UFC 132 live results, Cruz vs. Faber
Faber holds a previous victory over Cruz at featherweight, but Cruz has improved dramatically since that time. This is the first bantamweight title main event in UFC history. Also on the card are MMA legends Wanderlei Silva, fighting Chris Leben, and Tito Ortiz, fighting Ryan Bader.
Hougland and Walker are lightly regarded 135 pound fighters making their UFC debuts. Hougland sports a 9-4 record while Walker is 15-6. This is by a wide margin the lowest profile fight on a deep card of very talented competitors.
Round 1. After a brief feeling out period, Hougland takes Walker down 30 seconds in. He postures up and throws punches down with good leverage. Hougland moves down and throws punches and elbows from inside Walker's closed guard. Hougland throws some punches against the cage and grabs a guillotine. Hougland drops back with the guillotine into guard. Walker slowly works out of the guillotine. Hougland immediately moves up his hips to look for an armbar or triangle choke. Walker pins down Hougland's legs with his hands, which has minimal practical effect. Walker grabs a headlock but isn't in position to threaten. Hougland gets out of that and unsuccessfully looks for an armbar. He then reverses and takes top position. Walker looks for a kneebar as the round comes to a conclusion. Good action round. 10-9 Hougland.
Round 2. They exchange on their feet, mixing up punches and kicks. Neither man is able to throw with much power or land much of note. Hougland opens up a small cut around the eye of Walker with a punch. They trade hooks that land pretty well. Walker moves in for a takedown and Hougland grabs a guillotine. Walker tries to work his way out of it but can't and Hougland cranks it hard towards the end of the round. Walker holds on for the close of the five minutes. 10-9 Hougland.
Round 3. Walker aggressively starts the round charging forward with punches but gets caught with a hard straight right counter. They clinch against the cage where Walker stuffs a Hougland takedown attempt. Walker gains top position. Hougland looks to apply an armbar and extends the arm but Walker slams him down to get out of it. Hougland then looks for a triangle choke but can't come as close as he did with the armbar. Walker throws some punches to the body from top position. The referee stands them up, a dubious decision given they were both active on the ground. Walker looks for a big hook and Hougland shoots for a takedown. Walker quickly gains his balance and blocks the takedown. Walker gains top position and looks to get his leg out to secure a more advantageous side control. Hougland reverses and takes the top. He throws some punches from the top while Walker throws a few elbows from the bottom. They trade blows as the round comes to a close. Good competitive fight. Hougland was more effective offensively in the third round and takes the fight. 10-9 Hougland, 30-27 Hougland.
Winner: Jeff Hougland, unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 30-27).
Judge Jeff Collins gave Walker the first round, a dubious proposition.
Anthony Njokuani vs. Andre Winner
Njokuani is an exciting standup fighter but has lost three of his last four fights. Winner, an English fighter, was the runner-up on the ninth season of the Ultimate Fighter but has lost his last two fights. Each man is fighting for his UFC future.
Round 1. Njokuani opens with a hard leg kick. Njokuani appears to stagger Winner a little bit with a hook. Njokuani is so crisp and fast with his strikes relative to the fighters in the opening bout of the show. Njokuani ducks under a right hook and lands one of his own. Njokuani moves in, lands a knee from a clinch, and moves out. Winner throws a high kick that misses. Njokuani makes a loud sound every time he throws like a tennis player. I wonder if it's counterproductive in the sense he's so loud that Winner always knows when a strike is coming. Njokuani is throwing punches and kicks from all angles. He lands a really hard body punch. He follows with a hard body kick. Njokuani stuns Winner with an uppercut and just brutalizes him against the cage. Njokuani throws one ridiculously hard punch and knee against the cage after another. Winner somehow doesn't go down, but I thought the referee should have stopped it. 10-8 Njokuani easily. You could argue 10-7 because Winner was devastated in a way you rarely see without a finish.
Round 2. Njokuani goes back to work with kicks. He lands a head kick and a knee to the body. It's surprising to see Winner continue to stand after the way the first round went. Njokuani leaps in with a heavy right hook and goes back to work against the cage with big punches. Winner is able to clinch to prevent the onslaught. Njokuani uses a brief trip takedown but Winner gets back up immediately. Winner lands a nice uppercut that is his best shot of the fight. Njokuani lands a series of leg kicks and continues pushing the pace. Njokuani tries a spinning backfist but doesn't come close. Winner is fighting a foolish fight. Another one-sided round. 10-9 Njokuani.
