Event: UFC 132: Cruz vs. Faber (UFC Bantamweight Championship)
Airdate: Saturday, July 2nd, 2011 (Pay-Per-View)
Location: The MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, NV
Jeff Hougland vs. Donny Walker
Referee Mario Yamasaki starts the contest. Hougland lands an inside leg kick and follows with a jab. Hougland lands a body kick and then shoots for a double. He completes the takedown and is now standing over Walker and dropping shots to the body and head. Walker is active off his back, preventing the pass and landing several elbows. Stalemate now as both men jockey for position. Hougland lands a pair of elbows and then stacks Walker against the cage. With Walker seated against the cage, Hougland snatches an arm-in guillotine, but he can’t finish the fight. The round ends with Hougland on top, but Walker is landing elbows from the guard.
The pair trade tentative strikes to start the second, but Hougland is more active, landing multiple leg kicks. Hougland lands a spinning back fist to the side of the head. Walker is really looking for the big shot. Hougland shoots a takedown, but it’s stuffed. Hougland lands a nice outside leg kick and then a pair of jabs. Walker is cut over his right eye. Hougland ties a head kick, but it’s blocked. Walker continues to press forward, whiffing on a body kick and then a left hook. Hougland lands a looping counter left hook, but it’s answered by a leg kick from Walker. Walker rushes in and takes an incidental knee to the groin. Yamasaki calls for time, but restarts them quickly. Hougland continually lands a well-timed jab and then tags Walker with a big shot coming in that hurts him. Hougland tries another guillotine and jumps into guard. Walker seems safe, however. Now Hougland switches to a no-arm variation, and it looks close to being over. The horn sounds, and we’ll go to round three.
The fighters touch gloves to start. Hougland lands a right cross, but walker answers with a lead-right hook. Walker clinches and presses Hougland against the cage. Both men land knees before Hougland shoots for a double. Walker sprawls, and Hougland pulls guard. Hougland is trying a straight armbar from bottom. Walker stacks him and drops Hougland on the back of his head. Hougland now threatening with a triangle, but Walker squirts an arm through Hougland’s legs and escapes. Yamasaki stands them up after a few seconds of inactivity. Walker lands a nice leg kick and then a pair of right hands. Hougland tries a double, but Walker again sprawls. Walker is setting up a D’arce from top control in Hougland’s half guard. Hougland sweeps from half and winds up in Walker’s guard. Both men are landing shots – Hougland with punches, Walker with elbows off his back. Both men continue to throw as the round expires.
Official scores: 29-28 (twice) and 30-27 for Houghland, winner by unanimous decision. Judges names are not announced.
Andre Winner vs. Anthony Njokuani
Referee Yves Lavigne kicks off this lightweight contest. Njokuani leads with an inside leg kick, but Winner responds with a hard one-two that is blocked. Both men gauge distance with front kicks. Njokuani digs a left hook to the ribs. Winner leads with a left hook, but Njokuani responds with another leg kick before trying a spinning elbow. Winner tries a lead uppercut. Njokuani counters with a knee and a pair of leg kicks and follows with a knee to the ribs from the clinch. Njokuani lands a sweet counter uppercut to the jaw. Winner rushes for ward, then whiffs on a high kick. Njokuani circles to his right and lands another leg kick and then goes upstairs. Winner blocks the head kick and charges forward with a hook that is countered with a body punch. Njokuani counters with another uppercut. Njokuani lands a leg kick and then a teep to the gut. Njokuani lands a jab and then another front kick. Njokuani lands a pair of knees to the face and follows up with a murderous flurry. Punches, knees come from everywhere, but Winner is somehow still alive. Winner is out on his feet. Referee Yves Lavigne is looking hard at this one. Winner somehow survives another burst and is taken down with a trip. He bounces back to his feet as the horn sounds.
