On the final UFC event of 2012 Jon Anik and Joe Rogan took to doing the commentary on a card of 12 fights from MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada. Of the twelve fights eight went the judges for a decision, one ended by a submission and three by way of TKO.
Co-Main Event Jim Miller vs Joe Lauzon
In a fight between two men known for their similarities in intensity and top-notch submission skills they put on a fight for the ages that had a ruckus crowd on their feet showing approval. The two men met in the middle and traded punches and kicks for most of the fifteen minutes. It was hard to predict that fight would make it that far after Jim Miller created a nasty gash above the right eye of Lauzon early in the first round. Miller got a hold of a single collar clinch and unloaded a barage of nasty elbows. Lauzon did fairly well at deflecting the ones coming from the side then Miller hit him in the forehead with an upward arching one that caused the gash and Miller would go for a standing arm triangle that turned the cut into a geyser and before long had the doctor in the cage evaluating Lauzon. The cage side doctor deemed him fit to continue and that is precisely what they did as they traded inside leg kicks that knocked the legs from under both men at different points.
In the second round Miller got the take down but Lauzon was able to get the sweep after trying to work for a submission on the arm of Miller. The ref had to pause the action again as Lauzon’s tape around his hand was becoming undone due to the fact that both men were now covered in Lauzon’s blood. Once the action resumed Miller was able to utilize a rubber guard until the Boston, MA native picked up Miller and slammed him back down to the canvas which caused the crowd to erupt again and everyone in aw of the kid who was bleeding all over but seemed to have more heart to continue. Lauzon would threaten a knee bar but once again due to the blood Miller was able to slide his leg out of danger.
The third round saw Lauzon once again as the aggressor and pressing the action. Lauzon was getting better of the striking as Miller was clearly tiring. Lauzon tried to lure Miller in after he slipped and went down to the mat. Miler wanted him back up so the ref abliged. Miller managed to also bust open Lauzon under the eye. Lauzon got the better of the striking and with a about a minute left Lauzon attempted a flying leg lock. Miller held on to one of the wrist of Lauzon to keep him from being able to finish the submission and Lauzon would switch to a guillotine but didn’t have enough time in the fight and as the horn sounds and they break Miller drops the back of his head onto the chest of Lauzon and lets out a huge “Holy… Shit” as the crowd, whom all of look to be on their feet, erupt in approval once again these two men put on.
The judges gave Jim Miller the unanimous decision victory by scores of 29-28×3.
Miller now moves into sole first place on the all time UFC lightweight wins list.
Lauzon after the fight would tweet that he needed 40 stitches and lost a lot of blood but that he was all good and props to Miller on a great fight.
Tim Boetsch vs Costa Philippou
Both men came into the fight on a four fight win streak but that would come to an end in round 3 for Tim Boetsh. Boetsch looked sharp in the first round working his striking while mixing in front kicks and take downs. During the break between rounds 1 and 2 Boetsch seems to be telling his corner that he was injured. Not wanting to quit though he went back out and Philippou would take over the striking after Boetsch connected with a punch that knocked his mouth piece out at the same time Philippou inadvertently pokes him in the eye. After the action resumed Boetsch clearly looked to be having trouble seeing and closing the distance. Philippou took advantage on the feet and as Boetsch couldn’t finish the take downs Philippou would end up in half guard on the top and drop punches and elbows until nearly half way through the final round when the ref had seen enough and stopped the fight.
Winner by TKO at 2:11 of round 3 Costa Philippou.
Yushin Okami vs Alan Belcher
Okami came out and did what Okami does; he gets his opponent to the canvas and grinds out a victory. Okami got Belcher to the canvas over and over and controlled him from the top even though the ref had to stand them up a couple times. Belcher had his best moment in the second as he was able to wobble Okami with a punch but Okami would get him against the cage and drag the fight back down.
Winner by unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28) Yushin Okami
Chris Leben vs Derek Brunson
Chris Leben in his return from a year long suspension suffered the same defeated fate that Garcia suffered against his short notice opponent. Brunson took the fight on ten days notice after Leben’s original opponent Karlos Vemola had to withdraw after suffering a fractured cheekbone. Brunson the former Strikeforce prospect put his collegiate wrestling skills to work early as he got the Crippler down and controlled him for most of the first round. In round 2 both men began their down hill slide as fatigue set it. Leben never really got off more than one shot at a time as Brunson was retreating and Brunson was able to get enough key take downs at the right time to secure the victory.
Winner by unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28) Derek Brunson