HOUSTON - Mike Massenzio is a wrestler by trade, but when his takedown game didn't produce results the New Jersey-native made it into a street fight. Massenzio consistently landed uppercuts and straight lefts to brutalize Steve Cantwell on his way to a unanimous decision victory, 30-27, 29-28 and 29-28, in the first fight at UFC 136.
Massenzio (12-5, 2-3 UFC) has been a loyal soldier for the UFC. He was called in on short notice for his last fight against Krzysztof Soszynski at UFC 131. Massenzio was out of his league at light heavyweight. Tonight, at his more natural 185 pounds, he was the better conditioned and tougher fighter.
Cantwell's stand up is very good and he looked to be on his way to a victory at the end of the first round. Massenzio was getting caught by body shots and backing up. In the second, everything changed. Massenzio worked consistently for the takedown. None of them worked, but it wore down Cantwell.
In the final seven minutes of the fight, Cantwell had his nose broken and started dropping his hands.
Simpson dominates Schafer on the way to his sixth UFC victory
Aaron Simpson doesn't have to fight, he simply loves doing so. It doesn't hurt that the 37-year-old, is still a physical specimen. Eric Schafer simply couldn't keep pace with Simpson tonight. The former Arizona State wrestling star stood with Schafer for 15 minutes and tore him up to score a unanimous decision victory, 30-27 on all cards, at the Toyota Center.
Simpson (11-2, 6-2 UFC) has a decorated amateur wrestling background, but his hands have improved vastly. Schafer's big strength is his submission game, so Simpson decided to slug it out. It worked. He had Schafer rocked on several occasions and dropped him in the final 15 seconds of the second round.
Elkins thwarts Zhang guillotine attempts to pick up easy win
Tiequan Zhang's guillotine is dangerous, but tonight it was the only thing he tried. Darren Elkins survived a submission attempt at the start of each round, gained top control and dominated his opponent on the ground for a unanimous decision victory, 30-26, 30-27 and 30-27.
Zhang, the only high level Chinese fighter working under the Zuffa banner, now has a 2-2 record with the company. The UFC is looking to break new ground in China and would love to market some Chinese fighters. It's probably safe to assume there will be dozens of Chinese fighters in the near future, but right now Zhang (15-2, 1-1 UFC) doesn't look like the guy to carry the banner.
Elkins (13-2, 3-1 UFC) fought twice for the UFC at lightweight. After a loss to Charles Oliveira, he dropped to 145, where he's now 2-0.
Miocic outlasts Beltran to get first UFC victory
Joey Beltran is no easy mark so Stipe Miocic knew it was going to be a grind to get a victory in his first UFC fight. Miocic landed some bombs and scored five easy takedowns on the way to a unanimous decision victory, 30-27, 29-28 and 29-28, in the final fight of the UFC 136 undercard on Facebook.
- Mike Massenzio
- Eric Schafer