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UFC 116: Lesnar Digs Deep For Comeback Win

Chris Leben continued his middleweight success with a win over Yoshihiro Akiyama at UFC 116 Chris Leben continued his middleweight success with a win over Yoshihiro Akiyama at UFC 116

Brock Lesnar versus Shane Carwin was billed as the biggest heavyweight MMA match in the history of the sport. At UFC 116 from Las Vegas, the short but sweet fight lived up to its billing with a stunning start and equally shocking finish as Lesnar went on to retain the world heavyweight title.

Round one started with the two behemoths measuring each other and boxing. Carwin was able to stuff Lesnar’s takedown attempt and land a vicious uppercut in response. The shot put Lesnar on the mat, where Carwin attempted to finish the fight with aggressive ground and pound.

The champ, however, would not give in. When the bell for the second round rang, the two fighters ended up on the ground again, this time with Lesnar in a dominant position. Lesnar transitioned into a side choke, and soon Carwin was tapping out, giving Lesnar a second round win, his first ever by submission.

Also on the night, Chris Leben made good on his opportunity stepping in for an injured Wanderlei Silva to face Yoshihiro Akiyama. Leben fought last just two weeks prior, but came in on short notice and went to war with the Japanese martial arts legend.

The two traded some big blows in the second round that left each man on wobbly legs. But it was Leben getting the win with a triangle choke off his back late in the third round.

On a night of thrilling submission wins, jiu-jitsu was in the spotlight. Chris Lytle was another warrior to find his way into the win column with a tap out when he locked up Matt Brown in a straight armbar from top position.

Stephan Bonnar and Krzysztof Soszynski picked up where they left off in their first match by going to town in the rematch. This one was a high octane stand-up battle that ended with Bonnar getting the TKO victory. The win is redemption for Bonnar, who lost the first match due to a cut.

Bonnar and Soszynski earned co-Fight of the Night honors along with Leben and Akiyama. Each of the four fighters takes home a $75,000 bonus for their entertaining performances.

George Sotiropoulos continued his rise through the lightweight division with a convincing decision win over grappling stalwart Kurt Pellegrino. Sotiropoulos used conservative technical striking to control the stand-up game, and was the more impressive man on the mat as well, employing strong jiu-jitsu to control position.

Brock Lesnar did much on Saturday at UFC 116 to show skeptics his heart. It was the first time the heavyweight champ had to overcome adversity in a fight to land a win. Following Fedor Emelianenko’s loss last week, the victory surely lands Lesnar in MMA’s top spot as the best heavyweight in the world.

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Last modified on Tuesday, 14 June 2011 08:55

Happy is a regular contributor to RosebudMag.com and has written for various other publications, including Black Belt, Inside Hockey, and FoxSports.com. He transitioned to life as a writer following a decade-long career as a touring musician. He lives with his son in Vancouver, British Columbia

Website: www.rosebudmag.com/hkreter

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