Despite the utterly fantastic card we COULD have had with Overeem at the top and Cain doing to Mir a variation of waht he did to Bigfoot....UFC 146 was still a very strong card from an interest angle and it had a bunch of great fights. Read below for some of my thoughts on each fight and the night in general...and stuff.
Mike Brown vs Daniel Pineda - It was a solid fight where both guys had their moments but Brown did what he needed to do to win. I must have missed his post-fight speech, but I hear he retired. More power to him...plenty of guys are forced into retirement from multiple vicious knockouts, and many are lucky to retire off of a win. He's retiring on a two fight win streak, so good for him. As for Pineda, I still think he's got a fairly bright future, he put up a good effort against a still dangerous former champ.
Glover Teixeira vs Kyle Kingsbury - Welcome to the UFC Glover. Damn...he did exactly what he needed to do and just tore through Kingsbury. He's no spring chicken and he has a huge 16 fight win streak...so I figure he'll get a fairly substantial step up in his next fight. Kingsbury is likely in a must-win situation for his next fight.
Paul Sass vs Jacob Volkmann - I love rooting for fighters who are on big win streaks, undefeated, or have some kind of stand-out characteristic, wether it be their personality or the way they fight or how they win. Sass has all of that, and gets massive bonus point for being more of the John Hathaway type of british fighter as opposed to the Bisping/Hardy/Daley type. Sass and his 12 sub wins, with 9 by triangle and 3 by heel hook, is no joke. Dana said he's ready for a step up and I agree.
I'm very glad Volkmann didn't get a post-fight interview. I hope he doesn't get cut, because with 5 straight wins he certainly proved he's UFC caliber....but he could be in risk of perhaps being cut if he had 2 straight losses again.
Dan Hardy vs Duane Ludwig - Was rooting hard for Ludwig, and I'm not a fan of Hardy...but seeing any fighter in a must-win fight pull it off like he did is just fairly inspiring. Good for Dan Hardy. I REALLY hope Ludwig can put a bit of a streak together after this and earn more time in the promotion....I can't help but root for the guy.
Jaime Varner vs Edson Barboza - DAMN. Vaner took full advantage of a big opportunity and just crushed Barboza. He's back and Barboza's future prospects have certainly been dampened a bit.
Darren Elkins vs Diego Brandao - Elkins by UD was far from the most popular choice...but it just seemed like it would happen. A 14-7 record for Brandao with 4 KO/TKO losses isn't exactly what you want in a young featherweight prospect. He seems like he might be one of those 'ultra dangerous in the first round' type of guys. Elkins caught a lot of sh!t heading into this fight...but the guy is now 4-1 in the UFC and 3-0 at 145...AND he seems capable of taking a lot of punishment. He's tough and I'm certainly interested in his next fight.
Stefan Struve vs Lavar Johnson - It was either going to be Struve by sub or Lavar by KO. I'm glad Struve was able to put a 3 fight win streak together and not have a fight where he took a lot of damage. Johnson will be back, there are plenty of fun fights for him in the UFC.
Stipe Miocic vs Shane Del Rosario - The year+ layoff seemed to hurt Rosario, but Miocic also has some darn good wrestling and ground and pound. Either way, Rosario's striking looked pretty sharp in the 1st and I think he'll rebound well. Miocic gets a step up, and I hope he continues to stay active. Good for him for winning a fight where he was a late-replacement.
Roy Nelson vs Dave Herman - We new going in that Herman had pretty bad striking defense and that Nelson has power in his right hand. That's what happens when they fight. No shocker. Nelson always seems to win the fights that he needs to win to really secure his spot in the promotion.
Cain Velasquez vs Antonio Silva - Holy hell...that was a crime scene. That was such an efficient and effective dismantling of Bigfoot by Cain. So bloody too...just an all around memorable performance. Cain looked like a super saiyan version of Jon Fitch, getting a takedown early, keeping it there, and going to town...but amplified by 20.
Junior Dos Santos vs Frank Mir - It was really a matter of when Dos Santos would get the TKO/KO victory. Mir toughed it out....but when everyone with a brain was expecting the result we got, it's hard to act shocked. Dos Santos put on a super slick and smart performance...picking the right times to follow up a hurt Mir.
I firmly believe that Mir's chin has taken too much punishment. 100% of his losses by KO/TKO, he was rocked bad in his last fight and he took a ton of punishment in this fight.
I LOVED the all-heavyweight card, and it being so great despite all of the replacements and drop outs speaks volumes to the strength of the heavyweight division in the UFC. I think it would benefit them a lot if they tried to make it their marquee division as opposed to Light Heavyweight.
Strikeforce vs UFC - All of the Strikeforce heavyweights have been coming over to the UFC and many were wondering how they would do. Last night certainly wasn't a great night for them as they went 0-3 against UFC competition, with Johnson, Del Rosario and Silva all losing.
Fun Fact: Junior Dos Santos is 2nd after Anderson Silva for 'Most wins in the UFC without a loss'...pretty impressive. He has 9 and Anderson has 14.