Originally written on hov-mma  |  Last updated 5/27/13
UFC 160 kicked things off with a featherweight contest between Jeremy 'Lil Heathen' Stephens and Estevan Payan. Stephens opened up Payan with a hellbow early on in the bout that had him leaking like a faucet. This Jackson Pollock special created by Stephens would be the new canvas that  the remainder of the fights would be contested on. While Stephens did set the stage for one of the most violent UFC card of the year thus far, he didn't quite make the cut on this edition of The Weekend in Violence: Three Stars - but he certainly gets an honorable mention.  1st Star - Junior dos Santos Former heavyweight champion Junior dos Santos holds clear advantages over Mark Hunt in just about every single competitive category of the sport aside from punching power. His speed and ground game (or Hunt's lack thereof) led most to believe that this fight would be a wash. Instead we were treated to not only the best fight of the night, but one of the best (and most nail biting) contests in the divisions history.  A lot of fighters are always one big shot away from ending it no matter how far down they are on the scorecards. With Hunt it's a reality. Watching the 'Super Samoan' survive kill shot after kill shot from Dos Santos, and just waiting for him to uncork that overhand right he was setting up all night made for the kind of edge of your seat excitement only this sport can offer. Unfortunately for Hunt he was unable to land the big one, and for that - he would be punished.  Heading into the 3rd Round I honestly wasn't that impressed with Dos Santos' performance. Sure, he was making a mess of Hunt and you can't fault him for not being able to put him away standing - the man's chin is from another planet. That said, where was this ground game from Dos Santos that we keep hearing about, the one that he could utilize if he wanted to at any given moment against a man whose submission defense has never been anything to write home about. 'Cigano' entered the final frame with a clear striking advantage in the fight and could've coasted to a unanimous decision victory by keeping his distance and utilizing his jab like he did against Shane Carwin a couple of years back. Instead, he decided to go for a ridiculous spinning wheel kick with under a minute remaining in the fight. It wasn't just enough for JDS to beat a man that he was supposed to on the judges scorecards. No, he had to go for a move that he admittedly hadn't even practiced when he had the fight in the bag. And he landed it! A win for Dos Santos over Hunt would've gotten him his rematch against Velasquez regardless, that's how this card was set up from the start. This late finish by the former champ that will lead his highlight reel for the rest of his career though - that just made the anticipation for this grudge match so much more intriguing. So remember when I said I wasn't impressed by Dos Santos? Now I am. Check out the GIF of the year so far via the great Zombie Prophet below - photo via MSN/FOXSports 2nd Star - T.J. Grant If you told me at the beginning of the year that T.J. Grant would be getting a title shot sometime in the late summer I would've called you a bunch of names, crazy being one of them. Grant started off his 2013 campaign with an impressive ultraviolent finish over Matt 'Handsome' Wiman on the preliminary card of UFC on FOX 6 in Chicago. So you couple that with some big names lightweights heading down to the featherweight division and the UFC unable to land Eddie Alvarez due his current trial with Bellator and that leaves his division wide open.  Having run off four victories in a row since making his drop to the UFC 155 lb. shark tank, Grant found himself on the first pay-per-view main card of his UFC career, a career that began all the way back at UFC 97 against Ryo Chonan. He would be fighting in a title eliminator bout against a four time event headliner in Gray Maynard on the night, and  to say he made the most of this special opportunity would be a gross understatement.  For a fight that lasted just over two minutes there was a lot of action. Maynard continued his recent habit of a forgetting that he just so happens to be a world class wrestler. After all it's only what made him a contender for the belt throughout his career. Instead, Maynard would trade blows with the proud Nova Scotia native. Maynard, who Grant referred to as flat footed following the bout, ended up getting his early, which put a big grin on the face of his opponent. Grant would then taunt Maynard, setting up the bait for Maynard to catch; setting him up for the kind of fight that Grant thrives in. While Maynard does possess power in his hands he's never been much a finisher throughout his career. So when he decided to engage in a dog fight with a man like Grant that knows what to do when he smells blood he ended up eating some shots that he wouldn't come back from. A picture perfect right that landed right on the jaw of 'The Bully' spelled the beginning of the end. Grant followed with some more strikes, a knee for good measure, more punches to the downed Maynard, and eventually the referee was forced to wave things off. Next up for Grant will be current UFC lightweight champion Benson Henderson. Word around the proverbial campfire is that this one will take place on either the inaugural UFC on FOX Sports 1 card or UFC 164 in Milwaukee. 3rd Star - Khabib Nurmagomedov Nurmagomedov set a record for takedowns in a three-round fight with 21 at UFC 160. It's almost like 'The Eagle' felt offended by the UFC's choice of opponent for him from the get go. After having his way with Thiago Tavares earlier this year in Brazil, the Russian International Sambo Master called out Nate Diaz, a top ten ranked opponent in his division. Instead he was given Abel Trujillo. Now don't get me wrong, Trujillo is a great mixed martial artist and tough as nails to boot. This just isn't a match up you give a 19-0 fighter who has already won three fights for your promotion.  Nurmagomedov came in over weight for this fight and shoved Trujillo at the weigh-ins. Then when the cage doors closed behind the two combatants the following night he tossed him around like a rag doll for fifteen straight minutes. Maybe he'll get the respect and name recognition he deserves now.  Honorable Mentions: Jeremy Stephens, Robert Whittaker, Mike Kyle, Sean Soriano, Luis Palomino
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