UFC 116 Live Coverage from Las Vegas
UFC 116 takes place tonight from Las Vegas, headlined by the UFC heavyweight title matchup between Brock Lesnar and Shane Carwin. Stay tuned for live results throughout the evening from Octagonside at the MGM Grand Garden Arena.
Jon Madsen vs. Karlos Vemola
Both fighters are undefeated prospects. Vemola is a physically imposing powerhouse while Madsen is a wrestling standout.
Round 1. Madsen lands the first telling blow of the fight, a really stiff hook that stuns Vemola slightly. Vemola goes for a takedown but eats some punches and knees in the process. They clinch against the cage, and there isn't much action. Referee Mario Yamasaki eventually separates them halfway through the round. Vemola charges across the ring for another takedown but is again thwarted by Madsen and they clinch against the cage. Yamasaki separates them again. Vemola swings wildly and again clinches. This time Madsen not only blocks but takes Vemola down himself. Madsen ends up in Vemola's half guard. Madsen throws a few light punches and elbows as the round comes to a close. 10-9 Madsen.
Round 2. Madsen takes Vemola down at the start of the round. He is mostly inactive from top position, throwing a few elbows against the cage. Vemola tries to stand up and eats some punches in the process. Madsen keeps him down and throws some punches and elbows. They are stood up, and Madsen throws a few hard hooks. Vemola goes for a takedown but again has no success. Vemola lands a nice straight punch that was probably his best blow of the fight. They again clinch next to the cage. The crowd has been surprisingly kind to what has been a very dull fight. Vemola doesn't look like a UFC-caliber fighter. 10-9 Madsen.
Round 3. They clinch again. Madsen goes for a takedown but doesn't get it. Vemola lands a few nice kicks, first to the leg and then to the body. Madsen takes Vemola down. Madsen postures up in Vemola's guard and throws a few punches. Vemola looks for a kimura submission from the bottom but doesn't come close to extending it. The crowd finally begins to boo the fight as Madsen moves into side control. Madsen is in north/south when they are stood up, which is an odd standup choice but this isn't exactly a riveting fight. On the feet Vemola goes for a guillotine choke but Madsen escapes and gets top position. He's pretty much immediately stood up by Yamasaki and the fighters throw a little to close the round. 10-9 Madsen, very easy to score 30-27 decision.
Winner: Jon Madsen, unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27).
Daniel Roberts vs. Forrest Petz
Roberts needs a win here following a UFC debut loss to John Howard. Petz is returning to the UFC. He last fought for the company in 2007, and has a 2-3 UFC record.
Round 1. Roberts immediately shoots in for a takedown. He gets Petz down but Petz works his way back up against the cage. They feel each other out in the standup, with neither man throwing much. Roberts goes for a takedown. He again gets Petz down but Petz again stands back up. Roberts makes his third concerted takedown effort and this time successfully keeps Petz down. He takes the back of Petz and looks to hook in a rear naked choke with a minute left in the round. Petz is able to hold on for the remainder of the round. 10-9 Roberts.
Round 2. Petz lands a few nice leg kicks. Roberts moves in for a takedown and eats a good uppercut in the process. Roberts again looks for a takedown and this time secures it. Petz uses the cage to try to stand back up but is pulled back down into position for a Roberts rear naked choke. Petz again does a good job defending the choke and escapes the position. He opens up with hard punches on Roberts, who looks tired. Petz lands a really good overhand right and is swinging for the knockout. Roberts again takes him down and works into side control. Petz gets up and takes down Roberts. Roberts looks for a guillotine at the end of the round. Tough round to score. I give it to Petz narrowly because he did more damage. 19-19 through two.
Round 3. Petz begins the round again with some leg kicks. He lands a nice straight right. Petz is throwing a lot more than Roberts but isn't landing anything huge. Roberts throws a body kick and is caught with a hard counter left punch. Roberts shoots for a takedown and gets Petz down with two minutes left. He opens up with some punches and elbows. Petz then moves to stand up and Roberts has to concentrate on preventing that. Roberts mounts Petz with 30 seconds left. Petz tries to reverse but can't do it. First round was clearly Roberts, the other two are close. 10-9 Roberts, 29-28 Roberts.
