New UFC heavyweight champion Cain Velasquez.
The UFC heavyweight title is back in the hands of the baddest man on the planet, Cain Velasquez, after his dominant victory over Junior dos Santos at UFC 155. The former champion earned even more respect than he had before from his fans and experts, but it’s the approval from his fellow fighters that likely means the most to him.
Twitter has become the place that the world goes to discuss fights live and UFC 155 was no exception. The Twittersphere was on fire on Saturday night, particularly with fighters who all seemed to be tuning into perhaps the biggest fight of the year.
The following Tweets came from fighters (and prominent UFC personalities) during the main card for the UFC 155: dos Santos vs. Velasquez fight card.
Derek Brunson vs. Chris Leben
We got started with Derek Brunson vs. Chris Leben in what turned out to be a lackluster bout. Twitter was fairly quiet during this one, at least from fighters who generally don’t like to bash one another for having “boring” fights.
Brunson showed his happiness in the cage immediately after the fight when he screamed out in happiness. He later got on his phone to let everyone know who he thanks for the victory.
Thank you Jesus !— Derek Brunson (@DerekBrunsonMMA) December 30, 2012
UFC President Dana White was not quite as happy, however.
Ya that fight was BAD!!!— Dana White (@danawhite) December 30, 2012
Alan Belcher vs. Yushin Okami
Up next was Alan Belcher, who had been on a four-fight winning streak as he battled perennial top UFC middleweight contender Yushin Okami.
Belcher put up a valiant effort, even dropping Okami numerous times. But in the end, it was Okami’s frustratingly strong grappling that was able to contain Belcher and earn him the win.
UFC announcer and former multi-divisional contender Kenny Florian was impressed with both fighters.
The legendary Bas Rutten agreed, noting that it was the Japanese star’s ever-improving wrestling that secured the win.
So many coaches and trainers always say the best base for MMA is wrestling, I think Okami is showing why!— Bas Rutten (@BasRuttenMMA) December 30, 2012
Costa Philippou vs. Tim Boetsch
The third fight on the card was one that featured one of the fastest-growing fighters in terms of popularity, Tim Boetsch, as he looked to increase his undefeated streak at middleweight to five wins against Costa Philippou.
Former UFC middleweight Jorge Rivera gave a quick breakdown on the bout before it started, explaining what Costa would need to win.
Costa will need his speed, footwork & boxing to keep big Tim away where he can't hurt him— Jorge Rivera (@Jorge_Conquista) December 30, 2012
Boetsch appeared to break his hand early in the fight, which cost him dearly as Philippou systematically broke him apart throughout the contest.
Top Strikeforce and Invicta FC female contender Sarah Kaufmann believed the fight was close going into the third round, but didn’t think one of the fighters was ready to continue.
Rd 3 will decide the fight but with boetsche pulling guard looks like he wants out #ufc155— Sarah Kaufman (@mmasarah) December 30, 2012
Philippou eventually earned a TKO victory.
Jorge Rivera’s former rival and current top UFC contender Michael Bisping apparently made a bet with a fan in attendance who was confident that Boetsch would win. The fan put his money where his mouth is but ended up handing over a $20 bill to the Brit.
Belchers buddy paying me the 20 he bet me Alan would win, lol. Looks like he might not call me out for a while. twitter.com/bisping/status…— michael (@bisping) December 30, 2012
Joe Lauzon vs. Jim Miller
The co-main event included two of the UFC’s most exciting lightweights as Jim Miller battled Joe Lauzon in a bout that could vault the winner very close to a title fight in 2013.
English fighter John Maguire echoed the thoughts of many fans who were excited for this one.
Right its the fight iv been most looking forward to on the card Lauzon/Miller and I'm going with Lauzon!! #UFC155— John Maguire (@MaguireTheOne) December 30, 2012
Mike Swick concurred.
Swick (@officialswick) December 30, 2012
Jim Miller started the fight out with a ferocious pace, attacking Lauzon with a barrage of strikes, including a short elbow against the cage that opened up Lauzon’s forehead.
My goodness miller is pouring it on!— Dominick Cruz (@TheDomin8r) December 30, 2012
As blood poured down Lauzon’s face, he began to look less like a UFC fighter and more like a Halloween mask. The hard-hitting Bart Palaszewski was even shocked at the amount of blood Lauzon was losing.
