UFC 166 Results, Main Event – Heavyweight Championship (265 lbs)
Cain Velasquez (c) – 12-1-0 vs. Junior dos Santos – 16-2-0
12:54 a.m. Recap: The problem is this: The only heavyweight who belongs in the cage with Cain Velasquez, other than Junior Dos Santos anyway, is Daniel Cormier. And since Cormier and Cain are workout partners in San Jose, they’re never gonna fight. So Cormier is dropping down to 205 so he can go after Jon Jones. Meantime, Cormier has laid waste to the other “top” contenders in the 265 division (Mir, Barnett) and who does that leave for Cain Velasquez to fight? Only JDS belongs in the cage with him, and that’s just so JDS can suffer brain damage. And I don’t say that lightly, or flippantly. But Cain Velasquez has cleaned out the division. Dana White says “we probably do Verdum. We probably bring Verdum to the table” to fight Velasquez. Well, OK. If BJJ wizard Fabricio Verdum can get him down, he could submit him. Otherwise, jeez. Verdum? Really? I repeat: Velasquez has cleaned out the division, but he has the right to fight and make money. So we wait for a real challenger. Verdum ain’t it.
Last word from Dana White: “The fight should have been stopped in the third round … I’ve been around a lot of men who are too tough for their own good, and Junior Dos Santos is one of those men, and I mean that with all respect.”
12:46 a.m. Postfight: Dos Santos: “I was very OK for this fight. He’s very, what can I say? He beat me up! That’s what I have to say. He did a great job. Congratulations for him. I’ll train harder, come back, and face him again…. I’m going to come back.”
12:46 a.m. Postfight: “He got better,” Cain said of JDS. “I wanted to finish him.”
12:41 a.m. Round 5: Dos Santos started Round 5 by catching Velasquez behind the ear, like he did at the start of the first fight (and this fight), but Cain walked through it and took JDS down and controlled him there for 45 seconds. Then they went up against the fence where Velasquez beat on JDS’ face some more. His lip is disfigured, his left eye closed, right eye closing, blood all over his face — blood all over Velasquez’s face; JDS’ blood — and then Cain backs away and hits him with a 1-2. Dos Santos got so tired he finally turtled up and said no mas. Dean stopped it, but really, Dos Santos stopped it. And I’m glad he did. Cain by TKO.
12:37 a.m. Round 4: Velasquez starts Round 4 as he ended the third, with a huge right on JDS’ jaw. Dos Santos stays on his feet, but he needs to go down so Herb Dean can do what he wants to do and stop this fight. The second fight was a beatdown, one-sided, and this is worse. Velasquez is peppering him and haymakering him. Velasquez has landed more than 300 strikes, but every now and then JDS launches back with a short flurry. He’s got heart and he has hope, but at the same time … he’s being brutalized. An uppercut by JDS got Velasquez’s attention, so he dived in for more dirty boxing. Then Dean paused the fight at the 1:20 mark so a doctor could look at Dos Santos’ face. He’s a mess. His left eye is closing, and his right eye has a huge hematoma underneath it. His corner needs to stop this fight. Doctor let them go back to it, and Velasquez waded in and punished him some more. But I’ll be damned, JDS landed a short elbow when Cain came in. Didn’t stop Cain, but makes you think JDS isn’t human. So tough. Too tough. Another 10-9 round for Velasquez. Makes it 40-35.
12:28 a.m. Round 3: If Velasquez was hurt at the end of Round 2 — and replays were inconclusive — he didn’t look hurt to start Round 3. Instead it was more of the same, only with more punishing knees by Velasquez on JDS’ thighs. One thing different about this fight from the second fight is that Dos Santos seems to have a bit more cardio. He’s not attacking when he gets the chance, but every now and then he launches a Roy Nelson-like haymaker. As I say that, Velasquez dropped JDS with a right, then dropped him a second time and Herb Dean was THIS close to stopping the fight. He reached in but then pulled back. JDS is getting demolished on the fence. Rogan thinks the fence is the only thing keeping JDS up, and he could be right. Velasquez is resting for a second against JDS, then steps back and starts launching again. Cain caught him twice more on the chin, and Dean was so close to stopping it again. This fight is going to hurt JDS in his older age. Sad to see really. This was a 10-8 round for Velasquez. He’s up 30-26.