Incredibly, Winner comes out aggressive to start round two. Njokuani stays on the outside, gauging distance. Winner leads with a left hook. Njokuani responds with a high kick. Both shots are mostly blocked. Deliberate pace through the first minute until Njokuani lands a hard overhand right that knocks Winner into the cage. More knees from Njokuani to Winner’s ribs and face. Winner escapes to the center of the cage. Winner secures a body lock and executes a hip toss, but Winner bounces back to his feet again. The men exchange knees in the clinch against the cage until Lavigne restarts them in the center. Both men land punches, then Winner lands a lead left hook. Njokuani lands an outside leg kick, then an inside variation. Another inside leg kick from Njokuani followed by a high kick that is blocked. Winner whiffs with that lead left hook. Njokuani lands a body kick. Winner misses on a right hand lead. Njokuani tries another spinning elbow, but hits nothing but air. Jab from Njokuani, then a flurry of kicks that push Winner out of punching distance.
Njokuani lands another inside leg kick to start the third. Winner blocks a high kick and tries one of his own. Winner leads with an uppercut and follows with a body jab. Njokuani lands a nice right hook to the jaw. Winner lands a nice body jab. The Brit tries an uppercut, but it’s blocked. Winner just misses on a head kick. Njokuani fires a four-strike combination and then lands a hard leg kick to the lead thigh. Left hook to the ribs from Njokuani and then a lead-leg body kick. Winner is trying to get on the inside, but Njokuani continues to frustrate him on the outside. Another leg kick from Njokuani. And another. Njokuani tries a takedown, but it’s stuffed. Winner lands a left hook from the clinch, but Njokuani responds with a combination before circling away from the fence. Njokuani switches briefly to southpaw and seems content to ride out the decision. Scratch that. Njokuani lands a left hook and then a body kick. Winner is still game and looking for a big shot, but it’s not there. The horn sounds to end the bout.
Official scores: 30-26 (twice) and 30-27 for the winner by unanimous decision, Njokuani.
Brad Tavares vs. Aaron Simpson
Josh Rosenthal starts the middleweight bout. Tavares lands a body kick as Simpson clinches and hunts for a takedown. Knees to the thigh courtesy of Simpson. Tavares is hanging onto an overhook and defending the takedown successfully thus far. Simpson elevates Tavares briefly, but he can’t quite get him up for a slam or trip. More knees from the clinch from Simpson. The crowd boos the clinch work. Tavares defends another trip attempt. Midway through the round, and Simpson is still pounding Tavares against the cage. Rosenthal restarts them due to inactivity. Tavares lands a nice right straight, but Simpson eats it and fires a leg kick before bulling forward to clinch against the cage again. Simpson whirls Tavares around again, but Tavares uses his whizzer to defend, ending up back in the clinch against the cage. Both men trade shots as the round expires.
Simpson lands a leg kick, but Tavares counters with a heavy right hand. Tavares pops Simpson coming in and drops him momentarily. Simpson springs back to his feet and manages to secure a body lock that he turns into a waist-cinch. Tavares turns into his foe to prevent full back control and the fighters are back in the over-under clinch once again. Both men jockey for position while Rosenthal asks them to increase their work rate. Tavares is now digging for a double-leg, but Simpson defends well before landing a nice pair of knees from the Thai plum. Tavares tries again, and this time he executes the takedown, elevating Simpson and slamming him hard. Simpson springs back to his feet immediately, however, and pins Simpson against the cage. Now Simpson tries for a guillotine with Tavares seated against the cage. Tavares escapes the choke and works his way out of a front headlock before recovering to the Greco clinch. Tavares defends a takedown as the round expires.
Simpson whiffs on a huge right hand before closing the gap and clinching again. They separate. Tavares lands a counter combination as Simpson charges forward. Tavares defends another takedown attempt with a whizzer. Back in the clinch, Simpson continues to work with short punches. Simpson gets a body lock and tries to drag Tavares down, but Tavares’ base is still stout. Even so, it’s Simpson dictating everything so far this round. Simpson finally gets his takedown, but Tavares stands up. Simpson trips him down, but Tavares again stands. Simpson is relentless, grinding his foe down with this constant pressure. Simpson tries another double, but Tavares again defends well. Rosenthal separates the men. Simpson lands a nice overhand right and transitions into an outside trip to score the takedown. Tavares escapes to his feet and tries another takedown that’s stuffed. The fighters are still scrapping as the horn sounds.