Holy **** was that an elbow or a car that hit him?! Wow! Crazy— Bart Palaszewski (@Bartimus7) December 30, 2012
UFC ring girl Arianny Celeste looked away in horror.
Jim miller vs @joelauzon bloodfest 2012 can't watch! 🙈— Arianny Celeste (@AriannyCeleste) December 30, 2012
Top UFC flyweight contender John Dodson even joked about the amount of blood that had made its way onto the top of Lauzon’s head, turning his hair a bright shade of red.
I didn't know that leben got a 2nd fight tonight. Look at Jim miller's hair. #UFC155— John Dodson III (@JohnDodsonMMA) December 30, 2012
Lauzon battled back, however, and gave the fans the type of performance that only he can give in the cage. Wearing a crimson mask for about 13 minutes of the 15-minute bout, Lauzon made it close enough on the scorecards that Jon Fitch couldn’t call a winner.
Wow. Still don't know who won that fight.— Jon Fitch (@jonfitchdotnet) December 30, 2012
The exciting bout was universally loved on Twitter, with most agreeing that even with the main event remaining, the “Fight of the Night” bonus should be awarded to Miller and Lauzon.
And here is our FOTN Lauzon vs miller #UFC155— Brad Tavares (@BradTavares) December 30, 2012
Brad Tavares and others were right as the fight was later officially given the reward and accompanying bonuses. This fight night bonus now gives Joe Lauzon the UFC record for most fight night bonuses achieved by a fighter in the history of the company as he surpassed Anderson Silva.
Velasquez vs. dos Santos
The main event had finally arrived and Twitter was buzzing from the amazing co-main event as we prepared to head into the UFC heavyweight title fight. Predictions flooded in at this moment, and there were a few notable prognostications including former UFC light heavyweight champion Tito Ortiz.
JDS by KO. But I want to see a mexiCan be champ again. #UFC155— Tito Ortiz (@titoortiz) December 30, 2012
Velasquez’s teammate Ryan Bader showed his support from afar.
Bader (@ryanbader) December 30, 2012
The fight began and the chess game that was the standup battle between these two got underway. That didn’t last long, though, as Velasquez shot in, obviously wary of dos Santos’ power after being knocked out the last time he fought the champ.
Cain looking for the takedown JDS looking for the uppercut... Great pace & start to this fight... Crowd sounds amped... #awesome— Jorge Rivera (@Jorge_Conquista) December 30, 2012
As Velasquez began to pull away with his wrestling and surprising dominance in the striking game, Twitter began to turn from the expectation that this would be a close fight to the sudden realization that we were looking at a new champion.
Tyron T-Wood Woodley (@TWooodley) December 30, 2012
Look at Cain using his chain wrestling like he's in practice! Fun to watch. Jds needs his uppercut!— Dominick Cruz (@TheDomin8r) December 30, 2012
Pat Barry, who is known for having some of the most epic slugfests in UFC history, has been talking about how great Velasquez is for some time, but he knows better than anyone that fights can change in the blink of an eye.
ANYTHING IS POSSIBLE:BUT I'VE BEN SAYING CAIN IS THE SHIT SINCE I SAW HIS FIRST FIGHT !!!BUT IT AIN'T OVA YET!!!— Pat Barry (@HypeOrDie) December 30, 2012
With only moments left in the bout, dos Santos’ face looked like it had been stung by hundreds of bees at once. Former Strikeforce champion and current UFC top contender Alistair Overeem took to Twitter to talk a little smack about the fighter who had been placed above him on the MMA rankings for the past few months.
JDS looks really pretty lol— Alistair Overeem (@Alistairovereem) December 30, 2012
Overeem will fight Antonio “Bigfoot” Silva at UFC 156. If he is able to win that bout, Overeem is expected to get his chance against Cain Velasquez, who on Saturday night became the new UFC heavyweight champion.
JDS looks really pretty lol— Alistair Overeem (@Alistairovereem) December 30, 2012
Although Velasquez won the fight with a combination of his skills, it was really his advantage in one area that stood out the most. Two of the best MMA fighters in that area were quick to give props to their fellow fighter.
Told you!!!! #Cain. By wrestling!!— Josh Koscheck (@JoshKoscheck) December 30, 2012
Best heavyweight title fight in the history of the UFC!Good old fashioned American wrestling gets it done.
— Ben Askren (@Benaskren) December 30, 2012
With that, a fun night of fights had come to a climactic end. A new champion has been crowned and we move onward and upward to 2013!