(video via Fox Sports)
Dan Henderson proved he’s got still some gas left in the tank and took out Mauricio “Shogun” Rua via a brutal KO in the main event of UFC Fight Night-Shogun vs Henderson 2 in front of a hostile crowd in Natal, Brazil. The much anticipated rematch capped of an exciting night of fights on a rare UFC Sunday fight night. Going up against college basketball March Madness the UFC on Fox Sports 1 did some very impressive numbers averaging 936,000 viewers, peaking for the main event at 1.25 million. It was the third most watched Fight Night in the history of Fox Sports 1.
The viewers were treated to some great fights with some impressive finishes. Notably, Hendo and CB Dolloway’s 39 second KO of Cezar Ferreira.
Hendo looked every bit of 43 years old in the beginning of the fight as he seemed to be on the losing end of several exchanges with Shogun. The Brazilian was more accurate with his striking and had Hendo rocked several times. Veteran referee Herb Dean gave Hendo every opportunity to come back from the brink of a KO. Once Hendo cleared the cobwebs he continued to stalk Shogun in the cage. Shogun growing more confident with the stand up exchanges made a crucial mistake and dropped his hands just enough for Hendo to land his patented H-Bomb ending the night.
A great display of heart and one more victory for the last of the true “Old School” MMA legends and if that wasn't enough to cement his "Like A Boss" status, he wasted no time in contacting Dana White to step in for an injured Chris Weidman to fight Lyoto Machida. Time might not be on his side, but Hendo is determined to make the little time he has left in the Octagon count.
Full fight results after the jump
(Victory tasted very sweet for Hendricks. /image via Zuffa, LLC/Getty Images/ video via FoxSports)
The wait is finally over for Johny Hendricks. After narrowly dropping a decision loss to former Welterweight champ Georges St Pierre in his previous fight, Hendricks got the judges nod in his decision victory over a very game Robbie Lawler at UFC 171. With the belt strapped to his waist Hendricks now becomes the number one target for a slew of very dangerous and hungry contenders in the UFC’s welterweight roster. In a closely fought main event, Hendricks and Lawler traded heavy leather testing both of their chins on multiple occasions. Lawler was stuffing every takedown attempt and seemed to smile after every punch combination thrown his way. While Lawler looked the fresher of the two throughout the fight, Hendricks finally started to wear him down with a combination of kicks and punches and landed a very important takedown in the final round of the fight sealing the victory and claiming the UFC welterweight title. To call this an exciting fight would be a gross understatement. Both men fought their hearts out and earned Fight of the Night honors and an additional $50,000 each for their efforts.
A few fellow welterweights were very quick to make a claim for the number one contender spot following their wins and some notable mainstays had their championship aspirations derailed.
Cuban Olympian Hector Lombard looked like an unstoppable punching and judo machine, for the first round at least, in his unanimous decision victory over Jake Shields. Lombard absolutely rag dolled Shields and rocked him with some very powerful shots but was never able to finish him. Shields was able to recover and secure his guard throughout the fight but never had an answer for Lombard's takedowns or really put him in any danger with the exception of a last minute guillotine attempt in the closing seconds of the last round. Whether it was fatigue or an unwillingness to go for the finish, Lombard seemed content to hang out in top position earning the boos of the crowd on several occasions. If Lombard can maintain the level of intensity shown in the first round throughout 5 rounds, he will be a very formidable force at 170 lbs.
Tyron Woodley came out very strong against Carlos Condit in their match and had the Natural Born Killer in danger of being put away early. Condit was able to keep moving forward and started to inflict some damage of his own by the end of the first round. A hard takedown attempt in the second frame saw Condit grimace in pain but still continue to fight on the ground. When stood up by the referee it became apparent that something was wrong. Woodley threw a hard kick which made Condit spin around and dislocate his knee causing him to fall on the floor writhing in pain. An unfortunate end to what was shaping up to being a great fight and a very disappointing injury to Condit who was inching back towards a title shot. Having gone the distance with Hendricks already, a win over Woodley would have put Condit in a very good position to fight for the title.
