"Cro Cop" Filipovic vs. Mir: Although Cro Cop had a shortened training camp and received an inadvertent eye-poke in sparring days before the fight, those aren't the reasons Frank Mir won this main event matchup. Mir earned the KO victory with solid clinch work that eventually led to a fight-ending knee strike in close quarters. With Cro Cop concerned about ending up on his back, the Croation rarely unloaded his infamous leg kicks. The tentativeness in this part of Cro Cop’s game allowed Mir to close the distance and work him against the fence on several occasions. Mir was originally supposed to face Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira at UFC 119, but knee surgery forced Nogueira to bow out. I’d like to see the UFC try one more time to make this fight happen.
Bader vs. Nogueira: The force is strong with "Darth" Bader. In a dominating wrestling performance against Antonio Rogerio Nogueira, Ryan Bader proved he belongs among the elite in the stacked light heavyweight division. The Arizona State standout goes to 12-0 and will likely face fellow 205 up-and-comer Jon Jones.
Lytle vs. Serra: It’s about time that we include Chris Lytle as a contender within the welterweight division. A Fight of the Night overachiever, "Lights Out" Lytle, is nearing his shot for the belt with his win over heavy-handed Matt Serra. Having fought two former welterweight champs, I’m ready to see the always-entertaining Lytle gets his due.
Dunham vs. Sherk: I’ve never been a fan of Sean Sherk’s grind-’em-out fighting style, but I have to give it up to the "Muscle Shark" for the well earned split-decision victory over a very dangerous up-and-comer in Evan Dunham. With excellent submission defense along with takedowns in all three rounds, Sherk was able to narrowly secure the win despite Dunham dominating the final frame with superior striking. Sherk needs to string a few more wins together before the former champ can start talking about getting his lightweight title back. This will be an uphill battle, being that he hasn’t won two fights in a row in over three years.
Guillard vs. Stephens: Despite Fight of the Night hype, the bout between Melvin Guillard and Jeremy Stephens did not live up to expectations. Viewers witnessed a predictable and one-dimensional stand-up, three-round fight. Although I believe Stephens should have won the bout (Guillard won via split decision), Lil’ Heathen made a huge mistake by not attempting to expose Guillard’s weak submission defense. With the win, Guillard is 5-1 in his last six fights and is on his way to lightweight contention.
Dollaway vs. Doerksen: C.B. Dollaway is well on his way towar the deep end of the UFC welterweight pool with his slick submission win over Joe Doerkson. Although most of the top welterweights have fights booked in the near future, I’d love to see Dollaway up against a top ten guy like Shields, Alves, Hardy, or Kampmann for his next fight. Dollaway wins Submission of the Night honors.
Beltran vs. Mitrione: Matt Mitrione has advanced light years from his days on TUF 10. Although only 3-0 in his MMA career, Mitrione has absolutely earned his UFC stripes in his win against Joey "The Mexicutioner" Beltran. A solid stand-up display earned the TUF 10 vet the unanimous decision win. The next test for the former NFL vet, Mitrione, should be against a guy with some decent ground skills. Outside of one takedown in the first round, Beltran showed little in that regard.
Audinwood vs. Tavares: It’s good to see Thiago Tavares get back to his BJJ roots with his standing guillotine win over UFC newbie, Pat Audinwood. Tavares hadn’t submitted an opponent since 2007. Although the win was impressive, the Brazilian native needs several more wins in order to become relevant in the lightweight division.
Hunt vs. McCorkle: Even though a favorite for die-hard MMA fans, Mark Hunt should probably hang up the gloves after losing to Sean McCorkle, who was making his UFC debut. Hunt has lost six fights in a row and hasn’t achieved a victory since 2006.
UFC 119 results
Mirko "Cro Cop" Filipovic vs. Frank Mir: Mir wins via KO – Rd. 3, 0:58.
Ryan Bader vs. Antonio Rogerio Nogueira: Bader wins via unanimous decision.
Chris Lytle vs. Matt Serra: Lytle wins via unanimous decision.
Evan Dunham vs. Sean Sherk: Sherk wins via split decision.
Melvin Guillard vs. Jeremy Stephens: Guillard wins via split decision.
C.B. Dollaway vs. Joe Doerksen: Dollaway wins via guillotine choke - Rd. 1, 2:13.
Joey Beltran vs. Matt Mitrione: Mitrione wins via unanimous decision.
Pat Audinwood vs. Thiago Tavares: Tavares wins via standing guillotine choke – Rd. 1, 3:47.
Steve Lopez vs. Waylon Lowe: Lowe wins via split decision.
T.J. Grant vs. Julio Paulino: Grant wins via unanimous decision.
Mark Hunt vs. Sean McCorkle: McCorkle wins via kimura submission – Rd. 1, 1:03.