UFC 131 Fight Card: Full Breakdown for Every Fight

Nick Caron@@nicholascaronAnalyst IJune 6, 2011

UFC 131 Fight Card: Full Breakdown for Every Fight

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    UFC 131 is just around the corner, and the fight card is shaping up into an exciting one.

    The main event featuring Junior dos Santos vs. Shane Carwin, as well as the featherweight debut of Kenny Florian facing Diego Nunes, will headline the pay-per-view, but there are other great fights on the card as well.

    With under a week remaining before the fights take place, let’s take a look at each bout in this full breakdown of the UFC 131 fight card.

Michihiro Omigawa vs. Darren Elkins

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    Michihiro Omigawa (12-9-1)

    5’6”, 145 pounds

    Four wins by knockout, two by submission, six by decision

    Two losses by knockout, zero by submission, seven by decision


    Darren Elkins (11-2)

    5’10”, 145 pounds

    Four wins by knockout, five by submission, two by decision

    One loss by knockout, one by submission, zero by decision


    Breakdown
    Japanese star Michihiro Omigawa is back fighting in his fourth fight in the UFC, but is still looking for that elusive first win in the Octagon.

    Despite the fact that he is the number eight ranked featherweight in the world by Bleacher Report, Omigawa has struggled to gain the respect of many American fans. His last fight, a unanimous decision loss to Chad Mendes, was disappointing in many ways.

    Darren Elkins is 1-1 in his UFC career and was scheduled to fight Edson Barbosa at UFC 123, but was forced to pull out of the fight due to an injury. He is making his UFC featherweight debut at UFC 131.

Joey Beltran vs. Aaron Rosa

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    Joey "The Mexicutioner" Beltran
    Joey "The Mexicutioner" Beltran

    Joey Beltran (12-5)

    6’1”, 240 pounds

    10 wins by knockout, one by submission, one by decision

    Zero losses by knockout, one by submission, four by decision


    Aaron Rosa (16-3)

    6’4”, 245 pounds

    Six wins by knockout, four by submission, six by decision

    One loss by knockout, one by submission, one by decision


    Breakdown

    One of the toughest fighters in the UFC heavyweight division, Joey Beltran takes his 2-2 Octagon record into his UFC 131 bout against UFC newcomer Aaron Rosa.

    Fans may remember Beltran, the “Mexicutioner,” as the man who withstood a seemingly endless series of leg kicks from Pat Barry at UFC Fight For the Troops 2 back in January.

    Though he did not win the fight, the tremendous amount of heart it took for him to even continue in that fight cannot be overlooked.

    Rosa is on a four-fight win streak and has competed in nearly every major American MMA organization other than the UFC. He will certainly be looking to impress in his debut with the world’s top promotion.

Dustin Poirier vs. Jason Young

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    Dustin Poirier
    Dustin Poirier

    Dustin Poirier (9-1)

    5’9”, 145 pounds

    Five wins by knockout, three by submission, one by decision

    Zero losses by knockout, zero by submission, one by decision


    Jason Young (8-3)

    5’9”, 145 pounds

    Three wins by knockout, one by submission, four by decision

    Zero losses by knockout, three by submission, zero by decision


    Breakdown

    WEC veteran Dustin Poirier made his UFC debut at UFC 125 back on New Year’s Day. His surprising victory over the highly touted No. 1 contender at featherweight, Josh Grispi, earned him another fight in the Octagon in what may be a springboard fight for him toward the title.

    The No. 10 ranked featherweight according to Bleacher Report, Poirier will be the favorite against UFC newcomer Jason Young.

    Poirier should be aware that all three of Young’s career losses come by way of submission so it will be interesting to see how things play out on the ground in this one.

Nick Ring vs. James Head

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    Nick Ring
    Nick Ring

    Nick Ring (11-0)

    6’1”, 185 pounds

    Two wins by knockout, five by submission, four by decision

    Zero losses by knockout, zero by submission, zero by decision


    James Head (7-1)

    6’1”, 185 pounds

    Four wins by knockout, two by submission, one by decision

    Zero losses by knockout, zero by submission, one by decision


    Breakdown

    UFC newcomer James Head carries his 7-1 MMA record into the biggest fight of his career against undefeated prospect Nick Ring.

    Ring was perhaps the most highly touted fighter on season 11 of The Ultimate Fighter where he was the first overall pick, selected to Tito Ortiz’s Team Punishment.

    Ring was on his way to a possible competition win after a victory over Court McGee, but later was forced out of the competition when he found out that he would need ACL reconstruction surgery.

    Ring did make a successful UFC debut at UFC 127 in Sydney when he defeated Riki Fukuda by unanimous decision and seems to have the skills to be a pretty solid middleweight if he can stay healthy.

