UFC Heavyweight Title: Junior Dos Santos vs. Cain Velasquez
Dos Santos, the UFC champion, is undefeated at 9-0 in the UFC and finished 7 of those 9 opponents. He relies on his excellent boxing and a ground game refined with his legendary mentor Antonio Rodrigo "Minotauro" Nogueira. He also has a reputation as one of the nicest people in the sport, a beloved figure in his native country of Brazil. Velasquez's only MMA loss came to Dos Santos and he has been pegged as a future champion from his start in the sport. He mixes excellent wrestling, solid striking and perhaps the best cardio of any heavyweight in the sport. Dos Santos knocked out in 64 seconds a year ago and Velasquez is gunning for revenge.
Round 1. Velasquez presses forward at the start. He fires in a few punches and then takes Dos Santos down. Dos Santos stands right back up. Velasquez then dives in wildly for another takedown attempt that doesn't come close. Velasquez throws a few punches and gets caught with a counter. Velasquez charges in for another takedown but it is again defended. Velasquez lands a straight right punch but Dos Santos easily avoids another takedown attempt. Dos Santos catches Velasquez with a few jabs as Velasquez comes in. Velasquez lands a body kick but Dos Santos brushes off another takedown attempt with ease. Velasquez grabs a clinch and lands a knee to the body. Dos Santos lands a nice counter hook and there is a minor cut on Velasquez. Velasquez drops Dos Santos with a heavy overhand right punch and looks to finish him with punches on the ground. Dos Santos is just covering up but Velasquez isn't landing particularly strong punches. Dos Santos finally stands back up but Velasquez pulls him back down. Velasquez opens up with punches on the ground and fires in punches as the round concludes. 10-8 Velasquez. Dos Santos staggers back to his corner. He's in a world of trouble.
Round 2. A confident Velasquez drops Dos Santos back with big straight punches. He then slams Dos Santos to the mat. Dos Santos gets up but Velasquez slams him right back down. Dos Santos stands up again and they clinch against the cage. Velasquez grabs a single leg and throws Dos Santos back down. Dos Santos gets back up and eats a pair of punches right to the chin. Velasquez takes Dos Santos back down. Velasquez grabs an armbar and looks to finish with the submission. Dos Santos gets out and returns to his feet. They trade against the cage as the round comes to a close. 10-8 Velasquez.
Round 3. Dos Santos lands a nice uppercut as Velasquez moves in. He connects with a nice hook moments later. Velasquez ducks down and scores a takedown 30 seconds in. Velasquez has 165 landed strikes just through the first two rounds. Dos Santos does get back up. They exchange up against the cage. Velasquez lands big punches to the body and keeps walking down Dos Santos. He won't allow Dos Santos any distance to land the punches that Dos Santos is most comfortable using. Dos Santos is showing great heart hanging in there and trying to counter as much as he can. Velasquez finally looks a little tired after pushing the pace so much. He backs away and eats a nice Dos Santos uppercut. 10-9 Velasquez.
Round 4. Velasquez immediately presses forward and clinches. He takes Dos Santos down a minute in but Dos Santos once more returns to his feet. Dos Santos lands a punch and presses Velasquez against the cage. Dos Santos looks for a takedown. Velasquez avoids that. He grabs a leg and takes Dos Santos back down. Dos Santos gets up but eats a heavy punch to the body and uppercut. Dos Santos walks away as if he isn't interested in fighting but then throws a tricky elbow as Velasquez moves in. Velasquez clinches and they work against the cage. 10-9 Velasquez.
Round 5. Velasquez walks Dos Santos down right from the start again. He grabs a leg and looks for a takedown but Dos Santos avoids it. Velasquez keeps looking for a takedown but Dos Santos nicely is able to stop it. He then throws a huge hook that misses Velasquez's chin. Velasquez keeps pressing forward and won't allow Dos Santos the opportunity to plant his feet and land the home run shot that he needs. Velasquez finally gets Dos Santos down to the ground halfway through the round. Dos Santos once again gets back up to his feet and battles in a clinch against the cage with Velasquez. Velasquez connects with a huge head kick with 30 seconds in the round. He presses Dos Santos back against the cage and goes back to work. He looks for one last takedown as the round concludes. 10-9 Velasquez, 50-43 Velasquez.
