UFC 146: Junior dos Santos Retains Title in a Night Showcased With Heavyweight Fights
Added by Joseph Lisnow on May 27, 2012.
The all heavyweight pay-per-view card UFC 146, a first in modern day UFC history, delivered a show where no fight on the main card surpassed the second round and witnessed Heavyweight Champion Junior dos Santos successfully defend his title with ease against MMA veteran Frank Mir at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Nevada on May 26.
In the main event, Mir failed to become the second person in UFC history to hold the heavyweight title three times when dos Santos at 3:04 won in round two via TKO. The fight made dos Santos the first person to successfully defend the heavyweight title since 2008. In his last fight in the Octagon, it took dos Santos only 64 seconds to win the title and proved it was not a fluke victory.
Mir was not originally scheduled for a title shot, but replaced the number one contender Alistair Overeem who failed a prefight drug test a month earlier.
Dos Santos is known for his one punch knockout ability and Mir, who was fighting in his home state of Nevada, is known for being a submission expert. Mir’s submission ability did not matter as he was unable to take dos Santos to the ground once and, instead, decided to trade blows with his opponent. This caused Mir to have no control of the fight and the quick powerful shots from dos Santos helped him win easily against a veteran of the sport.
Mir tried early in round one with his only attempt at a takedown, but was unsuccessful. Mir knew his best chance of winning this fight was from the ground and, when his takedown failed, it led to easy win for dos Santos.
Dos Santos, in the post-fight press conference, said his plan was to tire Mir out in round one and then finish him in round two, which worked in the champion’s favor.
In the semi-main event, the man who lost his title to dos Santos, Cain Velasquez, made a statement when he defeated a bloody Antonio Silva after finishing him off at 3:36 of round one via TKO. In the post-fight press conference, UFC President Dana White said Velasquez is likely to be the number one contender and will have a chance to avenge his only MMA loss against the reigning champion dos Santos.
The always joking Roy Nelson only needed one shot to defeat Dave Herman at 51 seconds of round one via KO to not only win “Knockout of the Night” honors, but to save his job after coming into the fight with a 1-3 record. Prior to the fight, both fighters said they wanted to stand and trade blows, a statement Herman probably now regrets after being defeated so easily. For Nelson, this fight was one filled with uncertainty as Herman was the third replacement opponent because of reshuffling of the card due to Overeem’s suspension and an injury to Gabriel Gonzaga. The change clearly didn’t affect Nelson.
Both Stipe Miočić and Shane del Rosario entered the Octagon undefeated, with Miočić winning at 3:14 of round two via TKO, despite lots of foot work from del Roario. This fight also marked the UFC debut for Miočić, who was coming off 15 months of inactivity after being hit by a drunk driver. He showed little signs of ring rust.
The opening match of the main card featured the nearly seven foot tall Stefan Struve handing Lavar Johnson his first UFC loss. Lavar, fresh off his victory over Pat Barry four weeks ago at UFC on Fox 3, did what he does best when he put Struve against the cage early in the fight and connected with his powerful uppercut. It didn’t last long before Struve took him down with an armbar to win at 1:05 of round one to win via submission and to take home “Submission of the Night” honors.
The highlight of the Preliminary Card on FX saw Dan Hardy break his four fight losing streak to also win “Submission of the Night Honors” and, after a six years hiatus from the UFC, Jamie Varner KO’d the undefeated rising star Edson Barboza.
It’s no secret that the heavyweight division has been lacking the past several years, a statement White confirmed during the post-fight press conference, but, after UFC 146, it appears that the division is back towards the supremacy it once held after a night of hard hitting action.