Myles Jury vs. Michael Johnson - Jury's wrestling was strong and just too much for Johnson to handle. He couldn't get off his back at all and had no ground game at all.
Jamie Varner vs. Melvin Guillard - Varner's comeback trail rolls on. Guillard always tires come the 2nd round and this was no exception. Crazy finishing sequence to end the fight and great thing Guillard tucked his head or it could have been nasty.
Erick Perez vs. Byron Bloodworth - Perez again looked impressive and is ready to step up to the next level of competitor.
Brad Pickett vs. Eddie Wineland - I was looking forward to this fight and it was a bit of a let down. Was expecting a bit more fireworks here. Wineland's stand up and gameplan was solid and Pickett couldn't get his game started. Maybe lets see Wineland vs Perez next.
Chris Leben vs. Derek Brunson - Leben showed a lot of cage rust but there was a big size and power advantage here for Brunson. Horrible fight by both guys.
Alan Belcher vs. Yushin Okami - Flashbacks to earlier Okami fights in the UFC. A totally awful performance by Belcher who I thought was going to win this fight. Okami played to his strengths and it won him the fight but it was not very fan friendly. Really have no desire to see Okami again and it is not like he is going to get another title shot, his win kind of screws up a potential new challenger.
Tim Boetsch vs. Costa Philippou - This fight had potential and was pretty even until Boetsch's hand problem and the eye poke. Philippou has potential and has had a few good outings although he may be in trouble vs a strong wrestler.
Jim Miller vs. Joe Lauzon - What a war this was! A totally wild fight that will surely add to both of their bonus totals. Miller was a man possessed in the 1st round especially and hats off to Lauzon for keep coming forward and even trying some submissions while his head was dripping like a faucet. Lauzon isn't hurt at all with the loss here and cant wait until Miller's next fight.
Junior Dos Santos vs. Cain Velasquez - A surprise that the fight was so one sided. I don't think Dos Santos really recovered from that 1st round punch until maybe the 4th round and by then he was physically spent from taking all of those punches. He showed a lot of heart as he ate a lot of punches. Would have thought his corners advice might be to try to time a big knee when Cain shoots in for a takedown as the opportunity was there in the later rounds when Cain started to tire. So now Daniel Cormier will have to drop a weight class and it looks like it may be Overeem vs Velasquez as the next title fight.
Check out my Wrestling Observer, Wrestling Memorabilia, UFC/MMA, Beer Clothes, Pins & more ebay auctions. Sellers name is grantsindex. Over 500 items up.
Email about my Observer Royal Rumble special at
Happy New Year Everyone!
Official Index of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter
Heavyweights would balk at the nickname and maybe it's not valid without a comeback but Dos Santos is The Brazilian Zombie!
PS Ted Dibiase should do an angle where he has to get a cast for it BUT IT'S A LOADED CAST.
And his finisher is him knocking people out with his finger.
His new valet would be called "Pinky."
I miss wrestling.
Best Fight: Miller vs Lauzon
Worst Fight: Anything involving the middleweights.
Main card was an overall thumbs up thanks solely to the last two
fights, but it was really bleak until then. Throw in the prelims and
you get a stronger thumbs up. Still, they need to stop
putting...well, just about all of the middleweights on PPV because
they've been having some awful fights lately. Plus, between Weidman's
injury and the results tonight nobody really deserves a title shot
unless the Strikeforce guys get some momentum.
If Adelaide Byrd is allowed to judge a MMA fight in Nevada again after
the Guillard fight, then...wow.
Speaking of athletic commission fails: Someone tell the inspectors
it's their job to notice if a fighter says something like "I can't
see" to his corner. The Boetsch fight should've been called by the
doctor at that point.
Thumbs up. Last three fights saved one of the year's spottier cards. Jonny Pipik replacing Goldy was a wash. At least he's different and his energy is high, but my God, he has as little innate grasp of fighting as Goldy. Or Cosell or Limpley or Mushmouth or Shillavello. I'm sure he'll be very successful.
Best fight: Miller-Lauzon
Worst fight: Brunson-Leben, possibly of the year, possibly ever.
Moraga, two rounds down, finishes Cariaso in the 3rd with an unusual front D'Arce choke in the fb opener.
Holloway takes a dubious 29-28 SD over Leonard Garcia. I thought Garcia won all three rounds. Holloway had an early KD but Garcia fought smart for a change and outlanded him from there, and then sucked him into a brawl in the 3rd when Holloway gassed.
