Shane Carwin’s near year long return to the Ultimate Fighting Championship saw him leave the octagon a bloody mess after encountering the heavy hands of Junior Dos Santos at UFC: 131 in Vancouver, Canada.
The first round for Carwin was the complete opposite compared to his first round against Brock Lesnar. Dos Santos nailed some nasty ground and pound to close off the first round, so much so that Dos Santos looked to the official in amazement for not ending the fight right there. Carwin emerged with a crimson mask and looked like he was partially knocked out. Out of respect for Carwin’s ability to nail that one knockout punch, Dos Santos played it safe for the next two rounds as he punched and dodged to earn a title shot against UFC heavyweight champion Cain Velasquez.
Carwin’s original opponent before replacing Lesnar, Jon Olav Einemo battled Dave Herman in the fight of the night. Einemo looked like he rocked Herman just at the end of the first round and was able to secure a possible knockout victory, but the round ended just as Herman went down. In the second round Einemo continued to beat down on Herman with some serious knee shots and charging punches, but miraculously Herman nailed a strong knee that brought Einemo down. Einemo recovered to deliver a wicked slugfest back and forth with Herman that Herman got the best of in his UFC debut. Easily one of the most exciting fights of the year in the UFC.
Kenny Florian came back from being down a round to win an unanimous decision victory against Diego Nunes. Florian was awarded a title shot against UFC featherweight champion Jose Aldo thanks to his win. Florian made his comeback by nailing a vicious elbow to the top of the head of Nunes. With Nunes dazzled, Florian was able to takedown Nunes and punish him on the ground. Nunes did not pass out, but was still beaten into a pool of his own blood.
The butterflies that fighters have before going through the entrance curtain, Florian explaining his drop to the featherweight division, and post fight comments are the features for the behind the scenes footage. Dos Santos explains that he was a bit nervous since there was a lot on the line in his fight, but he feels that he proved that he is quicker and has better boxing skills.
UFC: 131 was not the best UFC show this year, but there were a few moments that will definitely make the best of 2011 highlights. Best for fans that enjoy particular fighters or were anticipating one of the fights on the card.
UFC 131: Dos Santos VS. Carwin
Anchor Bay Entertainment Canada
Run time of 337 minutes
Michihiro Omigawa vs. Darren Elkins
Joey Beltran vs. Aaron Rosa
Dustin Poirier vs. Jason Young
Nick Ring vs. James Head
Krzysztof Soszynski vs. Mike Massenzio
Jesse Bongfeldt vs. Chris Weidman
Sam Stout vs. Yves Edwards
Donald Cerrone vs. Vagner Rocha
Jon Olav Einemo vs. Dave Herman
Demian Maia vs. Mark Muñoz
Kenny Florian vs. Diego Nunes
Junior dos Santos vs. Shane Carwinby