After months of posturing and publicity, UFC 132 lived up to the hype, delivering a card for the ages. In the organization's return to Las Vegas, the UFC showcased everything from big-time knockouts and grind-out wars, to the send-off of one legend flanked by the stunning revival of another. In the end, the Nevada promotion was a runaway success, pulling in a gate of over $2,300,000 and a live audience of 12,947 fans.
Dominick Cruz dismantled Urijah Faber in the night's main event, winning a five-round affair via unanimous decision to retain the UFC bantamweight belt. Momentum for the bout swung wildly back-and-forth, as the judge's scores clearly indicate. Cruz won the contest 50-45, 49-46 and 48-47.
The champion battered and bruised his opponent with a stifling array of combinations and kicks, securing the fight with a fierce fifth round in which Cruz landed multiple takedowns and a brutal flying knee. In the end, his relentless attack proved too difficult for Faber to combat. The highly entertaining bout was awarded "Fight of the Night" honors.
"I knew he was going to come in awkward like that," Faber said after the fight. "Congratulations to Dominick. He won. It wasn't enough of an output on my side, and I didn't finish him. I felt like I won the fight, but congratulations to Dominick."
In the night's co-main event, it took just 27 seconds for Chris Leben to crush his hero. "The Crippler" won for the fourth time in five fights, devastating PRIDE legend Wanderlei Silva with a succession of picture-perfect uppercuts from the clinch in the opening minute of their middleweight bout.
The finish, thanks to Zombie Prophet and Iron Forges Iron:
The bout may mark the end of the road for Silva. "The Axe Murderer", who recently turned 35, has lost six of his last eight bouts -- four byway of violent knockouts. Needless to say, the extensive mileage from his PRIDE days seems to finally be catching up to him, and it would be a tragedy to see him suffer through the same vicious end that befell his former rival, Chuck Liddell.
Also on the main card, lightweight Dennis Siver defeated Matt Wiman to take the unanimous judge's decision, his fourth victory in a row. Though, the outcome of this one was in doubt at certain points in the fights. Wiman abused the German kickboxer, who barely survived a brutal second round that left a pair of cuts on his bloodied forehead. After a close and competitive third round, Siver pulled out the narrow decision on the heels of his takedown and guillotine attempt to end the fight.
Tito Ortiz recaptured waning relevance by upsetting "The Ultimate Fighter Season 8" winner Ryan Bader via guillotine choke just two minutes into their light heavyweight contest. After heading into the fight hearing rumblings of his impending retirement, "The Huntington Beach Bad Boy" silenced critics in capturing his first victory since 2006.
In a spectacular performance, Carlos Condit defeated previously unbeaten Dong Hyun Kim via technical knockout just 2:58 into round one of their welterweight fight. The "Natural Born Killer" launched a textbook flying knee that crushed the jaw of Kim, before landing a ruthless series of punches that crumbled the South Korean. A winner of his last four UFC fights, Condit likely pushed himself into title contention with the victory. The outrageous finish earned "Knockout of the Night" honors.
The finish, also thanks to Zombie Prophet and Iron Forges Iron:
On the televised SPIKE preliminaries, Melvin Guillard continued his newfound run through the lightweight division, blitzing WEC-veteran Shane Roller with a relentless series of strikes to end the contest at 2:12 of the first round. The win is the fifth in a row for the Greg Jackson product, who is edging closer to title contention with each highlight reel finish.
The finish, again thanks to Zombie Prophet and Iron Forges Iron:
Rafael dos Anjos upset George Sotiropoulos, cracking the Aussie with a blistering counter right hook early in the first round of their scheduled lightweight bout. The win is the fourth of the Brazilian's last five fights within the UFC.
On the undercard, former WEC bantamweight champion Brian Bowles defeated Takeya Mizugaki via unanimous decision in an entertaining back-and-forth affair. Bowles claimed all three judges scorecards -- 30-27, 30-27 and 29-28 -- despite the fact that he appeared to sustain a significant right hand injury early in the fight. The win is the second in two opportunities within the UFC for the WEC transfer.
Phoenix resident Aaron Simpson claimed his second victory in a row, defeating TUF-11 contestant Brad Tavares via unanimous decision. Simpson negated the talented Hawaiian throughout the bout with a continuous stream of takedowns and stifling work in the clinch. The loss was Tavares' first.
UFC 132 Official Results:
Dominick Cruz def. Urijah Faber via Decision (Unanimous)
Chris Leben def. Wanderlei Silva via KO (Punches) at 0:27 of Round 1
Dennis Siver def. Matt Wiman via Decision (Unanimous)
Tito Ortiz def. Ryan Bader via Submission (Guillotine Choke) at 1:56 of Round 1
Carlos Condit def. Dong Hyun Kim via TKO (Flying Knee and Punches) at 2:58 of Round 1
Melvin Guillard def. Shane Roller via KO (Punches) at 2:12 of Round 1
Rafael dos Anjos def. George Sotiropoulos via KO (Punch) at 0:59 of Round 1
Brian Bowles def. Takeya Mizugaki via Decision (Unanimous)
Aaron Simpson def. Brad Tavares via Decision (Unanimous)
Anthony Njokuani def. Andre Winner via Decision (Unanimous)
Jeff Hougland def. Donny Walker via Decision (Unanimous)
UFC 132 Bonuses:
Knockout of the Night: Carlos Condit ($75,000)
Submission of the Night: Tito Ortiz ($75,000)
Fight of the Night: Dominick Cruz vs. Urijah Faber ($75,000 each)
Fighter Salaries (figures do not include post-event bonuses):
Dominick Cruz: $40,000 (includes $20,000 win bonus)
Urijah Faber: $32,000
Chris Leben: $92,000 ($46,000 win bonus)
Wanderlei Silva: $200,000
Dennis Siver: $50,000 ($25,000 win bonus)
Matt Wiman: $18,000
Tito Ortiz: $450,000 (no win bonus)
Ryan Bader: $20,000
Carlos Condit: $68,000 ($34,000 win bonus)
Dong Hyun Kim: $41,000
Melvin Guillard: $64,000 ($32,000 win bonus)
Shane Roller: $21,000
Rafael Dos Anjos: $28,000 ($14,000 win bonus)
George Sotiropoulos: $15,000
Brian Bowles: $34,000 ($17,000 win bonus)
Takeya Mizugaki: $12,000
Aaron Simpson: $34,000 ($17,000 win bonus)
Brad Tavares: $10,000
Anthony Njokuani: $16,000 ($8,000 win bonus)
Andre Winner: $14,000
Jeff Hougland: $12,000 ($6,000 win bonus)
Donny Walker: $6,000