LAS VEGAS-Former wrestling champion Brock Lesnar proved he’s the real thing to a disenchanted audience and crowd favorites Georges St-Pierre and Dan Henderson won their matches at the historic Ultimate Fighting Championship 100 on Saturday.
With mixed martial arts legend Royce Gracie in the crowd the century mark for UFC was a big hit though heavyweight champion was booed lustily after winning the rematch against Las Vegas fan favorite Mir.
It was Lesnar’s fight from beginning to end.
Lesnar used his weight to stay on top of Mir the entire first round. Though he landed some blows to open a small cut it wasn’t a savage beating.
In the second round those little blows turned into big blows as Lesnar took Mir down again and used that extra weight to keep him pinned as he shot blow after blow at Mir’s jaw on the ground. At 1:48 of the second round referee Herb Dean stopped the fight as Lesnar jumped up and shouted at the fallen fighter.
Most of the 12,000 fans booed.
“I love it keep going, keep going,” said Lesnar (4-1) to the crowd. “Frank Mir had a horseshoe up his (butt). I took the sonavabitch out and beat him with it.”
Lesnar said the win proves he’s the true UFC heavyweight champion.
“I love it,” Lesnar said.
Mir, who beat Lesnar in their first encounter over a year ago, had nothing bad to say.
“He did a good job. He utilized his standup. I guess I got a couple of things to work on,” said the fallen fighter.
“I’ll come back,” Mir said (18-5).
UFC welterweight champion Georges St-Pierre never let Brazil’s Thiago Alves in the fight as he continually displayed take down after take down in the five round fight.
Alves (22-5) was supposed to be his most dangerous opponent because of his power and speed but the Canadian fighter never let him use that power as he circled and parried before diving in for the take down almost at will.
St-Pierre’s tempo and overall fighting tools were too much for the Brazilian to overcome. After five rounds Alves’ face was battered and swollen while St-Pierre only displayed some reddening. Two judges scored it 50-45 and another 50-44 for St-Pierre who limped badly at the conclusion. He complained of a pulled grain in his corner before the last round.
“I don’t know what happened but I’m in real bad pain. It could have been a very bad night for me,” said St- Pierre (19-2) who never showed pain until the conclusion. “He was my toughest opponent so far. He’s very young he’s going to gain from that experience.”
St-Pierre was asked if a catch-weight fight against middleweight champion Anderson Silva is a possibility?
“I walk around at 185. Tonight maybe 185 184 (pounds),” St-Pierre said. “I don’t fight for the title I fight for the challenge.”
A feud between America’s Henderson and Britain’s Bisping came to a dramatic close with Temecula’s Henderson winning by knockout. Both were coaches during the last The Ultimate Fighter TV reality show and got under each other’s skin. This fight was for bragging rights.
Henderson was definitely on attack from the bell as Bisping back-pedaled for most of the first round. Both exchanged right hands but it was obvious Henderson believed in his power. Not quite so for Bisping.
In the second round two right hands by Henderson found their mark followed by a left hook. As Bisping continued to move to the right Henderson wound up and threw a right that connected squarely on the jaw. The British fighter dropped immediately with his head bouncing off the canvas. Henderson dropped a right elbow on the fallen fighter before the referee could stop the fight at 3:20 for a knockout.
“That’s what he does in every fight. He tends to run into my right hand,” said Henderson, a former Pride middleweight and light heavyweight champion in Japan. “Normally I know if the guy is KO’d, I think that (right elbow) was just to shut him up a little bit.”
Henderson could be headed for a rematch against middleweight champion Anderson Silva who beat him over a year ago.
“I’ve kind of earned that in the last three fights. I’m game,” Henderson said.
Japan’s Yoshihiro Akiyama (14-0) made his American debut and found himself in his toughest fight yet. Mississippi’s Alan Belcher (13-5) wasn’t there to welcome him and dropped the Japanese judo master with a left hook. Other than that, Akiyama showed off his dazzling standup skills against the much taller Belcher and proved that his ground attack was pretty good too.
The judges scored it a split decision with Patricia Jarman scoring it 29-28 and Patricia Byrd 30-27 for Akiyama. Judge Doug Crosby tabbed it 29-28 for Belcher.
Akiyama never showed the same attack except for a left kick-right hand combination that he landed twice squarely on Belcher. Everything else was unique.
Aged veteran Mark “The Hammer” Coleman (16-9) returned to the Octagon and out-grappled Stephan “American Psycho” Bonnar (11-6) in a three round light heavyweight fight that was fought on the ground. All three judges scored it 29-28 for Coleman, a former UFC champion. Actually the first UFC heavyweight champion, he returned as a light heavyweight and proved his experience at 44 was enough to beat Bonnar who had his moments. Quinton “Rampage” Jackson ran over to give him a hug. Throughout the match fans shouted Coleman’s name.
In a lightweight bout New Jersey’s Jim Miller cut former Ultimate Fighter winner Mac Danzig early in the first round and dominated most of the fight on the ground. Danzig made it interesting with some attempted chokes but his own blood deterred him from grabbing any firm holds. Miller was also handicapped by the slipperiness of the blood that reddened the Octagon. All three judges scored it 30-27 for Miller but who knows what might have happened had the blood not hampered the outcome.
“It hinders your ability to lock arms and stuff,” said Miller after the fight.
High-flying Jon Jones (9-0) entertained the crowd with his spinning double kicks, reverse elbows and overall quickness in defeating Indiana’s Jake O’Brien in two rounds. A guillotine choke at 2:43 of the second round forced O’Brien to tap out in the light heavyweight contest. New York’s Jones could be the next future star though he does seem to be a little open to right hands.
South Korea’s Dong Hyun Kim (12-0-1), a judo master, dominated rugged TJ Grant (14-3) of Canada in a welterweight bout. With his vast array of takedowns and judo throws Kim was able to control the ground savvy Grant. The only weakness seemed to be Kim’s susceptibility to right hands. The judges scored the fight 30-26 for Kim. Grant was deducted a point for kicking Kim while he was on the ground.
A middleweight fight between Tom Lawlor and CB Dolloway ended in 55 seconds after a guillotine choke was applied by Lawlor immediately forcing Dolloway to submit.
Shannon Gogerty used a guillotine choke to force Matt Grice to submit at 2:36 of the first round of a lightweight bout.
In the last fight of the night welterweight contender Jon Fitch overcame a first round guillotine choke to dominate Brazil’s Paulo Thiago in the next two frames. All three judges scored it for Fitch 30-27 and 29-28 twice.