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UFC 132 Dominick Cruz vs Urijah Faber 7/2/11

UFC 132 was a great show with many surprising good fights, and with the continued free Facebook streaming, free Spike TV portion, and PPV, the entire card was at disposal.  Sorry for the really late recap, but work and surfing got in the way of me posting a timely write up.

Facebook Prelims

Jeff Hougland def. Donny Walker:  In round 1, Hougland scores a body kick before ducking a punch to shoot in for a takedown.  Walker gets hit by an elbow while on his back in guard.  A few more elbows score.  Hougland stacks up and applies sinks in a standing guillotine and back down to guard.  Walker escapes and both are active on the mat.  Hougland reverses to top position and just as the bell sounds, Walker attempts a leg lock.  Round 1 goes to Hougland.  In round 2, Hougland misses with a round kick to the head but scores on a short hook punch.  Hougland is landing more frequently with kicks to the body and leg and a spinning hammer fist.  Walker is pressing and lunges for a hook punch.  Consecutive jabs from Hogland to a clinching knee as he shows better stand up than Walker, who is mostly known as a stand up fighter.  Both fighters stumble to the mat and Hougland cranks a guillotine off his back and Walker nearly taps before being saved by the bell.  Round 2 goes to Hougland.  In round 3, Hougland drops for a takedown, but it is stuffed.  Walker has double under hooks against the cage and lands a knee in the clinch.  Both fighters go to the mat and Walker is in half guard on top.  Walker is in full guard.  Hougland spins for an arm bar and syncs it in deep before transitioning into a triangle.  Walker picks Hougland while being choked and slams him to the mat to free up the submission attempt. The ref stands both fighters at 2:40.  Walkers is more active and lands punches.  Hougland shoots in, but looks clearly fatigued.  Walker sprawls and is now on top.  Hougland passes after being in danger from a Japanese Necktie, a variation of the Darce choke.  Walker is desperate at :40 while on his back for a submission attempt, but Hougland is aware and stays out of trouble.  Great round!  Round 3 goes to Hougland.  Official Judges Score:  30-27 29-28 29-28

Anthony Njokuani def. Andre Winner:  On paper, this matchup looked to possibly content for “fight of the night” as both fighters excel at standup, but ended up being a lopsided victory.  In round 1, both fighters exchange rapidly in the center of the cage.  Njokuani explosively scores a leg kick and body hook punch. Njokuani follows with another leg kick to spinning elbow.  Winner misses with a lead uppercut.  Winner also misses with a step up round kick. Njokuani counters regularly and ducks most attacks with ease.  Winner throws nice punches, but is mostly missing.  Long jabs from Njokuani and kicks to the body make their mark.  Njokuani counters with double upper cut to jab to big straight right.  With 14 seconds remaining, Njokuani scores a takedown.  Back on their feet, Njokuani tees off with uppercut and knees, counter punch, knee, punch, knee, clinch to a final knee.  Round 1 goes to Njokuani 10-8.  In round 2, Winner comes out aggressively swinging.  Njokuani throws an explosive head kick.  Njokuani lunges in for a 1-2, hook, to knee.  Winner breaks the clinch after getting hit with a few knees.  Winner scores with a lead left hook, but is pressing less than at the start of the round and is getting countered most time he leads with an attack.  Winner leads with a straight right and connects.  Round 2 goes to Njokuani.  In round 3, both miss with head kicks. Njokuani is very good at lunging combos as he covers lots of distance in his attacks.  Leg kick to head kick and body hook to straight right are thrown by Njokuani while effectively using repeated feints.  Njokuani attempts a single leg takedown.  Winner clocks Njokuani with a left hook and is throwing hard punches to end the fight.  Njokuani wins round 3.  This is the best performance I have seen from Njokuani.  Official Judges Score:  30-26, 30-26, 30-27