Official scores: 30-27s across the board for Aaron Simpson, winner by unanimous decision.
Brian Bowles vs. Takeya Mizugaki
Mario Yamasaki starts the bantamweight bout. Both men tentative to start. Bowles tosses out a jab, and Mizugaki tries an overhand right before landing an outside leg kick. Bowles circles to his left and fires a jab, but Mizugaki cracks him with a right hand for his efforts. Mizugaki blocks an uppercut and lands another right before finding a home for another leg kick. Another leg kick from the Japanese fighter. Bowles lands a jab and Mizugaki whiffs on another overhand. Bowles still sticking his jab out there, but Mizugaki is still looking to counter. Bowles lands a glancing jab. Bowles still circling left. Mizugaki times him with a right hand and catches Bowles coming in. Bowles lands a right of his own, but there’s little power behind it. Both men launch a three punch combo, and the American lands his best punch of the fight so far. Bowles clinches up and now presses Mizugaki against the cage. Bowles now cinches up a body lock and begins to knee the ribs. Yamasaki breaks them with 10 seconds left in the frame.
Both men tentative again to start the second before Mizugaki initiates the action with a right cross and then a leg kick. Bowles lands a pair of stiff jabs and then a right hand. Bowles’ movement has picked up, and he lands another jab. Bowles lands a one-two, but Mizugaki counters with a jab. Body jab by Bowles. Mizugaki lands a sharp right hand on the counter. Mizugaki lands another right hand before eating a Bowles jab. Hard leg kick from Mizugaki. Nice counter right hand from Bowles. Mizugaki fires back with a right, but Bowles seems unfazed. Bowles catches an outside leg kick and cracks Mizugaki with a right straight. Bowles jumps on his foe and takes his back. Bowles now cinches a body triangle and is searching for a rear-naked choke. Mizugaki defends well, but Bowles is trying to soften him up with punches from the back. Mizugaki wants to turn Bowles, but the triangle keeps him in place. Bowles is trying hard to finish with the rear-naked, but Mizugaki is still calm as the horn sounds.
Bowles may have broken his hand once again in round two. Mizugaki tries a left hook to start the frame, but Bowles smothers him and presses his foe against the cage. Mizugaki lands a high knee to Bowles’ face from the Greco clinch. Bowles lands short knees to Mizugaki’s legs. Mizugaki catches a knee and fires a combination to escape the position. Bowles shoots a double and completes it in a big way. Suddenly, Bowles again has Mizugaki’s back, this time from a standing position. Bowles clings to Mizugaki’s back like like a monkey as he thinks about a rear-naked choke. Mizugaki is calm with wrist control, but Bowles is still on his back. Mizugaki tries to land short blows to Bowles’ face, and the crowd boos the stalemate. Yamasaki separates them with 50 seconds remaining. Mizugaki is pressing forward and lands a combination. Bowles lands a right hand, but it looked uncomfortable. Bowles is on his bike as the round expires.
Official scores: 30-27 (twice) and 29-28 for Bowles, winner by unanimous decision.
Rafael dos Anjos vs. George Sotiropoulos
Referee Yves Lavigne signals the start of the Spike TV card. Sotiropoulos presses immediately. Dos Anjos fires a combination, but he’s countered by a Sots combination. The Aussie lands a light outside leg kick, and Dos Anjos retaliates with a hard one. The pair exchange looping hooks, and the Brazilian’s clips Sotiropoulos on the chin. The Aussie collapses, his skull bouncing off the canvas. Lavigne steps in to stop the contest at only 59 seconds of the first frame, saving Sotiropoulos from further punishment.