Myles Jury got the win over his first big name in the UFC by edging out Diego Sanchez in their lightweight scrap. While Sanchez later blamed his loss on food poisoning it became apparent early on the fight that while he posed a threat to Jury, Sanchez never could find an answer for Jury’s more technical striking. It’s back to the drawing board for Sanchez while Jury will find that the roster in the UFC’s lightweight division isn’t going to get any easier.
Ovince St. Preux started off the night strong for the PPV card by making short work of Ukraine’s Nikita Krylov. Krylov went for a quick guillotine submission but soon found himself in danger by not letting go of the hold once St. Preux passed his guard. The former Strikeforce standout saw the opening and sunk in his own choke causing the tap at 1:29 of the first round earning him Performance of the Night honors to share with featherweight Dennis Bermudez who finished his opponent in the prelims.
Overall UFC 171 was a great card full of very good fights. The crowd at American Airlines Center in Dallas, Texas was over 19,000 with an estimated gate of $2.6 million. They did not leave disappointed. The fans watching via Fight Pass, Fox Sports 2, and PPV saw a solid card full of entertaining fights. The main question remains now, who will be the next challenger for the newly crowned champ? With Condit out, will Woodley be given the call or will Rory MacDonald be given a chance to bring the UFC welterweight belt back to Tristar? The UFC match makers will have their hands full as the welterweight division just got alot more interesting.
Full fight card results after the jump.
(image via Zuffa LLC, article by Adam LeBarr)
The man who we knew as the Welterweight champion; who dominated the division for so long is no more...
After UFC 171 a man other than Georges St Pierre will be known as the new undisputed king of the welterweight division. The rest of the card will also determine the pecking order of the next challengers in line for a shot at the title.
First, lets take a look into the Lightweight division for Diego Sanchez vs. Myles Jury --
Diego, now the "Dream" Sanchez is stepping back into the octagon after his war with Gilbert Melendez to take on undefeated up-and-comer, Myles Jury. Though to some, Jury isn't that well known, he's not someone Sanchez wants to underestimate or look past.
For Sanchez, a win over Jury is a must if he wants to step back into the win column and work his way up the Lightweight ladder for a shot at the gold. Jury already looks to be a step head, presenting an impressive undefeated record, and with a win over Sanchez, it only puts him that much closer to the top.
Your co-main event; Carlos Condit vs. Tyron Woodley is huge for the Welterweight division in the fact that winner of this fight could possibly be fighting the new crowned champion of the main-event.
Condit vs. Woodley is looking a lot like Gustafsson vs. Manuwa. You've got a top ranked guy in the division taking on a tough competitor, but also someone who's ranked outside of the top 10. Don't let these rankings fool you, though.
After Condit was victorious over Kampmann and Woodley, in devastating fashion knocked out Koscheck, Woodley made it known and his mission that he wants to fight Condit. Dana White said: "If Woodley texts me one more time... He texts me 15 times a day asking for this fight". His persistence in poking at the President of the UFC for the fight worked in his favor.
Does the co-main event victor fight the winner of the main-event for the title? It's unknown. Carlos Condit with a victory seems possible, Woodley may need a couple more fights in order to get his shot.
UFC 167, post-win over Hendricks, George St-Pierre announced he needed a break, some time away from the UFC. The decision wasn't final at that time, but a few short days later he and the UFC had an announcement to make.
St-Pierre stated he needed a rest. A break away from competing in MMA. With a date unknown on his return, he vacated the Welterweight championship. A date on his return (if one) is still yet to be known.
Hendricks in his fight with St-Pierre feels he won. To many, it looked like it, too. It was only right that the UFC gives Hendricks a call to fight for the vacant title, but who would his opponent be?
