UFC 116: What We Should Be Talking About
UFC 116 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas featured a main event that was an MMA fan's wet dream.
Brock Lesnar collided with Shane Carwin in the biggest Heavyweight fight ever in the UFC. Lesnar defeated Shane Carwin via second round submission to complete his fairy tale comeback from a life-threatening illness last year and unify the Heavyweight titles.
The main event was a hugely exciting fight and has rightly dominated the headlines since Saturday night.
However, I always like to give notice to the smaller things that catch my attention during each UFC event.
So here is what else you should be talking about post-UFC 116.
Brendan Schaub Is the Next Heavyweight Prospect
Brendan Schaub did what his training partner Shane Carwin could not as he left Las Vegas and UFC 116 with the win.
In the match televised on the Spike TV Prelims, Schaub easily outclassed Chris Tuchscherer on the feet and landed big shots at will early in the fight, leading to the TKO win at the 1:07 mark. Schaub has now won his last two fights, both by TKO and both in the first round.
However it's once you put his loss to Roy Nelson in perspective that his stock rises further.
Nelson is vastly more experienced and is easily one of the best all-around fighters to ever enter the TUF house. Nelson was expected to win the show, so in reality Schaub as the losing finalist can be viewed as a winner of sorts amongst the other fighters.
Training under the highly-regarded Greg Jackson and Mike Winklejon, and as a regular training partner of Shane Carwin, it's fair to say that the future is bright for Schaub.
Bigger and better things await the "Hybrid."
There Is Life in the "American Psycho" Yet
Coming into this fight many commentators, including this one, were questioning Stephan Bonnar's future. Despite having a guaranteed a job for life in the UFC by Dana White, many thought that his status as an active fighter was in jeopardy.
Bonnar came into his fight with Soszynski riding a three-fight losing streak and really needed to put in a strong performance.
The "American Psycho" summoned memories of his legendary fight with Forrest Griffin as he went toe-to-toe with Soszynski in an all-out war.
Winning "Fight of the Night" honors, Bonnar showed that he still has a few fights left in him and that he could make a very able replacement for Keith Jardine as the LHW Division's gate keeper.
George Sotiropoulos is Legit
People continue to question the "Wizard of Oz", and each time he comes up with a win over his opponent. Sotiropoulos defeated his second top-10 ranked fighter in a row to cement his position as a top challenger to current Lightweight Champion Frankie Edgar.
George outclassed Joe Stevenson on the ground at UFC 110, but on Saturday his striking abilities were on full display as he beat Kurt Pellegrino via decision. With every fight Sotiropoulos shows how well-rounded he has become and that wherever the fight takes place he is a threat.
With the title fight rematch between Edgar and B.J. Penn already lined up, and Kenny Florian and Gray Maynard set to square off for the No. 1 contender spot, the immediate future for Sotiropulos is unclear.
Evan Dunham vs George Sotiropoulos anyone?
Chris Leben Has Made a Fan Out of Me!
I'll be the first person to admit that I've never really been a big fan of Chris "The Crippler" Leben, but as of Saturday night you can firmly see me as an avid member of his fan club.
Taking a fight with highly regarded Yoshihiro Akiyama on short notice is commendable. Taking the fight after fighting two weeks before in a tough fight against previously undefeated Aaron Simpson is unheard of. Not only did Leben do this, but he won both fights and won in impressive fashion.
Leben has gone from being on the periphery to being in the title mix in the Middleweight Division—all in the span of two weeks.
His win over Akiyama was huge, it again showed his iron chin, ability to bang with anyone, and growing skills as a well-rounded fighter, as he won the fight via submission.
Leben has come a long way since his hell-raising days on the first season of The Ultimate Fighter.
He has made a fan out of me and really announced himself again to UFC fans.
As mentioned at the top of this piece, UFC 116 will be remembered for Brock Lesnar's victorious return to the Octagon.
However no card is just about one fight, and the things highlighted in this piece are what you should also be talking about.
Let me hear your thoughts below folks!
Greg Parfitt is a Featured MMA writer on Bleacher Report.
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