Melvin Guillard vs. Shane Roller
Josh Rosenthal starts the lightweight contest. Guillard tries a pair of flying knees to begin and follows up with a left hook and a right hand. Guillard is on his toes and looks very comfortable. Guillard lands a hard leg kick and follows with a combination. Guillard lands a nice body kick as Roller rushes in, but it looks like Roller was poked in the eye in the process. Roller is fine, and the bout continues. Roller checks a leg kick, but gets clipped with a punch to the body. Roller lands a nice left hook as both men throw. Guillard did not enjoy that, and he circles out. Roller now presses forward but gets caught with an uppercut, left hook combo that drops him. He struggles to his feet but gets blasted with another straight shot to the chops that puts him back on the mat. There is no escape this time, as Guillard pounds him into unconsciousness. The end comes at 2:12 of the first frame, as Josh Rosenthal declares Guillard the winner by knockout.
Carlos Condit vs. Dong Hyun Kim
Kim gets in close and slams Condit to the mat authoritatively. However, Condit quickly pins Kim’s arm, and sweeps to full mount, and tries to lock up a guillotine. Kim peels Condit’s hands, and they resume standing. Low kick lands for Condit. Neither guy locating hard strikes. Condit flicks a front kick, and then explodes with a furious flying right knee that wrecks Kim. Kim falls to his seat, and “The Natural Born Killer” is all over him, taking mount and punching away, wracking Kim’s head from side to side. Steve Mazzagatti rescues the shattered Kim at 2:58 of the first round. Incredible knockout.
Tito Ortiz vs. Ryan Bader
Both men start with an active jab. Bader lands an overhand right that stumbles Ortiz briefly. Dueling low kicks whiff for each man. Ortiz rushes with a two-piece, but Bader circles away. Low kick for Bader. Both men trade turns pumping their hands and landing a low kick. Ortiz jumps in with a right hook that crushes Bader, folding his legs over one another. Ortiz smells blood, and attacks with punches. Bader fights to a single-leg attempt, but Ortiz locks up a guillotine and jumps guard. It’s deep, and Ortiz strains hard to finish the choke. Bader tries to wriggle free, but is caught, and feebly taps. A jubilant Ortiz leaps to his feet, instantly recreating his famous “Gravedigger” routine with gusto. The end comes just 1:56 into the first round. Incredible win for Tito Ortiz.
Matt Wiman vs. Dennis Siver
Hard low kick by Siver lands, and his overhand follow whizzes by Wiman. Wiman low kicks. Siver launches a one-two that snaps Wiman’s head, and “Handsome” shoots a double, which Siver soundly defends. Hard right for Wiman, and they swing away wildly. Very aggressive fight from both through the first minute. Low kick for Siver lands, a Wiman head kick sails wide. Hard low kick for Siver. Inside low kick for Wiman, double roundhouse kick by Siver, and more intense swinging. Very rugged, offensive fight. Wiman grabs a waistlock and throws Siver to the mat. Siver gets back up to his feet, as Wiman tries to pull him back down with a single-leg takedown. Wiman drops down, tries to take the back, and Siver thwarts him. The Russian-born German is showing off great takedown defense. Siver tries to sneak a guillotine in on Wiman, and Wiman breaks Siver’s grip. They break, and a Siver combination is blocked on the way out. Hard outside low kick by Siver lands. Swinging right hook by Siver misses Wiman, but he changes levels and puts Wiman on the mat. Siver tries to pass, but Wiman shuts him down. The German stands, pounding briefly before Wiman regains his feet. Wiman quickly attempts a single-leg, but Siver shuts him down again. Heavy combination punching from Siver, and Wiman shoots another double, finally getting Siver on the mat with under 15 seconds to go. Wiman gets into guard and punches at the bell.
Wiman attacks Siver’s legs with another double, and Siver sprawls along the fence. Wiman switches to a single, and Siver stands. Wiman continues to drive Siver into the fence, prompting boos from the crowd. Siver threatens a guillotine, Wiman pulls out and shoots in a single again. Wiman switches to a double, gets his head low, and turns Siver over to finish the workmanlike takedown. Wiman lands a short elbow that cuts Siver’s forehead open. Another hard elbow for Wiman lands. Three heavy right elbows follow. Wiman continues to drill Siver with elbows, slashing his face wide open. Siver is pouring blood. Wiman with a torrent of hammerfist that force Siver to cover up. Five elbows for Wiman smash into Siver’s brow. Wiman tries for two double axehandles, but Siver blocks them. The horn ends a firm Wiman round.
