UFC 132 offered fight fans a rematch between two of the best bantamweights in the world and this time is was for the title.  Four years ago Faber submitted Cruz but many things have changed since then.  First off that fight was in the WEC at 145lbs during a time when Faber was the king of the castle.  Now Cruz is the king and he has not lost since their first meeting.  With so much on the line both fighters brought everything they had.  The event took place in front of 12,947 fans at the MGM Garden Arena in Las Vegas Nevada.

Dominick Cruz Cruises to a Decision Over Urijah Faber

In the main event of the evening, Dominick Cruz and Urijah Faber put everything on the line and gave fans an exciting fight that ended with Cruz winning a unanimous decision.

Both fighters started off immediately trying to implement their game plan.  Cruz danced around on the outside in typical Cruz fashion and picked his shots, not allowing Faber inside to get a take down or land any punches.  Faber on the other hand attempted to work his way into the clinch and close the gap.

Ultimately it was Cruz who was able to dictate the pace of the fight and out work Faber to a victory.  For the majority of the fight Cruz was able to lead the dance, he was able to get off first and keep Faber guessing.  Faber, however, was able to mount some offense of his own.  He dropped Cruz on three separate occasions in the five round fight but he was unable to capitalize.

For the bulk of the fight Cruz’s pace and style seemed to frustrate and confuse Faber.  Faber constantly seemed timid and could not pull the trigger.  Faber was hesitant with his strikes and slow with his takedowns.  Cruz was able to use his constant movement and motion to keep Faber backing up and forcing Faber to fight defensively instead of offensively.

Both fighters gave the fans everything they could but when the score cards were turned in, it was Cruz getting the unanimous decision.

The performance by Cruz and Faber earned them fight of the night honors.

Leben Puts Silva to Sleep

The co-main event brought fans one of the most exciting fights of the night and it lasted less than two minutes.  Chris Leben and Wanderlei  Silva are two of the best strikers in the middleweight division and tonight they came to the octagon to prove who hit harder.

When the bell rang to start the bout, both fighters took off towards the center of the octagon.  While Leben wanted to start off slow, throwing a couple of soft leg kicks, Silva had other ideas and immediately rushed towards Leben throwing rights and lefts.  Silva clipped Leben and got his attention.  Leben immediately began firing backing stunning Silva with a left to the head followed up by several upper cuts that sent Silva following to the canvas.  Leben pounced on Silva hitting him several more times before the ref jumped in to the stop the fight.

Leben wins this fight by first round knockout.

Siver Edges Wiman with Controversial Decision

Denis Siver and Matt Wiman was one of the best fights of the night.  For three rounds both fighters went after each other trying to put the other away.

The first round was a back and forth affair with Wiman consistently shooting for take downs and Siver consistently stuffing them.  When Wiman wasn’t shooting for take downs both fighters stood in the pocket and exchanged blows with neither fighter gaining a clear advantage.  Round one was five minutes of both fighters trying to impose their will on the other.

Wiman was able to impose his will in the second round.  After repeated take down attempts, Wiman was final able to get Siver to the ground.  Once Wiman was inside Siver’s guard, he was able to lay down some vicious ground and pound opening several cuts on Siver’s head.  For the majority of the round Wiman was able to dominate Siver with his ground and pound but he was not able to get the finish.

The third round was very similar to the first.  Wiman continued to attempt take downs and Siver was able to continue to stuff his take downs.  With both fighters showing some signs of fatigue it was Siver who appeared to get the better of the striking battles in the third round.  Both fighters fought to the bell and when it was all over it was Siver winning a unanimous decision.

Siver wins by unanimous decision.

Ortiz Saves His Job, Submits Bader

In a must-win situation, with his back up against the wall, Tito Ortiz was able to silence his critics.  Ortiz, who had not won a fight since October of 2006, came into this fight wanting to prove to everybody that he can still compete with the best, and he did.

Ortiz looked comfortable and confident from the beginning of the night.  He came out and took control of the center of the octagon showed the world some solid striking and submission attempts.  After each fighter exchanged a few punches and a couple of inside leg kicks, Ortiz dropped Bader with a short right hand. Ortiz jumped on top of Bader and began some ground and pound.  Bader tried to scramble and grab Ortiz’s legs.  When he did this he exposed his neck and Ortiz capitalized on the opportunity.  Ortiz locked in a guillotine and Bader was forced to tap.

Ortiz wins by first round submission.  This submission earned Ortiz submission of the night.

Condit Proves He is in Title Contention, Knocks out Kim

In the opening bout of the main card Carlos Condit and Dong Hung Kim wanted to prove that they should be next in line for a title shot.

As the bell rang to start the evening both fighters met in the center of the octagon.  Both fighters exchanged punches but ultimately it was Condit who was able to implement his game plan.  Condit was able to use his leg kicks to keep Kim on the outside.  This allowed Condit to move around and pick and choose his strikes.  Condit was able to keep Kim from closing the distance and getting the clinch where he would have the advantage.  Again using his leg kicks to keep Kim outside, Condit was able to land a flying knee that sent Kim to the canvas up against the cage.  Condit swarmed in for the finish, landing several punches that put Kim to sleep before the ref could come in and stop it.

Condit wins by first round knockout.  This performance earned Condit knockout of the night.

OFFICIAL MAIN CARD RESULTS

  • Dominick Cruz def. Urijah Faber via unanimous decision (50-45, 49-46, 48-47) to retain UFC bantamweight title
  • Chris Leben def. Wanderlei Silva via knockout (punches) – Round 1, 0:27
  • Dennis Siver def. Matt Wiman via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
  • Tito Ortiz def. Ryan Bader via submission (guillotine choke) – Round 1, 1:56
  • Carlos Condit def. Dong Hyun Kim via TKO (strikes) – Round 1, 2:58

OFFICIAL PRELIMINARY CARD RESULTS

  • Melvin Guillard def. Shane Roller via knockout (strikes) – Round 1, 2:12
  • Rafael Dos Anjos def. George Sotiropolous via knockout (punch) – Round 1, 0:59
  • Brian Bowles def. Takeya Mizugaki via unanimous decision (29-28, 30-27, 30-27)
  • Aaron Simpson def. Brad Tavares via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
  • Anthony Njokuani def. Andre Winner via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-26, 30-26)
  • Jeff Hougland def. Donny Walker via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 30-27)

Photo: Dominick Cruz (L) celebrates his UFC 132 win over Urijah Faber (Rob Tatum/The MMA Corner)