second fight of the evening saw Stipe Miocic facing off against Shane Del Rosario. Miocic and Rosario have both been on rolls to start their MMA careers, both undefeated. One would suffer their first loss at UFC 146. Rosario landed a few solid body kicks in the opening round, but it was back and forth early. In the second round Miocic began to take over. Miocic gets the takedown and works from Rosario's guard. Miocic lands a couple elbows and moves into the mount. Miocic continues to land big elbows from the mount, the ref has to step in and stop the fight. Rosario could barely stand after the fight, Miocic wins by TKO.

       The third fight had Roy Nelson squaring off with Dave Herman. Herman had a good height and reach advantage, but didn't have the power advantage. Both fighters took the center of the cage, Herman landed a knee to the body right away. Nelson lands a body shot, then lands a huge overhand right that spins Herman completely around.  Nelson gets the KO victory at 51 seconds of the first round.

       The co-main event had the former heavyweight champion Cain Velasquez facing newcomer Antonio Silva. Velasquez right from the opening bell took Silva down and began utilizing viscous ground and pound. Landing an elbow that cut Silva right away. Personally, this may have been the most blood I've seen in a UFC fight, it was a mess. The ref had the doctors check Silva, and let the fight continue. But it wouldn't last much longer. Velasquez finished the fight shortly after the cut stoppage. Velasquez wins by TKO in the first round, and may have put himself in the #1 contender spot for the heavyweight title.

       After all the earlier heavyweight fights, it was finally time for the heavyweight championship to be defended. The champion Junior Dos Santos defended his title against a former champion in Frank Mir. The first round starts with a glove touch. Mir mixed it up with leg and body kicks. Attempted a takedown, and pulled guard, but Dos Santos got right up. Dos Santos begins to land hard body shots, and lands a right hand that has Mir hurt. He lands flurries while Mir is covering up against the cage. Mir is able to survive the flurry and dives for a takedown, but Dos Santos moves away and the round ends. Second round starts with Dos Santos landing a straight right. Mir pushes forward with a combination and gets dropped with a right hand by Dos Santos. Dos Santos tells Mir to get up, Mir gets up and lands a couple of left hooks, continues to push forward. Mir looked to have been poked in the eye, but the ref tells him to continue. Dos Santos begins to push forward, and Mir lands inside and outside leg kicks. Dos Santos drops Mir with another right hand, moves away then comes back in and lands some hammer fists. The ref is forced to stop the fight, winner by TKO, and still heavyweight champion Junior Dos Santos.\

       This was one of the best fight cards the UFC has put together. Every fight had the potential to end in the first round. Junior Dos Santos is starting to emerge as one of the best fighters in MMA overall, in any division. He has a style that would be hard for anyone to dissect and manipulate. A pure boxer with power in both hands that can control the ground game, is almost impossible to beat. There are no areas where Dos Santos uncomfortable during a fight, that makes for the most dangerous fighters. There are a few contenders lining up to get there chance. But can any of them beat him? The best answer is... Only time will tell.

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