LAS VEGAS – It just wouldn't be a UFC pay-per-view event if we didn't get to enjoy at least one hotly contested decision, right?
At Saturday night's UFC 132 event in Las Vegas, that honor fell to Dennis Siver (19-7 MMA, 8-4 UFC) and Matt Wiman (13-6 MMA, 7-4 UFC), who battled toe-to-toe for 15 minutes in a back-and-forth affair.
All three judges ultimately awarded the victory to Siver, and UFC president Dana White said after the event that he agreed with the call. However, White admitted UFC co-owner Lorenzo Fertitta – not to mention mop-haired teen pop star Justin Bieber – believe Wiman may have been jobbed.
"You guys are going to laugh at this one – but me, Lorenzo and Justin Bieber had scored that fight, and I actually had [Siver] winning the fight," White said at the evening's post-event press conference. "I gave him the first and third, and there's no doubt who won the second round.
"I think it's a little tough. Again, I'd have to go back and watch it, but I think Bieber and Lorenzo had it going the other way."
According to FightMetric numbers, Siver outlanded his opponent 38-9 in total strikes in the opening round. In the third, the German striker again earned the edge in total punches and kicks 47-6. Shockingly, even in the second frame – a round clearly won by Wiman after slicing open his opponent with vicious ground-and-pound – Siver actually outstruck his opponent 43-19.
At the end of three rounds, Siver landed 128 total strikes to Wiman's 34, and he held the edge in FightMetric's "significant strikes" category, 31-26.
"I think I won, in any case, the first and last (rounds)," Wiman said through an interpreter. "I win."
MMAjunkie.com also scored the fight for Siver, 29-28, awarding him the opening and closing rounds.
Following an upset submission victory over Ryan Bader at Saturday's UFC 132 event, Tito Ortiz quickly moved into his post-fight "gravedigger" routine to celebrate the win.
Admittedly, though, his five-year winless streak likely meant some newer fans had no idea what they were watching. For veteran fans, it was a trip down memory lane.
But saying he's now healthy and committed to fighting top competition, the 36-year-old would-be stepping stone said he simply turned the tables on the once high-flying Bader.
"Tonight, I made a stepping stone of Ryan Bader," said Ortiz, who competed on the pay-per-view main card at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas. "And he said he was going to make a stepping stone of me. But he ain't stepping on this champion. Hell no."
The oddsmakers had tapped Ortiz (16-8-1 MMA, 15-8-1 UFC) vs. Bader (12-2 MMA, 5-2 UFC) the biggest mismatch on the 11-bout UFC 132 lineup. Ortiz, in fact, was given no more than a one-in-five chance of winning. But after stunning Bader with a short, powerful right hand to the chin, Ortiz pulled guard and cinched the fight-ending, arm-in guillotine choke just two minutes into the fight.
Despite 14 years in the UFC, a legendary title run and nearly 60 rounds of cage experience, winning had become a strange feeling.
"I had an out-of-body experience," Ortiz said. "It's like I was watching myself do it. Everything was in slow-mo. It was kind of like in the 'Matrix.' It was weird. For the first, everything was super, super slow."
In fact, he blamed his initial reluctance to unlock the choke on those strange feelings.
"I didn't want to let go because I wasn't sure what was going on because like I said, I had an out-of-body experience," he said. "I didn't know how to react. I was like, 'I'm not letting go until the referee rips me off.' I don't mean to hold on to a submission longer than I was supposed to, but I wasn't letting go. I wanted to win. I'm like an animal out there."
LAS VEGAS – With his second-straight "Knockout of the Night" victory, former WEC welterweight champion Carlos Condit (26-5 MMA, 4-1 UFC) is quickly becoming a top contender in the UFC's 170-pound division.
Saturday night's UFC 132 event featured a host of incredible knockout victories, but UFC president Dana White deemed Condit's first-round finish of Dong Hyun Kim the best of the bunch, awarding him the bonus and declaring him "one of the best 170-pounders in the world."
But with UFC welterweight champ Georges St-Pierre not scheduled to defend his title until late October, Condit isn't interesting in sitting around waiting for a title shot. Instead, he wants to get back in the octagon and cement his position in the division.
"I do want to fight again in 2011," Condit said at the evening's post-event press conference, which took place at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas. "I know the timeframe may not work out for me to get the next shot, but I want to fight again before the end of the year."
It's easy to see why Condit might be brimming with confidence. The "Natural Born Killer" finished his previously-unbeaten foe with ease, ripping Kim with a flying knee before unleashing a fury of strikes that forced referee Steve Mazzagatti to step in just before the three-minute mark.
Returning to action would, of course, put Condit's standing in the 170-pound division at risk, but it's a gamble the 27-year-old said he's willing to take.
Now boasting octagon wins over Kim, Dan Hardy, Rory MacDonald and Jake Ellenberger, five-time WEC veteran Condit is 9-1 under the Zuffa banner, and the lone loss came in split-decision fashion to Martin Kampmann. Condit is an astonishing 12-1 since 2006, and he's finished his opponent in 26 of 27 career wins.
Saturday's UFC 132 event proved a surprise a hit for the organization, and the night was capped off with the first-ever bantamweight main event in UFC history.
Following the event, UFC bantamweight champion Dominick Cruz (18-1 MMA, 1-0 UFC), who defeated Urijah Faber (25-5 MMA, 1-1 UFC) in the pay-per-view headliner, said the 135-pound class officially has arrived.
And if that arrival makes him the bad guy, so be it.
"I'm not trying to be a villain; I'm just trying to be me," Cruz told MMAjunkie.com (UFC blog for UFC news, UFC rumors, fighter interviews and event previews/recaps | MMAjunkie.com) after the event, which took place at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas. "I'm just scrapping. I can't control the crowd, but it hypes me up. Love me or hate me, it hypes me.
"You're going to cheer for me? Sweet. You're going to boo for me? You're just going to make me want to prove you wrong."
Cruz's villain status largely was aided by the man he fought: former WEC featherweight champ and fan favorite Faber. He also happened to be Cruz's bitter rival – and the only opponent to deliver the champ a loss in his six-year career.
But as heated as their feud sometimes has been, Cruz thanked Faber for the fight and the obvious advancement of the UFC's lightest weight class.
"I think me and Urijah kind of set the bar for everything, the 135-pounders especially," Cruz said. "We had something to show everyone in the world today – that 135-pounders can headline a card, that 145-pounders can headline a card, and it will be exciting. We can compete with heavyweights, 170-pounders, everyone.
"Just because we're little guys doesn't mean we can't scrap."
And perhaps due to that milestone fight, Cruz appears ready to let bygones be bygones. The feud, in fact, started four years ago when Cruz made his WEC debut against then-champ Faber. Cruz was miffed that he didn't appear on the event's official poster, so when executives asked him to sign a bunch of them with the night's other competitors, he scribbled his signature over Faber's face.
For Faber, it solidified what he saw as Cruz's cocky and arrogant aura.
But with the score settled – at least for now – it appears he and Fabe can put the beef in the past.
"I respect all the fighters out there, but even my best friends know I'm a jerk sometimes," Cruz said. "So it was fun. It was fun to talk trash. And sometimes it's easy to talk trash about a guy like Urijah."
That drew some laughs from the post-event media conference – and even a smile from Faber himself.