UFC 139 Results: Greatest Event Ever?
Expectations weren't exactly through the roof leading up to UFC 139, which took place in San Jose, Calif. in front of a sold-out HP Pavilion.
But, as we've seen, expectations have little to do with how an event plays out.
This statement held true as one of the greatest events in mixed martial arts unfolded right before our eyes on Nov. 19, 2011.
When action began, UFC fans who tuned in for the live pay-per-view event got to witness one of the best performances of the night from 20-year-old Michael McDonald, who attacked Alex Soto early in the first round.
McDonald landed a huge right, sending Soto to the ground before finishing him off with good with a series of vicious strikes at just 0:56 of Round 1.
In the very next fight, fans witnessed similar excitement as Ryan Bader bounced back from two consecutive defeats by knocking out Jason Brilz just 1:17 into the very first round.
As the fight card progressed, those in attendance and watching live saw one of the most dominating and closer performances of the night as Stephan Bonnar outlasted Kyle Kingsbury while Martin Kampmann snuck out a split decision victory.
And just when fans thought it couldn't get any better, enter three more fights.
Urijah Faber came out of the gates swinging for the fences against opponent Brian Bowles in an attempt to earn himself another bantamweight title fight.
While Faber made an impact in Round 1, it wasn't until the second frame where he landed a huge uppercut followed by a knee that sent Bowles to the ground.
Just 1:27 into the second round, Faber secured a guillotine choke that led him to victory and earning himself Submission of the Night.
In what would end in Co-Fight of the Night, Wanderlei Silva entered the Octagon for what many believed to be his last fight against UFC newcomer Cung Le.
It appeared this was the case as Le controlled action early, landing an extremely effective spinning backfist as Silva appeared to be hurt. However, Silva proved his critics wrong with just seconds remaining in the second round as he dropped Le with a combination of strikes and knees.
"The Axe Murderer" finished his opponent via technical knockout with just 11 seconds remaining in Round 2.
In the final match of the evening, Dan Henderson made his return to the UFC to take on highly dangerous Mauricio "Shogun" Rua.
Greatest Event of All-Time?
It was Henderson who dominated action early in what will be arguably the fight of the year and one of the greatest bouts of all time. Henderson continued to impose his will on Rua throughout the second and third round until the bout was flipped upside down.
When the fourth round began, it was Rua who came out swinging for the fences as he demonstrated new life.
"Shogun" began pounding away on Henderson with rights and lefts but simply could not finish him.
In the fifth and final round, the two mixed martial arts legends exchanged blows until Rua found himself on top, swinging away on Henderson.
The final bell rang as the historical bout came to a close.
Dan Henderson was declared victorious via unanimous decision (48-47, 48-47, 48-47).
Despite having little expectations, UFC 139 will more than likely go down as the best event of 2011.
The action-packed event finished with five decisions, four knockouts and three submissions. While the Ultimate Fighting Championship has been around for quite some time, it's hard to remember a bout better than this.
It wouldn't be a stretch to say that UFC 139 was the greatest event of all time.
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