UFC 131 took place earlier this evening at Rogers Arena in Vancouver, BC, Canada. The event aired live on pay-per-view at 9pm ET/6pm PT. The pay-per-view broadcast was preceded by prelim specials on Facebook/YouTube at 6pm ET/3pm PT and Spike TV at 8pm ET/5pm PT.
In the main event, Junior dos Santos and Shane Carwin threw down for a shot at Cain Velasquez’s UFC heavyweight title.
Kenny Florian made his featherweight debut against Diego Nunes.
Jon Olav Einemo and Dave Herman made their UFC debuts in a heavyweight match-up.
BJJ ace Demian Maia returned to action against Mark Munoz.
WEC veteran Donald Cerrone took on Vagner Rocha in a lightweight bout.
Results, recap and bonuses after the jump.
- Junior Dos Santos def. Shane Carwin via Unanimous Decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-26)
- Kenny Florian def. Diego Nunes via Unanimous Decision (29-28, 29-28, 30-27)
- Mark Munoz def. Demian Maia via Unanimous Decision (29-28, 29-28, 30-27)
- Dave Herman def. Jon Olav Einemo via TKO (Punches) at 3:19 in Round 2
- Donald Cerrone def. Vagner Rocha via Unanimous Decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-26)
- Sam Stout def. Yves Edwards via KO (Punch) at 3:52 in Round 1
- Chris Weidman def. Jesse Bongfeldt via Submission (Standing Guillotine) at 4:54 in Round 1
- Krzysztof Soszynski def. Mike Massenzio via Unanimous Decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-26)
- Nick Ring def. James Head via Submission (Rear-Naked Choke) at 3:33 in Round 3
- Joey Beltran def. Aaron Rosa via TKO (Punches) at 1:26 in Round 3
- Dustin Poirier def. Jason Young via Unanimous Decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28)
- Darren Elkins def. Michihiro Omigawa via Unanimous Decision (29-28, 29-28, 30-27)
Recap & Thoughts
Jesse Bongfeldt vs. Chris Weidman: Weidman has striking skills. I’ve seen it, they exist, trust me. But you’d never know those skills are there from watching him in the Octagon. In the opening seconds of his fight against Bongfeldt, Weidman absorbed a high-kick and immediately took his foe down, methodically working his jiu-jitsu and wrestling. Bongfeldt held him off, and escaped back to his feet late, yet a misplaced head on a takedown attempt had Weidman snagging his neck and nailing a standing guillotine with only six seconds left in the first round.
Yves Edwards vs. Sam Stout: Edwards was perhaps the best lightweight the UFC had to offer back in 2004. What now of the once-elite fighter? Um, not so much. Taking on Canadian striking ace Stout, Edwards looked to be mixing up his assault with equal parts grappling on the ground and trading on the feet. Unfortunately for Edwards, Stout had no problems coping with his precision kicks and punches, and in an exchange in the latter half of the first round, he caught Edwards with a left hook right on the button. The official time of the lights-out knockout was 3:52 of Round 1.
Joey Beltran vs. Aaron Rosa: There’s something very magical and very satisfying about watching a pair of heavyweights blast each other nonstop with near-reckless abandon. It’s akin to watching a puppy blow up a car with a rocket launcher or seeing a flower defeat a bee with karate. It’s just… *sigh*. Anyway, Beltran and Rosa simply went at it, at times standing in front of each other and going punch for punch, at times trading inadvertent groin strikes, and at other times chopping away with everything in their arsenals. Beltran ended up getting the win, sending Rosa to the canvas under a hail of blows and following it up with a shower of fists, but though the TKO was his at 1:26 of Round 3, Rosa deserves a ton of credit for throwing caution to the wind and going after it. It takes two to tango, and damn did these guys tango.
Donald Cerrone vs. Vagner Rocha: How good is former WEC top contender Cerrone? Well, let’s just say he eats motivated jiu-jitsu black belts for dinner and craps out sullen blue belts. With leg-kicks from hell and a demeanor like a dude sitting bored in his office, Cerrone began picking Rocha apart pretty much from the outset, surgically removing Rocha’s ability to stand and bringing his takedown ability to nil. Rocha managed to hang in there – if you consider eating countless kicks and jabs without dying “hanging in there” – but by the end of three rounds it was a clear unanimous decision win for Cerrone.
Jon Olav Einemo vs. Dave Herman: Herman most definitely had the cards stacked against him in his bout against Norwegian submission master Einemo. After all, besides the whole “submission master” thing, there was the almost 30-pound weight disadvantage, which meant that Einemo could reach out and touch him from about six feet away and smother him like a bear on a picnic basket. But Herman is no slouch when the leather starts flying, and though at times he was on the wrong end of a right hand and some knees, he managed to give as good as he got – and in Round 2, managed to stun the bigger man with knees of his own and an onslaught of punches. The ending sequence saw Herman standing over Einemo, dropping bombs, and the referee stepped in at 3:19 of the second round.
Demian Maia vs. Mark Munoz: Hey, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu wizard with pitiful standup versus wrestler with KO-striking. How do you think this one plays out? If you said that the wrestler smokes the jiu-jitsu guy on the feet, ha! You suck. Devout grappler Maia came out in Round 1 and surprised everyone – wrestler Munoz included – by employing heretofore unseen striking skills, stunning Munoz briefly on the feet and dinging him repeatedly. The “Filipino Wrecking Machine” found his legs in the second, landing punches in the exchanges and pounding on Maia from top position on the ground. It was even going into the third round, and by virtue of a few more harder blows landed, Munoz took the unanimous decision.
Kenny Florian vs. Diego Nunes: You have to wonder if Florian will move to bantamweight if he doesn’t find success at featherweight. He did, of course, fight as a middleweight on TUF 1, and was a contender for the belt at lightweight for quite some time, so, you know, the whole keep-traveling-down thing. Heh. Anyway, despite getting dropped by a game Nunes in Round 1, Florian rallied and ground and pounded the Brazilian in Round 2. It was a dogfight, though, and in the final frame the two warriors were bloody and scrapping, with Florian edging ahead with the effectiveness of his jab. The American took the unanimous decision when time expired.
Junior Dos Santos vs. Shane Carwin: When it comes down to main event featuring a lovable Brazilian behemoth and a human action figure – both with KO power in their fists – the only sure thing is that someone is eventually going to require the use of that gurney and oxygen mask that athletic commissions require at sanctioned shows. Well, tonight it was Carwin who would require the medical attention, although it would be more from the accumulation of punishment and not a sudden and violent loss of consciousness. For all three rounds the American took a beating, falling to the Brazilian’s superior striking technique in the first, but miraculously recovering to face the kind of sustained smashing the Eighth Amendment of the US Constitution describes as “cruel and unusual”. When not getting bloodied by a jab, Carwin was eating kicks, uppercuts – the works – and in the third, he was the victim of two takedowns. It was a blowout for dos Santos, who, with the unanimous decision victory, has earned a crack at champ Cain Velasquez.
Submission of the Night: Chris Weidman
Knockout of the Night: Sam Stout
Fight of the Night: Jon Olav Einemo vs. Dave Herman