On July 3, 2010 the UFC returned to the MGM Grand Garden Arena to determine not only the promotions heavyweight champion, but the man who many would consider the number 1 heavyweight fighter in the world. In addition to the showdown between the unbeaten interim champ Shane Carwin (11-1) and returning heavyweight champion Brock Lesnar (5-1) there were also bouts between lightweight standouts George Sotiropoulos (13-2) and “Batman” Kurt Pellegrino (16-5), a rematch between TUF alumni “American Psycho” Stephan Bonnar (12-7) and “The Polish Experiment” Krzysztof Soszynski (20-10-1), a middleweight affair between Yoshihiro Akiyama (14-3) and “The Crippler” Chris Leben (21-7), and a welterweight war featuring “Lights Out” Chris Lytle (29-17-5) and “Immortal” Matt Brown (11-9). UFC 116 delivered like no one thought possible with every fight. From the prelims to the main card every single fight delivered non-stop action and most of the bouts showcased the entire spectrum of true MMA skill sets. However, like every contest, there were winners and losers at UFC 116, but in MMA nothing is ever that simple. Some winners lose, some losers win, and some losers, well, let’s just say they lose more than just the fight. This is an analysis of who came out ahead, who came out a little rough, and who would have been better of staying at home called The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly.
The UFC doesn’t need my praise, or anyone else’s praise for that matter. It is the world’s top promotion. The praise belongs squarely on the fighters that stood in the cage and gave what could go down as one of the most entertaining nights in MMA history. Being the biggest dog on the block can lead to a stale product, but once again tonight proved that a promotion is only as good as the fighters it keeps.
In addition to the main event showdown between Brock Lesnar (4-1) and Shane Carwin (11-0) UFC: 116 Lesnar vs. Carwin will also play host to the rematch between “American Psycho” Stephan Bonnar (11-7) and “The Polish Experiment” Krzysztof Soszynski (20-9-1). The two TUF alumni first met at UFC 110 where their bout was ended early by a cut caused by an accidental head butt. Unfortunately, referee John Sharp missed the head butt and ruled the bout a TKO victory for Soszynski. The result is an instant rematch between the two light heavyweight stalwarts in what should prove to be one of the most exciting fights on the card. The head butt may indeed be a blessing in disguise for both fighters as their initial meeting was an under card affair the aired only after the main card had finished and the rematch is two fights into a main card headlined by the unparalleled drawing power that is heavyweight champ Brock Lesnar. This provides both fighters with an opportunity to showcase themselves to the vast majority of the UFC fan base and possibly move the winner into a position as a main card staple. If the rematch is anywhere near as fast paced and exciting as the first fight, we could see both men leaping ahead of other mid tier Light heavyweights into a position as featured fighters on future Pay-Per-View events.