UFC heavyweight champion Brock Lesnar successfully returned to action for the first time in a year, surviving an opening round onslaught to submit interim title-holder Shane Carwin in the second round of the UFC 116 main event at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas.
Carwin tagged Lesnar as he shot for a takedown early in the first, then worked for a finish for the duration of the frame, pummeling Lesnar with ground and pound but coming up just short of a stoppage
Lesnar scored a takedown early in the second, then passed to mount, where he quickly locked on an arm triangle. Carwin managed to survive the choke momentarily, but Lesnar adjusted and forced Carwin to tap 2:19 into the round.
With the win, Lesnar becomes the undisputed UFC heavyweight champion and improves to 5-1 with his fourth-straight victory, while Carwin falls to 12-1 with the first first loss of his career.
In the UFC 116 co-main event, middleweight slugger Chris Leben outlasted Yoshihiro Akiyama to score a third-round submission for his second victory in just 14 days.
After being outgrappled in the opening round, Leben rocked Akiyama with powerful punches in the second then went on the offensive again in the third, eventually forcing a gassed Akiyama to tap to a triangle with just 20-seconds remaining in the fight.
Also on the UFC 116 main card, Chris Lytle submitted Matt Brown with a second-round armbar, Stephan Bonnar stopped Krzysztof Soszynski with punches in the second, and George Sotiropoulos earned a unanimous decision over Kurt Pellegrino.
On the Spike-televised UFC 116 prelims, Brendan Schaub stopped Chris Tuchscherer in just 67-second and Ricardo Romero survived a back-and-forth battle to submit Seth Petruzelli in the second.
The UFC 116 preliminary card also included wins by Kendall Grove, Gerald Harris, Daniel Roberts, and Jon Madsen.
The official UFC 116 results were:
- Brock Lesnar def. Shane Carwin via submission (arm triangle) – Round 2, 2:19
UFC Heavyweight Championship Unification
- Chris Leben def. Yoshihiro Akiyama via submission (triangle choke) – Round 3, 4:40
- Chris Lytle def. Matt Brown via submission (armbar) – Round 2, 2:02
- Stephan Bonnar def. Krzysztof Soszynski via TKO (punches) – Round 2, 3:08
- George Sotiropoulos def. Kurt Pellegrino via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28)
- Brendan Schaub def. Chris Tuchscherer via TKO (punches) – Round 1, 1:07
- Ricardo Romero def. Seth Petruzelli via submission (armbar) – Round 2, 3:05
- Kendall Grove def. Goran Reljic via split decision (30-27, 28-29, 29-28)
- Gerald Harris def. Dave Branch via knockout (slam) – Round 3, 2:35
- Daniel Roberts def. Forrest Petz via split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)
- Jon Madsen def. Karlos Vemola via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)