A leaned down Duffee fights off a TD and blasts out DeFries with a series of right hands a couple of minutes in. Not bad undercard except for UFC Amish Facebook Dialup.
Miles Jury completely dominates Michael Johnson, who has no answer for a bigger, better wrestler and really seems to just fold up and quit without tapping. Should have his purse held up. Could have been 30-24 for dominance although not that much damage. Judges of course all go 27. I believe Johnson scored an across the board 0 for offense (actually for defense too). How is that 30-27?
Varner and Guillard was a good fight, if not the 'grudge match' expected. Varner steals the first with a late blast after getting his leg kicked black and blue for 4 1/2 minutes (Pipik calls this 'five good minutes for Varner'), Guillard edges the second, and Varner dominates the 3rd. Explosive finish as Varner hits a Backdrop Piledriver and Guillard tucks his head and counters with a head scissors. Judges all go 30-27 but one bizarrely for Guillard---the 3rd didn't seem debatable.
Erik Perez, doing a masked (not during the fight) luchador gimmick and sounding very over with the Mexican fans, crumbles Bloodworth with a knee to the body from clinch and pounds until the ref steps in. Guy bears watching.
Wineland drills Pickett throughout the first and then goes safety first and stinks out the joint. Pickett tries but can't close the gap. He still somehow gets one round on one of the cards. Guess the judge mixed up 'scholarship' and 'effort'. This was the worst fight in terms of expectation vs. reality. .500 for the midcard.
Brunson and Leben open the top card with a pathetic display. Both are gassed by early in the 2nd. This was Kimbo vs. Houston level bad. Possible worst fight of the year. Brunson given the 29-28 UD. He screams and flops at the final bell like he just did something great. Jonny Pipik calls this a 'well deserved celebration'. How did Brunson get this fight after being demolished in 40 seconds by Jacare in Strikeforce? Leben just looks old and silly.
Okami re-exposes Belcher for the ordinary fighter he is, wiping up the mat with him for three rounds but as usual being content to grind out the decision. Belcher looks all jacked up but is gassed after one round (actually that's not really a 'but'). One judge, in possibly the most inexplicable scoring of the night, gives Belcher a round. Maybe his Seeing Eyed Dog nudged his hand the wrong way. There is also a bizarre standup in R2 with Okami in side control and pounding. Not real entertaining and the card is circling the drain.
Things pick up though. Wasn't Tim Boetsch's night. Scored a nice front knee KD at the end of the 1st but broke his hand, got busted up from an accidental headbutt, then an accidental eyepoke, then busted up again from a legit shot, and was pretty much helpless and Costa Philippou finished him with G&P in the 3rd. The bloodbath could have been stopped earlier. Dramatic, compelling fight. You gotta love Boetsch's heart. (BOETSCH: I can't see. MATT HUME (trainer): You wanna stop? BOETSCH: Fuck no.) Costa moves to the top of the MW rankings behind teammate Weidman.
Jim Miller and Joe Lauzon blow the roof off the joint. Miller hits Lauzon with everything plus the kitchen sink in the 1st, busts him up, threatens with a standing arm tri, and still only gets a 10-9 from the judges. Lauzon never stops coming. He gets arm weary in the 2nd and takes Lauzon down, but Lauzon reverses him and dominates the round. Miller goes back to boxing in the 3rd and dominates that, but Lauzon explodes in the last 30 with two very close sub attempts. Another 10 seconds and he may have won. This was bloodier than the previous fight. Miller gets the 29-28 UD. Maybe the MMA fight of the year.
Cain proved the first fight was due to his injuries and just wrecked Junior in the main. He was much, MUCH faster than Junior and outboxed him from the jump, although Junior stuffed about half a dozen TDs in the 1st, and probably broke his jaw with the right cross he dropped him with. Junior barely survived the G&P. This was a 10-7 round. And yet again, one judge scores it a 10-9. What the fuck is a 10-8? Shooting the other guy in the head with a gun? The mugging continues in the 2nd, with Cain now getting the TDs at will, an obvious 10-8, which only one judge scores. Astoundingly after all this battering, Junior gets at least somewhat back into the fight and seems to gain strength and hold the last three rounds down to legit 10-9s and is stuffing the TDs again by the end but it was Cain's night, 50-42, and if he keeps this level he's gonna be very hard to beat. Can't see Reem hanging with his pace. Again I want to harp on this---one judge scored all 10-9 rounds. It didn't affect the result, of any of the fights with bad scoring tonight,but something has to be done about this bullshit.
Last three fights saved the card, The story tonight IMO was the heart shown by the guys who lost them.