12:22 a.m. Round 2: After the first two seconds of Round 1 looked to be a possible repeat of the first fight, this has been a repeat of the second fight since. Velasquez isn’t giving Dos Santos any room to think or punch or even breathe. JDS can’t mount any offense because all he can do is play defense as Velasquez stalks him. I have no idea what JDS tried to do to prepare for this, but it didn’t work. Cain is dominating, and Dos Santos’ face is swelling up from another beatdown. With a minute left Velasquez backed up for a second, just to reposition himself, and that was JDS’ chance to mount some offense … but he was too tired. All he did was look at Velasquez, who closed the distance and pushed JDS against the fence. Again. JDS caught Velasquez at the very end of the round, but this was a 10-9 round for the champion. Velasquez leads 20-18.
12:16 a.m. Round 1: Dos Santos rocked Velasquez in the first two seconds, then caught him again with another left. Velasquez recovered by coming forward, smothering JDS’ power and pushing him against the cage. But he was hurt badly. The fight calmed down until the 2:30 mark when Velasquez took JDS down and toyed with an arm triangle before settling for top position and ground-and-pound. JDS got up with 90 seconds left in the round but Velasquez kept up the pressure against the cage and won the dirty boxing battle. Tough round to score because JDS scored the most important shot(s) of the round, early, but Velasquez dominated the last 4:30. I see both sides, but give this round to Velasquez, 10-9.
12:12 a.m. Shut up, Bruce Buffer. Louder isn’t better.
12:03 a.m. Prefight prediction: Dos Santos can win by KO, as we saw in the first fight. Velasquez can win a whole lot of other ways, as we saw in the rematch. Tonight? We’ll see a repeat of the second fight. Another beating suffered by JDS.
Co-main Event – Heavyweight Division (265 lbs)
Daniel Cormier – 12-0-0 vs. Roy Nelson – 20-8-0
11:57 p.m. Official decision: All three judges scored it 30-27 for Cormier. He said his plan was to wear out Nelson in the first round and strike with him in the second two. And then Cormier said he’ll be at 205 for his next fight! He said he has to do some work to get to “the guy I want,” meaning Jon Jones. Can’t wait.
11:54 p.m. Round 3: As he walked out for Round 3, Nelson’s corner told him he had to knock out Cormier to win. So they’re being honest with him. And this was Nelson at his most aggressive, though he wasn’t doing much with it because he couldn’t catch Cormier. Cormier showed a spinning kick followed by a back fist, then a front kick to the face, Anderson Silva-on-Vitor style. Nelson is still swinging for the fences, but Cormier is keeping him at bay with front kicks and roundhouse kicks to the head. Cormier landed the best punch of the round with 1:30 left, a right to the jaw. This being Nelson, it didn’t seem to phase him. Granite chin, this guy. At the 1:00 mark Nelson started taunting Cormier and showboating, an odd strategy for a guy losing the fight. Whatever. Round 3 was a tough round to score. Nelson was more aggressive, but Cormier scored a bit more I think. I give it to Cormier 10-9, and 30-27. Official results soon.
11:47 p.m. Round 2: Cormier is too fast for Nelson, and clearly he’s trying to work Nelson’s cardio. This is the best shape of Big Country’s career, but that’s a relative term. Cormier is holding his own on the feet, though Nelson’s goal isn’t to outppoint Cormier but to hit him with a haymaker and put him to sleep. If Cormier stays awake, he wins the boxing. That’s a big if. Cormier burrowed Nelson against the fence and Nelson made a halfhearted attempt for a guillotine, but again, halfhearted. Cormier pulled out and dirty-boxed him for more points. Significant strikes near the end of Round 2 are 40-9 for Cormier. Goodness. And Nelson is tiring out, too. If Nelson was ever going to mentally break, this is the opponent to do it to him. We’ll see, but Cormier has a big 20-18 lead after two rounds and it’s only going to get harder for Nelson, cardio-wise.
11:41 p.m. Round 1: Cormier controlled the round on the ground, chaining all sorts of attacks and punches and even submission tries. Nelson tried a kimura, tried to land haymaker, but Cormier wore him down and won the round 10-9. We’ll see if Nelson can handle the cardio. I doubt it.
