Saturday, 31 December 2011

Reem Retires Lesnar and the Stockton Slap Returns

It only took two and a half minutes for Lesnar to be stopped by Overeem. Then the announcement came of Lesnar’s retirement - which I had a feeling about.

UFC 141 was one of those events where everyone really wanted to see the co-main event and main event. Don’t get me wrong, the first three fights were great but I just needed to see the last two. Diaz vs. Cerrone had ‘Fight of the Night’ written all over it - and that is exactly what it got. Yet, it was the fights before hand that seem to have a lot of people talking about.

In the opening contest we saw the young Jimy Hettes put on a fantastic performance over TUF 12 alumni, Nam Phan. Hettes showcased his vicious ground and pound and grappling skills which saw him win a decision victory over Phan; 30-25, 30-25, 30-26. Impressive.

Up next was a fight that had been scheduled to take place in August at 133; Vladimir Matyushenko vs. Alexander Gustafsson. Joe Rogan and Mike Goldberg were spot on when they said that Gustafsson hasn’t been getting enough credit - the man has smashed his way into title contention in my opinion. His record is 13-1, he has stopped all of his opponents in the UFC and his only loss comes at the hands of the unbeaten Phil Davis.
Tonight was no different as he knocked out the Janitor in round 1 in a comfortable performance for the Mauler. Who’s next for the big Swede?

There isn’t much to say about this fight as it ended in twelve seconds and it made me shout and swear due to shock.
Everybody knows who Jon Fitch is. His record in UFC is amazing and his only loss before 141 was a decision to welterweight champion, Georges St. Pierre. Johny Hendricks was looking to make it two losses for Fitch in the Octagon and he did just that. All I can say is that the fight started, Hendricks landed a straight left which made Fitch go stiff and drop to the floor and that was that. Hendricks has now made himself a huge threat in the division. Beware the Big Rig!

It is now time for your co-main event of the evening. As always before a Diaz fight (whether it be Nick or Nate) there was a lot of trash talking and shenanigans. Focusing on the fight though, there was only a war of punches and kicks.
Diaz utilised the infamous ‘Stockton Slap’ which is making me wonder… is that the most effective way of striking? Because it seems to be working very well for the Diaz brothers.
Round 1 was dominated by Nate as he just jabbed and punched his way through to round 2 and made it look easy, which in contrast is scary. Rounds 2 and 3 went how Diaz wanted it to. Cerrone was having great success with leg kicks however, but they just didn’t do enough to damage Diaz or even slow him down. Diaz won via unanimous decision.
After the contest both men shook hands and gave credit where credit was due. Cerrone will pick himself up and come back even better whereas Diaz… the sky is the limit.

Main event time and it was a battle of colossal human beings. Brock Lesnar vs. Alistair Overeem. Lesnar came into the fight after being out for over a year with a disease which saw him have twelve inches of his colon removed in the operating theatre. Lesnar made no excuses though when the mammoth kick boxer stopped him in just under two and a half minutes.
Overeem looked calm and confident straight from the bell and he had every right to be. No respect for Brock’s stand up and stuffed a takedown. After that, Overeem capitalised and used his knees and strikes to make Brock crumble. Reem attacked the stomach area of Brock and that was curtains. A smart fight fought by the future no.1 contender.
When it was time for Joe Rogan to talk to Brock though, it was an announcement of retirement. Brock ended his career with a 5-3 record, with wins over Randy Couture, Frank Mir and Shane Carwin. Brock told everyone that if he won, he’d fight for the belt and retire after that. Sadly, it wasn’t to be. Lesnar is still young and whatever he chooses to do, I’ll be watching. I’ve followed his career since his debut in WWE in 2002 and he’s been a beast in every thing he’s done - maybe not his NFL stint but I think the world titles in wrestling and MMA overshadow that.
Junior dos Santos vs. Alistair Overeem for the heavyweight title in 2012? Oh my.

Jimy Hettes def. Nam Phan via unanimous decision (30-25, 30-25, 30-26).
Alexander Gustafsson def. Vladimir Matyushenko via TKO (punches) in round 1.
Johny Hendricks def. Jon Fitch via KO (punch) in round 1.
Nate Diaz def. Donald Cerrone via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28).
Alistair Overeem def. Brock Lesnar via TKO (strikes) in round 1.

Fight of the Night: Nate Diaz vs. Donald Cerrone
Knockout of the Night: Johny Hendricks
Submission of the Night: No fights ended by submission.

Signing off for the last time in 2011 (probably the best year in UFC history). Please keep checking out the blog, appreciate it a ton. Have a great new year and see you in 2012.

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