LAS VEGAS, July 2 – Middleweight slugger Chris Leben had made no secret of his desire for a fight with his fistic hero Wanderlei Silva, and after getting the dream bout, he quickly turned it into a nightmare for the Brazilian legend, stopping him in just 27 seconds in the UFC 132 co-main event Saturday night at the MGM Grand Garden Arena. See post-fight interview
“Wanderlei is my hero," said Leben. "He’s always been my favorite fighter. I only visualized a three-round war. I never envisioned a knockout. It’s unbelievable.”
Both fighters engaged immediately, with Silva landing some hard shots at close range. The steel-chinned Leben took the punches well and in response he swung a left hand that clipped Silva and took his legs away. Leben then fired off a series of lefts that sent Silva face first to the mat. Referee Josh Rosenthal moved in quickly, stopping the bout and stunning the packed house.
With the win, Leben ups his record to 22-7; Silva falls to 33-11-1 with 1 NC.
ORTIZ VS. BADER
With his job on the line, former UFC light heavyweight champion Tito Ortiz resurrected his storied career with a stunning first round submission win over Ryan Bader. See post-fight interview
“It’s such a great feeling to get this win,” said Ortiz. “I’m reinventing myself.”
After some tense standup, which saw Bader land his vaunted right hand with little effect, Ortiz sent a short right hand of his own down the middle, rocking Bader and sending him to the canvas. Ortiz pounced, but instead of his trademark ground and pound, he shocked Bader with a guillotine choke, which forced the former Arizona State University wrestler to tap out at the 1:56 mark.
“I just woke up in a guillotine,” said Bader. “I got rocked with a big punch and next thing you know, I was in a guillotine. I thought I was doing well with my footwork, but I talked to my coaches and realized I made some mistakes.”
The win, which lifted the 36 year old Ortiz’ record to 17-8-1, was his first since a 2006 defeat of Ken Shamrock. During that span, Ortiz went 0-4-1 while battling a series of injuries. Bader falls to 13-2.
“The key tonight was the guys that I’ve been training with,” said Ortiz. “It’s such a positive group of guys and anytime I thought I wanted to let up in training, they kept pushing me. I put my private life on the backburner for this training camp so that I could focus on performing like I’m capable of performing.”
SIVER VS. WIMAN
Germany’s Dennis Siver scored his fourth win in a row in lightweight action, but his three round unanimous decision win over Matt Wiman wasn’t a popular one with the MGM Grand Garden Arena crowd, which filled the venue with boos after the 29-28 verdict was announced. See post-fight interview
“I’m glad to win this fight,” said Siver. “It was a very hard fight. My striking was a little bit better. My takedown defense was a little bit better. Altogether, I was just a little bit better tonight. Again, it was a very tough fight.”
As expected, neither fighter opted for a feeling out process; instead, both got right down to business, with Siver’s harder punches edging out Wiman’s quicker shots and ground work.
Wiman (13-6) went all-in for the takedown in the second round, eventually getting the bout to the mat. While there, Wiman was able to cut Siver on the forehead, and it prompted the Ultimate Fighter season five competitor to keep firing away with strikes to the face of his bloodied foe, who was kept on his back for the remainder of the round.
Siver (19-7) was the busier of the two on the feet in the final round, and Wiman had difficulty getting his opponent to the mat until the final minute. But when the bout did stray there earlier, Wiman was actively looking for submissions, making the round a tough one to score.
“I did a lot of damage,” said Wiman. “Maybe he got the decision because he threw more punches, but they weren’t effective. Effective striking and grappling is what they say and he didn’t have that at all.”
CONDIT VS. KIM
Welterweight contender Carlos Condit electrified the crowd in the main card opener, handing Korean standout Dong Hyun Kim his first loss via first round TKO. In the process, he made a strong case for a shot at Georges St-Pierre’s 170 pound crown after his fourth consecutive win and third straight knockout. See post-fight interview
Confident from the start, Condit set up his strikes beautifully, and even reversed position on Kim after the “Stun Gun” took him down early. But nothing prepared Kim for what came next, as a flying right knee to the head by Condit landed flush and dropped him. A follow-up series of punches then forced referee Steve Mazzagatti to stop the fight at 2:58 of the round.
Condit improves to 27-5 with the win; Kim falls to 14-1-1 with 1 NC.
Watch UFC 132 here: http://www.ufc.tv/ufc/event/cruz-vs-faber/541