If the fight didn’t finish, it wasn’t for lack of effort.
Junior dos Santos says he knew he had Shane Carwin in trouble late in the first round of the main event of UFC 131 on Saturday night. He had the Colorado wrestler pinned against the fence and was raining down a steady stream of heavy rights like he was trying to start a stubborn lawnmower.
He says he threw so many punches, that at one point, he looked up to referee Herb Dean and asked what more he needed to do to get the fight stopped.
“I was getting tired and he didn’t stop the fight,” says dos Santos, who won by unanimous decision and will now get a title shot against heavyweight belt-holder Cain Velasquez in the months to come.
“So I said to him: ‘Hey, what the (expletive) man’. So I had to keep going and going and going.”
By the end of the first, Carwin’s face was bloodied and busted up. But despite expending a ton of energy trying to get the fight stopped before the final bell, dos Santos said the ref got it right.
“I think Shane did a good defence and it was the right call by the ref,” dos Santos told a post-fight press conference.
UFC president Dana White agreed.
“I tell anyone who will listen, that the best ref in the business is Herb Dean,” said White. “He could have called that fight but he didn’t because he knew Carwin could continue and recover.”
The UFC’s second foray into Vancouver drew a crowd of 14,685 and a live gate of $2.8-million at a time when the Canucks are in the midst of a playoff run and the city’s sports fans are otherwise distracted.
White says he wouldn’t change a thing.
“If this was six months ago and we could go back and change it, I still wouldn’t,” said White. “There’s enough room in this city for both of us.”
The card featured everything from slugfests to tactical ground matches, including Sam Stout, of London, Ont., getting the first KO of his UFC career and earning Knockout of the Night honours.
“I call myself ‘Hands of Stone’ and I haven’t knocked anyone out for four years so it was nice to get that,” said Stout, whose win over Yves Edwards boosts his pro record to 17-6-1.
Fight of the Night went to the standup war between Ed (Peewee) Herman and Jon Olav Einemo while Chris Weidman took the Submission of the Night for his standing guillotine finish of Kenora’s Jesse Bongfeldt. Each received an additional $70,000 on top of their purse money.
Kenny Florian def. Diego Nunes by unanimous decision; Mark Munoz def. Demian Maia by unanimous decision; Dave Herman def. Jon Olav Einemo by TKO due to strikes at 3:19 of Round 2; Donald Cerrone def. Vagner Rocha by unanimous decision; Krzysztof Soszynski def. Mike Massenzio by unanimous decision; Nick Ring def. James Head by rear-naked choke at 3:33 of Round 3; Dustin Poirier def. Jason Young by unanimous decision; Joey Beltran def. Aaron Rosa by TKO due to strikes at 1:26 of Round 3; Darren Elkins def. Michihiro Omigawa by unanimous decision.