UFC 121 took place October 23, 2010 from Anaheim, CA. The main event was a heavyweight championship fight between champ, Brock Lesnar, and challenger, Cain Velasquez.
This would be Lesnar’s third title defense in the UFC, previously beating Shane Carwin and Frank Mir. Brock was huge, very athletic, and seemingly unbeatable. He defeated longtime veteran and fan favorite Randy Couture to capture the belt. He had only one loss on his record, a 1st round submission loss to Frank Mir, which he later avenged in the rematch. He did not feel threatened by Velasquez, and was confident that he would leave with the heavyweight belt still around his waist.
Since entering the UFC in 2008, Cain Velasquez had steamrolled every heavyweight they put in his path. He was 6-0, finishing all but one fight by KO. His complete destruction of MMA legend Minotauro Nogueira by KO in round 1 was the convincing victory that earned him the title shot. He was known for his frenetic pace and amazing conditioning, in spite of being a heavyweight. Now it was time to see if he could go all the way and win the heavyweight belt.
Round 1: Lesnar moves sideways to his right, then pauses briefly before charging Velasquez hard. He works to push Cain against the cage, and Cain resists. Brock throws a flying knee to Cain’s body, and follows up quickly with another knee. They separate briefly and Brock charges in with yet another flying knee. The knees land slightly, but not enough to do any damage.
Brock grabs for Cain’s body looking like he wants to go for a takedown, but Cain is able to break away. They face off, throwing jabs at each other. Brock throws more punches but none land flush. Cain tries to come in with punches but Brock ducks down and gets him down on his back. Cain pushes Brock back with his arms and legs, attempting to stand up. Brock tries hard to maintain top position but Cain is able to get up on one leg. Brock holds Cain’s leg while working him back to the cage. Cain tries to defend as Brock still has a hold of his legs and his back against the cage.
Cain drops a few elbows to Brock’s arms, attempting to get him to release his grip. Brock maintains his hold on Cain’s body, hoping for another chance to take him down. Brock lets go of Cain’s leg and leans his body hard on Cain, pressing him solidly into the cage. Cain continues to work trying to find a way to break free, while Brock drops back down grabbing his legs. He scoops Cain up and takes him down, but Cain pops right back up like a cat.
Brock has Cain’s back in the upright position and Cain is working hard to separate Brock’s hands. Brock forces Cain back into the cage leaning solidly onto his back. Cain steps away from the cage and spins to finally break Brock’s grip. They are back in the center again and face off. They each start throwing punches at each other then Cain tries a head kick that misses. They throw a few more jabs at each other then Cain gets a hold of one of Brock’s legs. He takes him down and he has Brock’s back. Cain throws several punches to Brock’s face, while Brock tries to block them with his glove.
Cain is scoring as he switches back and forth between throwing left hands and right hands. He lands a couple of solid hammer fists to the side of Brock’s face. Brock finally bursts forward and is able to stand back up. Cain immediately grabs one of his legs, trying to take him back down but he is unable. Cain lets go and squares up with Brock. Brock’s face is busted up slightly and he looks tired. Cain lands one or two good punches to Brock’s face, and Brock looks bothered by them. Brock throws a weird sideways hammer fist that backs Cain off briefly.
Cain comes right back in, hands up ready to strike. Before he can get off, Brock leans forward like he’s attempting a takedown, and stumbles tiredly from one side of the ring to the other. Cain knows know that Brock is in trouble and follows right behind him. Once Brock stands back up Cain starts teeing off on Brock, landing punch after punch to Brock’s head.
Cain backs up a step and throws a vicious knee that wobbles Brock, followed up by 3 more punches that drop Brock down to the canvas. Cain swarms, aiming punches right at Brock’s face. He lands 2 or 3, then Brock rolls to his side trying to defend. Brock ties up Cain’s arms trying to stop his attack, but Cain is relentless, moving left and right, and throwing punches and elbows. Brock is only trying to survive at this point, covering his face and kicking at Cain trying to move him back. Brock sits up and grabs one of Cain’s legs, Cain pushes him off and both men stand.
Cain wastes no time, and starts teeing off on Brock again, immediately landing two bombs that drop Brock back down to the canvas. Brock’s face grimaces in pain as Cain continues attacking. Brock is trying to cover up, but Cain’s shots are getting through anyway. Brock rolls over and Cain keeps throwing punches to the side of his head. After 2 more punches, Brock rolls over again onto his side where Cain continues the onslaught. After 2 or 3 more unanswered hammer fists to the side of Brock’s head, the referee Herb Dean decided that Lesnar had taken enough damage and comes in to stop the fight.
Cain Velasquez defeats Brock Lesnar by TKO in round 1, and is crowned the new UFC heavyweight champion.