Result: Donald Cerrone def. K.J. Noons by unanimous decision
I don’t worry too much about Cerrone in fights like this. He was the clear favorite in everyone’s head (including his own) and executed accordingly.
There was the heavy knee and the gorgeous one-two-head-kick combination in the first. The heavy ground-and-pound in the second. The full matt control and flesh-slicing elbows in the third.
Yep, it was a pretty thorough whooping dished out by “Cowboy.” Cerrone loses the full “A” for gassing a bit and for beating a game but diminished fighter in Noons. But a win is a win, and Cerrone is once again on his way back up. We’ll see what he does this time when he gets there.
Result: T.J. Grant def. Gray Maynard by TKO, 2:07 of Round 1
An underdog coming in, not the case going out. Let there be no misunderstanding: T.J. Grant is a terrific UFC fighter.
Grant and Maynard exchanged punches, but Grant quickly found chinks in Maynard’s armor. A straight right put Maynard on his backside, and Grant swarmed. Referee Chris Tognoni was apparently in a laissez-faire kind of mood Saturday and as such gave Maynard plenty of chances. But every time Gray got up, Grant put him right back down and recommenced to swarming.
Despite its duration, this was not a flash knockout or lucky punch. Grant beat Maynard to the shot every time and earned his title tilt with Benson Henderson.
Division: Light heavyweight
Result: Glover Teixeira def. James Te-Huna by submission, 2:38 of Round 1
This little MMA thing here, sometimes it is not brain surgery. Te-Huna doesn’t have a highly developed ground game. Teixeira’s a jiu-jitsu black belt. Teixeira took Te-Huna down with no resistance. He met a similar level of resistance when he tried a guillotine choke.
Despite the glaring weaknesses, though, it never comes easy. But Teixeira sure made it look easy Saturday night.
Result: Junior dos Santos def. Mark Hunt by KO, 4:18 of Round 3
In Round 1, there was an overhand right along the lines of the one dos Santos used to finish Cain Velasquez and take the heavyweight strap. Hunt shot back to his feet like he was spring loaded.
In Round 2, dos Santos worked his jab. Was Hunt’s chin deterring dos Santos from attacking full bore?
And then there was the third. JDS could have cruised on points, and that appeared to be the plan. But then a right hand stunned Hunt. And then came that spinning wheel kick. That crazy, crazy, Edson Barboza-style spinning wheel kick. Hunt stiffened like an ironing board and hit the mat and that was that.
I don’t even know what to say. JDS is the man. I guess this is our fate as fans, just watching JDS and Cain Velasquez trade the belt for the next 10 years. There are worse things, I suppose.
Result: Cain Velasquez def. Antonio Silva by TKO, 1:21 of Round 1
Welp. At least it wasn’t bloody.
Silva thwarted a couple of early takedown attempts. Good sign for Silva fans. Perhaps Silva was feeling the effects of those particular oats, as he charged in on Velasquez, seemingly to wind up on a right hand.
Unfortunately for Silva, Velasquez was ready. That’s what machines do, after all. They remain ready. A left jab and then a right hook put Silva down. Velasquez swarmed, and that was it. Silva and some fans protested the stoppage, but it looked good to me.
Just another victim. Next up surely has to be a third match with dos Santos. I believe I’ll watch that.