So UFC 131 has come and passed and the event delivered in regards to entertainment value even though the fights looked one sided on paper. There’s a lot to talk about so let’s get right to it:
- Shane Carwin got dominated by Junior dos Santos and it wasn’t even close. This fight finished confirming to me that Shane Carwin isn’t an elite heavyweight. He simply has big power so he’ll always have a puncher’s chance to win. Wrestling was supposed to be his strong suit, but Junior dos Santos explosively took him down on a couple of occasions. I think this was Carwin’s last shot at making run for the title and he came up short again.
- Junior dos Santos is the truth and I think he’s going to give Cain Velasquez all he can handle, especially with Velasquez being out of action for so long. That will be a great fight. However, I still can’t believe the JDS/Carwin fight went to the judges although it arguably could have been stopped when JDS was pummeling Carwin at the end of round 1.
- Kenny Florian looked decent tonight but not great. I was correct in thinking that Nunes would be a very game opponent. I’m not certain Florian would pose a challenge to either Jose Aldo or Chad Mendes. I don’t think he could stop Mendes from taking him down, and I don’t think he could stand with Aldo. Different weight class but same problems.
- Diego Nunes earned himself a new fan. That guy fights hard and he’ll be back.
- I predicted that Mark Munoz would beat Demian Maia, but I had no idea that Maia’s standup had improved so much. I don’t think anyone expected that. However, credit to Munoz for adapting his game and imposing his will on Maia in the second round which seemed to take a little out of Maia. Munoz is a top ten middleweight now, and it’ll be interesting to see who they match him up with next. It needs to be another top ten middleweight and the only ones available are Brian Stann and Chael Sonnen barring his licensing issues.
- Dave “Pee Wee” Herman certainly knows how to make an entrance into the UFC huh? That was a spectacular knockout against Einemo, but Herman took entirely too much punishment. However, credit must be given to Einemo as he was thought to be primarily a grappler but showed improved striking and was pretty game to not have fought since 2006.
- I missed the Donald Cerrone fight since I was covering a local show here in North Carolina last night. I predicted him to win via decision and that’s what happened, and that’s two in a row for the “Cowboy”. I’d like to see him get a step up in competition now.
Overall, all of the fights went as predicted on my end but Einemo, Maia, and Nunes certainly put up more of a fight than I thought they would. Sam Stout and Chris Weidman impressed on the Spike televised portion of the card. I know Stout was excited that he knocked Yves Edwards out, but I thought it was pretty bush league of him to celebrate that much with Edwards still down on the canvas while he did the post fight interview with Joe Rogan. That’s now two UFC wins in a row for the young middleweight prospect in Weidman. It’ll be interesting to see who the UFC throws to him next.
Personally, I thought the card exceeded expectations but I’d love to hear from you and get your thoughts. Did any of you think Maia won the fight against Munoz? Do you think Junior dos Santos is going to give Cain Velasquez all he can handle?