Aaron Simpson def. Brad Tavares:  Tavares starts the fight with a lead body kick.  Simpson attempts a double leg takedown and  while still holding on he scores with some knees to the leg against the cage.  Simpson tries for a leg sweep.  Tavares applies the whizzer to avoid being taken down and shows further excellent takedown defense.  At 2:15, the ref separates the fighters for a restart.  Tavares scores with a stiff counter straight right.  Simpson lands a leg kick and clinches. Another takedown attempt by Simpson is defended against well.  Both exchange punches to end the round.  Round 1 goes to Simpson.  In round 2, Tavares scores beautifully with consecutive counter straight rights.  Simpson almost gets dropped, but grabs Tavares and counters back.  In the clinch against the cage, Simpson hits hard with knees to the thighs.  Tavares positions himself for a takedown and completes a double leg takedown.  Simpson gets back to his feet quickly and scores with a knee.  Simpson syncs a standing guillotine and tries for his own takedown to end the round, but is unsuccessful.  Round 2 goes to Simpson.  In round 3, Simpson gets Tavares in a clinch, but Tavares pushes off beautifully to get away.  Simpson scores with a lunging straight right.  Tavares uses the whizzer to avoid being taken down.  With his back against the fence, Tavares avoids further takedown attempts by shifting his weight with great balance, however, Simpson finally sweeps Tavares to the mat.  Simpson tries to pass and gets the back of Tavares as they both stand.  Another sweep by Simpson, but Tavares is up quickly. Simpson continues to try for takedowns and Tavares does well to keep his weigh forward to avoid being thrown to the mat.  The ref separates both fighters.  Simpson scores a big straight right and immediately sweeps Tavares to a guillotine attempt.  Round 3 goes to Simpson.  Official Judges Score: 30-27 30-27 30-27

Brian Bowles def. Takeya Mizugaki:  This fight was disappointing in that the matchup was good enough to be on the main card AND while Bowles did win (mostly by securing takedowns and positioning on the mat), I felt he did so with little intensity and effort.  In round 1, Mizugaki scores with a leg kick and straight right.  Mizugaki ducks to counter with a 1-2.  Bowles shows respect and is unable to find his range.  Mizugaki thumps with a leg kick and another counter straight right.  Mizugaki ducks or blocks punches and counters with a 1-2.  Mizugaki lands a knee to the head and from the clinch, the ref separates the fighters.  Mizugaki lands a knee to the body and finishes the round with a flurry from his hands: jab, straight right, hook and a 1-2.  Round 1 goes to Mizugaki. In round 2,  Bowles is pumping out his jab.  Mizugaki scores with a hard straight right and a right legged round kick.  Bowles jabs again.  Mizugaki displays excellent footwork to avoid danger and to get into range for his own attacks.  Bowles lands a short right and more jabs.  Both are landing with jabs and straight rights.  Mizugaki is countering well and kicks Bowles in the head.  Mizugaki gets his leg grabbed by Bowles after throwing a leg kick.  This causes Mizugaki to go to the mat and get trapped in a body triangle.  Mizugaki defends well against three separate rear naked choke attempts.  At some point in the round, Bowles broke his hand.  Bowles wins round 2.  In round 3, Bowles clinches against the cage.  At 3:00, Bowles secures a well timed and explosive double leg takedown.   Crowd is booing as Bowles just holds on for 2 minutes.  Both get back to their feet and Bowles ends the round with a left hook.  Round 3 goes to Bowles.  Official Judges Score:  29-28, 30-27, 30-27 (RIDICULOUS that 2 judges scored the first round 10-9 to Bowles)

Spike TV Prelims

Rafael Dos Anjos def. George Sotiropoulos:  In round 1, both fighters show good head movement and footwork with lots of missed strikes and shrug offs.  Dos Anjos lands a thumping leg kick to a hard straight left to palm strike to looping right hook which knocks Sotiropoulos out at 4:03.

