UFC 146 Results: 3 Fights That Could Have Been Fight of the Night

Matt Juul@@MattchidaMMAContributor IIIMay 28, 2012

UFC 146 Results: 3 Fights That Could Have Been Fight of the Night

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    For the first time in a long time, UFC president Dana White did not give out a Fight of the Night award at this past weekend's UFC 146.

    Instead, two Knockout of the Night and two Submission of the Night honors were awarded for a total of four fight night bonuses.

    While these finishes were certainly impressive, there were a few bouts that deserved the coveted Fight of the Night honor.

    Here are three fights that deserved a fight night bonus at UFC 146.

3. Darren Elkins vs. Diego Brandao

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    A battle of featherweight warriors, most pundits believed that the latest Ultimate Fighter winner Diego Brandao would roll over Darren Elkins, and they were right—for one round.

    After dominating in the opening frame, Elkins completely turned things around and started pounding away at Brandao on the ground.  Clearly gassed after trying to finish the fight in the first round, Brandao put up a fight, but he just couldn't reverse his fortunes as the fight ended.

    A back-and-forth battle with both men holding the upper hand at various points in the fight, this bout should have been a candidate for Fight of the Night.

2. Jamie Varner vs. Edson Barboza

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    While this fight never made it out of the first round, it was certainly one of the most entertaining and unexpected bouts of the evening.

    Taking the fight on short notice, former WEC champ Jamie Varner was the heavy underdog against the surging and then-undefeated Edson Barboza.

    As the bout began, Barboza utilized his patented leg kicks to get the better of Varner on the feet. 

    But the former champ completely turned the tables when he caught a head kick and brought the fight to the mat. Clipping Barboza with heavy punches as he got back to his feet, a few more powerful strikes were all Varner needed to secure the victory.

    A great underdog story with a very surprising finish, this bout is one of the few times that a one-round fight deserves a Fight of the Night bonus.

1. Stipe Miocic vs. Shane del Rosario

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    An exciting battle between the undefeated heavyweight prospects, Stipe Miocic vs. Shane del Rosario did not disappoint.

    While Miocic has garnered a lot of comparison with his Croatian counterpart, Mirko Cro Cop, it was Del Rosario who was using the MMA legend's patented powerful kicks.

    Del Rosario dominated on the feet in the first round, but he was unable to duplicate his success in the second, falling prey to Miocic's excellent ground game. Able to take the former Strikeforce heavyweight to the ground, Miocic battered Del Rosario with elbows to give him his first career loss.

    An exciting bout that saw both fighters showcase their well-rounded skills, this heavyweight battle deserves some love from the payroll office.


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