It’s very much a war of words on Twitter between Roy Nelson and Shane Carwin as they prepare to be coaches on season 16 of The Ultimate Fighter and then do battle in the cage themselves.
It was a short turnaround for UFC 131, after a putrid UFC 130. The show was much better, though still, unspectacular at times. Even the heavyweight fight, which was nearly promised to be great, was just an alright tactical battle between one guy who didn’t want to risk getting upset, and another guy who was simply not in the same class on the feet. What should’ve been a great styles clash was in fact, a pretty boring one.
Duan and I give you our thoughts about UFC 131.
Thumbs In the Middle
Best Fight: Shane Carwin vs. Junior Dos Santos
Worst Fight: Diego Nunes vs. Kenny Florian
After a disappointing run of shows, there was a sense that UFC really needed a good PPV outing this month. While 131 was by no means perfect, it did go a long way towards stopping the rot. While there was no real blow away fights or stand out performances, the action was solid throughout, and I think for the most fans will feel they got their money’s worth.
This card also acted as a reminder why the move towards five round main events is not necessarily for the better. Dos Santos vs. Carwin, despite being wildly uncompetitive and quite one paced, came off like a really big deal. I have a feeling that had it gone another two rounds, people would have lost patience and turned on these guys. If that happened, how would it effect demand for a Velasquez/Dos Santos title fight? It’s something to consider.
Thumbs In The Middle
Best Fight: Demian Maia vs. Mark Munoz
Worst Fight: Diego Nunes vs. Kenny Florian
Sam Stout gave us a vicious knockout. Dave Herman and Jon Olav Einemo gave us a rock ’em/sock ’em kind of fight. And Mark Munoz and Demian Maia gave us a fun, strategic battle. Even though all of those things happened, the show still felt a bit anticlimactic because of the main event. I think most of us figured that Junior Dos Santos was going to beat Shane Carwin, but I think we predicted it to be more of a war than it was. JDS fought safe fight and Carwin just couldn’t do anything. Had that fight ended in the TKO we all hoped for, I think we see this show differently.
No introduction is necessary. The UFC needs a strong showing here tonight. At the very least, the main event should deliver.
1. Vagner Rocha vs. Donald Cerrone
It was a pretty action-packed first round, though, nothing huge landed. Cerrone and Rocha traded lots of leg kicks with Cerrone getting the better of them. Rocha took him down and Cerrone immediately looked for the triangle, but didn’t get it. Cerrone started to pick him apart late in the round to win it.
Rocha is trying to pull guard so that Cerrone comes to him. He clipped Cerrone with a right hand that was his best shot of the show. He’s also shooting constantly for the takedown, but Cerrone is stuffing it and making Rocha get back up because he’s just the better striker. They may have butted heads as Cerrone has a cut.
Cerrone’s feet are lethal. He’s using his feet in combinations like a boxer would use his punches. He’s kicking low and then following it up with a high kick. Cerrone has destroyed his front leg and made Rocha go southpaw. Cerrone should win a unanimous decision. He just blistered Rocha with kicks. Rocha can’t even stand-up.
Winner: Donald Cerrone by way of unanimous decision
2. Dave Herman vs. John Olav-Einemo
Herman is using a front kick to keep Einemo at bay. He’s landing some decent punches too. Einemo took him down, but Herman got back up. Einemo closed the distance and pushed him up against the cage and was using landing short punches. Close round.
After a subpar UFC 130, and really, some subpar PPV shows so far this year, UFC 131 needs to deliver. When the free shows are better than what you pay for (last week’s Ultimate Fighter finale), it’s kind of hard to justify paying for the bigger shows. Why not just wait for the free ones? On paper, I’m not sure this card is going to be fantastic up and down, but at the very least, the main event looks tantalizing, unlike the UFC 130 main event. So it has that going for it.
The FGB crew along with Stevie J from Angry Marks, and friend of the site JP, have predictions ready for not only the main event, but for Mark Munoz vs. Demian Maia as well.
Mark Munoz vs. Demian Maia
Duan: Maia by 1st round submission
Alan: Munoz by 1st round TKO
Stevie J: Maia by decision
JP: Munoz by 2nd round TKO
GG: Maia by decision
Despite the glaring weaknesses in Maia’s game, he has still proven a handful for all but the divisions very top guys. I just don’t believe Munoz is at that type of level. Maia has caught submissions on far more experienced grapplers than Munoz in the past. I see him ending this one early.
Munoz is one of the more well rounded elite wrestlers in the game. He is a fixture in the Black House camp as the main wrestling trainer for both Nogs, Anderson and Lyoto. In return he’s learnt a ton from them about striking and BJJ. He also has a lot of natural power. Yes he got head kicked by Matt Hamill but he was still in his development stage at that point, and we’ve seen how some of the high level athletes can improve quickly in MMA.
This is a great fight for Munoz and a horrible one for Maia. The biggest threat Maia possesses is BJJ. But this fight will only go to the ground if Munoz chooses it to. He will force Maia to stand and won’t have to be concerned with a flash KO as Demian has little power. If that plan is going badly, and Munoz is just getting beaten to the punch – well then he can probably put Maia on his back with ease. He’ll obviously have to be careful if he does do that though. But I see this ending early in the 1st as Munoz will be able to throw caution to the wind on the feet and will blitz Maia for a KO win.
Jason (aka dadrrtywhyteboi) and I spend the first 20 minutes or so talking the situation with Rampage Jackson and MMA reporter Karyn Bryant. It includes talk about Bryant’s husband, Kevin Iole, Yahoo blogger Maggie Hendricks as well as Joe Rogan. I have a bit of insight as I chatted with Iole in Twitter about the subject.
We also discuss the Clay Guida vs. Anthony Pettis fight at last weekend’s The Ultimate Fighter Finale and who should be the next number one contender for the lightweight belt. We then jump right into UFC 131, which looks a bit uninteresting, but should have a slobber knocker of a main event. We talk about the top 7 fights and which one are our favorites.
Right click to download or stream below.
This will probably conclude our UFC 116 coverage unless something else comes out about the show. In short, it was fantastic and as you’ll see, the entire FGB crew enjoyed it.
Here’s what we thought:
Best Fight: Chris Leben vs. Yoshihiro Akiyama
Worst Fight: Goran Reljic vs. Kendall Grove