Inside low kick lands for Wiman, and Siver throws a slow one-two that Wiman blocks. Wiman catches a Siver push kick, bulling him into the fence and shooting another single. Siver splits his legs along the fence, and Wiman tries to step over his leg, but the German escapes to his feet. Left high kick is blocked by Siver. He attempts to follow with his trademark spinning back kick, but Wiman sidesteps it. The lightweights trade low kicks. Wiman stumbles Siver with a low kick, and touches him with a long Superman punch. Siver kicks, and Wiman tries to land a kneetap, but Siver avoids, and fights Wiman’s advance off with powerful hooks. Wiman continues forward, and ducks under a left hook to shoot another single. Siver punches away on Wiman’s head, and tries to break his grip. Siver forces Wiman back to the feet, and turns him into the fence. Wiman grabs a guillotine, and pulls guard. Siver escapes, but Wiman sucks him into an omoplata. Siver. Pulls his arm out, and Wiman gets back to his feet. Siver kicks, and Wiman catches his leg again, tripping him to the mat. Siver kicks him away, and turns him over, standing up. Wiman attacks again, and Siver kicks his leg out, forcing him into a takedown. Wiman drives for it and Siver pounds away until the horn. Fun fight.
All three judges score the bout 29-28 for the winner by unanimous decision, Dennis Siver.
Wanderlei Silva vs. Chris Leben
Leben kicks, and Silva glances him with a right hand counter. Silva attacks with a flurry of hooks. Leben throws a left hook that tags and stumbles Silva. Leben goes to attack, but Silva clinches. “The Crippler” responds with a torrent of left uppercuts. Silva goes down on his face. Leben attacks and punches away until referee Josh Rosenthal dives in to save Silva. The Brazilian continues to fight the referee Rosenthal for several seconds before coming to his senses. The official time of the fight is 27 seconds.
UFC Bantamweight Championship
Dominick Cruz vs. Urijah Faber
Cruz’s right hand lead snaps Faber’s head back. Both men moving actively, darting in and out. Cruz lands another right, and Faber looks for the takedown. He tries to spin Cruz around to take his back, but Cruz shakes him off. Low kick for Faber lands. Cruz responds with a one-two and a kick of his own. Kicks from Cruz are absorbed on the arms and body of Faber. Cruz continues to shuck and jive, throwing low and high kicks. Cruz continues to dance in and out. Hard low kick for the champion lands, but Faber decks him right a right that drops him for a moment, as the crowd roars. Cruz jumps back to his feet, and the fight continues at its frenetic pace. They flurry, and Faber lands a right on the exit. Faber jumps into the pocket, and Cruz smacks him with a heavy uppercut. Cruz dances in, ducks a Faber hook, and lands one of his own. Double jab and a hard low kick for Cruz. Faber drives Cruz into the fence in pursuit of a takedown. Cruz knees Faber to the head and gets an underhook. Faber breaks and flurries, and Cruz blocks it. More punches exchanged, each landing hard rights, and Faber lands a hard knee to boot. Cruz throws a flying knee which glances, and Faber and he spill to the mat in an attempted hip throw at the end of an exciting round.
Cruz continues to be active with kicks, but can’t land clean on Faber through the first minute. A “Faber, Faber” chant breaks out. Two kicks for Faber glance. Left hook and a right cross land clean for Cruz. Cut kick for Cruz lands under Faber’s attempted check. Inside low kick for Cruz land, and Faber lands a right. He responds with another hard right that finds its mark on the champ. Stiff jab from the ever-dancing Cruz. Cruz darting in and out with feints, but Faber simply backs away. Flailing three-punch combo lands for Cruz. Faber attempts a single, and Cruz glances with a pair of countering hooks. Head kick blocked by Faber, but Cruz throws an outside low kick on the other side that lands firm. Another jab lands for Cruz, and his swiping right tags Faber. Faber responds with a right of his own that stumbles Cruz. Cruz feints, Faber throws a right hook, and Cruz immediately changes levels and double-legs him. However, Faber quickly works back to his feet with 15 seconds to fight. Double outside low kicks are followed by three hooks that land for Dominick Cruz, ending another great round.
