Five observations from UFC 122, where Yushin Okami beat Nate Marquardt to become the No. 1 contender in the middleweight division:
One down, one more to go. World Extreme Cagefighting is set to cease operations next month as it gets absorbed into the UFC; but before that happens, there are bouts that require closure. Thursday evening in Las Vegas, featherweights and bantamweights collided with an eye toward 2011.
Two fight cards this week speak to the reasons Zuffa decided it was time to fold WEC into the UFC.
It's good to be Dana White.
Want a sense for the significance of Thursday's news that Zuffa will fold World Extreme Cagefighting into the high-profile ranks of the Ultimate Fighting Championship in 2011? Look no further than the reaction from several of WEC's biggest stars.
There are 22 reasons most mixed martial arts observers consider Megumi Fujii the finest female fighter on the planet. Thursday night the 36-year-old Japanese darling, all 115 pounds of her, expects that number to grow by one. By first-round submission, no less.
UFC 121 has come and gone, and Brock Lesnar is no longer champion. That honor belongs to Cain Velasquez, the first fighter of Mexican descent to hold a major combat sports heavyweight title. Seems like something worthy of generating discussion among fans. On Twitter and via e-mail, SI.com's MMA followers chimed in on all things Lesnar and Velasquez, as well as other topics tied to a busy week in mixed martial arts.
1. Javier Mendez had it right. Four years ago, when Cain Velasquez walked into Mendez's gym in San Jose, Calif., the trainer pegged the wrestler as a future heavyweight champion. Saturday night in Southern California, in front of a crowd emboldened by a young man with Mexican blood running through his veins, Velasquez made good on Mendez's prognostication with a rousing first-round stoppage of Brock Lesnar.
UNIVERSAL CITY, Calif. -- Welcome to rainy Southern California, otherwise known as the mixed-martial-arts capital of the world.
SAN JOSE, Calif. -- Javier Mendez simply won't acknowledge that Cain Velasquez might lose Saturday to UFC heavyweight champion Brock Lesnar. It would go against every instinct he's felt related to Velasquez since the fighter stepped into his gym four years ago.
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