The biggest heavyweight fight in the history of the UFC is set for this evening, and Heavy MMA is live on the scene bringing you all the action from the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada.
The evening’s event is headlined by a heavyweight championship bout between title holder Brock Lesnar and interim heavyweight champion Shane Carwin. In the co-main event slot, Japanese superstar Yoshihiro Akiyama will face off with last minute replacement Chris Leben.
Rounding out the card, George Sotiropoulos and Kurt Pellegrino will face off in the 155-pound division, welterweights Matt Brown and Chris Lytle will duel in what many consider the top Fight of the Night candidate, and Stephan Bonnar will take on Krzysztof Soszynski in a rematch from their UFC 110 affair.
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UFC 116 Main Card
George Sotiropoulos vs. Kurt Pellegrino
In a battle of two top grapplers at 155-pounds, Pellegrino vs. Sotiropoulos was sure to be a great match up. And it was.
Sotiropoulos made the first impression in the fight, catching Pellegrino on the feet. The Australian chased Pellegrino to the ground, but he could not hold his opponent down. Pellegrino scored two takedowns in the first, but failed to do much to make a case for him winning the round.
The second started off much different, as Sotiropoulos was the one taking the fight down. On top of Pellegrino, he began to land solid ground and pound to his opponent in half guard. Pellegrino struggled to get to his feet, but Sotiropoulos continued to dominate the striking game as well, as Pellegrino continued falling behind on points.
The third round began with more striking, and Pellegrino was the first to opt out of the boxing match. On the ground, Sotiropoulos utilized his 10th Planet jiu-jitsu to ward off any offense from Pellegrino on the ground. When the two worked back to the feet, Pellegrino finally landed a strike on the feet with a nice knee that put Sotiropoulos down, but the bell rang and the Aussie was saved. Unfortunately for Pellegrino, it was too little too late. Sotiropoulos def. Pellegrino via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28).
Krzysztof Soszynski vs. Stephan Bonnar
Bonnar was looking for redemption in a rematch from the two’s UFC 110 bout and scored a takedown early in the first round. Soszynski managed to roll out of the unfortunate position and scored several nice shots on the feet. Bonnar quickly turned it around and scored his fair share of nice shots. The two continued to strike for the remainder of the round, making the fight an exciting one for the fans.
The second round picked up the same as the first with both fighters exchanging in a phenomenal brawl. Bonnar took the fight off of the feet, scoring a takedown halfway through the round, but Soszynski worked his way back to the feet. Back on the feet, Bonnar landed a solid knee and Soszynski collapsed. Bonnar worked his ground and pound and earned the second round technical knockout. Great fight between the two light heavyweights. Bonnar def. Soszynski via technical knockout at 3:08 of Round 2.
Chris Lytle vs. Matt Brown
In what was predetermined as the Fight of the Night, Chris Lytle decided to throw a wrench in that projection.
The first round was an entertaining one, with each fighter scoring his fair share of shots. Brown made the most dynamic move, nearly securing a choke. However, Lytle survived and the two went to the second round after a round that was not as crazy as many probably anticipated.
The second round quickly turned into Lytle’s round, when he put Brown in a rather uncomfortable position on the ground. Lytle had an inverted triangle choke and an armbar, and Brown could not handle one of those submissions, verbally submitting to the armlock. Lytle def. Brown via submission (armbar) at 2:02 of Round 2.
Yoshihiro Akiyama vs. Chris Leben
Leben took this fight on very short notice, but “The Crippler” came out with little hesitance, which can be expected from him. The two fighters went back-and-forth early with neither fighter scoring a big combination. Akiyama was the first looking for a takedown, taking Leben down at the 3:00 mark. Leben looked for an armbar, but was reversed, and Akiyama worked for one of his own. Leben survived, but Akiyama remained on top, looking for the kill. Leben worked his way back up, landed a nice combination, but fell back to the ground by Akiyama to end the round.
The second round featured some exciting stand up, as the two constantly went back and forth with solid striking. Leben landed several solid lefts and staggered Akiyama, who came back and hurt Leben right away. Leben kept coming forward, and the two clinched before Akiyama took it down. Both fighters were hurt and looked very tired, as Leben found himself on the bottom of another grappling match. Leben worked his way up and the two clinched again against the cage. The two separated and began exchanging in an exciting stand off. The fans screamed in approval as the two walked back to their corners.
The two embrace in the center, both ready to entertain the fans for another five minutes. Leben pushed the pace early in the round, but Akiyama scored the takedown. Leben worked for an armbar and nearly scored a submission, but Akiyama survived and fell back on top. Leben stayed very active off of his back, as Akiyama looked very tired in Leben’s guard. Leben moved for a triangle chojke and it was deep, forcing Akiyama to tap out. Leben was constantly looking for the submission and finally earned it, scoring one of the biggest victories in his career. Leben def. Akiyama via submission (triangle choke) at 4:40 of Round 3.
Brock Lesnar vs. Shane Carwin
In the biggest heavyweight fight in a long time, if not the history of the UFC, Shane Carwin made the first impression. Carwin landed a nice shot, and Lesnar was in trouble early. Lesnar took a huge knee after several nice punches and fell to his back. Carwin went in for the kill, and Lesnar covered up off his back. Carwin continued throwing down his heavy hands with Lesnar covering up. Carwin continued raining down punches, but Lesnar managed to survived and moved back to his feet. The round came to a close in the clinch with Carwin winning the first handily. But Carwin entered the second round for the first time in his career.
Lesnar came out in the second immediately looking for the takedown…and he got it. Carwin seemed very tired, and Lesnar began to go to work on top of the interim champion. Lesnar moved to mount and quickly worked towards an arm triangle. Carwin looked fine, until Lesnar tightened the choke and forced the tapout. An amazing comeback for Lesnar, which is only appropriate after the amazing comeback he had months ago with his health. Lesnar def. Carwin via submission (arm triangle) at 2:19 of Round 2.