Round 3. Njokuani isn't throwing as much as he did earlier in the fight. His kicks are still more potent than Winner's, however. Njokuani is leaning much more heavily on kicks in this round than punches. He pushes Winner against the cage and seemingly looks for a takedown but Winner stops that and they work from within the clinch. They continue to exchange for the remainder of the bout. For some reason, Winner raises his hands at the end. 10-9 Njokuani, 30-26 Njokuani.
Winner: Anthony Njokuani, unanimous decision (30-27, 30-26, 30-26).
How on Earth was that first round not 10-8? Patricia Morse Jarman was the judge who had it 10-9.
Aaron Simpson vs. Brad Tavares
Simpson is a high level wrestler with knockout power to boot. He'd be a big time prospect for the sport except he started at a late age. Tavares is an Ultimate Fighter veteran coming off a knockout win over colorful veteran Phil Baroni.
Round 1. Simpson comes charging in throwing wild bombs as he closes the distance. He grabs Tavares next to the fence and looks to secure a takedown. Tavares defends well. Physically, Tavares looks a lot thicker and more powerful than Simpson. Simpson keeps pushing for a takedown for over two minutes but he can't get anywhere with it and the crowd begins to boo. The referee finally breaks it up with two minutes left in the round. They exchange punches with Tavares landing a big right. Simpson again pushes for a takedown. Simpson pulls Tavares down with a minute left but Tavares gets up immediately. They trade knees and Simpson partially gets him down with a second left in the round. Boring round. 10-9 Tavares.
Round 2. Tavares briefly drops Simpson with a punch and they scramble for position. They end up against the cage again with Simpson looking for a takedown. Tavares turns Simpson around and looks for a takedown of his own. Tavares slams Simpson down but Simpson gets back up. Simpson looks for a choke and throws some knees. Tavares continues to block takedowns for the remainder of the round. Very tough round to score. 10-9 Tavares very narrowly. He landed the best blow of the round early and scored the only takedown (even though Simpson did get right back up).
Round 3. Simpson lands a solid hook moving forward and pushing Tavares back against the cage. Tavares circles out and lands a nice right hook. Simpson shoots for a takedown but Tavares does a nice job defending. Simpson continues to push Tavares against the cage as the crowd boos and heckles. Tavares continues to prevent the takedown. Simpson finally gets Tavares down halfway through the round but Tavares stands right back up. Simpson takes him back down and he gets right back up. Simpson continues to look for a takedown until the referee separates them with 40 seconds left. Simpson shoots and gets Tavares down but Tavares immediately moves back up and throws a few big punches at the close of the round. Terrible, terrible fight thanks to Simpson. 10-9 Simpson, 29-28 Tavares. But expect Simpson to get the decision because judges tend to score this type of fight for the guy continuing to go for takedowns unsuccessfully.
Winner: Aaron Simpson, unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27).
Takeya Mizugaki vs. Brian Bowles
Mizugaki fought for the WEC bantamweight title in an exciting battle against Miguel Torres, while Bowles is a former WEC bantamweight champion. This is an important fight in the 135 pound division.
Round 1. Mizugaki lands a leg kick early. He lands another moments later. The feel out period is pretty slow, with neither man throwing many punches. Bowles throws a few solo punches to the head and body and then ducks out. As Bowles moves in he is caught with a right punch counter that is the best blow of the fight thus far. Mizugaki's corner is extremely enthusiastic whenever Mizugaki lands something. They exchange big punches from inside with each man connecting solidly. Bowles then pushes Mizugaki against the cage. Nothing happens there and the round ends. 10-9 Mizugaki.
Round 2. The standup continues to be very tentative. Both men clearly have a lot of respect for the other, because they are hesitant to open up too much and are keeping a pretty wide distance. Mizugaki lands a leg kick that kind of staggers Bowles and Bowles answers back with a solid punch. Bowles catches a leg kick and throws a big punch as Mizugaki is off balance, ala Anderson Silva vs. James Irvin. Bowles then quickly moves around Mizugaki and secures a body scissors on Mizugaki's back. Bowles looks to set up a rear naked choke. Mizugaki defends successfully for the remainder of the round. 10-9 Bowles.
