UFC 160 Results: The Real Winners and Losers from Velasquez vs. Silva
Antonio 'Big Foot' Silva already knew how dangerous Velasquez is. He left blood and pride on the mat the first time he met the champion at UFC 146 last year. This time was little better.
Velasquez caught Silva with a one-two combination that dropped the giant. From there it was elementary, ground and pound leading to a stoppage.
Velasquez, of course, wasn't the night's only winner. Dos Santos delivered one of the most incredible knockouts in heavyweight history, connecting with a spinning wheel kick that dropped the hard-headed Mark Hunt and all but demanded a third match between Junior and Cain. I hope we see it before the end of the year.
The heavyweights weren't the only winners at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas. There was plenty of great action up and down the card and 12 winners, at least on paper.
Sometimes, however, there's more to winning than having your hand raised at the end. A fighter can win in the record books and lose in the hearts of fans and matchmakers. Likewise, a loser who shows heart and passion, like Hunt, can emerge a true winner.
Who will we remember from UFC 160? Click on to find out.
Loser: Mark Hunt's Brain
Mark Hunt is a man's man. He took almost everything Junior dos Santos had and kept on coming. His left hand stunned the former champion every time it landed. Dos Santos seemed likely to earn a decision—but Hunt was going to challenge his chin until the last moment.
And then it happened—a spinning wheel kick that landed right in Hunt's mush.
Illusions of invincibility?
The Super Samoan dropped to the mat and an enormous right hand finished the fight. Hunt, not wanting to admit fallibility, attempted to get to his feet. Instead, he tumbled head first into the cage. At 39, his Cinderella tale is now over.
Dos Santos seems likely to challenge for the heavyweight title next. And after UFC 160 he deserves it. That was a fight, and a finish, none of us will ever forget.
Junior dos Santos defeats Mark Hunt via knockout at 4:18 of Round 3.
Winner: Mike Tyson (And Hugs)
Winning a fight is one thing. A dozen guys do it every time the UFC has a fight card.
But winning a fight in front of your hero, former heavyweight boxing champion Mike Tyson? And then having Tyson stand, applaud and give you a hug?
That means everything. Or did for light heavyweight star Glover Teixeira who was near tears in the cage talking with Joe Rogan after his victory over James Te Huna.
I've been hesitant to get too excited about Teixeira. After all, he's already nearing his 34th birthday, a bit late in the game to become a top flight fighter. He has the skills to give it a run though. One more big fight and I believe he's ready to challenge for a championship.
Glover Teixeira defeats James Te Huna via submission (guillotine choke) at 2:38 of Round 1.
Winner: T.J Grant and the Power of Youth
There are certain fights that take a lot out of a man. The kind of wars that turn a top contender into an opening act in the course of 25 minutes. Gray Maynard had two of them, both against Frankie Edgar. Those fights were Maynard at his best.
And that best wasn't quite enough.
Out with the old—in with the new. The 34-year-old Maynard had his time. It's T.J. Grant's time now, his chance to climb the mountain or give his all trying. That's what fighting, what sports, is all about.
T.J. Grant defeats Gray Maynard via TKO at 2:07 of the first round.
Loser: The Fans
Every fight card has at least one bout booked purely for fireworks potential. Two guys, usually fighters who care very little about their own personal well being, standing toe-to-toe for three rounds—or however long the fight lasts.
At UFC 160, that fight was supposed to be K.J Noons versus Donald Cerrone. Both are iron-willed strikers. Neither is afraid to eat a punch or three in the name of pride and a big "fight of the night" bonus. It promised to be a powerful combination.
Instead, Cerrone was just a bit too good for Noons, who couldn't compete standing or on the mat. It was a one-sided and ugly drubbing—and not the war we were all hoping for.
Donald Cerrone defeats KJ Noons via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-26)
Loser: One-Dimensional Fighters
Colton Smith is very good at dragging men to the mat and laying on top of them. That was fine to beat a collection of middling fighters during his season of The Ultimate Fighter. It's not enough to make it to the top of this sport.
