UFC 131 Results & Review – Dos Santos A Legit Threat To Velasquez

nullJunior dos Santos was the No. 1 contender to the UFC heavyweight title coming into UFC 131, and he is still the No. 1 contender after UFC 131.

The 26-year-old heavyweight improved to 13-1 with a unanimous decision victory over Shane Carwin on Saturday, dominating the entire fight. Dos Santos’ reach proved to be a big factor as Carwin struggled to get inside Junior and dos Santos also showed impressive takedown defense to keep the fight standing.

In the first round, Carwin was nearly finished (and I personally would have stopped the fight) as he took a barrage of strikes from Junior that left him a bloody mess, but he managed to survive and last all 15 minutes.

Dos Santos looked as good as I have ever seen him and he appears to be a legit threat to UFC heavyweight champ, Cain Velasquez.

The co-main event saw Kenny Florian successfully make his featherweight debut by beating Diego Nunes by unanimous decision. Florian lost the first round on two scorecards but bounced back by controlling a tired Nunes for the final 10 minutes.

The other big win of the night came for Mark Munoz, who won a close decision over Demian Maia. All three rounds were competitive and close, but all judges scored the bout for the wrestler, Munoz. Maia showed impressive striking in the first round while Munoz controlled the fight with his wrestling in the final two rounds.

For complete UFC 131 results, check out the jump.

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UFC 131 Picks & Predictions

nullUFC 131 takes place on Saturday from the Rogers Arena in Vancouver, British Columbia.

Here is a rundown of my takes on all the main card bouts.

Heavyweight Bout – Shane Carwin (12-1) vs. Junior dos Santos (12-1) – This should be an explosive fight and I see Carwin walking out the winner. I don’t see the fight going beyond five minutes as both fighters have explosive power. I suspect Carwin can take a punch better than dos Santos, which will allow him to earn a first round KO.

Featherweight Bout – Kenny Florian (13-5) vs. Diego Nunes (16-1) – This will be a tough test for Florian, who is making his 145-pound debut against Nunes, who is on a nice run as of late. If Florian can handle the weight cut and continue to fight his style, he should be able to out-class Nunes and secure a submission in the third. I suspect Florian will do just that.

Middleweight Bout – Demian Maia (14-2) vs. Mark Munoz (10-2) – Munoz is a tough guy, but I think he will struggle with Maia on the ground. I look for Maia to pull off an impressive submission in the second round on the wrestler.

Heavyweight Bout – John Olav Einemo (7-1) vs. Dave Herman (20-2) – Einemo seems to be one dimensional and just strong with his submissions while Herman is an impressive striker and well-conditioned fighter. My pick is Herman to win by knockout in the third round.

Lightweight Bout – Donald Cerrone (14-3) vs. Vagner Rocha (6-1) – I think Cerrone should control this fight from start to finish. I don’t see him finishing Rocha, who is good at submission defense, but I do see Cerrone getting the decision win.

  

UFC 131 Preview: Donald Cerrone vs. Vagner Rocha

nullDonald Cerrone has something to prove while Vagner Rocha has a chance to make a good first impression.

That is the story of Saturday’s UFC 131 lightweight contest. Cerrone is in his second UFC bout and working his way up the lightweight ladder while Rocha is making his UFC debut after filling in for the injured Mac Danzig.

Here is a look at both fighters heading into this contest.

Donald Cerrone (14-3) – Cerrone is coming off a submission win over Paul Kelly in his UFC debut, giving him a three-fight win streak. Cerrone is a pressure fighter that mixes in boxing with great submission fighting. He has been stopped just once in his career and 12 of his 14 victories have come by submission. Cerrone may have the edge in this fight no matter where it takes place.

Vagner Rocha (6-1) – Rocha is veteran of Bellator and Strikeforce, but has just seven pro fights. He has a good mixture of striking and submissions, with three of his wins coming from an armbar. Rocha will be facing the toughest opponent of his career on the biggest stage in his career, so jitters could be an issue for him.

Who Will Win: It would be hard for me to see any way that Cerrone doesn’t win this fight. He should be able to out-strike and out-grapple Rocha. I look for Cerrone to tire Rocha with his punching and put forth some good submission attempts before winning an easy decision.