Winner: Daniel Roberts, split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28).
Gerald Harris vs. Dave Branch
Branch is a former Bellator fighter who is making his UFC debut. Harris has won two straight UFC fights and sports a 16-2 career MMA record.
Round 1. Harris is keeping his posture very low. Branch throws a head kick that doesn't connect all the way. Harris moves in with punches and is caught with a counter knee. Harris throws a wild overhand punch that misses but then follows with a short punch that connects. He moves Branch back with a jab and throws a wild hook with bad intentions but it misses. Harris moves forward with more heavy punches and looks to take Branch down with a minute left in the round. Harris slams Branch down hard at the close of the round. 10-9 Harris.
Round 2. Harris throws a right hook and takes Branch down. Harris drops down a few hard punches inside Branch's guard. Branch stands back up. They clinch for a bit and Harris takes Branch back down. Branch gets up and eats a couple hard punches in the process. Harris lands a very nice jab and the round concludes. Harris looks good. 10-9 Harris.
Round 3. Branch moves aggressively forward with a head kick and Harris throws a counter punch at the same time. Harris takes Branch down but in the process Branch moves to set up a triangle choke. Harris lifts him up and slams him down, escaping danger. Branch gets back up. They clinch against the cage and the crowd begins to loudly boo. Referee Herb Dean separates them and Harris again looks for a takedown. Branch jumps up into standing guard but Harris pushes Branch's face forward with his forearm and then slams him down with power and knocks Branch out from the slam. Harris noticed Branch was out upon impact and pulled back on his punches. Spectacular finish.
Winner: Gerald Harris, knockout, round 3.
Kendall Grove vs. Goran Reljic
They are running low on time and for the past couple fights both fighters have come out together. I don't recall seeing that at any previous UFC PPV events. There have been no post-fight interviews either. Grove is the winner of the Ultimate Fighter season 3. He was originally going to be on the Spike TV portion of this event but following some negative comments about Spike TV he was moved down to the untelevised portion. Reljic looked fantastic in his UFC debut against Wilson Gouveia but lost his last fight to C.B. Dollaway.
Round 1. Reljic is more agressive in the standup, mixing in punches and kicks. Grove is able to defend well early and throws a high kick of his own. Reljic has a very diverse offense, mixing punches and kicks at all ranges. Reljic takes the fight to the ground with two minutes left in the round. Reljic stands up, looking to throws some punches down into Grove's guard, but Grove throws a powerful upkick that drops Reljic down. Grove gets back up and throws some knees. He lands a really hard one to the head towards the end of the round. Reljic was dominating the round early but Grove came back strong and landed the best blows of the round late. 10-9 Grove.
Round 2. Grove moves in with some light jabs and is answered with a hard punch counter. Grove immediately goes for a takedown and gets it. Reljic reverses position with an omoplata and ends up on top. He is on his feet throwing down and the crowd reacts big to Grove's attempts at upkicks. Reljic moves down into Grove's guard and Grove throws elbows from the bottom. Reljic becomes more active on top with punches. Grove is still being more aggressive from the bottom with strikes but isn't moving his hips up to attempt any submissions. They are stood up with a minute left. Neither man is able to land any telling blows. 10-9 Reljic, 19-19. Grove spends the period between the rounds standing and bouncing on his feet.
Round 3. Grove comes out more actively, backing Reljic up with jabs and some power punches by the cage. Reljic shoots for a takedown but it is blocked. Grove looks to have a lot more energy at this stage of the fight. He mixes in high and low kicks. Grove catches Reljic with a straight right and appears to be taking over the fight. Reljic shoots for a takedown. Grove looks for a guillotine, releases, and throws a nice knee to the head. Grove follows with more knees as Reljic looks to get the fight to the ground. Reljic finally does with a minute left in the round. Reljic looks to move into side control and finally gets his leg through Grove's guard with 45 seconds left. Reljic has north/south but Grove gets up as the round comes to a close. 10-9 Grove, 29-28 Grove but this is a close fight.