Melvin Guillard def. Shane Roller:  I was really excited for this matchup, but the way Guillard fought on this night, not sure anyone can beat him.  In round 1, Guillard’s speed and aggression is immediately noticeable.  Guillard misses with a jumping knee, but follows with a connecting jumping round kick.  Guillard nearly misses with an explosive attack of left hook to straight right from way out of range.  A running left hook, straight right to the body, to kick combo scores for Guillard.  In addition to speed and explosiveness, Guillard continues to befuddle Roller with believable feints.  Roller’s face remains calm, but is clearly confused by the distancing Guillard maintains to keep Roller at bay.  A left hook to straight right lands from Guillard.  Guillard maintains his bouncy and active footwork.  Only 1 minute has elapsed as a short stoppage ensues after Roller gets poked in the eye.  Guillard scores on a leg kick and quickly clinches for a jumping knee.  Roller is missing on every attack.  Guillard counters with a straight right and it is loud.  Roller attacks, but is countered with a straight right, uppercut, and the left hook drops Roller.  On the ground, Guillard hits repeatedly with hammerfists and as Roller stands, Guillard clinches for a knee to lunging punches.  The left hook drops Roller and again more ground and pound from Guillard before the ref stops the fight at 2:50 in round 1.  Impressive standup from Guillard.

Pay Per View Main Card

Carlos Condit def. Dong Hyun Kim:  This fight was exciting and both fighters will continue to thrive in the 170 pound division, but Condit put on a show which I think finally opened up a lot of eyes to his fantastic skills in the cage.  In round 1, I love both fighters aggression and overall skill.  Kim ducks under for a double leg takedown and is still standing over Condit.  Condit on his back and in butterfly guard with one foot and uses the other foot to sweep Kim.  In full mount, Condit goes for a guillotine.  Kim hip escapes from danger and both stand.  At 3:52, the crowd acknowledges the ref’s decision to separate the fighters.  Condit switches his stance and a rear handed left hook lands.  Both are calm and patient while picking their spots to attack.  Condit charges forward with a hopping knee (similar to a hopping front kick or “Karate Kid” Crane kick”) and knocks Kim out with perfect timing at 2:02 in round 1.

Tito Ortiz def. Ryan Bader:  I have a hard time rooting for arrogant athletes who are one dimensional, therefore I was definitely not pulling for Ortiz.  Bader seems to have the louder applause from the fans, but there is definitely a buzz in the air.  In round 1, Bader lands a hard straight right, but has clumsy wrestler-style footwork during stand up.  A winging left hook from Ortiz grazes and he checks an inside leg kick skillfully.  Ortiz is trying to land a power jab, but doesn’t have much range on his punches.  In a messy clinch, Ortiz lands a short right to a hybrid punch which resembled a uppercut/hook.  Bader drops.  Ortiz digs in a guillotine with one arm in and it is tight while in guard.  At 3:04 in round 1, Bader taps.

Dennis Siver def. Matt Wiman: First off, I didn’t think this matchup deserved to be in the main card PPV portion, but ended up being a very entertaining fight. Second, Wiman got ripped off by the decision and should not have a loss on his record from this fight.  In round 1, both throw a lot of punches but mostly miss. Wiman drops for a single leg takedown but it’s stuffed by a beautiful sprawl.  Both stand and in short range exchange lots of punches, but again, miss mostly. Siver ducks a head high kick and follows with a few hard leg kicks of his own.  Wiman looks solid in his standup.  Both are getting closer to the target in hard exchanges.  Wiman grabs for a spinning hip toss, but Siver applies the whizzer to stand up quickly.  Wiman drops for a single after having double under hooks, but Siver has great takedown defense with his back against the cage.  Wiman almost gets the single leg takedown.  Both in the center of the cage and Siver lands a hard leg kick. Siver scores a takedown and gets half guard, but Wiman pushes off to stand back up.  Wiman attempts another single leg takedown, but Siver hops around and frees his leg.  Wiman grabs for a double leg takedown attempt, but is unsuccessful.  Siver is scoring late with big punches.  Round 1 goes to Wiman (very close to call).  In round 2, Siver grazes with a front leg front kick and Wiman shoots, but Siver with only one knee down avoids the takedown. Wiman is still grabbing a leg and drops down to throw his opponent on the mat. Siver is unable to stand back up this time.  In full guard, Wiman lands a sharp elbow to open Siver up.  Despite the red face, Siver is able to block many of the elbow attacks.  However, Wiman does land a few big elbows and punches from both hands from guard.  Siver is covered in blood.  Wiman tries to pass to side control just before the bell sounds.  Wiman wins round 2.  In round 3, the cut man did a fantastic cleanup job and Siver’s cut is sealed and all the blood is wiped away.  Siver misses with a left hook to straight right combo, but Wiman looks a even more wild with his winging punches.  Wiman grabs a leg which slips out and immediately shoots in for a single leg takedown attempt.  Siver drops to knees to sprawl; beautifully done.  At the center of the cage, Wiman blocks a head high kick and Siver also misses with a spinning back fist.  Both continue to mostly miss with their techniques.  Wiman stays aggressive.  Siver scores with a front kick to the body and leg kick.  Wiman drops for a single leg takedown, but Siver is slippery.  Wiman scores with a big straight right and follows with a grazing straight right.  Wiman ducks punches while some of them hit his face as he goes for another single leg takedown, but Siver has good defense.  Wiman sweeps Siver and goes for an omoplata.  Siver stands and Wiman falls, but it looks like a slip.  Siver attempts a guillotine at the bell.  Round 3 goes to Wiman.  Official Judges Score: 29-28 Siver

