UFC 141 takes place later tonight at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada. The event airs live on pay-per-view at 10pm ET/7pm PT. The pay-per-view broadcast will be preceded by prelim specials on Facebook at 7pm ET/4pm PT and Spike TV at 9pm ET/6pm PT.
In the main event, Alistair Overeem makes his UFC debut against Brock Lesnar in a heavyweight number one contender’s bout.
Nate Diaz and Donald Cerrone meet in a lightweight match-up.
Jon Fitch returns from shoulder surgery against Johny Hendricks.
Vladimir Matyushenko meets Alexander Gustafsson in a light heavyweight bout.
Nam Phan takes on Jim Hettes in a featherweight match-up.
Results, recap and bonuses after the jump.
- Alistair Overeem def. Brock Lesnar via TKO (Punches) at 2:26 in Round 1
- Nate Diaz def. Donald Cerrone via Unanimous Decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28)
- Johny Hendricks def. Jon Fitch via KO (Punch) at :12 in Round 1
- Alexander Gustafsson def. Vladimir Matyushenko via TKO (Punches) at 2:13 in Round 1
- Jimy Hettes def. Nam Phan via Unanimous Decision (30-25, 30-25, 30-26)
- Ross Pearson def. Junior Assuncao via Unanimous Decision (29-28, 29-28, 30-27)
- Danny Castillo def. Anthony Njokuani via Split Decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)
- Dong Hyun Kim def. Sean Pierson via Unanimous Decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
- Jacob Volkmann def. Efrain Escudero via Unanimous Decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
- Luis Ramos vs. Matt Riddle cancelled due to Riddle illness
- Diego Nunes def. Manny Gamburyan via Unanimous Decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28
Recap & Thoughts
Danny Castillo vs. Anthony Njokuani: With Njokuani known for his Muay Thai and Castillo known for his wrestling, the first round of their pairing played out in textbook fashion, as Castillo latched onto his foe and grappled him relentlessly, threatening from back-control and mount throughout. But Njokuani survived the worst of it, and came out in Round 2 fresher and more able to impose his will – his “will” translating into a hard right hand, an elbow from the clinch, and a knee when Castillo was slightly wobbled. It was dead even going into the third round, so the next five minutes had Njokuani desperately trying to land the money shot while Castillo fought to get him down and keep him there. When time ran out the judges awarded the split decision to Castillo in what was a close, close fight.
Junior Assuncao vs. Ross Pearson: Pearson may have won TUF 9 as a lightweight, but after an ass-kicking at the hands of Edson Barboza, it was time to give the featherweight division a try. Unfortunately for him, Assuncao’s jiu-jitsus black belt and unorthodox capoeira-based standup did make his 145-pound debut an easy one. The first round had Pearson following the Brazilian around the cage, falling prey to deep takedown attempts whenever he rushed forward too urgently and eating the occasional odd-angle strike for every couple he landed. The Brit found joy in the second thanks to his meat-and-potatoes boxing and a smooth trip, but Round 3 was a dogfight, with Pearson landing hard and heavy yet repeatedly struggling to get back to his feet after Assuncao took him down. When all was said and done, Pearson took the unanimous decision.
Jimy Hettes vs. Nam Phan: Hettes may have stepped into the Octagon sporting a brown belt in judo and a purple belt in judo, but he wasted no time tying jiu-jitsu black belt Phan into knots. Round 1 had Hettes battering the TUF vet until he was bloody, then transitioning to mount and a prolonged armbar attempt that had Phan in serious trouble. Things slowed considerably in the second frame, but still Hettes tossed his opponent about and pounded on him nonstop. Things were no different in the final round, and when time expired, the question wasn’t if Hettes had done enough to earn the unanimous decision (he more than did), it was how many 10-8 rounds he’d earned (answer: two according to two judges).
Alexander Gustafsson vs. Vladimir Matyushenko: You could chalk it up to Gustafsson’s insane reach advantage, you could chalk it up to youth, but whatever the reason, Matyushenko seemed to be in trouble against the Swede from the outset. Struggling to close the distance to land punches, Matyushenko jumped right into a jab that sent him falling to the canvas, and the ensuing barrage of hammerfists while he was turtled had referee Yves Lavigne stepping in at 2:13 of the first round.
Jon Fitch vs. Johny Hendricks: Apparently Hendricks had the answer to Fitch’s “smothering blanket” technique, and it took the form of a left hand that separated the top welterweight from his consciousness in a scant 12 seconds. Fitch was so out of it, he tried to wrestle the referee after Steve Mazzagatti jumped in. Yowzers!
Donald Cerrone vs. Nate Diaz: When the referee’s pre-fight instructions end with one fighter flipping the other the bird, you just know there’s going be fireworks, and fireworks are what we got. For the entire first round, Diaz repeatedly peppered “Cowboy” with enough jabs and crosses to fell a rhinoceros – so much so that Cerrone looked spent for the rest of the bout. But spent or not, the Greg Jackson-trained fighter fired back in Round 2 with a steady stream of leg-kicks that put Diaz on his butt again and again. Diaz never wavered, though, and though he kept falling to the canvas right through the third round, he never stopped knocking Cerrone’s head back. The fight was exciting as all hell, and when time expired Diaz took clear-cut unanimous decision.
Brock Lesnar vs. Alistair Overeem: When Lesnar failed to shoot a takedown in the first ten seconds of the bout, you just knew his fate was sealed. Winging his big, meaty fists at the former Strikeforce champ and K-1 kickboxer as if he actually had a chance in the standup department, Lesnar soon had Overeem standing fearlessly in the pocket. And not long after that came the knees and kicks to the body – with the last kick sending the former UFC champ slumping against the fence. Overeem wasted no time unleashing a torrent of fists to the defenseless fighter, and referee Mario Yamasaki stepped in and made the TKO official at 2:26 of Round 1. With the win, Overeem gets next crack at champ Junior dosSantos; with the loss, Lesnar took the microphone and announced his retirement from the sport. How’s that for an ending?
Submission of the Night: n/a
Knockout of the Night: Johny Hendricks
Fight of the Night: Donald Cerrone vs. Nate Diaz