Robbie Lawler debuted in the UFC back in 2002 at UFC 37. With some great wins and tough loses, his paths would change only a couple years later. Outside of the UFC, and in Strikeforce, also other organizations, Lawler looked to be improving. His win/loss ratio still up-and-down, it was his return to the UFC 10 years later (after Zuffa, LLC bought out Strikeforce) that he would truly shine.
UFC 157, Lawler knocks out Josh Koscheck in his return to the #1 MMA operation. UFC on FOX 8, Lawler knocks out Bobby Voelker and at UFC 167 (the night GSP beat Hendricks) he defeated Rory MacDonald. It only made sense for Lawler to take on Hendricks for the vacant championship.
George St-Pierre is gone from the division, a fight for the championship is set and if GSP looks to return to the octagon, do we see him fight the winner of Hendricks/Lawler? Only time will tell.
Until then, the sport continues to move forward and the welterweight belt will have a new owner.
(image via Getty Images/Zuffa, LLC/ article by Adam LeBarr)
UFC Fight Pass has delivered to the fans... The UFC implementing this new network (Fight Pass), has brought with it more fights and fans. With Gustafsson and Manuwa headlining this free card, it was almost already guaranteed to be nothing short of greatness.
Before we get more into the main-event; we must not forget about the awesome fights the led to the finale. With high energy preliminaries, the boys on the main-card needed to display top preference in order to outshine the previous fights. Though most did (Brad Pickett vs. Neil Seery (FightersBlog's vote for Fight of the Night)), it was the co-main event that would disappoint --
Leading up to the co-main event, it was thought that this was the fight to steal the show. Thoughts don't always turn into actions, though. Normally, Guillard is all action and in your face. At UFC Fight Night 37, it was the complete opposite. Michael Johnson was the one looking for the fight, Guillard more or less running away. The fans at the O2 arena in London weren't to fond of the fight, but in the end, happy Johnson was the one victorious.
Alexander Gustafsson (#1) was going into this fight with Jimi Manuwa (#11) coming off of a loss to champion, Jon Jones. Though Jones was successful in defending his championship when they first met, many thought it was 'The Mauler' who was victorious. Despite who won, it ended up being 2013's Fight of the Year.
This fight with Gustafsson was a huge opportunity for Manuwa. Manuwa not even being ranked in the top 10 was set to take on the #1 contender? Sounds a little off, but a win would have put him right into the Light Heavyweight title chase. Gustafsson didn't seem to mind fighting someone ranked that off from himself. No matter who it was, he was looking to make a statement to be granted another shot at the title --
Gustafsson would do just that.
Early in the fight, Manuwa looked to have been getting the better of Gustafsson. As 'The Mauler' would shoot in, Manuwa had an answer. Going into round #2, the Sweden wasn't looking to take anymore shots, only deliver. Just 1 minutes into the 2nd, Gustafsson rocked and put Manuwa to the ground; moments later finishing the fight by way of TKO (technical knockout).
Post-fight, Dana White stated: "If Jon Jones beats Glover Teixeira, we've got a a nasty rematch". At the press conference, it was also said that Gustafsson will fight the winner of Jones/Teixeira.
Alexander Gustafsson def. Jimi Manuwa via: TKO
Michael Johnson def. Melvin Guillard via: Unanimous decision
Brad Pickett def. Neil Seery via: Unanimous decision
Gunnar Nelson def. Omari Akhmedov via: Submission
Ilir Latifi def. Cyrille Diabate via: Submission
Luke Barnatt def. Mats Nilsson via: TKO
Claudio Henrique da Silva def. Brad Scott via: Unanimous decision.
Igor Araujo def. Danny Mitchell via: Unanimous decision
Louis Gaudinot def. Phil Harris via: Submission
Fight of the Night: Gustafsson vs. Manuwa
Preferences of the Night: Alexander Gustafsson & Gunnar Nelson