UFC Strikeforce

Dominick Cruz and Demetrious Johnson played Cat and Mighty Mouse for 5 rounds last night at UFC on Versus 6, with Cruz walking away with a unanimous decision victory to retain his UFC bantamweight crown.  The fight was extremely fast paced from the opening bell--Joe Rogan even suggested that viewers DVR the fight and watch it in slow-mo--but it was not the stand up war that many fans were expecting.

Cruz found himself outspeeded for probably the first time in his MMA career.  Mighty Mouse is a blur in the cage, and he tried to take the stand up to Cruz.  In response, Dominick switched gears and decided to wrestle Johnson, which proved to be a winning strategy.  After the fight he said:

It was a tough fight.  The kid's got a sick pace, man.  So I had to outwrestle him.

Cruz's grappling was a smart tactic in the fight, although it left many fans wondering about his finishing ability.  Nine of his last ten fights have gone the distance.  But hey, the idea is to win, and that's what The Dominator does.  If last night is any indication, Cruz will be dominating the UFC's 135 pound division for a long time to come.

In another main card match, Anthony "Rumble" Johnson did some dominating of his own against Charlie Brenneman.  The Spaniard, as Brenneman is known, tried to take Rumble down, but Johnson sprawled and held Charlie down while landing some big shots.  When Brenneman got back to his feet, he was met with a powerful head kick that knocked him down again and prompted referee Mario Yamasaki to stop the bout.

The stoppage had many fans upset because Brenneman appeared to have his wits about him after the head kick.  It did seem a bit premature from where I was sitting, but if a ref is going to err, it's better to err on the side of fighter saftey.

Here are the complete results of last night's fights:

Former WEC and current Strikeforce lightweight champion Gilbert Melendez is UFC bound, and it's apparently going to happen before his title defense against Jorge Masvidal, which is scheduled for December 17.  This is good and bad news, actually.  Melendez is going to make a fine addition to the UFC, and there are many great match ups for him there, but I was very much looking forward to his fight with Masvidal.  Dana White, however, doesn't seem quite as keen on the Masvidal fight.  He told reporters at the UFC on Versus show that Gilbert could wind up fighting the winner of the UFC lightweight championship bout between Frankie Edgar and Gray Maynard at UFC 136 on October 8:

"It's a possibility. The thing is, with that division, it's so stacked there's a lot of possibilities. Like a guy like Melvin Guillard -- do you put him against him for the thing? Do you throw him right into the title? I don't know.

"Usually timing has a lot to do with that. They have this title fight between Edgar and Maynard -- and praise the Lord nobody gets hurt; broken hand or this or that or all these other things that can happen -- so we'll see. We'll go with the flow.

"But we're looking to bring Melendez over ASAP."


Although the fight was stopped in the second round, it was a long--and I do mean long--night for Pat Barry last night at UFC on Versus 6.  Barry's opponent, 6'11 "Skyscraper" Stefan Struve, was very effective in using his height and reach advantage against the 5'11 "Single Story House."  Barry did a decent job of trying to work his way inside, but was unable to land any big shots.  When the fight went to the ground in the second round, Struve threw up his loooong legs over Barry's head to secure a triangle.  Barry then tried a Quinton "Rampage" Jackson-style slam, but Struve broke his fall and the triangle wound up even tighter, forcing a tap from Pat.  The above pic is an artist's rendering of how Barry must have felt in the fight.

With the win, Strive improved his MMA record to 22-5, while Barry drops to 6-4.  In an interesting trivia note, Jon "Bones" Jones, who was in attendance last night, has 2 inches of reach on Struve, despite being a half a foot shorter.  If and when Bones moves up to HW, a match against Struve should be high on the UFC matchmaker's Joe Silva's list.  These guys wouldn't have to leave their corners to trade blows.  As for Barry, I'd like to see him in against Mark Hunt.  Their have similar heights and reachers and it would be bombs away.  Zuffa, make it happen!

This video is real, and shows Mauricio "Shogun" Rua fighting at a house party in Brazil when he was just a lad.  His ferociousness was on display back then, but his fighting skills have come a long way.  For Shogun fans, this video is a must see.



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