Round 3. Mizugaki pushes the action early with punches. Bowles clinches and pushes him against the cage. Neither man is able to get a takedown and Bowles backs off. Bowles gets a nice double leg takedown. Mizugaki stands back up but in the process Bowles gets his hooks in. Bowles has Mizugaki's back with Mizugaki in the standing position, like Matt Hughes vs. Frank Trigg or Josh Koscheck vs. Pete Spratt. They just hang out in this position for a while as the crowd boos. The referee eventually breaks them, which is odd usually when one guy has the other's back, but nothing was happening. Mizugaki lands a big right hook late in the round and is the aggressor at the close. Very close fight. 10-9 Bowles, 29-28 Bowles.
Winner: Brian Bowles, unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28, 29-28).
George Sotiropoulos vs. Rafael Dos Anjos
Sotiropoulos is Australia's most popular fighter, coming off a loss to Dennis Siver that temporarily derailed his lightweight title aspirations. Dos Anjos is a tough, underrated lightweight who has competed against many of the division's best. Both men are most proficient in jiu jitsu but have well rounded games.
Round 1. Sotiropoulos pushes the pace early with punches and low kicks. As Sotiropoulos is coming in, Dos Anjos drops him with a counter right hook and the referee stops the fight immediately as Sotiropoulos collapses.
Winner: Rafael Dos Anjos, TKO, round 1.
Melvin Guillard vs. Shane Roller
Guillard is an explosive striker who has won seven of his last eight fights. Roller has won five of six and mixes together great wrestling with improving submissions and striking. Guillard is slowly moving into the lightweight title mix but this is a tough challenge.
Round 1. Guillard elects not to touch gloves and throws a couple leaping punches and a leaping kick. Roller defends without too much trouble. Guillard lands a nice leg kick and a straight right punch as Roller is moving backwards. Guillard continues to lunge in wildly and isn't showing a lot of respect for Roller's power. They throw wild haymakers from close distance with neither connecting. Guillard drops Roller with a huge left hook. Roller gets back up but Guillard drops him again with a knee and heavy punches on the ground which knock Roller out. Very impressive performance from Guillard.
Winner: Melvin Guillard, KO, round 1.
Dong Hyun Kim vs. Carlos Condit
Kim is an undefeated (although he lost a decision to Karo Parisyan that was overturned due to banned painkiller use by Parisyan) Korean judo specialist. Condit is a fight closer and former WEC welterweight champion with excellent striking and submissions. Both men are angling for a title shot against UFC welterweight champion Georges St. Pierre and an impressive win could move one towards the top of the list after GSP battles Nick Diaz in October.
Round 1. Condit throws a couple front kicks and as he goes for another, Kim switches levels and takes him down. Condit uses a heck of a sweep with a guillotine to take top position and then stands back up. Condit connects with a hard head kick. Kim lands a nice straight left but Condit immediately answers back with a hook that lands. Condit throws a beautiful flying knee that knocks Kim down and finishes with explosive punches on the ground. Condit staked out his claim to a title shot here. Jon Fitch has a longer winning streak but Condit is much more crowd pleasing.
Winner: Carlos Condit, TKO, round 1.
Tito Ortiz vs. Ryan Bader
It's coming to the end of the road for Tito Ortiz, the former longtime UFC light heavyweight champion and UFC poster boy. Ortiz has been ravaged by injuries and hasn't won a fight since he beat Ken Shamrock in 2006. If he loses here, it's almost certainly the end for one of the sport's biggest stars on the sport's biggest stage. Ryan Bader is a much younger wrestler with power and is coming off the only loss of his career against now UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones.
Round 1. Loud "Tito" chants as the fight starts. Bader lands a hard straight right punch early. Ortiz throws a few jabs while Bader mixes in some leg kicks. Ortiz drops Bader with a right hook from very close range. He then grabs a guillotine from top, rolls to the bottom, and gets the tap. He then digs a grave like the old days and celebrates on top of the cage. Tito did it. The crowd goes crazy. Ortiz celebrates with gusto following the fight, and it's certainly understandable because that win was of paramount importance for Ortiz in so many ways.
Winner: Tito Ortiz, submission, round 1.
