UFC 180: Hunt dominates but Werdum finishes, Smith ear explodes

UFC 180 Werdum knee Smith ear

Fabricio Werdum wins UFC Interim Heavyweight Championship over Mark Hunt’s great performance

Leslie Smith’s cauliflower ear explodes, splits and hangs (graphic!)

It was supposed to be a heavyweight title bout instead of an interim one but the reigning champ Cain Velasquez got injured just weeks away from this event and left the number one contender Fabricio Werdum (19-5-1) opponent-less. Thankfully, the 4th ranked heavyweight fighter in the UFC, Mark Hunt (10-9-1), came saving the event by taking the fight on short notice. Unfortunately for him, there’s no fairy tale ending to this. Werdum becomes the interim heavyweight champ, and will face Velasquez once the reigning champ has recovered from his torn meniscus.

Hunt found his range within the very first minute and knocked Werdum down with power 1-2 punch combo while moving forward but Werdum didn’t look hurt as he got back up to his feet slowly while staring straight back at Hunt, confident that Hunt was come looking for trouble on the ground. Hunt kept pushing forward gradually and got a takedown, landing right into Werdum’s guard, which was a bad idea against a BJJ black belt. But Hunt managed to escape and brought the fight back to striking. During one of the slow exchanges, Hunt connected with a blind uppercut which seemed to hurt Werdum a little but did well to pretend that it didn’t. Every time Hunt attacked, he landed at least 1-2 significant shots. Werdum’s fancy spin kicks seemed only like slaps to Hunt but his head kicks were part of the plot for setting up his finishing move.

UFC 180 Werdum Hunt knee

But once again, it was shown that all it takes is one shot to win a fight no matter how much you’re dominating like Hunt here. There’s no room for carelessness and definitely not cockiness. But was overconfidence the cost of Hunt’s loss? Shouldn’t he have followed up the knockdowns? Well, the simple answer is no. Hunt was indeed in control of the fight and had dropped Werdum twice but Hunt had to be patient and pace himself right for the 5-round championship bout. He also had to worry about going to the ground against the BJJ black belt. Werdum never once looked like he was seriously hurt in all the times he was dropped by Hunt in this bout. In the second round, Werdum faked a head kick and timed a perfect flying knee towards the path of Hunt’s head that was moving downwards to dodge the fake head kick. It hit Hunt’s jaw and dropped him immediately. Werdum followed up with heavy ground and pound which disallowed Hunt any chance of recovering, and that ended the fight.

UFC 180 was held in Mexico, all local fighters were victorious on the rest of main card, and all of them were finishes. Kelvin Gastelum remains undefeated after submitting Jake Ellenberger with a brilliant rear naked choke in the final seconds of the first round in the co-main event. Ricardo Lamas came up with an upset by ending Dennis Bermudez‘s 7-win streak in the first round with a deep guillotine choke off a knock down with a clean jab. Almost every bout at this event was entertaining stuff.

UFC 180 leslie smith cauliflower ear burst split

The women’s bantamweight bout between Jessica Eye and Leslie Smith in the preliminary card unfortunately ended with a doctor’s stoppage after the latter got her cauliflower ear burst after getting graced by Eye’s straight punch. The ear was split, the top part of it was practically hanging and yet she felt that she could’ve went on fighting. But after seeing this very graphic image of her injury, she said she was glad that the doctors looked out for her. At least half of her ear could’ve gotten ripped off if they hadn’t discontinued the fight.

The previous weekend’s double header Fight Night 55 and 56 saw Luke Rockhold submitting Michael Bisping in the second round, and Mauricio “Shogun” Rua got TKO-ed by Ovince St. Preux in the very first round. What a performance by the winners. The great Shogun (22-10), former UFC Light Heavyweight Champion, has lost 5 in his last 8 fights after losing the title to Jon Jones at UFC 128 in 2011 but he’s still ranked 9th overall in the official UFC Light Heavyweight rankings. If he loses again in his next fight, what do you think he should do? Retire? Or join the ONE FC perhaps? Let me know on the comments below… if any MMA fan is reading this at all.

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UFC 180: Werdum vs. Hunt – Full Results

(Source: Wikipedia)

Fight of the Night: Henry Briones vs. Guido Cannetti
Performance of the Night: Fabricio Werdum and Kelvin Gastelum

Main Card

Heavyweight Interim: Fabrício Werdum def. Mark Hunt | TKO (flying knee & punches) | R2 2:27
Welterweight: Kelvin Gastelum def. Jake Ellenberger | Submission (rear-naked choke) | R1 4:46
Featherweight: Ricardo Lamas def. Dennis Bermudez | Submission (guillotine choke) | R1 3:18
Welterweight: Augusto Montaño def. Chris Heatherly | TKO (knees) | R1 4:50
Welterweight: Héctor Urbina def. Edgar García | Submission (guillotine choke) | R1 3:38

Preliminary Card

Featherweight: Yair Rodríguez def. Leonardo Morales | Decision (unanimous) | 3 rounds
Bantamweight: Alejandro Pérez def. José Quiñonez | Decision (unanimous) | 3 rounds
Women’s Bantamweight: Jessica Eye def. Leslie Smith | TKO (doctor stoppage) | R2 1:30
Featherweight: Gabriel Benítez def. Humberto Brown | Tech. Sub. (standing guillotine) | R3 0:30
Bantamweight: Henry Briones def. Guido Cannetti | Submission (rear-naked choke) | R2 1:44
Bantamweight: Marco Beltrán def. Marlon Vera | Decision (unanimous) | 3 rounds

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