Published Saturday, July 2, 2011 | 6:55 p.m.
Updated Saturday, July 2, 2011 | 8:52 p.m.
Two of the three featured bouts at UFC 132 Saturday night lasted less than 2:30 combined. The main event went on for more than 10 times longer than that.
After Tito Ortiz submitted Ryan Bader to save his career at 1:56 of the first round and Chris Leben knocked out Wanderlei Silva 27 seconds into their fight, the bantamweight championship bout went the distance in one of the most competitive fights of the year. Dominick Cruz exited the octagon with his belt still around his waist, as he beat Urijah Faber via unanimous decision (50-45, 49-46, 48-47).
"He's tough," Cruz said in the octagon after his win. "He's a veteran. He's been in this sport a long time."
"He hit hard. The dude is fast. He was prepared."
The two engaged in a strategic war, but neither ever appeared in trouble of being stopped. Faber may have landed some of the biggest shots, but Cruz was more persistent and used his quickness to keep his opponent guessing as to what was coming.
An understandably upset Faber congratulated his rival after the fight, but thought he deserved the victory.
"I knew it was going to be a tough fight," Faber said. "I thought I landed the heavier punches and rocked him a couple times. Congratulations to Dominick. I felt like it could have gone either way."
Leben and Ortiz, both underdogs, left no doubt with dominant performances. Check below for full results from UFC 132, with the preliminary card at the bottom, and come back to lasvegassun.com for full coverage.
Dominick Cruz vs. Urijah Faber
Fifth Round Both are acting with urgency as the horn blows. Cruz hits Faber with a knee. It's a good first minute for Cruz, who has Faber clinched against the cage. Pace slows down after 1:30, but Cruz takes Faber down. Faber locks in a standing guillotine, but Cruz sneaks out. Cruz gets another takedown, but isn't doing anything with them. Faber is back to his feet as the round hits the midway point. Cruz is out-wrestling Faber, a surprise that might earn him the victory. He's got Faber pressed against the cage with two minutes to go. Neither can hit each other as they are both so fast to get away. Cruz gets Faber against the fence again with 30 seconds remaining. The fight finishes with Cruz shooting for an unsuccessful takedown. This decision could go either way, but Las Vegas Sun sees it for Cruz. He won the last round to take a 48-47 victory on this scorecard. Dominick Cruz wins a unanimous decision (50-45, 49-46, 48-47).
Fourth Round At this pace, the scorecards could be all over the place. They exchange, but neither seems to get the better. Faber puts Cruz to the ground with a straight right a minute into the round. He responds by rushing at Faber and taking him down to try to recover. It seems to work, but Cruz is a tad slower this round. Faber is controlling midway through. Cruz is showing his jab and Faber is trying to counter. Cruz goes for a takedown, but Faber bounces right back up. Cruz hits Faber solidly with 1:30 remaining. Faber answers 30 seconds later. Cruz can't take Faber down and "The California Kid" pins him to the fence. Hard not to give this one to Faber as it heads to the final round. Las Vegas Sun has it all tied at 38.
Third Round Cruz is the faster fighter, as expected, and that's beginning to show. Best strike of the opening 1:30 comes from the hand of Cruz, but Faber isn't backing down. They exchange at the 3-minute mark and it's hard to tell who got the best of it. Cruz hits Faber with a straight left. Faber wants to wrestle, but Cruz is fast enough to get away if that's not in his gameplan. Faber gets him down three minutes in and the crowd awakens, but Cruz passes and gets back to his feet. This is shaping up as another tough round to score. Cruz's feints are beginning to pay off and he's landing some hands to Faber's chin. Cruz goes for a takedown, but Faber sprawls. He wins the last 30 seconds, but is it enough to take the round? Not on this scorecard. Cruz takes it 10-9 and is now up a round.
