UFC on FX 3 kicked off the main card with an excellent scrap between bantamweights Eddie Wineland and Scott Jorgensen. With Wineland pleasing the crowd by landing an enormous right hand to drop the colorful Jorgensen, Mike Pyle and Josh Neer had a tough act to follow.
Not only did they follow the action, but Mike Pyle may have stolen the Knockout of the Night bonus right out of Wineland's grasp.
Going into this fight, Pyle had gone 5-2 in his most recent fights, with his only losses coming at the hands of Jake Ellenberger and Rory MacDonald.
Although Neer is riding a six-fight winning streak, oddsmakers have the wily veteran as a 2-1 underdog heading into the contest.
The Dentist did a good job of lighting Pyle up with various strikes, including some clinch knees and hooks to the body. Late in the first round, he got caught with a punch that sent him to the ground and ended his night rather quickly.
Here's what we learned from the bout.
What We'll Remember About This Fight
The epic knockout. This fight gave us some thrilling moments both standing and on the ground, but Mike Pyle scored a big right hook while Josh Neer was turning it on.
What We Learned About Josh Neer
How much can you learn about a 45-fight veteran? When you've seen someone so many times, not many new things pop out.
Neer has very good striking, but also a very active guard. He threatened with a handful of various submissions while on his back, and kept Pyle on his toes.
What We Learned About Mike Pyle
That his striking-game is dangerous, even at the age of 36. Despite being paired up with a more proficient standup artist, Pyle delivered a nasty knockout that was one of the best of the year.
Pyle has strong grappling, and we knew this. He was able to defend the many submission attempts of Neer.
Quicksand has great sportsmanship. When he recognized that Neer was out, he could have landed followup punches until the referee pulled him off, but he chose to walk away.
What's Next for Neer?
Neer was doing a great job in this fight before getting caught. He was able to avoid eating too much damage while threatened with submissions on the ground, and was winning the standup exchanges. He will come back strong, but it would be nice to see him against another well-rounded fighter.
Neer should look for a matchup with DaMarques Johnson or Lance Benoist.
What's Next for Pyle?
This marks two consecutive knockouts for Pyle, who improved to 6-2 in his last eight bouts. He has done a great job of crushing the lower ranked fighters, but had trouble with the top guys. This fight should have earned him another chance at someone in the top 15.
A bout with Brian Ebersole or Rick Story would be an interesting test.