Matt Wiman vs. Dennis Siver
Siver is a German kickboxer who has won seven of eight fights and is coming off the biggest win of his career over George Sotiropoulos in Australia. Matt Wiman is a well rounded, exciting fighter with a three fight winning streak of his own. The winner should be in line for an even high profile bout next time around.
Round 1. Siver immediately opens up with leg kicks. They trade big hooks and Wiman shoots for a takedown unsuccessfully. Wiman throws a head kick that misses narrowly and Siver tries to fire in some powerful hooks that don't land. Early, the shorter Siver hasn't been able to close the distance to connect with his power punches. Siver keeps throwing the heavy hooks with bad intentions but can't land. Wiman goes for a takedown but Siver is able to avoid ending up on the ground. Wiman keeps pushing for a takedown against the cage. Siver eventually moves away. Siver lands a hook and takes Wiman down. Wiman looks for a kimura from the bottom but Siver avoids danger and stands back up. Wiman shoots for a takedown of his own and Siver balances on one leg throwing punches. Siver connects with some big punching combinations from short distance but Wiman gets a takedown at the close of the round. 10-9 Siver.
Round 2. Siver throws a few punches and Wiman goes for another takedown. Siver stuffs him against the cage but Wiman keeps pushing. The crowd voices their displeasure with the stalemate. After a frantic scramble, Wiman is able to secure top position on the ground. Wiman throws some elbows and punches and opens a cut on Siver's face. Wiman opens up with ground and pound. Wiman keeps working and Siver isn't doing anything off his back. Siver is bleeding badly and Wiman keeps the pressure on with punches from inside guard. 10-8 Wiman.
Round 3. Wiman immediately looks for a takedown again at the start of the third round. Siver avoids the takedown. Siver throws a variety of kicks, not showing too much concern about a takedown even after the last round. Wiman goes for a takedown and doesn't get it but lands a nice hook as Siver is moving away. Wiman moves in again but Siver throws a few big punches and circles out of trouble. Wiman pushes Siver against the cage with two minutes left in the fight. Wiman keeps pushing but isn't getting anything while Siver throws punches to the body. Wiman grabs a guillotine and drops down but Siver pops out and gets back up. Wiman gets a takedown with 40 seconds left in the fight. Siver reverses, takes top position and gets back up. He continues to throw punches and looks for a guillotine to close the fight. 10-9 Siver, 28-28 draw.
Winner: Dennis Siver, unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28).
The crowd boos the decision but it's the right one under the current scoring system. Siver won rounds 1 and 3. Round 2 was much more decisive, but judges don't give a lot of 10-8 rounds. This fight is actually a perfect example of why 10-8 rounds ought to be used more often.
Wanderlei Silva vs. Chris Leben
Silva is one of the all time legends of the sport, and maybe the most feared fighter of all time. Like Ortiz, he's a fighter on the decline and in particular his chin has failed him in recent years. But he's a beloved figure among MMA fans and it's always a great environment when he competes. Leben is a tough brawler with some of the same recklessness of Silva. Both are crowd pleasers and this should be an exciting fight for however long it lasts. Silva gets a huge reaction from the crowd.
Round 1. Silva lands some big hooks at the start of the fight but Leben is able to walk through them. Leben then answers with hooks and uppercuts of his own and Silva can't handle them. Silva goes down and Leben follows with punches on the ground until Silva is out and the referee stops the contest. Silva's chin, unfortunately, just can't absorb any punishment at this stage of the game.
Winner: Chris Leben, TKO, round 1.
UFC bantamweight title: Dominick Cruz vs. Urijah Faber
Cruz was the last WEC bantamweight champion and first UFC bantamweight champion. He employs a high speed technical striking attack that is unique and suited to his particular strengths. The only blemish on his 17-1 record is a submission defeat to Urijah Faber in 2007. Faber was the longtime kingpin of the 145 pound division and now fights at 135. He is strong in all aspects of the game and is good at capitalizing on the weaknesses of his opponents. However, after starting his career 21-1, Faber is 4-3 in his last 7 contests. We get two of the most distinctive entrances in the sport back to back, with Faber's "California Love" following Wanderlei Silva's "Sandstorm." Faber is a big crowd favorite and the crowd boos Cruz mightily, recognizing his hostile relationship with Faber.
