LAS VEGAS — Canadian Georges St. Pierre was dominant in defending his welterweight title against Thiago Alves while heavyweight champion Brock Lesnar stopped Frank Mir in the second round on the milestone UFC 100 card Saturday night.
St. Pierre drew cheers and Lesnar boos for their performance.
“I love it. Keep going,” Lesnar, who bullied and beat Mir up on the ground in an effective but not very pretty performance, said of the jeers.
St. Pierre showed off his superb wrestling skills and all-round smarts in winning a unanimous and dominant decision over the bruising Brazilian before a sellout crowd at the Mandalay Bay Events Center.
The 28-year-old from Montreal relied on his wrestling, movement and cardio to stay out of the powerful Brazilian’s Muay Thai wheelhouse while roughing him up on the ground.
Alves, who had won his last seven outings, was dumped again and again during the fight, scored 50-45, 50-44, 50-45 in St. Pierre’s favour.
St. Pierre said afterward he hurt his groin during the fight.
“I don’t know what happened but I’m in real bad pain,” he said.
Minutes later, Lesnar came out to Metallica’s Enter Sandman and looked mean doing it. Mir waited in the cage as the arena rocked. Lesnar, a 2-1 favourite, did not touch gloves when Mir offered.
After some cautious standup, Lesnar took Mir down and lay on top of him in half guard, controlling him while punching away at his head. It was all Lesnar but not that enthralling. But it had clearly done its job with Mir’s face looking battered at the break.
Mir (12-4) seemed to hurt Lesnar with knees in the second but ended up on the ground below him, for a repeat of the first round. The crowd chanted “Stand them up” and booed. But Lesnar (4-1) trapped Mir on the ground and kept punching. Referee Herb Dean stepped in to end the punishment at 1:48 of the second round.
When the crowd booed as Lesnar did his victory lap, the six-foot-three 275-pounder gave them both fingers.
Mir submitted Lesnar in the big man’s UFC debut at UFC 81 in February 2008. But Mir had to absorb an 85-second beatdown before winning by kneebar after 90 seconds.
“Frank Mir had a horseshoe up his ass,” said Lesnar, adding he had pulled it out and “beat him on the head with it.”
St. Pierre (19-2) took Alves down after 50 seconds. And when Alves got right back up, GSP took him down again. He then rammed Alves (22-5) to the ground and took his back but Alves climbed back to his feet.
The Canadian, his left thigh already reddened from Alves’ leg kicks, succeeded on another big takedown later in the round but Alves got back up. St. Pierre worked his wrestling after another monster takedown in the second, cutting up Alves with an elbow. It was a bad round for the Brazilian, whose face was busted up.
Alves, 25, was on his back again midway through the third but managed to escape major damage by getting up. Alves kept moving forward like a shark but GSP, his face beginning to show some welts, danced out of the way.
The Brazilian was in real danger as the round ended, knocked down and taking big damage from elbows. He looked battered as he returned to his corner.
In the fourth, more of the same. A huge GSP takedown and the Canadian worked his way quickly into a mount position, seemingly trying for a choke. But Alves wriggled free somehow and St. Pierre was on his back, for the first time in almost two years. However St. Pierre eluded damage and worked his way to his feet.
Alves attempted a kick and St. Pierre caught it, dumping him on his back. The round ended with Alves fighting off a rear naked choke.
There were three more takedowns in the fifth round. Alves kept coming but with less sting or precision.
Earlier, Dan Henderson knocked out English middleweight Michael Bisping with a thundering right in the second round.
The former Pride champion stalked Bisping, flicked a low kick and then floored him with a huge overhand right, hammering him on the ground with one more punch to the jaw for good measure before the referee stepped in at 3:20. Bisping seemed out when he hit the canvas and did not get up quickly.
“I think that one was just to shut him up a little bit,” Henderson said of the coup de grace on his rival coach from Season 9 of “The Ultimate Fighter.”
Henderson had made no secret he was sick of the brash Brit, who loses a dream title shot against Anderson Silva in his native England.
Bisping, 30, came out to Blur’s Song 2 and a chorus of boos. Henderson, 38, walked out to cheers and Lunatic Fringe by Red Rider. Bisping (18-2) spent the first round on his bike, trying to stay away from Henderson’s power. His corner laid into him after the round. But it was more of the same until Henderson (25-7) finished the one-sided fight.