Winner: Kendall Grove, split decision (30-27, 28-29, 29-28).
This is going to be a weird Spike TV broadcast because they don't have any shorter fights to air.
Seth Petruzelli vs. Ricardo Romero
Petruzelli is famous for knocking out Kimbo Slice and (as Joe Rogan joked at the weigh-ins last night) almost single-handedly killing EliteXC. Romero is a well regarded prospect whose only loss was via DQ.
They need to kill this idea of playing generic music and having both men enter at the same time. Fighter entrances build drama for the fight.
Round 1. Petruzelli opens up at the start with hard punch combinations. Romero goes for a takedown but it is easily blocked. Petruzelli is really tagging Romero with punches and Romero flees out of trouble. Petruzelli closes a punch combination with a high kick that drops Romero to the canvas. Romero gets back up and is okay. Romero lands his best punch of the fight but Petruzelli answers with a series of punches and a spinning back kick. Romero takes Petruzelli down halfway through the fight. Romero looks to grab a choke but Petruzelli gets out and starts throwing down punches from top position. He is really hammering Romero and Romero desperately gets up and takes top position. Romero mounts Petruzelli. He looks for an Americana. He then moves for a rear naked choke attempt. Petruzelli avoids and ends up back in mount. Romero looks for an armbar but Petruzelli gets up and ends up back on the feets. Petruzelli drops Romero and begins throwing down bizarre double ax handles. Romero then moves for a rear naked choke again at the close. That was one unbelievable, phenomenal round of action. 10-9 Petruzelli.
Round 2. Petruzelli again gets the best of the standup, having success with early kicks. He backs Romero against the cage and opens up with punches. Romero desperately shoots in and Petruzelli looks to get an armbar in the process. He has the arm extended but can't lock in both legs to secure the submission. Romero is bleeding from the head as Petruzelli throws elbows from the bottom. Romero moves into side control, drops a hard elbow and looks again for the armlock. He cranks it and Petruzelli submits. Petruzelli waited too long and it looks like something snapped in his arm. Petruzelli is in a lot of pain. Tremendous fight by both men.
Winner: Ricardo Romero, submission, round 2.
Chris Tuchscherer vs. Brendan Schaub
Tuchscherer is a training partner of Brock Lesnar while Schaub is a training partner of Shane Carwin in a little preview of the main event of the evening. Tuchscherer is a thick wrestler while Schaub is a much more athletic former pro football player and striker.
Round 1. Tuchscherer moves in for a takedown and is caught with some hard punches in the process. He backs up. Schaub drops Tuchscherer with a power right and goes to town with punches before referee Herb Dean steps in and stops the fight.
Winner: Brendan Schaub, TKO, round 1.
George Sotiropoulos vs. Kurt Pellegrino
Sotiropoulos is an Australian jiu jitsu standout who is riding a wave of momentum following a very impressive win over Joe Stevenson. Pellegrino is a criminally underrated lightweight star whose star power isn't equal to his skill.
Round 1. Sotiropoulos connects on some early punches and pursues Pellegrino. Sotiropoulos drops Pellegrino with a left and continues to punch him on the ground. Pellegrino spins out of trouble and gets back to his feet. Sotiropoulos lands a couple nice hooks and a knee. Pellegrino takes Sotiropoulos down but then lets him back up. Sotiropoulos hits a nice knee. Pellegrino takes him down with 50 seconds left. Sotiropoulos uses the rubber guard to tie up Pellegrino. Pellegrino throws a few punches as the round ends. 10-9 Sotiropoulos.
Round 2. Pellegrino throws a superman punch and Sotiropoulos uses the opportunity to take an offbalance Pellegrino down. Sotiropoulos works to pass guard and nearly gains full mount. He drops down some elbows from half guard onto Pellegrino. Sotiropoulos looked like he might be setting up for a knee bar but Pellegrino avoids danger. Against the cage, Pellegrino stands up. Sotiropoulos tries to take him back down but Pellegrino defends.They trade, with each man getting in some blows. Pellegrino's body language has radically shifted from the start of the fight. 10-9 Sotiropoulos.
