Things looked great for Steve Cantwell in the opening round of his Middleweight debut against Mike Massenzio. He had dominated the complete five minutes of the round and UFC 136 looked to be the night “The Robot” gets back in the win column. The next 10 minutes though would be a different story for the former WEC light heavyweight champion.
Between rounds one and two Massenzio made adjustments in his game plan and began to wear down Cantwell with takedown attempts. Even when the takedowns failed it made Cantwell work extremely hard, something that would pay off later when Cantwell’s nose gets broke with an uppercut. By round three, Massenzio had taken full control of the fight as Cantwell was dropping his hands and gasping for air.
After winning the first round Cantwell cropped the next two and lost his fourth straight bout via unanimous decision.
Heading into the UFC, Cantwell had won his last three WEC bouts, including a win over Brain Stann for the light heavyweight championship. Cantwell made a successful UFC debut at UFC: Fight for the Troops by dislocating Razak Al-Hassan’s elbow with an armbar. After losses to Luis Cane at UFC 97 and a rubber match defeat against Brian Stann, Cantwell was out of action for 18 months due to injuries. A loss to Cyrille Diabate in his return to action gave him three losses in a row and a move down to middleweight probably saved his job.
Now with that fourth defeat in a row at UFC 136, Cantwell’s time in the UFC seems on its last leg. Most fighters don’t survive four losses in a row in the UFC, but there have been a few exceptions to that rule of late. With that said it might not be a lock that Cantwell receives his walking papers, but with the way he looked Saturday night it’s highly likely.