11:33 p.m. Before it gets cleaned up, check Cormier’s wiki site. Someone doctored it, said he lost to Nelson.Trust me; fight hasn’t happened yet. About to …
11:19 p.m. Prefight prediction: First, this is the most fascinating matchup in a long time in any division. Both are dangerous with their hands, but Nelson’s chin is legendary and Cormier’s chin might be. We just don’t know. Cormier is the best wrestler in the division, maybe in any division, but Nelson is a BJJ black belt (even if he almost never tries to show it). I see Cormier losing the standup and taking Nelson down. Can Nelson submit the world-class wrestler? I think he will. Nelson by submission.
Lightweight Division (155 lbs)
Gilbert Melendez – 21-3-0 vs. Diego Sanchez – 26-5-0
11:14 p.m. Official decision: Judges gave it to Melendez unanimously. One had it 30-27, two 29-28. Joe Rogan said it was the best fight he’s ever seen, and while that may have been an overstatement …it might not.
11:08 p.m. Round 3: Greg Jackson between rounds to Sanchez: OK, you’re doing well, but we’re down two rounds. Gotta knock this guy out. Melendez’s corner screamed at him to provide food for his family. Two different corners, but the fighters were similar: Toe to toe action, some of the best of the night. Awesome standup boxing, all boxing, no kicks or knees or elbow. Just hands flying, and it was great. And Sanchez might be getting the better of it early in Round 3. Little more than two minutes in, though, a doctor takes another look at that bloody mess Sanchez calls his face. On the restart Sanchez started throwing some kicks. Melendez kept peppering the face and Sanchez gritted his face and demanded more, more, more. Then Sanchez dropped him with a left, tried to take his back, then went for a guillotine. Lost it. Too slippery. Melendez got up and kneed and elbowed Sanchez. Fight of the night here, to this point anyway. This round goes to Sanchez, 10-9, but Melendez wins it on my card 29-28.
11:02 p.m. Round 2: Sanchez was soothed between rounds by trainer Greg Jackson telling him to imagine that waterfall cascading onto his head — I’m being serious; I heard Jackson say that — but then Melendez started soothing him with right hands to the face. Sanchez was landing too, now. This wasn’t a blowout on the feet. But the cut over Sanchez’s left eye is starting to look like another open mouth. Awful. These guys, former training partners, had some toe-to-toe exchanges against the fence that were fabulous. Melendez seemed to get the better of them, but Sanchez wouldn’t go away. By the end of the round his left eye was completely obscured by the blood. Not even sure there’s an eye in there anymore. Another 10-9 round for Melendez, and a 20-18 lead entering the final round.
10:56 p.m. Round 1: Diego Sanchez remains the best in the business at the pre-fight mean mug and the dash across the Octagon to take the middle of the cage. He did both tonight, and even took Melendez’s back in the first 30 seconds, but was shaken off. On their feet, Melendez was the better striker and shrugged off a takedown attempt and opened a cut over Sanchez’s left eye and generally made Sanchez look like he didn’t belong in the same cage. But I don’t know; Sanchez had that mean mug and that sprint across the cage … Close call, but I give Round 1 to Melendez, 10-9.
10:41 p.m. Prefight prediction: Sanchez doesn’t know if he’s a welterweight or a lightweight. Doesn’t know if he’s a striker or a grappler or a wrestler. Doesn’t know if he’s the Nightmare or the Dream, for pete’s sake. Melendez? He knows what he is. He’s a boxer-wrestler-controller. And he’ll use that to beat his confused opponent. That’s right; I dropped a “pete’s sake” on you.
Heavyweight Division (265 lbs)
Gabriel Gonzaga – 15-7-0 vs. Shawn Jordan – 15-4-0
10:37 p.m. Round 1: Gonzaga hurt Jordan with a right early — Jordan smiled; you’re not fooling anyone! — but the worst thing in the first minute was the sight of Gonzaga’s porn stache. Awful. Right out of Starsky and Hutch. Anyway … Jordan landed a job and tried to come in behind it, but Gonzaga caught him and then caught him again and there was Jordan, knocked out on the canvas. KO win for Gonzaga. Just like I predicted. Shaddup.