Second Round The crowd is amped as they come out for more battle. Faber nearly gets a takedown, but Cruz is able to get away. Trips up a little in the process. Cruz is throwing a lot, but not landing or hurting Faber with anything. A little more than a minute in, he comes in from an unpredictable angle and hits Faber with a combination. Faber seems willing and comfortable to play Cruz's game. One of the next times he comes in, Faber lands a right hook to Cruz's temple. It's the single hardest shot of the round, but Cruz has hit him more. These guys are so quick and not tiring at all, putting on a quite a fight for the crowd. Faber is blocking some high kicks from Cruz, but they are putting him solely on the defensive. Faber's leg kicks are doing no damage, but at least landing on the thigh of Cruz. Cruz stumbles late, but is back up and takes Faber down. As Cruz rushes in with a hook late, this feels like a possible five round battle. Cruz takes round two, 10-9, to even the scorecard.
First Round Cruz strikes first with a straight left to get the first championship fight in more than two months underway. They tie up shortly after, but Cruz does his best to not go to the ground with Faber. Faber settles for pushing him against the cage and landing a couple quick punches. Cruz is bouncing around and trying to confuse Faber, but not landing any strikes two minutes through. Faber catches Cruz with a right and the crowd is solely behind "The California Kid". Cruz lands a knee and catches a Faber leg kick. This is a tactical battle. Both are taking turns as the aggressor. Cruz gains some momentum with consecutive shots before Faber presses him up to the wall again. Thirty seconds to go and this is anyone's round. Can't fault scoring it either way, but Las Vegas Sun sides with Faber 10-9.
Wanderlei Silva vs. Chris Leben
First Round Silva rushes in and throws at Leben, who does the same. They clinch up and Leben throws three consecutive uppercuts, the last of which drops Silva. Leben goes to the ground to finish off Silva and that doesn't take much longer. Chris Leben wins via TKO at 0:27 of the first round.
Dennis Siver vs. Matt Wiman
Third Round Wiman can't take Siver down in the first round and they are standing in the middle of the octagon trading strikes. Siver goes for a spinning back kick, and although the crowd reacts, he misses as Wiman jumps out of the way. Siver is controlling when they're on their feet. He continually fades takedown attempts, which looks like the key to victory at this point. Wiman isn't hurt at all, but can't get Siver where he wants him. Another takedown attempt gets Siver against the wall striking a downed Wiman. Wiman gets Siver in a triangle, but can't force the tap. It was never really close. Wiman takes a few shots in the face from Siver, but gets him down. This could be huge. Siver fights his way up and hits Wiman with a small uppercut. In an incredibly hard fight to score, Las Vegas Sun gives it to Siver 29-28 after he eked out the last round. Dennis Siver beats Matt Wiman via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28).
Second Round Wiman pushes Siver up against the cage and isn't letting him out. The crowd doesn't like it, but this is the best way for Wiman to control the fight. Siver trips him for a takedown, but it takes a mere second before Wiman is back up and in the clinch. They sloppily find their way to the ground with Wiman on top. A ground-and-pound strike opens a cut on Siver's forehead that's pouring out blood. Halfway through and this appears as Wimans' round. Siver is working from the bottom, but Wiman's elbows are inflicting more damage. Siver's face is very bloody now. Crowd is enjoying the way Wiman is raining shots on Siver, but he doesn't look like he's in danger of getting knocked out. Horn blows and Wiman wins the round 10-9.
First Round The place is subdued after the emotion of Ortiz's victory. Siver and Wiman are mostly standing in the middle of the octagon and trading leg kicks. If the fight stays like this, Siver should have a pronounced advantage. Wiman whiffs on his first two takedown attempts, but gets the third one momentarily. Silver stands back up against the cage and a grappling match ensues. This is what Wiman wants. Siver breaks out of it with about 1:30 left in the round. He's landing kicks consistently, but none are doing much damage. Siver gets his own takedown and lands a handful of punches as the bell rings. Siver easily takes the first frame, 10-9.
Tito Ortiz vs. Ryan Bader
First Round Ortiz is getting a mostly positive reception from the crowd, as "Tito" chants" start early. He's standing with Bader early and appears comfortable. Two minutes in and the biggest strike was a right hook from Ortiz that dropped Bader to the ground. He gets Bader in a guillotine on the ground and forces him to tap. This is the loudest the MGM Grand Garden Arena has been all night, as Ortiz celebrates by his classic grave-digging motion. The "Tito" chants are picking up. Tito Ortiz defeats Ryan Bader via submission at 1:56 of the first round.