Chris Leben def. Wanderlei Silva:  I like Leben a lot and feel he has grown into a classy fighter, but Silva is one of my all time favorites.  In round 1, Silva looks to counter a leg kick with a straight right to start the fight.  As Leben lunges for a second leg kick, Silva throws hard looping punches.  Leben counters with left hooks.  Silva tries to clinch while getting hit with uppercuts and gets dropped by a left uppercut.  It looks like Silva believes in his own chin too much at this point in his long career and probably should have just avoided the punches rather than attempt a clinch.  Leben jumps on Silva for ground and pound with left hooks and at 4:34 in round 1, the ref stops the fight via KO.  Stunning ending!

Dominick Cruz def. Urijah Faber:  Of course there was no shaking of hands before the start of the fight.  While it is obvious that Cruz would be the taller fighter, I was surprised to learn that Faber had the longer reach advantage of 1 inch.  In round 1, Cruz lands a big straight right to start the fight.  Cruz has a very square fighting stance and best footwork in MMA in my opinion when it comes to distancing for offense and defense and bridging the gap explosively when needed to attack.  Faber gets hit again with a punch, but grabs onto Cruz to try to bring him down to the mat.  Cruz stays up after getting spun around a few times.  A key to the fight for Faber happens here when he scores on a punch during the Cruz exit, and this happens throughout the fight which was obviously premeditated strategy.  Cruz feints then lands a head kick, dances around and whips out a leg kick.  Faber swings wildly with a straight cross, but connects with a short hook. A short straight right stumbles Cruz to the mat, and as Cruz regains his balance, he is hit again with a hook punch.  Cruz doesn’t appear hurt from the knock down.  Cruz catches a leg kick for a sweep, but Faber defends well.  A hard, whipping leg kick blasts Faber.  As Faber rushes in, Cruz counters with a big uppercut from the rear hand.  Jab, right leg kick, duck, right uppercut combo is hitting from every angle from Cruz.  Faber shoots for a single leg takedown and holds on, but nothing is there.  After a clinch in the center of the cage where nothing was landed by either fighter, again on the exit, Faber lands a short elbow. Seconds before the bell, Cruz scores a takedown.  Round 1 goes to Cruz.  In round 2, Cruz avoids a takedown early.  Cruz scores a left hook, then follows with a a left hook to straight right combo which lands flush.  Faber swings and misses wildly.  Cruz lands a thumping leg kick.  When Cruz seemed to relax his alertness for a second, Faber makes him pay with a hard straight right…perfect timing to catch Cruz off guard.  Faber blocks a few punches, but eats a leg kick.  In the middle of the round, Cruz only lands a few insignificant punches, but is warding off all attacks from Faber.  Body hooks to a leaning looping straight right from Cruz scores before he stuffs a half hearted takedown attempt.  Cruz may have slipped despite what announcers say at :57, but he gets up quickly, stalks forward, ducks a punch and secures a double leg takedown.  Faber is in butterfly guard on his back and does a hip escape to stand back up, then scores on a left hook just before completely getting to his feet.  Cruz lands a left leg head kick and right leg kick.  After landing a right uppercut, Cruz scores beautifully with a left hook to right hook combo.  Round 2 goes to Cruz.  In round 3, Faber slaps with a leg kick.  Cruz punches from long range and Faber looks out of sorts in the first minute of the round, while Cruz darts around like a mosquito.  