Darryl Dyck / AP
Saturday, Nov. 5, 2011 | 4:15 p.m.
UFC fans thirsty for violent action were rewarded with Saturday’s event in Birmingham, England.
The judges played no role in deciding the victors during UFC 138’s main card. All five bouts were won by stoppage and none of them went beyond the second round.
The main event between Chris Leben and Mark Munoz went a full two rounds. But Leben’s corner stopped it after that to officially give Munoz a second round TKO victory. Leben couldn’t see out of his left eye and was covered in blood after taking 10 minutes worth of heavy shots from Munoz.
“Hard to fight when you’re choking on blood,” Leben said in his post-fight interview in the octagon. “He got me good.”
Leben (26-8 MMA, 12-7 UFC) and Munoz (12-2 MMA, 7-2 UFC) engaged in a wild first round with both landing their share of swings. They also took turns attempting guillotine chokes that proved unsuccessful.
But a couple of Munoz takedowns followed by his feared ground-and-pound were the difference for “The Filipino Wrecking Machine” winning the round. He continued using that formula to success in the second.
The victory was Munoz’s third in a row. He’s now 7-1 since dropping to the 185-pound division two-and-a-half years ago.
“I’ve paid my dues in this weight class and I think I deserve a title shot,” Munoz said.
That will likely have to wait as Chael Sonnen is expected to be the next challenger for middleweight champion Anderson Silva. But Munoz might have positioned himself one victory away from a chance at the belt.
Renan Barao did the same in his bantamweight co-main event against Brad Pickett. The 24-year old Barao continued a remarkable streak with his 27th straight victory.
Barao stunned the London native with a flying knee and leapt on a stumbling Pickett’s back to submit him with a rear naked choke at 4:09 of the first round.
“I fought really hard and had a great camp,” Barao said in a statement. “My power, technique, skill was all fantastic and I couldn’t be happier with this win against a tough opponent.”
Former welterweight title challenger Thiago Alves beat UFC newcomer Papy Abedi in a similar fashion to Barao’s victory. Alves landed a combination to drop Abedi and took his back to choke him out at 3:32 of the first round.
Two other submission victories opened the main card. Light heavyweight Anthony Perosh and lightweight Terry Etim tapped out Cyrille Diabate and Edward Faaloloto, respectively, with a choke.
Etim returned from a 19-month injury layoff to notch a victory a couple hours away from his hometown.
“I said I was coming back with a bang and there you go,” Etim said in a statement. “”I really enjoyed that. I’ve been out for a while so I need to get back and gain some momentum.”
Results from the preliminary card are listed below.
Welterweights Justin Edwards and John Maguire put on one of the most entertaining scraps of the night. Edwards nearly knocked out Maguire in the first round. Maguire nearly submitted Edwards in the second round. Maguire ultimately escaped with a unanimous decision — all three judges gave him a 30-27 score — over Edwards in the back-and-forth affair.
English heavyweight Rob Broughton dropped his second fight in a month-and-a-half. UFC newcomer Philip De Fries out-grappled Broughton en route to the unanimous decision. The fight was spent almost entirely on the ground, and despite a lopsided second round where De Fries struggled from the bottom, he won the first and third rounds on all three judges’ scorecards.
Bantamweight veteran Michihiro Omigawa took a unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28) from Jason Young. Omigawa won the final two rounds on all three judges’ scorecards to avoid becoming the first fighter in UFC history to go 0-5 in the promotion.
Che Mills knocked out Chris Cope 40 seconds into their welterweight bout. Mills dropped Cope twice in a row with vicious knees to the middle of “The Ultimate Fighter” 13 semifinalist’s face.
Chris Cariaso defeated Vaughan Lee via split decision (29-28, 29-28, 28-29) in their bantamweight battle. Lee won the first round by taking down Caraiso, but “Kamikaze” turned the tables for the final 10 minutes.