Slapping low kick for Faber lands, but Cruz lands a clean right-handed lead in response. Cruz dives in with another right that misses its mark. Galloping body kick for Cruz lands. Cruz attempts another kneetap, but Faber blocks it, and the champion lands a series of short rights rather than trying to finish the takedown. Combinations for both guys sail wide. Cruz is walking down Faber more intently now with his dancing, and nails him with a three-punch combo. Two more low kicks. Cruz’s volume is starting to define the fight. Faber swipes with a body shot. Cruz swings and Faber ducks under, taking him to the mat. Cruz sweeps and initiates the scramble, but Faber attempts to take his back. Cruz rolls through and gets to side control before they both stand up in a sensational scramble. Stiff jab from Cruz connects. Faber kicks to the body, Cruz catches it, but can’t land a hard punch. A Cruz head kick is blocked, but his right-handed follow smacks Faber. Solid right hook for Faber lands, and Cruz responds with a left before shooting a double. Faber stuffs the takedown, and they clinch along the cage. Cruz tries for the single, but Faber stuffs it again. They clinch until the horn.
Cruz lands a quick combination to start the championship rounds. A left hook followed by two right hooks jack Faber’s jaw. Cruz sidesteps a Faber right, but steps right onto a hard low kick. A heavy Faber right hand smacks Cruz, and drops him to the mat for a moment. As Faber steps in to attack, Cruz tries for a takedown, but Faber shuts him down. Feint and a single-leg attempt for Faber. Cruz shuts him down, but “The California Kid” lands a stiff uppercut on the break. Lunging body hooks for Cruz land. Two more Cruz punches glance Faber, and the champion adds a knee. Both men are slowed, but continuing to fight with aggression. Cruz attempts another kneetap, but Faber pancakes him. When Cruz tries to reshoot, Faber shucks him off. Great takedown defense by Faber. Left hook to the body and a right hook over the top land for Faber as Cruz backs up and plays defense for a moment. Faber kicks inside, and Cruz steps inside, landing a knee to the head. Cruz changes levels again looking for a late takedown, but Faber stuffs him. Cruz gets double underhooks and grinds Faber into the fence until the bell.
A heavy Cruz rocks Faber. The champion looks to leap in with an attack, but Faber flurries in response. Heavy action to start the fifth and final round. Cruz fakes a jab and shoots, getting Faber to the mat. However, Faber scrambles back to his feet, and Cruz hangs on with a rear waistlock. They separate. Cruz doubles Faber to the mat again, but the former WEC featherweight champ quickly leaps back to his feet. Faber kicks to the body, and the kick is caught, but Cruz can’t capitalize. Cruz lands another double-leg, but Faber slickly sits out and slides back to his feet, another display of brilliant defensive wrestling. Cruz attempts a foot sweep, but Faber again scrambles and remains standing, as Cruz rams him into the fence. Faber breaks Cruz’s grip, and the champion steps away with under two minutes to fight. Hard inside low kick by Cruz. Faber responds with a tired head kick but can’t land. One minute left, and Cruz digs to the body. Faber swings hook counters, but can’t land. Cruz hits two consecutive knee taps, but Faber keeps his hips low and defends both expertly. Faber breaks free with 20 seconds to fight. Front kick by Faber allows Cruz to shoot again, but he can’t get the takedown before the bell.
Official scores: Sal D’Amato sees it 50-45, Patricia Morse-Jarman reckons 49-46, and Glenn Trowbridge has it 48-47 for the winner by unanimous decision and still the UFC bantamweight champion, Dominick Cruz.