UFC 112 took place earlier this afternoon at Concert Arena on Yas Island, Abu Dhabi.
In the main event, Anderson Silva put his UFC middleweight title up for grabs against jiu-jitsu wizard Demian Maia.
In the co-main event, BJ Penn put his UFC lightweight title on the line against Frankie Edgar.
The legendary Renzo Gracie made his UFC debut against Matt Hughes.
Terry Etim faced off against Rafael dos Anjos in a lightweight bout.
Kendall Grove looked to pick up a win over Mark Munoz in a middleweight match-up.
Results, thoughts, bonuses and live gate (when available) after the jump.
- Anderson Silva defeats Demian Maia via Unanimous Decision (50-45, 50-45, 49-46)
- Frank Edgar defeats BJ Penn via Unanimous Decision (50-45, 48-47, 49-46)
- Matt Hughes defeats Renzo Gracie via TKO (Strikes) in Round Three
- Rafael Dos Anjos defeats Terry Etim via Submission (Armbar) in Round Two
- Mark Munoz defeats Kendall Grove via TKO (Strikes) in Round Two
- Phil Davis defeats Alexander Gustafsson via Submission (Anaconda Choke) in Round One
- Rick Story defeats Nick Osipczak via Split Decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)
- DaMarques Johnson defeats Brad Blackburn via TKO (Strikes) in Round Three
- Paul Kelly defeats Matt Veach via Submission (Guillotine Choke) in Round Two
- Jon Madsen defeats Mostapha Al-Turk via Unanimous Decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
- Paul Taylor vs John Gunderson canceled, Taylor has health issues related to weight cut
Recap & Thoughts
Mark Munoz vs Kendall Grove: What a great start to UFC 112. The first round was all Kendall Grove. He dropped Mark Munoz with an uppercut and it just went downhill from there. He desperately tried to get the fight to the ground but Grove either made him pay for it with hammer strikes or guillotine choke attempts, two of which were very close to ending the fight. Munoz somehow hung on though to make it to the end of the round. And it paid off because he turned the tide in the second. He managed to finally put Grove on his back and proceeded to unleash the kind of violent ground n’ pound we’d from someone like Fedor Emelianenko. Needless to say, Grove didn’t survive giving Munoz the big come from behind victory to kick off the show.
Rafael Dos Anjos vs Terry Etim: If you couldn’t tell this fight was in Abu Dhabi, home of the world’s most prestigious submission grappling tournament, you could after this fight. I think it was the first UFC fight turned grappling match I’ve ever seen that the crowd didn’t rain down boos on. As for the action itself, Terry Etim jumped guard and locked in a tight guillotine choke on Rafael dos Anjos early in the first. Dos Anjos didn’t panic and eventually worked his way out. It was pretty much a grappling match from that point on and Dos Anjos managed to lock in the fight ending armbar in the second.
Renzo Gracie vs Matt Hughes: The jiu-jitsu master and the All-American wrestler put on a kickboxing match. Neither made any significant attempt to take the fight to the ground. Instead, they fought it out on the feet. It was pretty even through the first. Gracie seemed to land the cleaner punches but Hughes landed several leg kicks. Hughes kept the leg kicks coming in the second and began to pull away. By the time the third got going Renzo was visibly gassed as Hughes continued to batter his left leg. By the end of the round, Hughes was literally sweeping Renzo’s legs out from under him with each and every leg kick. Hughes refused to jump on him and finish the fight though. In fact, he literally helped Renzo back up to his feet after the first time. Hughes may say it was because that’s where Gracie is the most dangerous, but I think he was just being merciful out of respect for Renzo. Still, after the third or fourth time Renzo got back to his feet, Hughes poured it on and finished the fight. I would have really liked to see these two go at it on the ground, but still pretty cool to see two living legends continue to do what they love. If MMA’s pioneers are going to continue to fight, I’d rather see them fight each other than see them embarrassed by the younger guys in their prime.
BJ Penn vs Frank Edgar: Holy shit everyone, Frankie Edgar just pulled off the upset of the year! If there’s anyone out there who didn’t write Frankie Edgar off before this fight, you are looking like a genius right now. BJ Penn was supposed to have the advantage where ever this fight went. His boxing was superior, he’s nearly impossible to take down, and his BJJ is second to none. Turns out everyone failed to consider one thing. Frankie Edgar is faster. Edgar used his his speed and excellent lateral movement to keep Penn guessing and essentially outpointed him over the course of five rounds. He even managed to score two takedowns as Penn started to wear down, which is something we’ve never seen happen to Penn at lightweight. Don’t take that to mean the fight was one-sided though. It wasn’t, it was very close and I was fully expected at least one of the judges to give the fight to Penn. One actually gave every round to Edgar, but if you ask me, I thought Edgar won the first, third and fifth with Penn taking the second and fourth. Still, it was so close, those rounds could have went to Penn and visa-versa. It was very reminiscent of Machida-Shogun, except this time I think the judges got it right regardless of who deserved to win each individual round. Whether you agree with the decision or not, you at least have to take your hat off to Frankie Edgar. No one gave him a chance and he went in there and turned in the performance of his career against the best lightweight this sport has ever seen. And now he’s the new UFC lightweight champion.
Anderson Silva vs Demian Maia: In the Forrest Griffin fight, Anderson Silva took his striking to another level. In this fight, Anderson took his clowning to another level. In the first two rounds, Anderson did more taunting than fighting. I think he actually hit himself in the face more than Maia did. He brought all the oddball strikes from the Thales Leites fight back including the thigh punch. In fact, the first strike he threw who was a little front kick to Demian’s leg. To be honest, he was being a jerk trying to act like one his showboating boxing idols but took it too far. A little bit? Fine, I have nothing against that, but this was a lot. Not only was it disrespectful to his opponent, it was disrespectful to all the fans who paid their hard-earned money to watch the event.
After Anderson made it crystal clear he was the superior striker, you hoped he would eventually cut it out and go in for the kill. Well, he definitely toned down all the clowning halfway through the third, but he did next to nothing but circle from that point on. Literally nothing happened in the fourth and by the time the fifth had rolled around the crowd was pissed, Demian Maia was frustrated, Dana was off having a chat with Ed Soares and even referee Dan Miragliota was getting tired of it. Maia, who by the way wasn’t fighting scared or flopping to his back every 10 seconds like Leites, basically said screw it and went for broke. I’m not gonna lie, along with the crowd I jumped up to my feet and started screaming for Maia to connect with something, anything, that could put Silva in trouble. He connected with a few and managed to get his hands on him to work his jiu-jitsu, but Anderson was just too slippery and couldn’t hold on. As the round neared the final minute mark, Miragliotta had enough of Silva’s circling, called time out and in PRIDE yellow card-style (BTW, Anderson would have earned 50 of those today), warned him he would take a point away if he didn’t engage. It was too late though, moments later the bell sounded signaling the end of the fight. Anderson won on the judges scorecards but clearly lost in the court of public opinion. His explanation? “I’m sorry, I don’t know what got into me. I should have been more humble. It won’t happen again, I promise.” That was Ed Soares’ translation at least.
Submission of the Night: Rafael dos Anjos
Knockout of the Night: DaMarques Johnson
Fight of the Night: Mark Munoz & Kendall Grove
Bonus info via MMA Junkie
Live Gate & Attendance
Live gate: $3.5 million
Gate info via Yahoo! Sports