Though Cruz remained elusive and unpredictable as fans have come to expect, Faber was able to time strong punches and managed to drop Cruz on two occasions.
“I got to say — man, that dude hits hard,” Cruz said. “His hands are very fast. Faber’s hands were very good.”
Faber admitted he felt he won the fight.
“I knew it was going to be a tough fight,” Faber said. “I thought I landed the heavier punches, but congrats to Dominick. It wasn’t enough output on my side; I didn’t finish him. But I thought I won the fight.”
Faber said he wasn’t surprised by Cruz’s speed and stellar footwork.
“I knew he was going to come in awkward like that,” Faber said. “I decided to come in forward and didn’t feel I was in any danger at any point.”
Faber finished by saying he’d love a rematch.
Chris Leben was hoping for a passing of the torch when he faced MMA legend Wanderlei Silva in the co-main event. It took only 27 seconds for him to make it happen.
Silva swung with his trademark hooking punches and clipped Leben right on the nose. But the shots woke up Leben, who then wobbled Silva with a big left hook. Silva attempted to clinch out of desperation, but ate a series of brutal uppercuts for his efforts.
After hitting the mat, Leben unloaded with more punches for the incredible knockout victory.
“I can’t believe it’s real, Joe — holy s---,” a fired up Leben said to Rogan. “How do you think I feel after that?
“He hit me right on the button. You know what happens when you hit me there — I go on autopilot. I don’t even remember that. I might have a broken nose.
“Silva, you’re my hero; thank you.”
Dennis Siver won a questionable unanimous decision over Matt Wiman.
Siver looked good in the first round, defending against the takedowns and landing the better strikes. Wiman took over in the second, taking Siver to the mat where he bloodied him with vicious elbows.
The third round saw Wiman continue to land takedowns, forcing Siver to get back to his feet. Though Wiman wasn’t successful on every attempt, he dictated the pace, threatened with two submissions and took Siver to the mat enough times to control the round. Siver was able to keep the fight standing for a good chunk of the round, but didn’t land anything significant.
However, all three judges awarded the fight to Siver, eliciting a chorus of boos from the audience. Wiman stormed out of the cage upon hearing the decision.
An emotional Tito Ortiz saved his job, submitting Ryan Bader in the first round with a guillotine choke.
Prior to the fight, UFC president Dana White made it clear that Ortiz would have to retire if he lost. Ortiz can rest easy for now, after putting away a top light-heavyweight in such impressive fashion.
“First of all I got to thank Dana White for pushing me to the limit and Lorenzo Fertitta for giving me an awesome job and giving the fans the chance to see me kick some ass.”
The two started out tentative, but Ortiz soon found a home for his right hand. After dropping Bader with a big right-hook, Ortiz swarmed and slapped on the choke for the win.
This marks Ortiz’s first win in almost five years.
Carlos Condit earned a stunning TKO victory over the previously undefeated Dong Hyun Kim.
The two engaged in a competitive fight, but out of nowhere, Condit delivered a beautiful flying knee to put Kim down. Condit followed up with a flurry of punches on the ground to seal the deal.
“I feel excellent,” Condit said. “I stuck to the game plan. I had the best training camp in the world.”
Condit admitted he fell ill weeks before the fight and almost had to back out.
“I got sick a few weeks ago.,” Condit said. “If I didn’t feel better, I would have had to pull out. But recuperated and here I am.”
Condit then took the opportunity to lobby for a shot at the winner of the welterweight championship fight between Nick Diaz and Georges St. Pierre.