UFC 126 took place earlier this evening at the Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas, Nevada.
In the main event, Anderson Silva put his UFC middleweight championship on the line against Vitor Belfort.
In the co-main event, Rich Franklin met Forrest Griffin in a light heavyweight match-up.
Rising stars Jon Jones and Ryan Bader looked to take the next step up the light heavyweight ladder.
Jake Ellenberger took on Carlos Eduardo Rocha in a welterweight bout.
Miguel Torres and Antonio Banuelos made their UFC debuts in a bantamweight bout.
Results, thoughts, bonuses and live gate (when available) after the jump.
- Anderson Silva defeats Vitor Belfort via Knockout (Kick to the face) in Round One
- Forrest Griffin defeats Rich Franklin via Unanimous Decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
- Jon Jones defeats Ryan Bader via Submission (Guillotine Choke) in Round Two
- Jake Ellenberger defeats Carlos Eduardo Rocha via Split Decision (27-30, 29-28, 29-28)
- Miguel Torres defeats Antonio Banuelos via Unanimous Decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
- Donald Cerrone defeats Paul Kelly via Submission (Rear-Naked Choke) in Round Two
- Chad Mendes defeats Michihiro Omigawa via Unanimous Decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
- Demetrious Johnson defeats Norifumi “Kid” Yamamoto via Unanimous Decision (29-28, 30-27, 30-27)
- Kyle Kingsbury defeats Ricardo Romero via TKO (Strikes) in Round One
- Paul Taylor defeats Gabe Ruediger via Knockout in Round Two
- Mike Pierce defeats Kenny Robertson via TKO (Strikes) in Round Two
Recap & Thoughts
Norifumi “Kid” Yamamoto vs. Demetrious Johnson: Kid Yamamoto did not start his UFC career with bang. Instead he was repeatedly taken down by an extremely quick Demtrious Johnson over the course of three rounds. Johnson was unable to hold Kid down, but it didn’t matter. Kid was mostly ineffective on the feet in an uninspiring UFC debut. Johnson takes all three rounds on two judges scorecards and a two out of three on the other for the unanimous decision. Kid will be an asset for the UFC in Japan, but he’s not the contender he was a few years back.
Chad Mendes vs. Michihiro Omigawa: Not a good night for Japan. Chad Mendes put the pressure on Michihiro Omigawa and never let up. Omigawa proved to be extremely tough with some great takedown defense but got tagged on the feet the whole fight and failed to stuff every takedown. Mendes just outworked him to earn the unanimous decision.
Kyle Kingsbury vs. Ricardo Romero: Wow, Kyle Kingsbury straight up destroyed Ricardo Romero in 21 short seconds. Kingsbury pushed him against the cage, hurt him with a huge knee to the body and dropped him with a vicious left hand. Steve Mazzagatti had to dive in to stop Kingsbury from doing any serious damage.
Paul Kelly vs. Donald Cerrone: It wasn’t his most thrilling performance, but Donald Cerrone got the job done in his UFC debut against Paul Kelly. Kelly started the fight off with a bit of a sucker punch. Cerrone raised his hand to touch gloves, Kelly appeared to fake like he was going to and threw an immediate overhand right. Kelly swore it wasn’t intentional after the fight, but it sure looked like it. Whether it was or not though, it didn’t have any impact on the fight. Cerrone weathered Kelly’s power punching attack and took control of the fight on the ground. Midway through the second, Cerrone got mount, transitioned into a body triangle on Kelly’s back and sunk in a nasty looking rear-naked choke for the win.
Miguel Torres vs. Antonio Banuelos: I never imagined that it was even possible that a fight involving Miguel Torres and Antonio Banuelos could be boring, but with the exception of two wild exchanges at the end of the second and third rounds that’s exactly what it was. Now training under Firas Zahabi at TriStar in Montreal, it appeared Torres traded in his fight to the death mentality for a safe but effective gameplan. Much like GSP in the Koscheck fight, Torres hung back and popped jabs at Banuelos for three rounds. Banuelos tried to counter the whole fight, but couldn’t overcome Torres’ substantial reach advantage and hit nothing but air. Torres won the decision, but failed to impress in his UFC debut.
Jake Ellenberger vs. Carlos Eduardo Rocha: It’s been a pretty slow night so far, and things didn’t pick up with Jake Ellenberger and Carlos Eduardo Rocha. Rocha put Ellenberger on his back in the first and showed off his very slick jiu-jitsu game but couldn’t find a submission. The rest of the fight was pretty uneventful. Ellenberger landed some shots on the feet and Rocha attempted a variety of flashy spin kicks, but neither inflicted any serious damage. Ellenberger seemingly stole the second and third rounds with late takedowns to take the 29-28 win, but of course there was one judge who saw it completely different and gave all three rounds to Rocha. It was ridiculous but not surprising.
Jon Jones vs. Ryan Bader: Ryan Bader made Jon Jones work harder than he’s had to yet in the UFC, but he didn’t prove to be much of a challenge for Jones tonight. Bader worked his boxing and shot in for a few takedowns but found himself on his back staring at the ceiling for a good part of the fight. Jones nearly choked out Bader with a north-south choke in the first, but eventually got the tapout in the second with a guillotine choke.
What followed though is the big story of this fight. Joe Rogan revealed in the post-fight interview that Rashad Evans blew out his knee in training and told Jones that he has been chosen to replace Evans and fight Shogun for the title at UFC 128. A shocked Jones dropped to his knees and immediately accepted. Shogun entered the Octagon, said a few words, they shook hands and now we have Shogun vs. Jones at UFC 128. It sent chills running down my spine, I can’t imagine how excited Jones is. F—ing AWESOME!
Forrest Griffin vs. Rich Franklin: They didn’t produce the fireworks everyone expected, but Forrest Griffin and Rich Franklin still put on a pretty good scrap. Forrest took the early lead by putting Franklin on his back and grinding away till the horn sounded. Forrest tried to get Franklin down again in the second, but Franklin was able to keep it on the feet for much of the second. Still, Forrest landed the bigger shots, and Franklin found himself down two rounds heading into the third. The final round was much closer, but Franklin wasn’t able to land the knockout blow he needed to win the fight. Overall, Griffin was just too big and strong for Franklin to handle in a 15 min. fight.
Anderson Silva vs. Vitor Belfort: It wasn’t much of a fight, but there was an epic finish. There was a very long feeling out process to start the fight. Neither even threw a punch until about halfway through the first. Vitor struck early with a quick combo as Anderson circled away but he smirked them off. A few more punches were thrown, but moments later Silva threw a snapping front kick right to Vitor’s chin. A clearly rocked Vitor fell to his back, Anderson followed him down and landed two more punches before Mario Yamasaki jumped in to stop it. Whatever animosity they had a yesterday’s weigh-in disappeared with the knockout. The two embraced following the fight and seem to have rekindled their friendship.
On another note, one half of the Silva-GSP super fight is intact.
Submission of the Night: Jon Jones
Knockout of the Night: Anderson Silva
Fight of the Night: Donald Cerrone & Paul Kelly
Live Gate & Attendance
Live gate: $3,605,725
Bonus and gate info via MMA Junkie