Manny Pacquaio lose by decision? Nevah! And, that’s as its always been: The old unwritten rule in boxing is that you have to pummel a reinging champ if you hope to win by decision. Pummel Manny, Juan Manuel Marquez did not. However…if ever we wanted to see two fighters fight a fourth time, it is now. That is assuming Floyd Mayweather Jr. won’t take a fight against “Pacman”. We won’t hold our breath.
On the UFC side of the night’s pugilism, Clay Guida (the Round Lake native who now is announced as “fighting out of Albequerque” which honestly stings a bit, even if we understand his decision to train under the legendary tutelage of New Mexico’s Greg Jackson) lost on all three cards to the incredibly talented Benson Henderson, locking Ben into a title shot against Frankie Edgar (Q101 is picking Henderson to do the things that Gray Maynard wasn’t smart enough or talented enough to do to take Edgar’s title when they face off in Japan in February). Guida, meanwhile, will have a bright future for as long as he continues to wow crowds with his frentic pace and overall menacing and fun demeanor. Gotta love Clay! When he ate a flying knee toward the end of the fight just so he could ensure himself of a take down of Henderson (a strategy that damn-near worked out!), we went nuts! That dude is frigging awesome!
We don’t, however, love the fact that when it comes to fighting, conventional wisdom is that Americans only love the fatties; that is, we only want to see heavyweights figtht. Sorry, but anyone who would rather see a noticeably flabby Cain Velasquez fight a guy who notoriously gasses as fights progress like Junior dos Santos as opposed to a fight between men 100 pounds lighter like Cub Swanson and Ricardo Lamas (Cub put on a great show but got cocky and paid for it when he was submitted by Lamas, btw), then they should stick to watching replays of “Hillbilly Handfishing”. Nonetheless, UFC honcho Dana White fell prey to this tired old notion that the casual fight fan will only appreciate two lumbering behemoths by not only featuring just one lone fight in the first ever UFC Primetime special on the Fox national network, but then making the double folly of matching “Mexico’s First Ever Heavyweight Champion” (nevermind that he is American; never let the facts get in the way of a good story, especially when it comes to fanning Mexican pride), Velasquez, and the Brazialian dos Santos. Boy did that make for one crappy hour of TV compared to the incredibly entertaining undercard, streamed once again on Facebook. For more on the night’s action, Read on:
The nation caught its first network prime-time glimpse of Ultimate Fighting Championship on Saturday.
But just a glimpse.
Your average channel surfer could have landed on Fox for UFC’s heavyweight title bout between Cain Velasquez and Junior Dos Santos and witnessed everything in the time it takes to cook Minute Rice.
PHOTOS: Velasquez vs. Dos Santos
In short — and the fight UFC President Dana White billed as the biggest in his organization’s history was — Velasquez, the defending heavyweight champion, was gone in 64 seconds.
In front of 14,019 at Honda Center, Dos Santos earned a technical knockout and the heavyweight belt after dropping its former owner with a heavy right hook that connected above the left ear.
“My coach used to tell me, I’ve got pretty heavy hands,” Dos Santos said, “so I try to use them at the start of the fight because it’s a good time to use my power because I’m 100% in the moment.”
The fast finish quelled fears that the fight would conflict with the Manny Pacquiao-Juan Manuel Marquez boxing match scheduled on the same night in Las Vegas.
“It was my fault I didn’t pressure enough,” Velasquez said. “The game plan was to go in and pressure.”
He added: “You can definitely learn a lot from losses. This is no different. I strayed away from the game plan so I’m going to learn not to do that ever again, even for a little bit.”
Velasquez hadn’t fought in a year after suffering a shoulder injury during his one-round demolition of Brock Lesnar in the same arena last October when Velasquez won the heavyweight crown.
Velasquez said he still had some nagging injuries, but the fight didn’t last long enough to notice.
There were 10 fights total, but by design only the main card was shown on Fox.
“For anybody to [complain] about this fight and [that] they didn’t get to see that fight, shut up,” White said.
“You should’ve bought tickets then if you wanted to see all the fights and you don’t want to watch on Facebook.”
Surprisingly snubbed from the lineup that marked the UFC’s network-television debut, Benson Henderson and Clay Guida proved why they belonged on the broadcast.
In an action-packed fight that left the crowd buzzing, Henderson topped his frantically paced opponent and staked claim to a lightweight title shot.
The fight was the featured undercard attraction of UFC on FOX, which took place Saturday at Honda Center in Anaheim, Calif.
While only the night’s heavyweight title fight between champion Cain Velasquez and Junior Dos Santos aired on FOX, the entire nine-bout preliminary card streamed on Facebook and FOXSports.com. And no attraction was more anticipated that Henderson vs. Guida, which promised the winner a 2012 shot at champ Frankie Edgar.
Early in the opening round, Henderson dropped Guida with a right hand and then buckled him again during a subsequent firefight. Guida then worked for a single-leg takedown, but Henderson fended it off and delivered some short shots to the body. However, later in the round, Guida buckled Henderson with a crisp right and briefly attempted a guillotine choke before Henderson escaped and delivered a knee and kick to the body.
After the action-packed first round, the frantic pace continued in the second. Each fighter worked for takedowns, and both did damage from the close-quarters fighting. After just ducking under a spinning back fist, Henderson dipped and scored the takedown. Guida scrambled and looked for the guillotine while pulling guard, but Henderson took his back and worked for a rear-naked choke that was cut short by the end of the round.
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Manny Pacquiao escaped again, in a decision that left Juan Manuel Marquez fuming once again.
The Filipino sensation was taken to the limit Saturday night before winning a majority decision that infuriated Marquez and most of the sellout crowd at the MGM Grand arena. While close, the win helped Pacquiao continue a remarkable run that has made him the most exciting fighter in the sport. (See photos of the rise of Manny Pacquiao.)
In a bruising battle against a counterpuncher who was both accurate and fast, Pacquiao needed the final round on two scorecards to pull out the win. He got it, even though a third judge scored the round in favor of Marquez.
As boos — and cans and bottles — rang down on the ring, Pacquiao celebrated another victory and another huge payday. (Read “Boxing Icon Manny Pacquiao Now Belts Out Love Songs.”)
“My fans are very happy because they thought I won,” Pacquiao said.
He did, but on the narrowest margin. That, perhaps, was to be expected considering the previous 24 rounds the two had fought were just as close.
Pacquiao won on two scorecards, while the third ringside judge had it a draw. It was a narrow escape for the Filipino congressman, who took as much punishment as he got over 12 rounds, and Marquez was so upset he stormed from the ring. (See more on the build up to the fight.)
“This was the second robbery and this one was the worst,” Marquez said. “We won with clearer punches.”