Round 3. The round starts as pure boxing. Sotiropoulos lands a few nice punches and moves in to push the action but is taken down for his trouble. Pellegrino grounds and pounds Sotiropoulos while avoiding Sotiropoulos' attempts at submissions. Sotiropoulos ties Pellegrino up and begins throwing punches of his own from the bottom. Sotiropoulos gets back up and connects with some straight punches on Pellegrino. Pellegrino drops Sotiropoulos with a knee and a hook, but fortunately for Sotiropoulos the round comes to an end. 10-9 Pellegrino, 29-28 Sotiropoulos.
Winner: George Sotiropoulos, unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28, 30-27).
Stephan Bonnar vs. Krzystof Soszynski
This is a rematch of a controversial fight they had in Australia. It was an exciting fight that was stopped due to a bad cut on Bonnar. The fight was ruled a TKO victory for Soszynski, but replays showed the cut was caused by an accidental head butt.
Round 1. They immediately move in and begin exchanging punches. They trade leg kicks. Bonnar catches a leg kick and uses it to take Soszynski down. Bonnar tries some ground and pound but Soszynski uses an armbar attempt to reverse position. As Bonnar stands up Soszynski starts unloading with huge power punches against the cage. Bonnar is able to avoid the biggest shots but is cut. Bonnar hits Soszynski with a hard knee to the body. Soszynski follows in Bonnar with punches and Bonnar covers up. Bonnar lands a couple elbows against the cage and opens up with punches of his own. Bonnar goes for a takedown but can't get it and Soszynski lands a nice punch as Bonnar is backing up. Soszynski again moves in with heavy punches and they just throw huge blows back and forth. Bonnar uses a head kick and push kick as the round comes to an end. Bonnar has separate cuts under both eyes. Excellent round. 10-9 Soszynski.
Round 2. Bonnar starts with a nice pair of jabs. Soszynski keeps moving in with big looping punches. One lands right on Bonnar's chin and is one of the best blows of the fight. They start recklessly swinging yet again next to the cage. It looks like Soszynski is in trouble and then it looks like Bonnar is in trouble. We then get the same sequence again with Bonnar mixing in a head kick and a knee to the head. This is an incredible fight. Bonnar gets a takedown. Soszynski stands back up. Bonnar drops Soszynski with a knee to the head and throws repeated punches to the head. Sosyznski is just covering up and the referee finally stops the fight after dozens of uncontested punches. Bonnar poses comically. That was a heck of a win for Bonnar.
Winner: Stephan Bonnar, TKO, round 2.
After the fight Bonnar talks about how much he loves laying it all out on the line for the fans and gets a huge positive reaction from the audience.
Chris Lytle vs. Matt Brown
Lytle and Brown are known for action-packed standup wars and this fight was put together basically to be an exciting brawl. Of course, they have their work cut out for them to win fight of the night over Romero/Petruzelli and Bonnar/Soszynski.
Round 1. Lytle throws a big overhand right that doesn't connect. Brown throws a few hooks. They clinch against the cage. Lytle throws mostly body punches with Brown using a few knees. As they separate Brown lands a nice head kick and follows that with a heavy knee to the body. Brown takes Lytle down but Lytle quick gets up. Brown looks for an anaconda choke but eventually lets it go. Back on the feet Lytle throws more big haymakers but doesn't have much success landing them. Brown drops Lytle with a straight counter as the round comes to an end. 10-9 Brown.
Round 2. Lytle again opens up wide wild overhand punches. He grabs a guillotine and works into mount position. Lytle releases the guillotine and switches into side control. He uses his legs to triangle Brown's head and one arm and then looks to hyperextend the other. Brown submits.
Winner: Chris Lytle, round 2, submission.
Chris Leben vs. Yoshihiro Akiyama
Akiyama is one of the biggest attractions in Japanese and Korean MMA, and won his UFC debut last year against Alan Belcher. He was supposed to fight Wanderlei Silva on this card but Silva had to pull out of the fight due to an injury. Leben takes the fight on short notice, having fought just two weeks ago on the Ultimate Fighter Finale. He is a wrestler and brawler well known for his antics on the first season of the Ultimate Fighter reality show. Leben seems in a very good mood dancing to the ring, and this is a great low risk high reward fight for him. Akiyama comes out to "Time to Say Goodbye" by Andrea Bocelli and Sarah Brightman, the best entrance in MMA.