Krzysztof Soszynski vs. Igor Pokrajac

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    Krzysztof Soszynski
    Krzysztof Soszynski

    Krzysztof Soszynski (25-11-1)

    6’1”, 205 pounds

    10 wins by knockout, 10 by submission, two by decision, two by disqualification

    Five losses by knockout, one by submission, five by decision

    Igor Pokrajac (23-8)

    6’0”, 205 pounds

    12 wins by knockout, eight by submission, three by decision

    Four losses by knockout, one by submission, three by decision

    Breakdown

    Two UFC light heavyweight veterans square off at UFC 131 as Krzysztof Soszynski faces Igor Pokrajac.

    Pokrajac will be replacing the injured Anthony Perosh in this fight and really needs a victory to secure himself another fight in the UFC after dropping three of his last five fights in the Octagon.

    He will have a tough time, though, as Soszynski is no pushover and holds career victories over both Stephan Bonnar as well as ascending middleweight competitor Brian Stann.

    He is a winner of two Submission of the Night awards but also packs a heavy punch that can knock out just about any opponent.

Jesse Bongfeldt vs. Chris Weidman

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    Jesse Bongfeldt (15-4-1)

    6’0”, 185 pounds

    Six wins by knockout, nine by submission, zero by decision

    Two losses by knockout, two by submission, zero by decision


    Chris Weidman (5-0)

    6’2”, 185 pounds

    Two wins by knockout, one by submission, two by decision

    Zero losses by knockout, zero by submission, zero by decision


    Breakdown

    Riding a seven-fight winning streak into his UFC debut at UFC 124, Jesse Bongfeldt fought to a majority draw against Rafael Natal in his last fight.

    He took the fight on short notice for the injured Jason MacDonald and earned himself a second shot in the Octagon at UFC 131.

    The second fight was supposed to be against The Ultimate Fighter season 11 winner Court McGee, but McGee had to drop put of the fight due to an injury of his own.

    Stepping in his place will be undefeated prospect Chris Weidman who made his UFC debut just recently at UFC Live: Sachez vs. Kampmann in March.

    His decision victory over Allesio Sakara was particularly impressive as he took the fight on just two weeks’ notice and won all three rounds on each judges’ scorecard.

Sam Stout vs. Yves Edwards

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    Sam Stout (17-6-1)

    5’9”, 155 pounds

    Eight wins by knockout, one by submission, seven by decision

    Zero losses by knockout, two by submission, four by decision


    Yves Edwards (40-16-1)

    5’9”, 155 pounds

    15 wins by knockout, 16 by submission, nine by decision

    Three losses by knockout, four by submission, nine by decision


    Breakdown

    Two long-time veterans of the Octagon square off in this lightweight fight which is scheduled to be the second of two fights on the Spike TV prelims.

    Stout was known as a big time knockout early in his career, but has struggled to finish fights in recent years.

    In fact, an interesting note is that he has not been involved in a UFC fight that avoided a judges’ decision since he lost to Kenny Florian back in June 2006.

    Since that night, he has been in eight straight UFC fights that have gone the distance, splitting them evenly at 4-4.

    Yves Edwards, on the other hand, is always known for his ability to finish fights, having done so in 31 of his 40 career victories.

    The most recent occurred in January when he won both Fight of the Night and Submission of the Night bonuses by choking out Cody McKenzie with a rear naked choke.

Donald Cerrone vs. Vagner Rocha

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    Donald Cerrone
    Donald Cerrone

    Donald Cerrone (14-3)

    6’0”, 155 pounds

    Zero wins by knockout, 10 by submission, two by decision

    Zero losses by knockout, one by submission, two by decision


    Vagner Rocha (6-1)

    5’10”, 155 pounds

    One win by knockout, four by submission, one by decision

    Zero losses by knockout, zero by submission, one by decision


    Breakdown

    The UFC 131 pay-per-view broadcast will be kicked off by Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone as he fights UFC newcomer Vagner Rocha in what may also be a Fight of the Night candidate.

    Both Cerrone and Rocha are known for their impressive ground games, but it is Cerrone who should have the advantage on the feet.

    Though he is yet to knock out an opponent, Cerrone’s background is actually in Muay Thai kickboxing.

    After a successful run in the WEC, Cerrone made his UFC debut at UFC 126 where he submitted British fighter Paul Kelly in a bout which also won Fight of the Night.

    Rocha is no slouch, though, and is both a Strikeforce and Bellator veteran. His status as an immediate pay-per-view fighter shows that the UFC is confident that this fight will be a good one.  

Demian Maia vs. Mark Munoz

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    Demian Maia (14-2)

    6’0”, 185 pounds

    Two wins by knockout, eight by submission, four by decision

    One loss by knockout, zero by submission, one by decision


    Mark Munoz (10-2)

    6’0”, 185 pounds

    Five wins by knockout, one by submission, four by decision

    One loss by knockout, zero by submission, one by decision


    Breakdown

    Perhaps the most interesting clash of styles at UFC 131 will be the middleweight bout between Demian Maia and Mark Munoz.

    Both fighters have been very effective in their careers of dictating the pace of their fights as well as controlling where the action happens in order to give themselves an advantage.

    In one corner will be the man who possesses what many consider the best Brazilian jiu-jitsu skills in the entire sport, fourth-degree black belt Demian Maia. In the other will be former NCAA Division I National Championship winner Mark “The Filipino Wrecking Machine” Munoz.

