Lesnar back alone on top

NEIL SPRINGER, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 10:33 AM ET

LAS VEGAS — Brock Lesnar weathered the early storm to come back and submit Shane Carwin in the main event of UFC 116, unifying the heavyweight championship.

"This isn't about me tonight," Lesnar (5-1) said following the fight. "This is about my family. This is about my doctors. This is about my training partners, my training staff. I am blessed by God. Ladies and gentlemen, I stand before you a humble champion. And I'm still the toughest SOB around, baby."

Carwin (12-1) came out guns blazing and had Lesnar hurt on the ground. He attempted to put the heavyweight champion away, but Lesnar managed to avoid any serious shots. At the start of the second round, Lesnar took Carwin to the mat and secured the full-mount. From there he slapped on an arm-triangle choke for the victory.

Lesnar admitted he was lucky to make it out of the first round.

"He hit my pretty good and then I was on the ground," Lesnar said. "I had to go into survival mode. I have to thank the referee for letting that go on. But I felt him slowing as it went on. So I knew the worst was done.

"Shane's a beast. I have to give him that. He definitely won the first round."

UFC president Dana White said he was incredibly impressed with the quality of the show.

"All I can say is holy s---," White said. "One of the best nights I can remember. This show almost gave me a heart attack. I was seriously messed up after this show. I had to run out of the octagon and back to my room to sit down."

Chris (The Crippler) Leben pulled off a stunning upset in the co-main event, submitting Yoshihiro Akiyama by triangle choke.

Both men swung for the fences throughout the exciting bout at the MGM Grand Garden Arena, landing heavy punches. However, Akiyama (13-2) used his Judo and ground skills to consistently put Leben (21-6) on his back.

Leben, who stepped in for an injured Wanderlei (The Axe Murderer) Silva less than two weeks before the event, managed to get back to his feet and consistently threatened with submissions from his back.

With less than a minute left in the third round, Leben managed to slap the choke on a tired Akiyama for the win.

"I thought to myself, 'This guy is letting me throw my legs up there," Leben said. "I knew I could submit this guy. My corner was yelling, 'Stand up, stand up,' but I knew to go for the submission.

"His throws are really good. In the gym I can stuff almost any takedown, but he really tied me up well and threw me."

Winnipeg's Krzysztof (The Polish Experiment) Soszynski came up short in his rematch with Stephan (American Psycho) Bonnar.

The two engaged in a wild brawl that saw both men take huge shots and keep fighting. In the second round, Bonnar (12-7) dropped Soszynski (21-10-1) with a nasty knee and followed up with strikes on the ground for the TKO victory.

“Everyone knows I like to win ugly and that’s the way I look tonight,” Bonnar said after the fight. “There was no way I was losing this fight. They weren’t taking this one away from me.

“I’ve spilled so many pints of blood in this Octagon for you guys and I’m always honored to do so. Thank you, I love you.”

Last February at UFC 110, Soszynski earned a controversial TKO win over Bonnar. The bout was stopped after an accidental head-butt opened a large cut on Bonnar's forehead. Bonnar attempted to appeal the decision, but was shot down by the Combat Sports Authority of New South Wales and the rematch was scheduled almost immediately.

Chris (Lights Out) Lytle pulled off an impressive straight-armbar submission victory over Matt (The Immortal) Brown.

While in side-control, Lytle (29-17-5) snapped on an inverted triangle and used it to isolate Brown's (11-9) arm for the hold.

“I call that my double submission,” Lytle said. “That’s the second time I hit that. I call it the submission of the night.”

George Sotiropoulos won a convincing unanimous decision over fellow Brazilian Jiu Jitsu black belt Kurt (Batman) Pellegrino.

Sotiropoulos (13-2) dropped Pellegrino (16-5) in the first round with a left-hook, but was unable to put him away. As the fight progressed, Sotiropoulos used his grappling to control much of the bout.

