UFC on FOX 3 is in the books, and some fighters were super impressive while others fell on hard times, daddy. The card lacked name value, but all of the fights delivered with excitement and stories. It's what makes MMA intriguing and keeps me tuning in as a fan of the sport.
Let's take a look at the main card and grade the performances of the combatants that took the cage tonight.
Nate Diaz: HO-LEE CRAP! Nate Diaz is the biggest winner on the night. He becomes the first man to stop Jim Miller and earns himself a title shot with the win. Props to him for being respectful in victory.
Post-Fight Press Brownies: THESE BROWNIES WERE CRAZY! DEFINITE A+. SOMEONE GET THEM A "SNACK OF THE NIGHT" BONUS.
Michael Johnson: He didn't fight on the main card, but his performance tonight deserves recognition. There's been questions in the past about his fight IQ and ability to maintain his composure when an opponent takes him off his game plan. Tonight, he had the best fight of his career and showed maturity as a fighter. Props to Michael Johnson.
Alan Belcher: Leading into this fight there were huge questions regarding his ability to escape Rousimar Palhares' leg locks. Not only did he escape but he also attempted some of his own. The TKO finish was phenomenal and he made a case for contender consideration.
Lavar Johnson: Is there anyone in the heavyweight division that is physically more imposing than Lavar Johnson? He survived an early submission scare and finished the fight with those ham hocks he has for hands.
Johny Hendricks: He was told that in victory he would become the No. 1 contender for the welterweight title. It was a hard-fought win, but Johny Hendricks prevailed. He landed several powershots and showed improved boxing but lost in wrestling.
Josh Koscheck: This fight has to be disappointing for Josh Koscheck as the decision could have gone either way. Ricardo Almeida's score card has caused some controversy and Koscheck has reason to be pissed.
Rousimar Palhares: He had several chances to finish the leg locks, but he just couldn't keep the submission. When you only have a single path to victory, you have to get the tap out. He didn't get the submission and paid dearly for it tonight.
Jim Miller: Jim Miller looked good in the first round and even took Nate Diaz's back. He wasn't able to maintain the position, though, and Diaz took over with his boxing. The biggest shame is that he was stopped for the first time in his UFC career.
Pat Barry: This has to be the worst loss of Pat Barry's career. I was impressed that he had the submission attempt and his grappling looked as best as it has in his career. He made the mistake of letting Lavar tee off. Back to the drawing board, I guess?