    Often times these fights between two ground-experts end up being standup battles as each fighter’s skills seem to nullify the other’s.

    But with the confidence each of these men has in his skills, look for this one to be a chess game on the ground in what could be a true treat to those who appreciate the science of the sport.

Jon Olav Einemo vs. Dave Herman

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    Jon Olav Einemo (6-1)

    6’6”, 253 pounds

    One win by knockout, five by submission, zero by decision

    Zero losses by knockout, zero by submission, one by decision


    Dave Herman (20-2)

    6’4”, 242 pounds

    14 wins by knockout, five by submission, one by decision

    One loss by knockout, zero by submission, zero by decision, one by disqualification


    Breakdown

    This may be one of the more confusing fights to be put on a pay-per-view card from the UFC in recent memory as both men are making their debut for the promotion on this night.

    Jon Olav Einemo, who made his MMA debut in October 2000, has fought just seven times in the sport until now with his last fight taking place nearly five years ago back in 2006, when he defeated James Thompson.

    A submission grappling expert, the 35-year old Norwegian was scheduled to fight Shane Carwin on this event until Brock Lesnar had to pull out of the main event and Carwin slid in to take his place.

    This left Einemo without an opponent on the card until Dave Herman stepped in to fill the gap.

    As a bit of trivia, Herman actually made his debut in the sport over a month after Einemo last fought, in December 2006. He has since fought 22 times to Einemo’s zero.

    It will be interesting to see what the UFC had in mind by putting this fight on pay-per-view, but it could turn into the kind of heavyweight war that fans love to see.

Kenny Florian vs. Diego Nunes

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    Kenny Florian (15-5)

    5’10”, 145 pounds

    Three wins by knockout, 10 by submission, one by decision

    One loss by knockout, one by submission, three by decision


    Diego Nunes (16-1)

    5’6”, 145 pounds

    Five wins by knockout, six wins by submission, five by decision

    Zero losses by knockout, zero by submission, one by decision


    Breakdown

    Kenny Florian will become the first man in UFC to compete in four different weight classes as he makes his featherweight debut at UFC 131 against former WEC stud Diego Nunes.

    Florian originally debuted for the UFC by making it all the way to the finals on the first season of The Ultimate Fighter, where he eventually was knocked out by Diego Sanchez.

    Since that night, though, Florian has competed as both a welterweight and most notably as a lightweight; racking up an 11-3 record in that time.

    Nunes had a 4-1 record in the WEC before coming to the UFC where he defeated former Featherweight Champion Mike Brown in his promotional debut at UFC 125.

    This will be an interesting fight as Kenny Florian as known as one of the true finishers in the sport.

    Despite fighting top competition throughout almost his entire career, Florian has won just one of his 14 career victories by way of decision.

    Meanwhile, Diego Nunes has never been finished in his MMA career and will be looking to make it two huge victories in a row as he attempts to push toward the top of the division.

Junior Dos Santos vs. Shane Carwin

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    Junior dos Santos (12-1)

    Eight wins by knockout, three by submission, one by decision

    Zero losses by knockout, one by submission, zero by decision


    Shane Carwin (12-1)

    Seven wins by knockout, five by submission, zero by decision

    Zero losses by knockout, one by submission, zero by decision


    Breakdown

    The UFC 131 main event was originally scheduled to be between The Ultimate Fighter season 13 coaches Junior dos Santos and Brock Lesnar, but Lesnar had to pull out of the bout due to his second bout with diverticulitis. Stepping in for Lesnar will be the man who Lesnar last defeated, Shane Carwin.

    This is a heavyweight slugfest that could realistically end up being one of the ones that fans talk about for years to come. Both Carwin and dos Santos are big-time knockout artists, though they have very different styles.

    While dos Santos makes use of some pinpoint precision and quick punches in bunches, Shane Carwin uses the cinder blocks that are his fists to knock his opponent’s block off generally in one or two big shots.

    The biggest question in this fight may be whether Shane Carwin has improved upon the awful display of cardio he showed in his loss to Brock Lesnar last July.

    Though Carwin dominated the first round and nearly finished the fight to become the UFC champion, Lesnar was able to make it out of the first round. When he second round began, it was all Lesnar as a completely gassed Carwin was eventually submitted with an arm-triangle choke.

    Dos Santos actually fought to the first decision of his career against Roy Nelson in his last fight at UFC 117, but completely dominated the fight in a one-sided beatdown for the ages.

    He is undefeated in the UFC with that win over Nelson, as well as victories over other big names such as Stefan Struve, Gabriel Gonzaga, Mirko “Cro Cop” and even Fabricio Werdum.

    In 26 combined fights, these two heavyweight beasts have combined for just three total fights which have even made it out of the first round.

    Look for an explosive first round from both men in what may end up being the Knockout of the Night.

    UFC 131 Dos Santos vs. Carwin: Fight Card Preview, News, Predictions, Results, and More