Georges St. Pierre proved, once again, how special of a champion he is. Shane Carwin showed he might be next in line.
Shane Carwin still hasn't been out of the first round in his mixed martial arts career.
Nor has he lost or failed to plunge his adversary into darkness using those boulders he calls fists since joining the Ultimate Fighting Championship.
Meanwhile, Georges "Rush" St. Pierre is still untouchable in his second run as the UFC's Welterweight Champion. The French-Canadian absolutely dominated Dan "The Outlaw" Hardy for the full 25 minutes and registered a unanimous decision.
Unfortunately for the Brit, he had no smashing retort for St. Pierre's gracefully powerful takedowns and found himself at the champ's mercy once on the ground.
Georges used fluid transitions and constant pressure to confirm his reputation as perhaps the most well-rounded gladiator in the organization.
However, we already knew that.
As proven by GSP's obvious desire to finish the tussle and deepening glower as Hardy made it to each horn, the Outlaw managed to frustrate one of the best fighters in the world.
Rush emerged largely unscathed and with his belt, but it was the Brit who was most impressive in defeat. Unfair, but such is life as a semi-mortal.
Hardy survived two horrible submission attempts and kept soldiering forward (albeit on his back) all night.
GSP had him in immediate and dire trouble as he locked on a vicious armbar late in the first round. It's no exaggeration to say 99 percent of humans would've yelped, neigh, screamed for the torture to stop.
My brain still can't quite comprehend how the Outlaw refused.
Hardy, though in clear pain during the throes of the attempt, didn't even look tweaked by the ordeal once he escaped.
The right arm should've been hanging by the flesh at the elbow or shoulder, yet the man from Nottingham kept using it to fend off St. Pierre's perpetual advances.
He may have even thrown a punch or two with it.
The dude isn't completely crazy—that his cuckoo smile disappeared somewhere in the third round proves it. But he is crazy-tough.
Any doubt about that remaining after the first-round armbar should've been erased by an even more savage kimura in the fourth.
This time, everyone knew Hardy would tap as the Welterweight Champion/physical specimen cranked the challenger's other arm behind his back and yanked it toward his head. Of course, the Outlaw again disappointed those rooting for a stoppage, persevering through the kimura and the battle's fifth stanza.
GSP made sure the Englishman never had a chance and the 28-year-old's overwhelming style removed any danger from the Outlaw's strikes after about 10 minutes. Additionally, almost twisting both of Hardy's arms off probably hampered their utility.
Georges St. Pierre was elite suffocation personified by a mixed martial artist on Saturday night at the Prudential Center.
Nevertheless, it was Dan Hardy who won a lot of fans. If only he'd picked a better year to be born...
In the other big bout of the evening, the heavyweight division crowned a suspiciously convenient Interim Champion just in time for (what?) "real" Heavyweight Champion Brock Lesnar's return in July.
Why does the UFC need a placeholder for three months when it's gone this long with Lesnar on the shelf? Who knows.
Regardless, Carwin took the belt by adding a fourth technical knockout to his resume and the flashiest pelt, yet, to his wall in Frank Mir.
Prior to another nuclear strike inside the Octagon by the Denver native, I had been getting ready to mount the argument that Junior "Cigano" dos Santos actually deserved the shot at Lesnar.
The young Brazilian had been just as effective in stopping his opponents and he'd faced stiffer competition.
Until the 35-year-old American faced Mir and dispatched him with stunning ease, that is.
Now, it's quite definite that Carwin is the man to welcome the UFC's biggest champ back to active duty with open arms.
And flying fists.
This was supposed to be the most motivated and most terrifying Frank Mir we'd seen. His well-publicized blood-lust for revenge against Lesnar was supposed to have propelled him to new striking and muscular heights.
I'm not saying the Mir that got crunched wasn't all of those things.
I'm saying he probably was and Carwin walked right over him.
Georges St. Pierre used one more brutal ownership of a talented challenger to remind us what a true champion looks like. By demolishing Frank Mir for the Interim Heavyweight Championship, Shane Carwin might have given us a premature glimpse of the UFC's newest one.
We'll have to wait until July 3 to find out for sure.
The clock's officially ticking.