10:27 p.m. Prefight prediction: Jordan, a former LSU fullback, doesn’t have the skill to hang with Gonzaga on the ground — not even close — but Gonzaga thinks his standup is better than it is (knocking out Cro Cop will do that to anyone) and that will be Gonzaga’s undoing against the powerful Jordan.
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Flyweight Division (125 lbs)
John Dodson – 15-6-0 vs. Darrell Montague – 13-2-0
10:23 p.m. Round 1: Dodson pulverized Montague early, dropping him and then continuing to hurt him even after Montague clawed to his feet. Montague tried to clear his head as they boxed, but Dodson landed a left to the jaw that shut off Montague’s brain. His eyes closed and he went down on his face. KO for John Dodson after 4:13 of Round 1.
10:06 p.m. Prefight prediction: The UFC must think highly of Montague — or maybe Dana White doesn’t like Montague — to have him fight Dodson for his company debut. Dodson is the second-best 125-pounder in the world, just barely behind the champ, Mighty Mouse Johnson. Unless Montague gets lucky, and anything can happen in this sport, he’s going to lose his UFC debut to a superior, more explosive, and much more irritating fighter. Dodson acts 12. But he fights like a grown man, no doubt about it.
Middleweight Division (185 lbs)
Tim Boetsch – 16-6-0 vs. CB Dollaway – 14-5-0
9:59 p.m. Official decision: Strange damn decision. Two judges gave all three rounds (plus the point deduction) to Boetsch — making it 30-26 — and one judge gave two rounds to Dollaway (29-27). Add it up, and it’s a split-decision win for Tim Boetsch.
9:55 p.m. Round 3: The round started with Dollaway poking Boetsch so hard that Boetsch screamed in pain, turned away and hunched over. Doctors checked the eye, which was bleeding, but Boetsch said what he had to say to keep the fight going. Boetsch was fighting angry after that, attacking more aggressively than he had for two rounds. And then Dollaway poked him again! Looked accidental, clearly, but a point was taken from Dollaway — right call — and now Dollaway is in trouble with the judges. On the (second) restart Boetsch went for a guillotine, lost it, and ended up on bottom with three minutes left in the fight. Dollaway moved into the full mount for about 20 seconds, but Boetsch used the cage to push up to his feet with two minutes left. The fight ended with Boetsch going for a guillotine, then another choke, and I just don’t know … I’m saying a 9-9 round, for a 28-28 draw. Results in a minute.
9:47 p.m. Round 2: Dollaway took Boetsch down early in the round and worked to get side control, then gave that up and went for the Peruvian necktie but lost his grip on the sweaty, slippery Boetsch. Next came a submission attempt for Boetsch, a guillotine — his only proven submission weapon — but Dollaway escaped. The grueling grappling continued until they stood with two minutes left in the round, and Boetsch landed a right that hurt Dollaway. Know how I know? Because Dollaway started smiling and nodding his head. Only hurt guys try to fake it. Soon Dollaway took down Boetsch, but Boetsch latched onto a kimura from the bottom and used that to neutralize Dollaway’s top position. Tough round to score, but I give it to Boetsch 10-9 for the submission attempts. It’s 19-19 entering Round 3.
9:41 p.m. Round 1: Dollaway scored more consistently than Boetsch for the first 2 1/2 minutes by using distance and technique to keep the stronger Boetsch at bay. Boetsch got him down, but Dollaway immediately popped up. Judges will be overly impressed by the takedown, but judges are silly. Several times Dollaway played the heel by lifting his hands into the air, daring Boetsch to come get him, and his own corner was yelling at him to stop. The sneering, preening Dollaway has always seemed a bit too impressed with himself, but anyway, he’s a good fighter and he won this round 10-9.
9:22 p.m. Prefight prediction: My predictions early tonight were on point. Recently? Not so much. Ah well, let’s try this again: Boetsch is the more ferocious striker in this fight, but Dollaway has more tools in the toolkit. Most of the time I’d pick Dollaway’s versatility, but I like Boetsch’s brute strength to overcome Dollaway’s more polished skillset, the same way Mark Munoz beat Dollaway in 2011.