“UFC 111: St-Pierre vs. Hardy” took place Saturday night inside the Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey and was headlined by a pair of star-studded title bouts.
Shane Carwin captured the interim heavyweight crown after he collected a 1stRound TKO over former two-time champ Frank Mir. The part-time engineer is perfect through his first 12 MMA scraps and has ended all of them in violent 1stRound knockout fashion.
With the victory, Carwin guaranteed himself a summer play date with reigning king Brock Lesnar, possibly at UFC 116, which could make for an explosive July 4th weekend.
Georges St-Pierre successfully defended his welterweight strap against Dan Hardy in the night’s main event. Although GSP dominated his seventh consecutive opponent, the anticlimactic unanimous decision win left the French-Canadian apologizing for his inability to finish the gritty Brit.
In case you missed last night’s extravaganza, here’s 5thRound.com’s exclusive CageNotes on UFC 111:
Matthew Riddle Defeats Greg Soto via Disqualification (Illegal Upkick) at 1:30 in the 3rdRound
Jared Hamman Defeats Rodney Wallace via Unanimous Decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
Rousimar Palhares Defeats Thomas Drwal via Submission (Heel Hook) at :45 in the 1stRound
Ricardo Almeida Defeated Matt Brown via Submission (Rear-Naked Choke) at 3:30 in the 2ndRound
Nate Diaz Defeats Rory Markham via TKO (Punches) at 2:47 in the 1stRound
Jim Miller Defeats Mark Bocek via Unanimous Decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
Jon Fitch Defeats Ben Saunders via Unanimous Decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
Kurt Pellegrino Defeats Fabricio Camoes via Submission (Rear Naked Choke) at 4:20 in the 2ndRound
Shane Carwin Defeats Frank Mir via TKO (Punches) at 3:48 in the 1stRound (Carwin captures interim heavyweight tile, will fight champ Brock Lesnar later this summer to unify strap)
Georges St-Pierre Defeats Dan Hardy Via Unanimous Decision (50-43, 50-44, 50-45) (GSP retains welterweight title)
Fight of the Night:
Jared Hamman and Rodney Wallace ($65,000/each)
Submission of the Night:
Kurt Pellegrino ($65,000)
Knockout of the Night:
Shane Carwin ($65,000)
Suspensions: The New Jersey State Athletic Control Board issued medical suspensions for six fighters, and one disciplinary suspension for unsportsmanlike behavior.
Frank Mir: Suspended 30 days for precautionary reasons
Mark Bocek: Suspended 30 days for scalp laceration
Rory Markham: Suspended 30 days for facial laceration
Rousimar Palhares: Suspended 90 days for disciplinary reasons
Tomasz Drwal: Suspended pending X-ray of left knee and ankle
Jared Hamman: Suspended indefinitely pending X-rays of right foot; suspended 60 days due to lacerations on right foot
Matthew Riddle: Suspended indefinitely pending CT scan
UFC 111’s Biggest Controversy:
Lightweight Dan Miller appeared to get away with an ‘ol fashioned robbery in New Jersey when he escaped with a unanimous decision victory. Although most believed Mark Bocek did enough to collect his fourth consecutive UFC win, all three judges sitting Octagon-side awarded Miller the same 29-28 verdict.
“If you look at both of our faces, I definitely beat him up a little bit more than he beat me up,” Miller said. “It was a close fight. I think I won, but it wouldn’t have shocked me if I heard his name.”
Bocek was a 3-to-1 underdog …
Dana White on “Boring” Main Event:
“I can tell you this, the fans were not happy with tonight’s fight,” White said of the much-hyped welterweight contest. “My Twitter was blowing up with a lot of negative stuff about the main event. People said, ‘if I wanted to watch wrestling I’d go to the nearest college,’ and saying all kinds of stuff like that.
“It was no secret that Georges St-Pierre was not going to stand up with Dan Hardy. This is mixed martial arts … when you show up to fight him you better have some takedown defense.”
UFC 111 Fallout:
Heavyweight Title Picture:
Now that White has assured fans the heavyweight belt will be unified later this summer, what about the division’s other top dogs?
Junior dos Santos and Cain Velasquez: “Cain’s waiting in the wings now,” White said. “Cain’s probably going to wait for the next shot. [Junior] Dos Santos will not. Dos Santos will fight again.”
Velasquez holds a perfect 8-0 record and has finished seven of those via some form of knockout. Junior dos Santos owns an 11-1 pro mark and has finished in all of his victories. He’s also posted vicious back-to-back 1stRound TKO’s in his last two outings.
How did the UFC decide that Velasquez’s resume was more impressive than dos Santos’? Because they are so evenly matched, why don’t they fight each other on the same Lesnar/Carwin card to determine who TRULY deserves next crack?
Although he bumped his record to a dominant 20-2 en route to collecting another resounding victory, St-Pierre was clearly disappointed he wasn’t able to put Hardy away.
GSP understands how important an extensive highlight reel collection is in cementing his legacy as MMA’s G.O.A.T., however after notching his second consecutive unanimous decision – and third in his last four contests – has his style gone stale among Octagon fans?
It was the first time the UFC’s golden boy had been booed during a fight, so it will be interesting to see how he responds when he comes back for his fifth straight title defense.
“I just want to apologize to my fans,” St-Pierre stated. “I’m sorry. I’m going to come back better next time. I’m very sorry. I wanted to finish this fight in beautiful fashion and I’m very sorry.”