MMA Access: The Fights That Saved UFC 155
By Christopher ‘sLapDatSuCKa’ Jester
2012 had been met with several failed promises. The biggest one? The Mayans predicted the apocalypse and we’re still here. The same was somewhat similar to UFC 155. The UFC always attempts to end their year on a high note. Needless to say, UFC 155 had the correct card to possibly be the best event of the year. However, a few lackluster performances on the main card resulted in UFC President Dana White saying that the co-main event and the main event had “saved” the night. Mind you, every fight on the main card went to decision except the Tim Boetsch and Costa Philippou bout; but even that fight ended a bit uninspiring. So it came down to the two headliner fights that would have to deliver in order to not go into 2013 with a bad taste in our mouths.
The co-main event featured Joe Lauzon versus Jim Miller. Both contenders and worthy lightweights who have high-caliber jiu-jitsu and an underrated striking game. Right out of the gate, Miller stormed Lauzon with crisp boxing and a forward pressing gameplan filled with elbows. It ended up causing a cut that seemed like the result of a head-on automobile collision on Lauzon’s forehead. The cut made Lauzon a bloody mess. His life’s energy was literally pouring from his head and onto the mat.
More surprising was how he returned in the second round with the same fervor he had in the first, taking his licks and even giving them back. It was just the sort of fight the fans needed. Beforehand, the matches had been riddled with intermittent boos from the crowd; some warranted and some unwarranted. While none of the fights was comparable to taking a few doses of NyQuil PM, this was the sort of fight that got the adrenaline going again.
The savvy Joe Lauzon was never out of the fight and obviously neither was Jim Miller. The two punched, kicked, and attempted submissions to put on a performance that would awake the crowd. Although the fight went to decision, it did not make any MMA fan want. It was just what the event needed, and the two put on a Fight of the Year performance.
In the main event, UFC Heavyweight Champion Junior Dos Santos faced the man who he took the belt away from last November and it was so much different from the first outing. In the first fight, JDS knocked out Cain Velasquez in 64 seconds. Each man had commented on having an injury coming into that fight. But it appears that Velasquez’s injury hurt his performance more in the first fight, because in the second fight he put on a career-defining show.
From the get-go, it was obvious that Cain Velasquez wanted to look for the takedown. While JDS was successful in stopping the first few attempts, it was the pace and a powerful hands that knocked JDS down in the first. A barrage of fists should have put Dos Santos out, but surviving those sort of moments would become the one thing that JDS took out of this fight despite his dignity.
Velasquez looked like a man who wanted to prove a point, and he did in stunning fashion. No one has ever beaten on Dos Santos like that in his UFC career. The former champion looked like a boy who was getting picked on in the schoolyard. He never seemed to know how to recover from the workman pace that Velasquez had set out to achieve.
Most would say now that the first fight was a fluke, and while this should be considered, most have to surmise that Velasquez was simply more hungry and JDS had never been in a fight where he was down in the UFC. A third fight will definitely happen at some point in the UFC. It may not happen for a while, because Dos Santos will surely have to reestablish his standing in the UFC and recover from multiple injuries. However, Velasquez only won one fight to get back to his standing. But he didn’t lose a one-sided beating like Dos Santos did either. While the fight will surely take place at some later date, Velasquez now should be looking ahead to face Alistair Overeem should he defeat Antonio “Big Foot” Silva.
It may not have been the year-ending event that UFC fans are used to, but it had two main card fights that were entertaining and some good preliminary bouts. With bloody lightweights slugging it out in the center of the Octagon, and a resurging heavyweight redeeming his pride and his championship, UFC 155 helped save the end of 2012. These four fighters have given fans something to look forward to in 2013.
*Photo Credit – UFC.com
Follow Christopher “sLapDatSuCKa” Jester on Twitter @sLapDatSuCka
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