In the main event of UFC 131, Junior dos Santos battered Shane Carwin over 3 rounds to claim a lopsided unanimous decision victory and earn a title shot at Cain Velasquez.
What was the high spot of this fight?
The end of the first round was all the drama you can ask for in a fight. As the round drew near to the end, dos Santos turned up the aggression and began really landing on Carwin. When Carwin dropped, dos Santos swarmed him, landing a series of tough ground and pound blows. At one point, dos Santos looked towards referee Herb Dean to stop the fight, but in a scene reminiscent of Shane Carwin vs. Brock Lesnar, Dean saw just enough defense from Carwin to let the fight continue. dos Santos learned from Carwin's mistake and let his opponent up. The shot of Carwin, bleeding heavily, and badly beaten, dragging himself to his feet to once again step into the fight is an iconic moment that fans won't soon forget.
Where do these guys go from here?
For dos Santos the path is all laid out - next stop: Cain Velasquez and the Heavyweight title. We're not sure when that will be as Velasquez is still recovering from injury, but hopefully dos Santos won't have to sit on the shelf for long. That fight should be a great one from a sporting perspective, but with neither man yet showing the kind of big personality that catches the attention of all fans, it will be interesting to see what kind of interest it draws.
Carwin is in a very tough position. He's on a two fight losing streak, he's 36 years old, and he will likely need some time to recover from this fight. I outlined this earlier today, but I think his time as a title contender ended with this fight. Next up for him should be a mid-range opponent - perhaps now is the time to reschedule that Roy Nelson fight originally planned for January.
Watch it now, later, or never?
Watch it now to both see the end of Carwin's run at the top, and the clear birth of the new #1 contender.
UFC 131 Results: Junior dos Santos Impresses and Other Post-Hangover Thoughts - Brent Brookhouse
UFC 131 Results: FightMetric Reports for Dos Santos vs. Carwin, Florian vs. Nunes, and Maia vs. Munoz - Mike Fagan
UFC 131 Results: The Reality of Kenny Florian's Run in the UFC's Featherweight Division - Leland Roling
UFC 131 Results: Kenny Florian vs. Diego Nunes Fight Video Highlights
UFC 131 Results: Was This Shane Carwin's Last Chance? - Fraser Coffeen
UFC 131 Results: What's Next For Show's Winners? - Matt Bishop
UFC 131 Results: Junior dos Santos vs. Shane Carwin Fight Video Highlights
UFC 131 Results: Brainless Judging Prominent Despite Cageside Monitors - Leland Roling
UFC 131 Results: Shane Carwin's Battered Face Says It All - Kid Nate
UFC 131 Results: Junior dos Santos Is Coming for Champ Cain Velasquez - Kid Nate
UFC 131 Results: Junior dos Santos vs. Shane Carwin Post-Fight Recap and Analysis - Mike Fagan
Bad Boy Presents Bloody Elbow Radio - Episode 45: UFC 131 Results Review
UFC 131 Post-Fight Press Conference Video
UFC 131 Results: Junior dos Santos Outclasses Shane Carwin to Earn Title Shot - Matt Bishop
UFC 131 Results: Carwin vs. dos Santos - Play by Play and Live Commentary
UFC 131 Results: Kenny Florian Survives Scare, Bests Diego Nunes - Matt Bishop
UFC 131 Results: Mark Munoz Edges Demian Maia - Matt Bishop
UFC 131 Results: Dave Herman Stops Jon Olav Einemo - Matt Bishop
UFC 131 Results: Donald Cerrone's Kicks Too Much for Vagner Rocha - Matt Bishop
UFC 131 Results: Sam Stout Lays Out Yves Edwards - Matt Bishop
UFC 131 Results: Chris Weidman Submits Jesse Bongfeldt - Matt Bishop
UFC 131 Results: Krzysztof Soszynski Decisions Mike Massenzio - Leland Roling
UFC 131 Results: Nick Ring Demolishes James Head After Early Scare - Leland Roling
UFC 131 Results: Dustin Poirier Edges Jason Young in Exciting Battle - Leland Roling
UFC 131 Results: Joey Beltran TKO's Aaron Rosa in Wild Affair - Leland Roling
UFC 131 Results: Darren Elkins Defeats Michihiro Omigawa by Unanimous Decision - Leland Roling