Brock Lesnar took his position at the top of the heavyweight mountain this evening with a second round submission over the previously undefeated Shane Carwin.
The highly anticipated heavyweight title unification bout that took place during one of the greatest cards the sport has produced to date, UFC 116 from the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, will go down as as one of the greatest heavyweight contests in the history of mixed martial arts.
A monstrous uppercut from Carwin had Lesnar in a world of hurt early in the first round. Carwin swarmed his fallen prey with a vicious series of punches and elbows on the canvas for the duration of the first round but Lesnar, showing the true heart of a champion, absorbed all of it and managed to work back to his feet by the time the round came to an end.
The enormous amount of physical energy spent by Carwin in the first round in an attempt to stop the enormous former WWE superstar seemed to take it’s toll on the massive challenger, as Lesnar scored a takedown early in the second and transitioned to the fight ending side choke that forced the tap just before Carwin faded into unconscious-ville.
Chris Leben and Yoshihiro Akiyama threw their name into the hat for “Fight of the Night” honors with a back-and-forth war that had the capacity crowd on their feet from beginning to end. Akiyama began to pull away on the points utilizing slick judo takedowns and top control for the bulk of the first two rounds between the two before Leben caught “Sexyama” in a picture perfect come from behind triangle late in the third and final round.
Leben, who is currently riding an impressive three-fight win streak in the UFC, made no secret as to who he want to face off with next in the middleweight division.
“I want Wanderlei,” said Leben following his second victory in less than a month. “Wanderlei was supposed to have this fight; I’ll take him next.
“I’ll take you out to Wanderlei.”
Also making a valid claim for a “FOTN” bonus were light-heavyweights Stephan Bonnar and Krzysztof Soszynski, who attempted to severely harm one another with their fists, elbows and legs for every moment of their highly anticipated rematch this evening. A battered Bonnar came out in the second round on a mission and eventually dropped “The Polish Experiment” with brutal knee to the chin in the clinch three minutes into the second round for the TKO victory.
“I’ve spilt pints and pints of blood for you guys over the years and I’ve thoroughly enjoyed every minute of it,” said Bonnar following the victory.
Chris Lytle stands an extremely good chance of earning his fifth consecutive bonus check as the dazzling reverse triangle/straight armbar the Indiana firefighter slapped on Matt Brown had “Submission of the Night” written all over it.
UFC 116 was the type of event that all events will be measured against from this day forward.