Carlos Condit vs. Dong Hyun Kim
First Round Condit and Kim start out by exchanging kicks. Neither lands with any force. Kim takes down Condit when he rushes in for a combination, but Condit reverses position and gets out of it. That's got to be a positive sign for him to start the night. Condit is winning the stand-up through the opening 2:30 with well-timed strikes. He's under control and strategic, mixing his legkicks with punches. A flying knee near the 3-minute mark puts Kim on the ground. Condit follows with punches on the ground and that's it. Carlos Condit defeats Dong Hyun Kim via TKO at 2:58 of the first round.
Unlike some UFC cards, where attention is split between as many as five or six fights, the three featured bouts at the MGM Grand Garden Arena tonight have stolen most of the hype.
That’s not to say they don’t deserve it. The main event between bantamweights Dominick Cruz and Urijah Faber is possibly the most exciting championship matchup of the year. Middleweights Wanderlei Silva and Chris Leben are promising a brawl. And, love him or hate him, Tito Ortiz is still a major draw and will fight for the last time barring a major upset over Ryan Bader.
But the buzz these six men have created has overshadowed a monstrous welterweight meeting between Carlos Condit and Dong Hyun Kim. Aside for the main event, Condit vs. Kim holds the most title implications of any fight on the card.
The winner will either get the next title shot in the 170-pound division, or at most be one victory away. Kim is unbeaten in 16 mixed martial arts bouts, although he does have one draw and one no contest, and Condit has won three in a row since dropping his UFC debut via split decision.
The pace will tell who wins the fight. Condit wants to rush in on Kim and land strikes with quickness and elusiveness. Kim wants to use his judo and take Condit to the mat for some ground-and-pound.
Both of the two fighters in the bout afterward will go for Kim’s strategy. Ortiz and Bader, at their core, are two wrestlers who would love nothing more than to take the other down.
Odds can’t be very good that Silva vs. Leben turns into a ground fight, a result that would undoubtedly leave fans upset. Both men look for the knockout first and foremost.
It might be the variety of styles that makes UFC 132 so intriguing. Cruz vs. Faber falls in between the two co-headlining fights in that it could take place anywhere and not be surprising.
The first pay-per-view bout pits two men hopeful to someday soon challenge for the lightweight title in Dennis Siver and Matt Wiman. Both have won three in a row.
Check below for full results from the preliminary card and stay tuned to lasvegassun.com for round-by-round updates from the pay-per-view bouts.
Melvin Guillard knocked out Shane Roller at 2:12 of the first round in their lightweight fight. The win marked his fourth straight, and second in a row by first round knockout, but Guillard did not ask for a title shot in his post-fight octagon interview. He said he'd simply appreciate the chance to fight at October's UFC 136 in Houston, a location near his hometown.
Rafael dos Anjos got the first stoppage of the night in the first undercard bout aired by Spike. Dos Anjos knocked out George Sotiropoulos in their lightweight contest 59 seconds into the first round. Dos Anjos caught Sotiropoulos with a looping right hook to send him crashing to the ground as the referee rushed in to stop the fight.
Brian Bowles stated his case to become the next challenger for the bantamweight belt. Bowles defeated Takeya Mizugaki via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28) in the other 135-pound contest on the card. Bowles has won two straight since losing his championship to Dominick Cruz more than a year ago.
Aaron Simpson beat Brad Tavares via unanimous decision in their middleweight bout. All three judges gave it to Simpson 30-27 after he effectively made it a wrestling match.
Las Vegas lightweight Anthony Njokuani got his first UFC win with a unanimous decision over Andre Winner (30-26, 30-26, 30-27). Njokuani came close to earning a stoppage in the first round when he got Winner against the cage and pelted him with knees and rights.
Jeff Hougland defeated Donny Walker via unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28, 29-28) in a bantamweight bout to open the night. Hougland took Walker down and threatened with multiple submissions in the first two rounds.