Robert Whittaker, himself a TUF champion, showed that Smith wasn't ready to handle a striker with clever counters and heavy hands. He had no idea what to do against a solid standup artist, getting hit over and over again with a solid uppercut. With his boring lay-and-pray style, Smith may not have very long to figure it out before he's sent packing.
This is the UFC Sergeant Smith. Time to sink or swim with the sharks.
Robert Whittaker defeats Colton Smith via TKO at 0:41 of Round 3.
Winner: Grappling Fans
Abel Trujillo, it was apparent very early, had no answer for Khabib Nurmagomedov's grappling. The former combat Sambo champion took Trujillo down early and often, eventually shattering the UFC record for takedowns in a fight.
In 27 attempts, Nurmagomedov managed to drag Trujillo down 21 times. By the mid-point of the fight, Trujillo was mentally broken, just fighting to survive.
It was an impressive performance, but I advise caution before jumping all-in on the Russian grappler. It's one thing to beat up the Abel Trujillos of the world and quite another to dominate against a legitimate contender. It's time to see what Nurmagomedov can do against stiffer opposition.
Khabib Nurmagomedov defeats Abel Trujillo via unanimous decision. (30-27, 30-27. 30-27)
Loser: Brian Bowles
It's been almost two years since Brian Bowles last won a fight.
Before his bout with George Roop, he hadn't even stepped into the cage at all in nearly 18 months.
That long layoff, combined with a self-professed disinterest in training and competing, points to a fighter on his way right out of the sport.
George Roop is a fun journeyman. His length gives everyone problems, but the better fighters figure him out. In truth. Roop's best move is "cornerman GNP," his custom celebration delivered quite well whenever he's fortunate enough to win a fight.
But he's not a fighter a former champion, even one with a bowl cut, should struggle against, let alone lose to. And yet, there was Bowles, on the mat, eyes wide. Waiting for the fight to be called off after a Roop jab dropped him.
For Bowles, it appears his time on the big stage is over. The former WEC champion is a vestige of the past—and it's time to focus on the future at 135 pounds.
George Roop defeats Brian Bowles via TKO at 1:43 of Round 2.
Losers: The Faint of Heart
Sometimes a cut is just a minor annoyance for a fighter. A bit a blood, a bit of pain. Nothing they'll really think about the next morning.
Other days you end up soaked in blood. It pours from your forehead or right into your eye. It pools on the mat, covers your opponent and generally grosses every one out.
It was that kind of day for Estevan Payan at UFC 160 against Jeremy Stephens. It must have been bad enough for the helpless Payan to be so outclassed—the copious amounts of blood just seemed to add insult to injury. Or, more accurately in this case, injury to insult.
Even as Stephens had his hand raised in victory, the blood trickled down Payan's face. The canvas, for the rest of the night, looked like someone had spilled an unfortunate amount of red paint in one corner, reminding us, once again, that this sport is not for the faint of heart.
Jeremy Stephens defeats Estevan Payan via unanimous decision (30-26, 30-26, 30-27.)
Complete UFC 160 Results
Cain Velasquez defeats Bigfoot Silva via knockout at 1:21 in Round 1
Junior dos Santos defeats Mark Hunt via knockout at 4:18 of Round 3
Glover Teixeira defeats James Te Huna via submission at 2:38 of Round 1
T.J. Grant defeats Gray Maynard via TKO at 2:07 of Round 1
Donald Cerrone defeats KJ Noons via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-26)
Mike Pyle defeats Rick Story via split decision (28-29, 29-28, 29-28)
Dennis Bermudez defeats Max Holloway via split decision (28-29, 29-28, 29-28)
Robert Whittaker defeats Colton Smith via TKO at 0:41 of Round 3
Khabib Nurmagomedov defeats Abel Trujillo via unanimous decision (30-27 x 3)
Stephen Thompson defeats Nah-Shon Burrell via unanimous decision (29-28, 30-27, 29-28)
George Roop defeats Brian Bowles via TKO at 1:43 of Round 2
Jeremy Stephens defeats Estevan Payan via unanimous decision (30-26, 30-26, 30-27)