“All I got to say is 'who’s next?'” Sotiropoulos said. “I caught him with a lot of crosses, a lot of jabs. I saw his eyes roll back at one point but he’s a tough guy. I was able to nullify him on the ground.”

However, as the third round came to a close, Pellegrino dropped him with a big knee as time expired.

Brendan (The Hybrid) Schaub made quick work of Chris (The Crowbar) Tuchscherer in the final undercard bout of UFC 116 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena.

Schaub (6-1) connected with a huge overhand right, dropping Tuchscherer (18-3). He immediately followed up with strikes on the ground for the TKO victory.

Ricardo Romero made a successful UFC debut, submitting Seth (The Silverback) Petruzelli with a straight-armbar from side-control in the second round. The replay showed Petruzelli’s (12-5) forearm snap.

“I’m a little disappointed, but I’m happy I stuck with it,” Romero (11-1) said. “I have a lot of work to do.

“Nothing hurt me. I knew I was losing on the cards, though, so I had to push it.”

Kendall (Da Spyder) Grove won a close split-decision against Goran Reljic. Grove (12-7) edged Reljic (8-2) in the stand-up exchanges but was forced to work off his back quite a lot. However, Grove was constantly active, even knocking Reljic off his feet with an upkick.

“I didn’t expect him to take me down,” Grove said. “He is a dangerous southpaw and he showed some good jiu-jitsu tonight. He was hanging his head low over me, so I threw an upkick. I felt like his tempo changed after I landed that kick.

“It was a big win. I’m like a cockroach. I’m hard to get rid of.”

Gerald (Hurricane) Harris knocked Dave Branch out with a massive slam in the third round. Branch (6-1) attempted to jump into a triangle choke, but Harris (16-2) drove his head straight into the mat.

“We trained that triangle scenario and I knew he was going to go for it,” Harris said, “So I worked staying out of those in practice.

“He’s a good boxer and a tough guy, but I’m a new man now. After The Ultimate Fighter, I became a much better fighter and a completely new man.”

Daniel (Ninja) Roberts earned a split-decision victory over Forrest (The Meat Cleaver) Petz. Roberts (10-1) was able to take Petz (17-8) almost at will. Roberts came close to submitting Petz in every round but just couldn’t get him to tap.

“I was definitely rocked by a couple of his shots,” Roberts said. “He’s a really tough guy. I’m surprised at his submission defense. My plan was to take him down and submit him, but he had really good rear-naked choke defense.

“When they were announcing the decision, I thought I did enough. I knew they were going to say my name.”

Jon Madsen won a boring unanimous decision over Karlos (The Terminator) Vemola. Madsen (6-0) used his wrestling to control Vemola (7-1), who kept missing overhand rights and takedown attempts. All three judges scored it 30-17 in favour of Madsen.

“I liked that I mixed in some takedowns this fight,” Madsen said. “My last couple of fights have been primarily stand-up, and I like the fact that I showed improvement in that department.

“I knew that he was going to come out hard at me in the first minute and try and bully me. But I train with a lot of big guys, like Brock Lesnar and Chris Tuchscherer, who helped me get ready.”

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Full UFC 116 results:

Brock Lesnar def. Shane Carwin by second-round submission (arm-triangle)
Chris Leben def. Yoshihiro Akiyama by third-round submission (triangle choke)
Chris Lytle def. Matt Brown by second-round submission (straight armbar)
Stephan Bonnar def. Krzysztof Soszynski by second-round TKO (punches)
George Sotiropoulos def. Kurt Pellegrino by unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28)
Brendan Schaub def. Chris Tuchscherer by first-round TKO (punches)
Ricardo Romero def. Seth Petruzelli by second-round submission (straight armbar)
Kendall Grove def. Goran Reljic by split-decision (30-27, 28-29, 29-28)
Gerald Harris def. Dave Branch by third-round knockout (slam)
Daniel Roberts def. Forrest Petz by split-decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)
Jon Madsen def. Karlos Vemola by unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)


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