The main event of Saturday’s UFC 132 did not disappoint, featuring a hard fought war between UFC Bantamweight champion Dominick Cruz and Former WEC Featherweight champion and current UFC bantamweight contender Urijah Faber.
Both fighters wasted no time going at it, with Cruz going straight for Faber’s legs, landing a bunch of leg kicks in the opening round.
Faber, looking for an answer for Cruz’s speed and quick footwork, was able to knock the champ down with a straight right, only to see Cruz pop back up and stop Faber’s takedowns for the rest of the round.
The second round featured a lot of technical striking from both fighters. Faber and Cruz exchanged many blows, but it was Cruz’s takedown defense that proved frustrating for the challenger, who was taken down himself in towards the end of the round.
Cruz began to pick Faber apart in the third frame, landing a punching combo and head kick while still preventing Faber from taking the fight to the ground. Eventually, Faber was able to secure a take down, but was unable to hold Cruz who reversed positions, leading to both fighters back to their feet.
Faber began to unwind in the fourth round, dropping Cruz again with a big right hand. The champ recovered quickly and keeps the high intensity pace going. Cruz responded to some strong strikes towards the end of the round, landing two strong hooks with a minute and a half left.
Just as the previous four rounds, the final five minutes went back and forth in a furious pace.
Cruz landed a highlight reel flying knee, immediately pressing forward and taking Faber down.
Faber, however, shot back up and pressed Cruz against the fence, attempting a guillotine choke from that position that he failed to sink in.
Cruz continued to land take downs while keeping Faber at bay, ending the round by holding his challenger against the cage.
The fight was a scored a unanimous decision win for Cruz who successfully defended his title as the UFC’s first bantamweight champion.
Both fighters showed a lot of heart and fight spirit, making the bout hard to score. Cruz’s striking and dominance in the wrestling department, however, ending up making the difference in this exciting main event.
Leben Puts Silva to Sleep in Quick First Round KO
Chris Leben welcomed Wanderlei Silva back to the Octagon in a vicious fashion, knocking out the former Pride champion in just 27 seconds in the first round.
Silva, who hasn’t fought since February of last year, was way too aggressive in his return.
Looking to land a flurry of punches as the round began, “the Axe Murder” failed to land any power shots, walking head first into Leben’s fists.
Leben was able to slip Silva’s initial onslaught and held the former Pride star in a one armed clinch while landing a flurry of left uppercuts.
After a barrage of punches, Silva fell to the ground, defenselessly taking a few final shots before the referee called an end to the match.
This win is huge for Leben who is coming off a harsh KO loss to Brian Stann. This first round dismantling is Leben’s third finishing win in his last four fights.
Silva looked way too aggressive in his return and is a major setback for the fan favorite middleweight.
Ortiz Revitalizes Career With Submission Win Over Bader
Former UFC Light-Heavyweight champion Tito Ortiz was fighting for his job Saturday night as he took on up and coming prospect Ryan Bader.
Ortiz, who has not won a fight since October of 2006, was an underdog coming into the fight. Realizing that his back was against the wall, Ortiz proved detractors wrong, winning the Submission of the Night bonus as he choked out Bader in the first round.
Dropping Bader with a hard right hand, Ortiz quickly secured the arm in guillotine as he dropped to his guard.
As the choke sank tight, Bader was forced to submit at 1:56 in the first round.
After the fight, Ortiz was amped from his first victory since ending Ken Shamrock’s UFC career in 2006.
The loss is Bader’s second submission defeat since tapping out to current UFC Light-Heavyweight champion Jon Jones’ guillotine at UFC 126.
Siver, Condit Make Their Case for Title Contention
For lightweight Dennis Siver and welterweight Carlos Condit, UFC 132 was their time to make the case for a run at the title, and they didn’t disappoint.
German kickboxing ace Dennis Siver took on Matt Wiman in a three round war, with Siver coming out the unanimous decision victor.
For most of the fight, Siver was able to land some heavy strikes while defending Wiman’s takedowns. Siver landed a myriad of leg kicks and was able to keep Wiman from finishing his singles for the majority of the fight.
Wiman was able to get Siver down in the second round, taking advantage of the top guard by landing some huge elbows that cut Siver’s forehead wide open.
But it was Siver’s striking, takedown defense, and ability to control the clinch that lead to his fourth straight win.
Former WEC Welterweight champion Carlos Condit took on undefeated Korean grappling ace Dong Hyun Kim.
Kim was able to take Condit down but could not keep the position for long. Unable to hold on to a submission attempt of his own, Condit was able to get back to his feet.
As the round went on, Condit took advantage of an opening Kim had and landing a huge flying knee that knocked the Korean down.
Condit pounced with a flurry of strikes from the mount until the referee stopped the fight, with Condit the victor.
This win is Condit’s second straight first round Knockout of the Night victory and his third straight KO win.
Condit has vehemently expressed his intent to face UFC Welterweight champion Georges St. Pierre and believes he should be next in line after Strikeforce Welterweight champion Nick Diaz.