• UFC 146

Dos Santos peppers Mir in boxing clinic at UFC 146

ESPN staff
May 27, 2012 « Thumping knockout announces the return of Dan Hardy | Chartbeat test »

UFC 146 prelims: Wins for Hardy and Sass

Junior Dos Santos may well be on course to become the most dominant UFC heavyweight champion of all time after he knocked out Frank Mir in simple fashion to retain his title at UFC 146 on Saturday.

Defending his belt for the first time, Dos Santos faced arguably the most skilled submissions specialist in the fight business, a man who had twice won UFC gold in the past. However, so good is the reigning champion that he made Mir look like a rookie as he boxed his way to a second-round TKO victory.

Mir - having broken the arm of Dos Santos' jiu-jitsu mentor Minotauro Nogueira in his last outing - simply knew he had to take the fight to the mat if he was to triumph in Las Vegas. He made a huge attempt early, but as the champion pulled his leg free Mir was left to desperately grab for a footlock, which slipped away along with any hopes of claiming the title.

From that moment on Mir was something of a punchbag, peppered regularly by the fast hands of Dos Santos, who wobbled his man badly at the end of round one. Mir was asked by the doctor in between rounds where he was, and he gave the name of the Mandalay Bay hotel - not the MGM Grand which was where the fight was taking place.

Dos Santos had established his gameplan - as he always does - and the end was inevitable. A straight right rocked the head of the challenger as he collapsed backwards three minutes into the second stanza, leaving Dos Santos to follow-up with one finishing hammer fist - similar to the one he gestures as a challenge to his opponent at the start of every fight.

"I feel awesome! It's amazing!" Dos Santos shouted. "I came here to defend my belt and I did it. This guy can take a punch, my hand is hurt!"

Mir acknowledged: "He's the champ, he hits fast, I couldn't get out the way. He hit me hard, there was too many, I wish I could have given a better performance. I tried to pull a footlock, I didn't want to box with him but he forced me into it."

In the co-main event, former champion Cain Velasquez made an emphatic return to the Octagon, leaving Antonio Silva a bloody mess in a first-round TKO victory. Cutting his rival early with a sharp elbow, Velasquez left Silva unable to see as blood covered his face - eventually forcing him to turtle up at 3.36 of the opening stanza.

This was Velasquez's first fight since he lost his UFC title to Dos Santos, and he entered the Octagon with the look of a wounded lion. Immediately he completed a single-leg to start working his ground-and-pound, and Silva was cut up so badly that he needed checking by the doctor en route to a one-sided defeat.

The Knockout of the Night came from Roy Nelson, who only had to land once to turn out the lights on Dave Herman after 51 seconds of their heavyweight fight. Picking up the third Knockout of the Night cheque of his UFC career, Nelson sent up a booming overhand right that sat Herman down, sending out yet another message that Big Country is still a major player in the heavyweight division.

The main card opened up with the swift return of Lavar Johnson, who came looking to build on his recent win over Pat Barry against Stefan Struve. In typical fashion Johnson waded forward and swung hard, but Struve showed technique beats brawn, pulling guard before locking on a nasty armbar at 1.05 of the first round.

Also victorious was Stipe Miocic, who won the battle of the two undefeated prospects against Shane Del Rosario. Miocic dropped the first round as his rival frequently landed with thudding kicks to the body, but he switched to his wrestling in the second, bloodying Del Rosario up with elbows to force the TKO at 3.14 of the middle stanza.

UFC 146 results:
Junior Dos Santos bt Frank Mir at 3.04 of round 2 via TKO
Cain Velasquez bt Antonio Silva at 3.36 of round 1 via TKO
Roy Nelson bt Dave Herman at 0.51 of round 1 via KO
Stefan Struve bt Lavar Johnson at 1.05 of round 1 via armbar
Stipe Miocic bt Shane del Rosario at 3.14 of round 2 via TKO
Darren Elkins bt Diego Brandao via unanimous decision (29-28 29-28 29-28)
Jamie Varner bt Edson Barboza at 3.23 of round 1 via TKO
CB Dollaway bt Jason Miller via unanimous decision (29-28 30-26 29-28)
Dan Hardy bt Duane Ludwig at 3.51 of round 1 via KO
Paul Sass bt Jacob Volkmann at 1.54 of round 1 via triangle armbar
Glover Teixeira bt Kyle Kingsbury at 1.53 of round 1 via arm triangle
Mike Brown bt Daniel Pineda via unanimous decision (29-28 29-28 29-28)

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