During the second minute of the round, lots of punches are missed and a few leg kicks land. Cruz feints to freeze Faber before scoring on another beautiful combo of lead uppercut, straight right, left knee to the body, and right hook.  Cruz scores again on a lead leg head kick to rear leg leg kick.  A takedown attempt is stuffed by Cruz.  At 2:08, Faber takes Cruz down with a hip toss and holds on to the back.  Cruz flips over and gets on top in side control.  As both scramble to their feet, Faber again lands a short right hook like many of the exits beforehand.  At 1:34, Cruz looks fatigued and less explosive, but continues to dance around and scoring on insignificant punches.  A leg kick lands, head high kick doesn’t, but Cruz follows it up with a solid straight right.  Cruz ducks a hook punch and counters with a straight right.  Faber scores with a uppercut but cant hit the moving head of Cruz with the rest of his combo.  Another single technique scores for Faber with a right hook.  Cruz lands a stiff jab and tries to shoot in for a takedown, but it is stuffed near the end of the round.  Round 3 was very close, but Cruz did way too much early in the round to give the round to Faber for his lone takedown, so I give it to Cruz.  In round 4, Cruz misses with a left hook, but follow up with a straight right.  Both look fresh to start the championship round.  Cruz misses with a left hook, but stuns Faber with a looping right hand.  Cruz continues to be very elusive with skillful head movement, but gets rocked by a straight right and drops to the mat.  Cruz pops up quickly and avoids a dangerous follow up straight right from Faber and in the moment, secures a single leg takedown.  Cruz tries to keep Faber on the mat, and nearly gets hit with an uppercut as he and Faber stand back up.  In an exchange, both land hard punches.  Faber doesn’t complete a double leg takedown, but scores with an uppercut as he gets back to his feet.  Cruz lands body digs, but clearly has lost some endurance.  Cruz doesn’t have the same explosiveness from before, nor is he moving as actively.  Cruz attempts a jab, pause, left uppercut, right hook, body kick combo, but only grazes with it. On the next exchange in the center of the cage, Faber gets the advantage.  Cruz tries for 2 unsuccessful takedowns.  Cruz lands a right uppercut and Faber lands 2 left hooks.  Faber thumps with a left handed dig to the body to straight right hand.  Faber doesn’t seem to have lost much endurance and looks very explosive. Toward the end of the round, most would believe Cruz shoots in for a takedown, but on replay I notice he might have been caught by a right hook and was falling to the mat and merely held onto Faber.  Round 4 goes to Faber.  In round 5, as Faber lunges in he gets caught in the chin hard by a jumping knee from Cruz. Both press forward to attack. Faber presses and punches hard.  Cruz attempts a takedown and Faber easily sprawls.  Cruz holds onto the leg while both fighters are on the mat.  Both scramble on the mat before standing back up.  Faber tries to knee, but is taken down by Cruz.  Cruz attempts a standing guillotine, but lets go for a left hook.  Faber pays for a big swing and miss as Cruz ducks under for another takedown.  After the scramble, both are in the center of the cage.  Faber tries another takedown but slips.  Both fighters stand back up and show unreal endurance and power.  Faber lands a few scattered punches in the last minute. At :44, Cruz scores a final takedown.  Faber stands and immediately is taken down again by Cruz.  Cruz ends the round with a clinching knee.  Before the judges decision, both fighters embrace respectfully.  Round 5 goes to Cruz.  Official Judges Score:  50-45, 49-46, 48-47

-Shingo

 

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