Round 1. They don't touch gloves at the start. Cruz lands a nice straight right punch up the middle at the start. The crowd loudly chants "Faber." Faber grabs a bodylock and looks to throw Cruz down but Cruz defends very well. Faber lands a nice punch as they separate. Cruz connects with a hook and body kick. Faber uses a body punch. Cruz is using his game of moving in and out with speed. Cruz goes down during an exchange but it appeared to be a slip and either way he is fine seconds later. Cruz lands a series of leg kicks. Faber lands a nice punch that sends Cruz back. Cruz is landing much more but Faber does have more power. Cruz lunges in with a leg kick and punch. Faber shoots for a takedown and has Cruz against the cage with a minute left in the round. Cruz backs out of potential danger. Cruz lands a couple of uppercuts and Faber lands a nice punch from close distance. Cruz throws a flying knee and goes to take down Faber at the close. Clear round for Cruz. 10-9 Cruz.
Round 2. Faber throws a hard right hook as Cruz moves in early. Faber ducks down for a takedown but Cruz gets out of the way. Faber moves out of the way of a Cruz leg kick. Some fans start to chant Cruz in response to the Faber chants. Cruz connects right on the chin of Faber and Faber sticks out his chin to essentially mock Cruz's power. Faber lands a hard overhand right that Cruz is able to withstand. Faber is getting the timing of Cruz down better than he did in the first round. Faber looks for a takedown but is brushed off and given a left hook for his efforts. Cruz uses a nice left high kick/right low kick combination. Cruz goes down as Faber throws a shot and it was unclear how hard it connected. Cruz clinches for a moment and then backs off. Cruz scores a takedown with 30 seconds left in the round. He throws a few punches from top before Faber stands up. Cruz throws a five strike combination of punches and kicks at the end of the round. Closer round, still Cruz's. 10-9 Cruz.
Round 3. Faber lands a leg kick at the start. Cruz lands a straight right. They exchange kicks. Cruz grabs a hold of Faber, throws a couple punches, and backs off. Cruz lands the best punch of the round, a looping left on the chin of Faber that sends Faber backwards. Faber goes for a takedown. He gets Cruz down, but Cruz quickly reverses to top and then they scramble to their feet. Cruz uses a nice jab and a variety of kicks low and high. Cruz connects with a straight right but Faber lands one of his own moments later. Cruz shoots for a takedown at the end of the round but Faber defends well and Cruz doesn't get it. 10-9 Cruz.
Round 4. Cruz lands a couple hard left punches to the chin of Faber at the start of the round. He follows with a kick to the body. Faber lands a straight left and an off balance Cruz goes down. Cruz shoots for a takedown but Faber defends. Cruz lands an uppercut from close range. Faber shoots for a takedown but doesn't get it. Cruz lands a hook, straight punch and knee to the body combination. Cruz goes for a takedown with two minutes left in the round but Faber defends nicely. Cruz avoids a Faber hook and lands one of his own. Faber lands a nice pair of straight rights to the head. Cruz then lands one of his own. Cruz goes for a takedown with 20 seconds left but doesn't get it. He clearly has the strategy to try to get a takedown late in rounds to "steal" the round in the scoring. 10-9 Cruz. I haven't seen it as a particularly close fight but interestingly press row has it very close.
Round 5. Faber is off balance after a knee early but it seems to be nothing major. Cruz gets a takedown but Faber stands right back up. Cruz goes for a takedown and Faber grabs a guillotine but Cruz gets out. Faber lands a nice punch as Cruz backs away. Cruz gets another takedown but Faber stands up again. Cruz again throws Faber down and Faber again immediately gets up. Cruz goes with a hook to the body and Faber counters to the head. Cruz throws some punches to the body and takes Faber down twice but Faber gets right back up both times. Cruz goes for another takedown late and Faber defends against it. 10-9 Faber, 49-46 Cruz. Entertaining fight.
Winner: Dominick Cruz, unanimous decision (50-45, 49-46, 48-47).
The crowd boos the decision, but it was the right one.
Photo: Dominick Cruz, right, lands a kick against Urijah Faber on his way to retaining the batamweight title belt by unanimous decision during Saturday's UFC 132 in Las Vegas. Credit: Eric Jamison / Associated Press