UFC 131: Shane Carwin vs. Junior Dos Santos and the 5 Biggest Reasons to Tune in

Jonathan R.R. ClarkeContributor IIIJune 1, 2011

UFC 131: Shane Carwin vs. Junior Dos Santos and the 5 Biggest Reasons to Tune in

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    On June 11 at Rogers Arena in Vancouver, UFC 131 will finally touch down.

    With the previous Ultimate Fighter series (season 13), Brock Lesnar was scheduled to fight Junior Dos Santos. Because of Lesnar's recent and recurring bout of diverticulitis, UFC had to draft another fighter to replace the tastelessly tattooed behemoth.

    They have managed to find one just as agile, brutal and physically imposing as Lesnar—Shane Carwin.

    The bout between Dos Santos and Carwin looks to be an exciting one, but take a closer look at UFC 131 and the 5 other biggest reasons to tune in. ...

Kenny Florian vs. Diego Nunes

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    One of the biggest draws at the event comes in the form of UFC veteran Kenny Florian and his bout against the impressive Diego Nunes.

    Florian's last fight ended in a loss to Gray Maynard, while Nunes is riding a three-fight win streak since his only career loss against LC Davis. Nunes has won 16 of his 17 professional fights. Nunes' victories have come in all forms: five by knockout, six by submission and five by decision.

    Both fighters are very accomplished Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu practitioners, so if this fight goes to the ground, expect a master-class performance.

    Even though Florian is the more experienced fighter and holds the higher rank in Jiu-Jitsu, I've got to go with Nunes in this one. He's been impressive in recent fights and has shown he has the ability to grind out the results when needed.

Demian Maia vs. Mark Muñoz

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    I can see this one going to the ground and, if/when it does, Maia is going to give Muñoz a lesson in Jiu-Jitsu.

    This fight is going to be worth watching, because although Muñoz poses a threat standing up (holding five knockout victories in his 10 wins), I can see Maia scoring takedown after takedown before finishing with an impressive submission win.

    There is, however, another way this fight could go.

    Maia has gone to the decision in his last four fights, winning all but one (against Anderson Silva). Muñoz has the ability to take it to the scorecards. All of Maia's opponents of late seem too afraid to roll with him. They either keep the fight standing or are ultra-defensive on the ground.

    This is the reason we are seeing so many decision wins for Maia. If you check out the video of Maia's Jiu-Jitsu, you will see why nobody wants to go to the ground with him! 

    To be honest, though, I doubt the judges will be needed for this one. I think Maia wins by submission in the early rounds.   

Donald Cerrone vs. Vagner Rocha

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    Two guys who have already demonstrated their skills in the submissions department, Cerrone and Rocha will also meet in the Octagon.

    This will definitely be one worth watching.

    Cerrone is an already-established name in the WEC and possesses an impressive victory over Paul Kelly in his UFC Debut. Rocha will make his debut in the UFC, holding a record of six wins in seven professional fights.

    If the big stage doesn't get the better of Rocha, like we have seen with so many other great fighters, I think we could be in for an interesting encounter. However, if the lights and fans start to dazzle the new boy, Cerrone might have an easy night picking him apart.

    But we will see.  

Dos Santos vs. Carwin

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    By far the biggest fight—on paper—of the night.  This could be an epic battle between the two big guys.

    Both of them punch heavily.

    Both are capable of knocking each other out.

    So, it's a case of who hits harder first?

    Carwin is notorious for his early finishes, though we have seen if it goes past the first or second round, he's puffed out. Let's hope he's been training for stamina in order to keep his high pace throughout the entire fight (if it ever makes the third round).

    Dos Santos, meanwhile, boasts an impressive catalogue of victories over Roy Nelson, Stefan Struve and Mirko Filipovic.

    Both Dos Santos and Carwin are hungry for a title shot, and both know how to get there. I can see their game plans being very similar, the fight staying predominantly upright.

    Don't be surprised if we see Dos Santos go for the takedown every now and then—to take the lottery out of the punching game. Personally, I think Carwin hits harder, but it's on swings and roundabouts, really. 

    On the whole, I would recommend not looking into your nachos, not going to grab another beer or otherwise removing your eyes from the television when this fight is on. Both of these mammoths mean business and will want to end the fight quickly.

    I think Carwin might pull it off with a shower of devastating fists to the face of Santos. 

UFC 131: The Submission Specialists

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    OK, the final and most important reason not to miss UFC 131 is its diversity.

    It's got the potential to show some of the best grappling/submissions/takedowns through the likes of Maia, Cerrone and Florian.

    It has the potential to show some of the most brutal punches and knockouts from Carwin, Dos Santos and Nunes.

    There are more than enough reasons to tune into UFC 131.

    Expected Fight of the Night: Carwin vs. Dos Santos

    Expected Submission of the Night: Maia vs. Muñoz

    Thanks for reading!