Sunday, October 24, 2010

A Look Back at UFC 121

If you were still feeling sick from the post-UFC 120 endemic, then UFC 121 probably served as the perfect cure. From the near career death of Tito Ortiz to the crowning of new heavyweight champ Cain Velasquez, UFC 121 definitely fulfilled its early fanfare.

Some Afterthoughts:
  • Viva Mexico. It was "Brown Pride" over Santa Claus/Viking beards as Cain Velasquez stopped former UFC heavyweight champion Brock Lesnar in the first round. Although undersized next to his monstrous opponent Brock Lesnar, Cain proved that light feet and heavy hands are the perfect formula when slaying giants.
  • Close one for Shields. Former Strikeforce middleweight champion Jake Shields received a cold welcome from Danish fighter Martin Kampmann in his UFC debut. Shields edged Kampann in  on the cards to take home a split decision victory. I'm not sure what match the judges were watching but I had Kampmann winning this one. Moving forward I just can't see Shields heading into a welterweight title fight with Georges St. Pierre.
  • Schaub in the red zone. Brandon Schaub is officially a mixed martial artist. It looks like he's shaken off the stiff ex-pro football player vibe, and a win over Gabriel Gonzaga is a sure statement in the UFC's thick heavyweight division.
  • Go Diego! Go! Back on track with a unanimous decision victory over Paulo Thiago, Diego Sanchez might be regaining his footing in the Octagon. Sanchez comes off of two straight losses to Jonathan Hathaway and B.J. Penn respectively. The bout earned "Fight of the Night" honors. Maybe all that meditation and yoga stuff is finally paying off for Diego.
  • Ortiz goes down and nobody cares. Tito Ortiz needs to hang it up, and if Dana White's pink slip tablet has its say, Tito could be on the outs. Straight to the point -- Matt Hamill embarrassed Tito Ortiz in a violent three-rounder. The victory is Hamill's second in a row against washed up fighters. Hamill defeated Keith Jardine at the TUF 11 Finale in June. Jardine was released from the UFC following the bout. Much respect due to Tito Ortiz, the legendary UFC light heavyweight who owned the early half of the decade in the UFC's light heavyweight division, and while it appears that his time has passed, history shows that he somehow always manages to stick around.

Main Card:
Cain Velasquez def. Brock Lesnar via first-round TKO
Jake Shields def. Martin Kampmann via split decision
Diego Sanchez def. Paulo Thiago via unanimous decision
Matt Hamill def. Tito Ortiz via unanimous decision
Brendan Schaub def. Gabriel Gonzaga via unanimous decision

Preliminary Card:
Court McGee def. Ryan Jensen via submission (arm triangle)
Tom Lawlor def. Patrick Côté via unanimous decision
Daniel Roberts def. Mike Guymon via submission (anaconda choke)
Sam Stout def. Paul Taylor via split decision
Chris Camozzi def. Dong Yi Yang via split decision
Jon Madsen def. Gilbert Yvel via first-round TKO

Post-UFC 121 videos:

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(VIDEO PROPS: Fanhouse/Ariel Helwani,

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