Sixty four seconds, that’s is all the time Junior Dos Santos needed to show the free world what MMA is all about. The fact that at any time one man can be defeated regardless of his past accomplishments or strengths they might have over their opponent. In this knockout, Zuffa and FOX hit a home run with their debut program.
While criticized by hundreds for: the length of time, too much talking, etc – the fact remains, the UFC, which is the biggest organization and promotion for mixed martial arts was televised for free on a major national broadcast and will continue to be for years to come.
Here are the “Winners & Losers” UFC on FOX edition.
JUNIOR DOS SANTOS: WINNER
Walking into Southern California amidst a roar of boos and negativity, Dos Santos remained calm and his jovial self leading into the biggest fight of his career. Stopping the former champion in less than ninety seconds and taking no damage during that time, it is clear to see that “Cigano” is capable of great things leading into his championship reign. Whomever he faces in 2012, whether it is Overeem or Lesnar, the challenger will have the test in front of them.
BENSON HENDERSON: WINNER
Former WEC champion and current number one lightweight contender, “Smooth” went out Saturday night focused on the task at hand and defeated Clay Guida. A fight that easily earned Fight on the Night honors was a classic demonstration of what Henderson can do: outclass and bewilder opponents with his tenacity and attack. Guida gave it his all and wasn’t able to mount anything significant against the Arizona fighter. Admitting in post fight interviews that, “This was not my best performance and I can do better”.Hendersonwill be plenty of problems for Frankie Edgar when they meet in Japan next February.
RICARDO LAMAS: WINNER
Entering the octagon for this first time with the loss of family as motivation to win, Lamas stood and fought well against veteran Cub Swanson, securing an arm triangle in the second and picking up the award for submission of the might. Lamas will have plenty of more opportunities ahead of him to showcase his skill and ability to fight thru tough opponents, as Swanson looked good in both rounds before getting caught.
ALEX CACERES: WINNER
“Bruce Leroy” has evolved from a loudmouth in the TUF house, to a maturing and talented mixed martial artist. Going into this bout 0-2 in his UFC career, both losses by submission, the odds were not in his favor fighting Cole Escovedo.Cacereslanded punches, kicks and attacks from all angles, while even almost securing multiple submissions before winning the unanimous decision. It will be interesting to see how he looks in his next bout in the bantamweight division.
CAIN VELASQUEZ: LOSER
In his first title defense, Velasquez looked lost in the cage. Winging some shots and only attempting a takedown when he caught the leg of JDS, nothing more happened from the former champ. A few leg kicks were landed but it was nothing to faze the giant in front of him. Criticized by Dan White for “not taking it to the ground and tiring Dos Santos out,” was met with anger from the fans but it’s the truth. Cain will need to seriously re-think his strategy for the next outing if he wishes to stay atop of the heavyweight division and not be afraid to pull the trigger once the fight starts.
CLAY GUIDA: LOSER
“The Carpenter” has one set of plans and when someone changes the design – it all falls apart. Looking to become the new Kenny Florian of the lightweight scene, Guida is a perennial gatekeeper to the gold belt that he so desperately wants. Capable to take the fight to anyone, there is a missing link that he needs to finish the fight. Once a champion for Strikeforce, it seems his title days may be away from him.
KID YAMAMOTO: LOSER
To tap or not to tap, that was the question near the final seconds of round one when Kid was caught in a deep rear naked choke – he should have tapped. Landing a few power punches that stumbled Uyenoyama but never had him in deep trouble was all the Japanese star could do. Riding a losing streak of 0-2 in his UFC stint, it would seem that he was all hype if he cannot win against promotional newcomers, let alone the top of the division. At this point, he will need to put in more time at the gym in all aspects to get the win next time around.
For those who have been wanking and finding every reason why UFC on FOX was such a disaster, it needs to stop. This card was a promotional breakthrough and a landmark moment for the sport you all are supposed to love. We all know that anything can happen in a fight, especially when two men like Cain and JDS have the punching power they do, why be upset with a quick fight? In hindsight, be happy that it was free and you didn’t blow the money on a pay per view; besides the fact that the stellar undercard was all FREE online, what is there to whine about? We need to applaud the UFC for coming this far and continuing to lead the way for MMA acceptance, education and industry growth.