UFC 146 Hangover: Extensive Post-Fight Analysis
When Alistair Overeem tested positive for elevated Testosterone levels, and had to pull out of his fight with current UFC Heavyweight Champion Junior Dos Santos, many felt this event was doomed. Including UFC President Dana White, who upon hearing the news, decided to drown his sorrows with booze and hanging out with his friend and actress, Olivia Munn. There were more changes to this card than any in recent memory.
It was announced on April 20th that Overeem would be removed from the card and replaced by Frank Mir, who was originally slated to fight former UFC champion Cain Velasquez. Two days later, it was announced that Velasquez will now be facing Antonio “Bigfoot” Silva. Heavyweight Roy Nelson, who was originally scheduled to face Silva (and briefly Gabriel Gonzaga), would now be fighting Dave Herman. Mark Hunt was then injured and forced off the card, leaving Stefan Struve to fight Lavar Johnson. Undefeated fighter Shane Del Rosario, who was slated to fight Gabriel Gonzaga, would now be facing another undefeated fighter, Stipe Miocic who’s best friend’s sister’s boyfriend’s brother’s girlfriend heard from this guy who knows this kid who’s going with the girl who saw Ferris Bueller pass out at 31 Flavors last night.
There is a considerable amount of risk when putting on an event in which all 5 fights on the main card are Heavyweight fights. Mostly because there’s usually only two ways Heavyweight fights can go: Either very quickly with lots of fireworks and first round finishes, or very long, prodding and boring with two big dudes who lack cardio in a sloppy fight.
Whereas most people thought the end result of the main event between Mir and JDS would be pretty predictable, the outcomes of the other fights were not so foreseeable. For a card that went from near disaster to a meaningful line-up of fights, UFC 146 was one of the most entertaining events we’ve seen recently, and certainly the best card of the year so far.
So let’s take a look at the event from start to finish, and the impact each fight had. As it turns out, almost every fight on the card had a story attached. Oh, and did I mention there were a total of 12 fights that had 9 finishes?
Mike Brown vs Daniel Pineda
This was FOTN for me (and many others) although for some reason the UFC felt it unnecessary to give anyone a FOTN bonus for this event. Former WEC Featherweight Champion Mike Brown won via decision, and put himself on a 2-fight win streak after losing his first two UFC fights. Brown then surprised everyone, when he announced during an interview with reporter Ariel Helwani that he would be retiring. He has since stated that he is giving himself two weeks to see how his body recuperates, before making a final decision. Brown has dealt with multiple injuries during his career, but I’m hoping this isn’t the last time we see him inside the octagon.
Glover Teixeira vs Kyle Kingsbury
Glover Teixeira may not be a household name to casual MMA fans, but for the die hards, the Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu black belt’s UFC debut has been highly anticipated. Glover had a 7-year winning streak going into Saturday’s fight with UFC veteran Kyle Kingsbury. Glover made quick work of Kingsbury, submitting him in the first round with a slick arm-triangle choke. Glover trains with John Hackleman, Chuck Liddell, and Pedro Rizzo at The Pit. Add that to the talent level Teixeira already has, and he’s a scary scary dude in the Light Heavyweight division.
Paul Sass vs Jacob Volkmann
British fighter Paul Sass extended his UFC win streak to three in a row when he submitted Volkmann in the first round, with an awesome triangle armbar. Sass is still undefeated at 13-0, with 12 of his wins coming via submission. Sass is going to be a major force in a Lightweight Division that’s already deeper than Kim Kardashian’s vagina during the NBA playoffs.
Dan Hardy vs Duane “Bang” Ludwig
Dan Hardy came into this fight on a 4-fight losing streak, and was likely going to get a pink slip from the UFC if he were to lose a 5th. Ludwig, the man with the fastest KO in UFC history (6 seconds), was also coming off a loss. Hardy looked really good in this fight, even going for a takedown at one point. Hardly really did look like an improved fighter, and knocked out Ludiwg in the first round. Hardy later stated this felt like his UFC debut.
CB Dollaway vs Jason “Mayhem” Miller
After an extremely lackluster performance against Michael Bisping at the TUF 14 Finale, a fight in which Dana White said Mayhem had the worst stand-up he’d ever seen, Miller needed a win pretty badly here. He was doing pretty well in the 1st, rocking Dollaway a few times and beating him with his stand-up, but he was wearing a knee brace and seemingly blew out his knee early in the fight. Dollaway ended up winning by decision, using his wrestling to keep control of Mayhem for the rest of the fight. Mayhem was then cut by Dana White right after the fight, siting a backstage incident involving Miller as a major contributor to his decision.
Mayhem then announced his retirement on Monday’s addition of the MMA Hour with Ariel Helwani. My prediction? We’ll see him in Bellator’s middleweight tournament sooner than later.
