Junior dos Santos dominated Frank Mir in the main event of UFC 146. It appeared that once Mir's first attempt at a takedown failed, he resigned himself to engaging in a kickboxing match. That was a fight that Mir would not have any chance of winning and it played out as one would expect.
The straight right hand, an orthodox fighter's staple against a southpaw like Mir, landed over and over for Junior, this wore him out and by the second round it seemed like every shot that landed was hurting Mir badly. Once Mir was fighting against ghosts for the third or fourth time in the fight, it was mercifully stopped after a perfunctory hammerfist by dos Santos.
Junior proved that he is a legitimate champion, if anyone had any doubts based on a quick KO over Cain to win the belt. It may not have been the Overeem fight we wanted, but Frank Mir is a hell of an opponent to handle with such ease.
- Cain Velasquez's performance against Antonio Silva was terrifying. Silva is a bit flawed and, obviously, isn't impossible to beat, but Cain did unspeakable things to him. He dominated him and basically covered the entire canvas in his blood before turning it up yet another notch and getting the stoppage. Just brutal effectiveness.
- As I said on Twitter, there's a legitimate chance that Cain Velasquez is the best heavyweight on the planet still. Losing on a quick KO doesn't really prove that he isn't truly the best. I'm not saying I necessarily think that it's the case, but I'm not willing to write that possibility off just yet.
- Dave Herman is a guy whose career has been mostly about how good he could be rather than how good he is. He's like hyper-Brandon Vera. Roy Nelson knocking his block off with a punch that started in Nelson's back pocket was pure craziness.
- Shane del Rosario has never been a guy I was all that high on, but Stipe Miocic was a really hard fight to come back to. Shane probably could have stood to receive a little bit easier of a comeback. Once Miocic got the fight to the ground in the second round, it was clear he had no intention of letting it get back up. It's kind of amazing that the cut he left on Shane's face became almost forgettable by the sheer volume of blood in the Bigfoot fight.
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- The truth about Lavar Johnson is that he was a very "meh" kind of heavyweight in Strikeforce. He caught two impressive wins when he came to the UFC and that somehow turned into everyone thinking he'd truck Stefan Struve. That wouldn't have happened with a full camp, but certainly wasn't going to happen on short notice. Struve fought smart, pulled guard and took an arm with serious quickness.
- Diego Brandao fights like a guy who will lose fights like the one he lost to Darren Elkins tonight. He's wild and a lot of fun to watch, but he also has clear issues with his takedown defense and game off his back. Elkins survived a very bad first round to come back and clearly win rounds 2 and 3 and take a win. Brandao is going to be a lot of fun for a long time, but I have my doubts as to how high his ceiling truly is.
- Jamie Varner, right?! I love the guy, I know that is like...the wrong attitude to have about him, but whatever. Varner has always been an endearing character for me. So seeing him get a huge win over Edson Barboza was really awesome.
- A quick note on Varner's striking in that fight: he went to the body to start six straight combinations at the end of the fight. That dedication to the body was lowering Barboza's hands and set up the finishing flurry.
- Jason Miller looked awful again tonight. He may or may not have hurt his knee in the fight, but he also was getting punched a lot and looked lost. The hype-to-results ratio for Mayhem has been horrible.
- Dan Hardy proved my theory that a stand-up fight meant a Duane Ludwig win...wrong. Very much so. Hardy has a lot of fan support and the UFC brass love him. I wonder if he'd have been cut had he lost again, but that doesn't really matter since he got a big win.
- Paul Sass did the world a favor and subbed Jacob Volkmann, eliminating any potentially embarrassing post-fight interview.
- Glover Teixeira is a scary fella. Kyle Kingsbury isn't a great fighter, but he's a tough enough dude that Glover running through him has legitimate meaning.
- Mike Brown getting a win was nice. He fought hard and earned a win that he hinted may be his last ever. If that's the case, he's had a good run. But his performance was good enough that I figure he'll stick around.