March of the Champions

June 25, 2009

Saturday night wasn't a good night to be an underdog as the two champions headlining UFC 100 took very painful measures to prove why they're on top.

Even Dan Henderson, who isn't actually the champion of anything but was still the favorite, dominated Michael Bisping, sending him right back to the drawing board.

It only took two rounds for Brock Lesnar to derail any hopes Mir had of settling the belt around his waist. He came out at the opening bell looking much calmer than he has in previous fights, displaying patience and discipline. He went in for the early takedown, which he scored with no problem and it looked like the hammer fists of fury were about to come out, but again he restrained and stuck to a logical, thought-out game plan. He used his size to neutralize Mir's superior jiu Jitsu by laying all his weight on Mir's chest while he methodically worked the face and body.

Mir showed early signs of hope in round two as he scored with a few good punches and a flying knee to the face, but Lesnar kept his cool and brought the fight back to the mat where he pinned Mir against the fence and slammed those lunchbox fists into Mir's face. From there it wasn't long until referee Herb Dean put an end to Mir's suffering.

After the call, a very animated Lesnar addressed the booing crowd with a couple middle fingers and some primal screams. He didn't win many fans, but he did win the belt and he's already got people asking "who's next?" Dana White slipped us a few ideas about who that might be when he told media following the fight that he's optimistic about setting up a super fight between Lesnar and Russian fighter Fedor Emelianenko, the result of which would surely cause the universe to implode.

Speaking of super fights, George St-Pierre is running out of opponents in the welterweight division and a jump to middleweight, where he would face Anderson Silva, is looking more and more likely. On Saturday night he faced a fighter who was thought to be the most dangerous striker he'd ever taken on in Thiago Avles and he walked away from a five-round fight with nothing more some active sweat glands, a few red marks and a strained groin.

Alves's leg kicks were doing damage early in the fight, but St-Pierre was able to avoid taking too much punishment by out-wrestling the Brazilian and smothering him on the mat. Alves wore himself out trying to get off his back and became increasingly frustrated as he wasn't able to avoid the takedown. It was about the third round when St-Pierre really started to settle in and it became apparent that it was going to take a miracle for Alves to pull off a win.

In his post-fight interview, Joe Rogan asked him what he thought about a fight with Silva and he seemed interested, as there aren't many challenges left for him the welterweight division. But Silva might have to get past another meeting with Dan Henderson first, as he is likely to be in line for a rematch with "The Spider."

Henderson dominated Bisping and controlled every minute of the fight. Bisping continued to walk right into Henderson's attack; ignoring his corner's instructions he circled toward Henderson's right hand. Unable to control his urges to step to the left, it was really only a matter of time until Henderson put him to sleep. It was about half way through the second round when Henderson caught him with a vicious right hand. Bisping was out before he hit the mat, but "Hendo" dropped one last bomb just for good measure. It was the kind of knockout that makes you worry. When he finally came to the doctor had to explain what just happened. That's a tough reality to wake up to.

Jon Fitch posted another one in the win column with a decisive three-round victory over Paulo Thiago. He out-worked his opponent the entire fight and secured himself with a solid victory to help him on the road toward another possible shot at the title. And Yoshihiro Akiyama scored a split decision win over Alan Belcher in a thrilling,three-round war that earned them fight of the night.

"Hendo" came up with knockout of the night and "Filthy" Tom Lawler got submission of the night.

The remaining bouts came out this way:

Mark Coleman def. Stephan Bonnar via unanimous decision, round 3
Jim Miller def. Mac Danzig via unanimous decision, round 3
Jon Jones def. Jake O'Brien via guillotine, round 2
Dong Hyun Kim def. TJ Grant via unanimous decision, round 3
Tom Lawlor def C.B. Dollaway via guillotine, round 1
Shannon Gugerty det. Matt Grice via guillotine, round 1