Winner: Cain Velasquez, unanimous decision (50-45, 50-43, 50-44).
Jim Miller vs. Joe Lauzon
Miller is a gritty, well respected veteran who grinds out wins with his wrestling and submissions. He needs a win here after decisive losses in two of his last three against Nate Diaz and Ben Henderson. Lauzon is an exciting, explosive fighter who tends to attack quickly and win fights via stoppage early but fades later in bouts. The common thinking about this fight is the key is whether Miller can survive the early Lauzon onslaught.
Round 1. Miller is aggressive at the start with punch combinations. Lauzon covers up and defends well. Miller knocks Lauzon off balance with a leg kick and pounds him with punches up against the cage. Miller lands a heavy kick to the body and backs Lauzon up with uppercuts. Lauzon retaliates and Miller backs off. Miller knocks Lauzon off balance with another inside low kick. Miller backs up Lauzon with huge punches that bloody Lauzon and leave him stunned. Lauzon is bleeding very badly. Miller continues pounding away at a disgusting Lauzon. There may be a blood stoppage here. 10-8 Miller.
Round 2. Miller goes back to work with punches. Lauzon is busted right back open. Miller then takes Lauzon down and starts dropping elbows. Miller then looks to pass guard. He moves into half guard. Lauzon is leaving behind disgusting puddles of blood. Miller looks for a D'Arce choke but Lauzon uses the opportunity to take top position. Lauzon drops back for a leg lock but Miller avoids danger. Close round. 10-9 Miller narrowly.
Round 3. Miller for the third time in the fight drops Lauzon with an inside leg kick. He then does it for a fourth time. Miller lets Lauzon stand back up. Miller lands a few punches and follows with a knee. Miller isn't throwing as much as he was at the start of the fight, but he is still consistently landing the better shots. Lauzon connects with a solid knee to the body that slows Miller down. Miller backs Lauzon against the cage with punches but Lauzon circles around and backs Miller into the cage. Lauzon dives down for a heel hook with 30 seconds left in the fight. Miller wiggles out of trouble but Lauzon looks for a choke. That was just a tremendous fight. 10-9 Miller, 30-26 Miller.
Winner: Jim Miller, unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28).
Tim Boetsch vs. Costa Philippou
Boetsch has become an improbable middleweight title contender with wins over Yushin Okami and Hector Lombard. While the names sound impressive, Okami utterly dominated Boetsch for the vast majority of their fight while neither fighter looked good at all in Boetsch-Lombard and most thought Lombard still should have won. Philippou has won four straight UFC fights and has the opportunity to move to a higher level.
Round 1. Boetsch walks down Philippou and clinches. Boetsch gets the takedown a minute in. Philippou, however, stands back up. Boetsch retains control of Philippou's body and looks to take him back down. They exchange knees against the cage and separate. Philippou, perhaps concerned by the takedown attempt, is very hesitant to throw. He doe land an overhand right. Boetsch throws a series of push kicks but isn't landing anything himself. Philippou connects with an uppercut as Boetsch comes in. As Philippou presses forward, Boetsch catches him off guard and takes him down. Boetsch does next to nothing and they're stood back up. Philippou opens up and lands a few heavy punches at the close of the round. Boetsch drops Philippou with a push kick at the close. Close round. Not a good one. 10-9 Boetsch.
Round 2. Philippou throws a wild kick and Boetsch looks for a takedown. He doesn't get it but lands a kneee on the separation. There's blood on the face of Boetsch which the announcers say came from an accidental headbutt. Philippou lands a nice punch to the body. Philippou's mouthguard falls out at the same time Boetsch takes an eye poke in a weird sequence. Philippou avoids a takedown attempt and takes top position on Boetsch. He drops some punches down for the remainder of the round. 10-9 Philippou.