UFC Live 6: Cruz vs. Johnson
Matt Wiman vs. Mac Danzig 3R. Excellent all action rematch from UFC 115 6/12/10. Wiman kept a ridiculous pace the entire fight, constantly pushing forward. Danzig may have been on his bicycle more than he would have liked, but Wiman's aggression gave him plenty of opportunity to counter, so it was a fun kickboxing match. Wiman did nice damage with knees to the midsection, low kicks, and right hooks and especially short elbows to the nose, bloodying and swelling Danzig's face considerably. Danzig scored a takedown a minute into round 2, but Wiman nearly armbared him by tricking Danzig into thinking he was targeting the other arm. Wiman ate some ground and pound, but had a Kimura attempt and was able to use a guillotine to get back to this feet, though Danzig capitalized on his opportunity to beat Wiman up against the cage. Danzig was less tired in the third, and returned the favor bloodying Wiman's nose. Danzig tried for a rear naked choke, but failed to secure both hooks so Wiman was able to slide him off and swell Danzig's forehead with ground and pound. Wiman tried for a late takedown to seal it, but Danzig guillotined him just before the bell. It was a close fight, but Wiman was the one controlling and making it so I felt the unanimous 29-28 decision in his favor was a good one. Very good match.
Anthony Johnson vs. Charlie Brenneman R1 2:49. Brenneman wanted to wrestle at all costs, but Johnson was ready for it. He dropped down on top and pounded Charlie when Brenneman overcommitted for an early takedown. After 2 ½ minutes of getting beat on, Brenneman got back to his feet and went right after another takedown. This time Johnson stayed up and tried to hit Brenneman when he was down. Brenneman avoided this, but was decked with a high kick when he got up. Brenneman had done nothing positive all fight, but he fell on his elbows and appeared to be in full possession of his faculties, so it was probably a bad stoppage by Mario Yamazaki, though Johnson likely would have finished it in the next 30 seconds had it continued.
Stefan Struve vs. Pat Barry R2 3:22. The first 7 ½ minutes were standup with both men content to get a single strike in. Barry is the more accomplished kickboxer, but Struve is no slouch, and had the massive reach advantage. Barry was able to bruise Struve's left lead leg with low kicks, but couldn't close the distance, so it was pretty much a toss up. Struve eventually locked Barry up, originally trying for a D'Arce choke but dropping into a guillotine. Barry defended that well getting side control, but Struve was far more alert, hooking a triangle as he spun into guard. Barry did a huge slam, but Struve braced himself and was able to hold on and get the submission. Decent match.
UFC Bantomweight Title Match: Dominick Cruz vs. Demetrious Johnson 5R. Good technical fight. Johnson pushed a ridiculous pace in standup. He was very accurate, and particularly aggressive, throwing several flashy high and middle kicks because he's fast enough to pull them off without obvious openings. That being said, this was a fight where the defense was ahead of the offense, and where Cruz's size and strength proved more valuable than Johnson's speed. Though Johnson would land a blow or two, he wasn't doing any obvious damage, rocking Cruz or causing cutting and swelling. Cruz normally sets the pace, but today he was content to bob and weave Johnson's blows, quickly seizing the opportunity to either take Johnson down outright or grab him and transition from the clinch into a suplex, judo throw, or takedown. Cruz had a couple of flashy judo throws as well as two great German suplexes, both times rolling into mount. The first German suplex lead to his best opportunity to finish, as he took Johnson's back and nearly choked him out, but Johnson rolled twice and escaped to his feet. Johnson did a great job of getting off his back, but Cruz being able to put him there so many times was the story of the fight. As with Johnson's standup advantage, Cruz didn't do particular damage on the ground, but he did a great job of at least advancing position before Johnson escaped. There was little doubt that his octagon control was going to be the difference in each and every round, and in fact, only one judge even gave Johnson a round. Good match.