UFC 121: Cain Velasquez, the new champion

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Velasquez is the new heavyweight champion. Photo: Josh Hedges.

This Saturday’s UFC 121 show in Anaheim, California, crowned a new champion. Cain Velasquez ran rampant over Brock Lesnar and is the new king of the heavyweights. In the other fights on the main card, Jake Shields, Diego Sanchez, Matt Hamill, and Brendan Schaub all came up on the right end of the judges’ decisions. Check out the results and breakdown of the main-event matchups:

Brock Lesnar vs Cain Velasquez

He was undefeated in MMA (9 wins), and so he remains, but now he possesses the coveted UFC heavyweight belt. Brock Lesnar went guns a blazing after his adversary and managed the takedown. But one of Cain’s never-fold spirit. With his enviable endurance, he got out from bottom position and started firing off rounds on Lesnar standing and on the ground. Brock tried to escape, but ended up groggily losing his balance. And the challenger continued to tee off till the bout was called to an end, after 4:12 min of combat. Now Cain will have to defend his title against Brazil’s Junior Cigano, who will be looking to avenge mentor Rodrigo Minotauro’s loss at UFC 110. Brock humbly admitted that his opponent was better on the night.

Jake Shields vs. Martin Kampann

Strikeforce middleweight champion Jake Shields entered the UFC scene as the man tipped to beat the promotion’s current welterweight champion, George St.-Pierre. However, the Cesar Gracie black belt’s welcome matchup wasn’t smooth sailing against Martin Kampmann. During the fight, Shields managed to take the fight to the ground, pass guard, mount, and get back mount, but not without showing significant fatigue for his efforts. Kampann got the best of the standup action and landed damaging knees. In the end, the scorecards gave Shields the nod by split decision, the fighter’s fifteenth win in a row.

Diego Sanchez vs. Paulo Thiago

Diego Sanchez and Paulo Thiago put on a show for the crowd. In the opening round, the officer from Brazil’s Bope police special forces unit had the upper hand. He landed solid strikes standing, got the takedown, and made things complicated for his rival with an arm-triangle. In the second, Diego took the initiative to bring the action to the ground. Paulo managed to invert the situation with a sightly overhead sweep, but Sanchez returned the attack with a swooping takedown. In the final round, Diego returned his efforts to the takedown, achieveing back mount and controlling the fight. A well-earned unanimous decision for the American followed, now recovering from back-to-back losses.

Matt Hamill vs. Tito Ortiz

Matt Hamill was the better fighter, was more effective striking and in takedowns. Over the three rounds, he took the fight to the ground and worked the ground-and-pound to his advantage, throwing strikes and elbows. Tito tried to react, but he had nothing potent to throw at his opponent. After the final bell, the unanimous decision went to Hamill, who notches his fifth win in a row in the UFC.

Gabriel Gonzaga vs. Brendan Schaub

Brendan Schaub felt right at home against Gabriel Napão. The entire three-round affair played out on the feet. He went to his boxing and managed to take the Brazilian to the ground with a first-round knockdown. Throwing good striking combinations, Brendan dominated the fight, avoided his opponent’s Jiu-Jitsu, and took the unanimous judges’ decision.

Complete results:

UFC 121
Anaheim, California, USA
October 23, 2010

Cain Velasquez defeated Brock Lesnar via TKO at 4:12 min of R1

Jake Shields defeated Martin Kampmann via split decision

Diego Sanchez defeated Paulo Thiago via unanimous decision

Matt Hamill defeated Tito Ortiz via unanimous decision

Brendan Schaub defeated Gabriel Gonzaga via unanimous decision

Court McGee submitted Ryan Jensen via arm-triangle at 1:21 min of R3

Tom Lawlor defeated Patrick Cote via unanimous decision

Daniel Roberts submitted Mike Guymon via arm-triangle at 1:13 min of R1

Sam Stout defeated Paul Taylor via split decision

Chris Camozzi defeated Dongi Yang via split decision

Jon Madsen defeated Gilbert Yvel via TKO at 1:48 min of R1

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