Round 1. Leben throws a kick and Akiyama sweeps it to score a takedown. He throws a few punches and Leben quickly gets back up. "Leben" chants and then "Aki" chants. Leben moves in with punches and gets caught with a hook. Leben throws a few hard leg kicks and mixes in a body kick. Leben gets caught with an accidental low blow. Starting back Akiyama lands a nice straight right punch. Akiyama uses a spinning back elbow and takes Leben down. Leben looks for an armbar but Akiyama isn't in trouble and throws some punches from top. Leben looks for the armbar again. This time he has it deeper but Akiyama gets out. Akiyama then looks for a kimura of his own. Akiyama is in Leben's half guard and looks to pass. Leben just gets back up. In the process Akiyama looks for a guillotine but doesn't have Leben in trouble. They trade punches and Akiyama takes Leben down with a judo trip at the end of the round. Close round, I've got it slightly for Akiyama, 10-9.
Round 2. Akiyama lands a nice body punch and head kick. Leben looks to be moving much more slowly. Akiyama lands a hard spinning back fist on Leben. Akiyama moves in recklessly and gets caught with a hard Leben counter. This leads to an incredible sequence with each man landing really hard punches right on the chin. Very little defense, just trading power punches. It looked at various points like each man was in trouble of being dropped. Akiyama in particular was just tagging Leben but Leben has a great chin and fought through it firing back. Akiyama scores the takedown. Leben stands up and receives some punches while doing so. Akiyama looks for a takedown again. Leben tries for a guillotine but it isn't deep. Leben moves in and is caught with a straight right to the chin. Leben lands a series of his own, just catching Akiyama repeatedly on the chin. Each guy has to be wondering what exactly it takes to stop the other guy. Really tough round to score. 10-9 Akiyama. This has been a great, great PPV card.
Round 3. Both men look spent. Leben throws a high kick. Akiyama throws a punch on an off balance Leben and pushes him to the ground. Akiyama goes for the old can opener while Leben throws punches from the bottom. Leben again looks for an armbar. Akiyama gets out and moves into top position. They trade punches with Leben throwing from the bottom and Akiyama from the top. The crowd chants for Leben. They're just brawling with each other despite Leben fighting from his back. Akiyama is getting the better of it as one would expect from top. Leben locks in a triangle choke and is throwing punches with 30 seconds left. Akiyama taps and that's it. The crowd erupts. Amazing fight.
Winner: Chris Leben, round 3, submission.
UFC heavyweight title: Brock Lesnar vs. Shane Carwin
Lesnar is the champion but was out of action for a long period of time with diverticulitis and Carwin won the interim heavyweight title with a win over Frank Mir. Both men weighed in at the heavyweight maximum of 265 pounds. Lesnar is getting mostly cheers coming out, in contrast to all his other Las Vegas UFC fights.
Round 1. Lesnar shoots for a takedown. Carwin defends and throws a nice knee to the head. He opens up with big punches and Lesnar is in huge trouble. He's just covering up and Carwin is raining down punches. Lesnar is doing nothing from his back. Carwin is pummeling Lesnar. Carwin is dropping huge elbows and punches. Lesnar has no answers whatsoever. Lesnar is bleeding. Carwin backs up and Lesnar just stays on his back. Lesnar finally gets up with a minute left in the fight. Lesnar looks to take Carwin down. Carwin defends. Lesnar throws a nice knee to the head. 10-7 Carwin.
Round 2. Lesnar is smiling as the round starts. Lesnar takes Carwin down. He throws some punches from inside Carwin's half guard. Lesnar has an arm triangle choke. He squeezes and gets the tap. What a performance by Lesnar. The crowd goes crazy with cheers. This has been one of the best UFC cards, if not the best, of all time.
Winner: Brock Lesnar, submission, round 2.
"I stand before you a humble champion and I'm still the toughest SOB around," Lesnar declares after the fight.