Edson Barboza vs Jamie Varner
The undefeated Edson Barboza was coming off a win over Terry Etim, in which we saw one of the most spectacular knockouts in recent UFC history, when he starched Etim with a spinning wheel kick in the 3rd round knocking him out cold before he even hit the canvas. Former WEC Lightweight Champion Jamie Varner was brought in as a last minute replacement when Evan Dunham was injured. This was Varner’s first appearance inside the octagon since UFC 68. Up until now, he had been fighting in smaller organizations with mixed success. Varner shocked the MMA world and pulled the upset of the night, finishing Barboza with strikes in the first round.
Stefan Struve vs Lavar Johnson
Think this fight didn’t mean anything? It did to Lavar Johnson, who previously finished Pat Barry and Joey Beltran in his last two fights, both by KO in the 1st round (and both were KOTN). Johnson took this fight on short notice, and wanted to use Struve as a stepping stone to move into the upper echelons of the HW Division. But Struve had other plans, submitting Johnson with an Armbar just about 1 minute into the fight. Many were questioning Johnson’s ground game, and this showed us that the Heavyweight practice still has a ways to go in making his arsenal more well rounded. It will be interesting to see where Struve goes from here. The kid is only 24 and has a ton of upside.
Stipe Miocic vs Shane Del Rosario
Both of these guys came into this fight undefeated and with a ton of potential. For Del Rosario, this was his UFC debut after an impressive 11-0 win streak. Del Rosario was winning the fight, landing crushing leg kicks and even rocking Miocic with punches a couple times. Miocic proved to be too much for Del Rosario, ending the fight with vicious ground and pound with some nasty elbows in round 2, to remain undefeated. Miocic proved that he’s ready for a step up in competition, a fight with someone that would “put him in the mix”, and Del Rosario proved, despite the loss, that he belongs in the UFC.
Roy Nelson vs Dave Herman
Coming off a decision loss to Fabricio Werdum, Roy Nelson made quick work of Dave “Pee Wee” Herman by knocking him out in the 1st round. Say what you want about Big Country, but how could you not love this guy? He’s fought in the UFC seven times, and is the proud owner of 3 Knockout of The Night bonuses, and one Fight Of The Night bonus. He’s never been finished in the UFC, and all 3 of his losses were by decision. The current champion, Junior Dos Santos couldn’t finish him, and neither could Frank Mir or Fabricio Werdum.
Cain Velasquez vs Antonio Bigfoot Silva
Wow. What a bloody one-sided beat down this was. Some people were actually picking Silva to win this fight (I’d like to note, I picked Cain to win by KO). The former Heavyweight champion gave Bigfoot a welcome to the UFC that he won’t soon forget. Leading up to the fight, from the weigh-ins to the minute he walked into the cage, Cain Velasquez looked like a man possessed. Dana White made it official after the event to announce that Velasquez will get his rematch with JDS for the Heavyweight Title. Cain looks re-motivated, and in shape 100%. Thats a very dangerous fight for anyone.
Junior Dos Santos vs Frank Mir
Well this one pretty much went the way most people expected. No disrespect to Mir, but his game plan going in was pretty obvious; get JDS to the ground and use his BJJ pedigree to submit him. Easier said than done. Mir could not get Dos Santos to the ground, and his takedown attempts were unsuccessful and feeble at best. Not being able to get JDS to the ground forced Mir into a boxing match with the champion, which is exactly what he didn’t want to happen. JDS finished Mir off in the 2nd round via TKO. He basically picked Mir apart and put him on queer street in the first round. One can only wonder what could have been, if Dos Santos faced an elite striker like Overeem instead of Mir.
UFC 146 was a huge success. It established new stars, reinvigorated a few, and even retired a couple. The all Heavyweight main card is a great concept, that will work now more than ever because the UFC’s heavyweight division is the best it’s ever been. I would not be opposed to using that format at least once a year, given the current state of the division.
When Alistair Overeem gets his license and returns to fight in 9 months, things will get even more interesting. Who knows who the champion will be by then, but one thing is certain, Dana White said there is a very good possibility Overeem could walk right back into a number 1 contender’s spot.
UFC 146 fun facts:
- This was the first all heavyweight main-card event in UFC history.
- There were a total of 12 fights on the card with 9 finishes
- The total time of all 5 main event cards was 21:19 seconds
- Attendance was 14, 592 and the UFC pulled in $3,400,000 at the gate
- Former UFC Champion Brock Lesnar was in attendance at the event
KO of the night: Roy Nelson and Dan Hardy
Submission of the night: Stefan Struve and Paul Sass
No Fight of the night bonus was given
So what did you think of the event? Who should have won FOTN? Will Brock Lesnar be back? Does Overeem deserve a number 1 contender spot when he returns? Let us know below!