Junior dos Santos is officially a heavyweight title contender once again. Cigano picked up a second-round TKO victory in what was a strange but captivating headlining bout at UFC Wichita. JDS hurt Lewis twice in the first, including a savage spinning kick to the body that had Lewis hunched over in obvious pain. But both times he charged in to follow up, Lewis caught him flush with huge shots that made him re-think that plan.
So even with his opponent doubled over for the last minute of the first round, Dos Santos didn’t really do much about it.
Lewis went back to his corner and he must have told them he was incapacitated, because they asked him to get a finish ASAP. Instead, JDS bid his time and caught Lewis with a big right. This time Lewis couldn’t get him back as he came in, and Dos Santos dropped and finished him. Also, he got the crowd to sing happy birthday to his son, which was kind of adorable.
I’d sure like to see Junior dos Santos vs. Stipe Miocic 3 next.
- In the co-main, Elizeu Zaleski made short work of Curtis Millender. He got an early takedown, and had Millender completely out of his element. The submission came in less than three minutes, and it was an easy night. Zaleski has won seven in a row now. Give this man a big fight please.
- I’m generally not a fan of one-rounders getting Fight of the Night honors, but Tim Means and Niko Price put on a strong contender in less than five minutes. Price had Means hurt early. Means took him down to recover, then had Price on the ropes with some huge shots back on the feet. Price’s ridiculous chin kept him in it, and then he landed the perfect right hook that sent Means to the mat, a crumpled mess. That was a hell of a lot of fun.
- Ben Rothwell and Blagoi Ivanov got off to tepid starts each round, but they decided to brawl at least once in each stanza. It was an even fight, with both men landing big shots. Ivanov’s eye was buggered up. Rothwell had the crimson mask. In the end the decision went to Ivanov. Personally I had it for Rothwell, but whatever.
- Beneil Dariush nearly got knocked out in the first round by Drew Dober. Dober landed a bunch of huge shots, but Dariush showed some durability and got to the second. And when he did, he took it to the floor and dominated. Chaining submission attempts, and then explaining what he did in the post-fight interview, was very cool. Great, if gross, armbar finish.
- Omari Akhmedov and Tim Boetch didn’t show a lot of urgency in their middleweight fight. Boetsch had his nose caved in (a running theme tonight), and he got cut up a bunch. Other than that, there’s not much to write about. Akhmedov won.
- The undercard can be summed up in one word – dull.
- Sergio Moraes is limited. He was getting frustrated with Rocco Martin’s circling away from him, but what do you expect? When all you’re doing is spamming wide power shots, it’s an easy decision. Martin stayed inside long enough to wreck Moraes’ leg with kicks and fought off the few takedowns Moraes tried (considering BJJ is his specialty, it’s lunacy to not try for more). And Martin took an easy decision. Not exciting, but effective.
- Yana Kunitskaya’s face got busted open to the point that she looked like a strawberry aficionado. Unfortunately for Marion Reneau, she did that to her opponent after Reneau had already dropped the first two rounds. So when she lost a decision, she shouldn’t have all that surprised.
- Grant Dawson is relentless. He was all over Julian Erosa for the entire fifteen minutes, and looked like he could have gone another fifteen without slowing down. It wasn’t the most exciting fight, but Dawson’s got some skills. Also, the judge that gave Erosa a round is dumb.
- Maurice Greene and Jeff Hughes fought in a totally lackluster heavyweight fight. Greene won a split. Next.
- Everyone raves about Louis Smolka’s grappling chops, but it was Matt Schnell that got everyone’s attention tonight. He finished the fight in the first with a triangle. The UFC will probably cut Smolka now because it’s flyweight, which sucks.
- Zak Ottow asked repeatedly to fight Alex Morono. Morono stopped him in the first with elbows after almost getting the finish with a guillotine. Maybe he Ottow not ask for fights anymore.
- Alex White fought off Dan Moret’s wrestling to win a couple of rounds with some clean shots. Then laughed uncomfortably at his own joke during the post-fight interview. Awwwwkward.