With the little guys headlining UFC 132, some casual fans may not have been stoked to check out this year's Fourth of July weekend UFC card, but those who tuned in and bought tickets certainly got their money's worth.
The card produced three awesome knockouts, some major upsets and one of the best UFC moments in years with Tito Ortiz pulling off the shocker in an absolute must-win situation against Ryan Bader.
- UFC president Dana White was impressed and said Tito will be sticking around.
"Not only did he win the fight. He won the fight impressively, you know, dropping the younger stronger and many people thought he had the better hands. Dropping Bader and then submitting him," said White.
- White would like to see Wanderlei Silva retire. The soon-to-be 35-year-old was knocked out badly inside of one minute by Chris Leben.
"People love him so much for the way he fights. The style and the kind of person he is. Yeah, it's probably the end of the road for Wanderlei," said White.
- Not only did Ortiz remove his head from the chopping block, he hauled in a nice postfight bonus. Ortiz, along with Urijah Faber, Dominick Cruz and Carlos Condit, each got $75,000. Ortiz was awarded Submission of the Night, Condit got Knockout of the Night and Faber vs. Cruz was named Fight of the Night.
The knockout award was a tough decision. A disappointed Melvin Guillard shook his head during the presser and Chris Leben was hoping to get the bonus as well. White revealed that the 25-minute scrap between Faber and Cruz actually screwed Leben and Guillard. Without an obvious Fight of the Night, the promotion had planned on awarding three KO of the Night awards.
- The Cruz-Faber fight was very difficult to score and left Faber extremely disappointed. At least he kept it together in the Octagon.
When it was announced he'd lost a close decision to Denis Siver, Matt Wiman failed to do so. Wiman ran from the Octagon and eventually out of the building. White had no issue with the decision. He scored it for Siver, but did say one celebrity onlooker disagreed vehemently (sarcasm). Justin Bieber thought Wiman won the fight. There's no news on whether the 17-year-old singer also left the arena in disgust. A less than thrilled Bieber is pictured below with the legendary Chuck Liddell. It's hard to smile for a photo after missing on out a plus-240 Wiman payday.
- Ortiz admitted he was a little annoyed that he didn't bet on himself. Bader closed as a minus-550 favorite in the MGM Grand sportsbook. A $100 bet on Tito would've brought home $400. Ortiz was glad to get the $75,000 bonus which he'll use to "put away for my sons and, I don't know, maybe go gamble a little bit tonight because my luck is so damn good."
"How easily he did it. How technical it was. He fought an incredible fight tonight. He's been great in his last two shows," said White.
Condit also destroyed Dan Hardy at UFC 120.
"Yeah, he's proved himself to be one of the best 170 pounders in the world. The guy that he beat tonight [Dong Hyun Kim] was undefeated in the UFC," said White.
- Both Faber and Cruz admitted they barely remembered the details of their five-round war.
"You get really instinctual in there and I can't really remember the fight. Right after the fight the doctor asked me how I feel and I said 'I feel great!' Now I feel like [expletive]," laughed Faber. "You always have to take a look at the actual fight and see what happened."
After getting bopped in the head by some hard punches, Cruz felt the same way.
"By the end of the fight, you really don't know what happened," Cruz said. "I can't really remember much of anything. You go in and it's like a whirlwind in there. Feels like I was in a tornado, you know? I was running into stuff (Cruz wobbles his head) like dressers and what not. My shoulders hurt. My face hurts."
- It was a tale of two cards. The four Facebook fights were less than scintillating, but the next six all delivered drama.
According to Yahoo! Sports' Dave Meltzer, UFC matchmaker Joe Silva went into the locker room to give a "pep talk." He told the remaining fighters that the card needed a pick-me-up and it was up to them to save it. The next two fights on Spike resulted in a 59-second knockout by Rafael dos Anjos and Guillard finished Shane Roller in 2:12.
- Looking to the future, Ortiz mentioned that he'd like to face the winner of the August fight between Forrest Griffin and Mauricio "Shogun" Rua.
Guillard mentioned Jim Miller as his choice. When asked about rematching Siver, Guillard said he'd knock him out again. White and matchmaker Joe Silva were asked about what's up next for Cruz. Silva then deferred to WEC's former matchmaker Sean Shelby, who said both Brian Bowles and Demetrious Johnson are candidates.
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