It was a night of exciting fights, and then there was the main event.
First time I have ever seen Guida get boo'd out of the building. I am booing too!!— Dana White (@danawhite) June 23, 2012
But before that atrocity of a main event (or game of tag) went down, we got plenty of thrilling action from the prelims all the way to the television broadcast. Let's take a quick look at who's moving up and who is being sent tumbling down in the UFC on FX 4 Stock Report.
Dan Miller hasn't had the easiest road to travel, whether it's in the UFC or in his personal life. He'd lost five of his last seven dating back to 2009, and the health issues with son Daniel are well documented.
That's what made Miller's guillotine-choke win over Ricardo Funch such a feel-good moment. Miller looked good in his welterweight debut, but the fight was still fairly even in the third round. Another loss may have sent Miller to the chopping block, but he instead scored the fight-ending submission and bought himself a few more fights in the UFC.
His emotional post-fight interview in front of his home-state fans was a particular highlight of the Facebook-aired preliminary fights.
Ricardo Funch has fought four times in the UFC. He's lost all of them.
Previously released from the promotion after two consecutive losses in 2009 and 2010, Funch looks to once again be on the chopping block. He's undefeated outside of the UFC, but hasn't been able to put it all together in the Octagon. He might just be one of those fighters that shines brightly outside of the Octagon but cannot compete on the world's largest stage.
Matt Brown has 13 fights in the UFC. Think about that for a second, if you will. That's quite an accomplishment.
In fact, it might be more of an accomplishment than his win over Luis Ramos. This is not to say that Ramos is a bad fighter, because he most certainly is not. But Ramos has walked to the Octagon twice now—his first fight in the UFC coming against welterweight super-prospect Erick Silva—and he's lost both of them.
Brown started off the fight with nice leg kicks, and then slowly suckered Ramos into a brawl. That's a bad idea, because that's totally Brown's game, and yet his opponents continue to fall for it. Every. Single. Time.
He secured a referee stoppage in the second round after connecting with nasty uppercuts, standing elbows and knees from the clinch. Ramos' face was bloodied and battered, while Brown scored his third win of 2012.
Brown just keeps on hanging around. It's what he does best, after all.
Steven Siler legitimately looks to be roughly 14 years old, but he fights like a seasoned veteran.
What else could explain his victory over Cole Miller in March? Miller was expected to run roughshod over the TUF 14 cast member, but Siler scored a unanimous decision win.
And even though Joey Gambino is an unknown commodity to UFC fans, he's a tough fighter. Siler made him look like an amateur in nearly every aspect of the fight, bloodying Gambino up before securing the fight-ending guillotine choke.
Once a young fighter who was nervous about fighting Micah Miller to get into the Ultimate Fighter house, Siler is quickly becoming an interesting prospect at featherweight. Keep your eye on him.
It wasn't pretty, and Rick Story didn't look much like the welterweight contender he was a year ago. But he did what he needed to do in order to secure his first victory in over a year and avoided nearing that gray area where he may or may not be cut by Joe Silva.
Brock Jardine was a tough opponent, and Story executed a controlled and effective game plan. It was the violence we're used to seeing from the Washington native, but it was enough for the win. Sometimes, that's all that matters.
Ramsey Nijem may be best known as the lovable, clothes-shedding goofball from TUF: Lesnar vs. Dos Santos, but he's actually developing into a decent mixed martial artist.
Nijem has appeared twice since losing to Tony Ferguson in the finale of that Ultimate Fighter season. This was his best all-around performance to date. Keith was undefeated heading into the fight for a reason, and Nijem dispatched him halfway through the first round.
Sure, the stoppage by Yves Lavigne was a tad on the questionable side. Actually, it was a fairly horrendous stoppage, to be honest. But a win is a win, right?
It's hard to tell what Nijem will eventually become, but this was a good performance.
Many fans and journalists questioned Hatsu Hioki when he turned down a title shot against Jose Aldo a few months ago. Hioki didn't feel he was ready for an opponent like Aldo and wanted more seasoning.
As it turns out, that was a great idea.
Hioki turned in a decent performance against heavy underdog Ricardo Lamas, but it wasn't enough. He constantly found himself caught in guillotines in the second and third round, and couldn't do anything with Lamas despite having him pinned on the ground. Hioki fought a mostly smart fight, but it wasn't a winning fight.
But hey, at least Hioki will now get some more of that seasoning he so desperately wanted, because he'll need to win at least two more fights before being considered a title contender again.
"I've been fighting for Zuffa for three years now, and not a lot of people know me. Hopefully they know me now."
Those words, said by Ricardo Lamas after his upset win over Hatsu Hioki, may not be entirely true. Lamas' win was aired on Fuel TV, after all, and it seems like you need a decoder ring and special password to have the channel added to your cable lineup.
But it was still a big win over the man many considered to be the number-two featherweight in the entire world.
Lamas dropped the first round, but attacked relentlessly in the second and third with guillotines. Hioki was able to escape without submitting, but the damage was done and Lamas was awarded rare points for actually doing something off his back.
I don't say about many people, but here goes: Cub Swanson is one of my favorite fighters to watch.
The reasons why were on full display in his TKO win over Ross Pearson. His head movement was on point, and he coupled it with crisp, technical and varied strikes. Swanson landed a capoeira kick—one of the rarest of breeds in mixed martial arts—in the first round.
Swanson picked Pearson apart standing, but it looked like Pearson would have the edge after unleashing some nasty ground and pound in the second round. But Swanson was able to escape, and the beginning of the end for Pearson started when Swanson landed a violent front kick to the jaw. Pearson continued pressing forward, and Swanson clipped him with a left that sent the Brit crashing to the canvas. A few punches on the ground later, and it was all over.
Swanson has never lived up to his fantastic talent level, but indications are that he's putting it together. He's defeated George Roop and Ross Pearson in consecutive fights, and that—coupled with his thrilling fighting style—should vault him high up the ladder of contenders.
It's been a tough few months for Ross Pearson.
Las Vegas cops arrested him for suspicion of DUI in early May, and then he came to Atlantic City and got shellacked by Cub Swanson.
Pearson has dropped three of his last five bouts. He's nowhere close to the cut list just yet—as a former Ultimate Fighter winner, he'll get more leniency than others do—but this is a loss that sets him back a great deal.
This wasn't the best we've seen of Brian Ebersole. He was rocked early in the first round and found himself in constant submission attacks from T.J. Waldburger.
But luckily for Ebersole, he was able to escape most of the submissions quickly. The turning point in the fight came very late in the second, when Ebersole postured up and landed some huge ground and pound shots.
It wasn't convincing by any measure, but Ebersole moves to 4-0 in the Octagon regardless. He just finds a way to win, doesn't he?
I never thought I'd see the day that Clay Guida was roundly booed out of an arena. But folks, that happened in tonight's UFC on FX main event.
Guida put on his running shoes before the fight started and never took them off. I'd say it was a brilliant game plan, but any performance that causes a mass exodus of fans in the name of getting a win is a terrible idea. And boy, was this ever a terrible idea.
The fans, who were solidly behind Guida at the beginning of the fight, slowly changed their opinions over the course of five rounds until they were solidly behind Maynard at the end. And they got their wish, as Maynard won a split decision.
It was the right call. Guida ran far more than he executed anything of an offensive nature. If Guida truly wants to contend for the lightweight title, he'll need to focus more on being an effective martial artist and less on jumping around and running.
Over the course of one fight, Gray Maynard went from being loudly booed to having the crowd in the palm of his hand, desperate for the former top lightweight contender to put an end to Clay Guida's dancing ways.
This was unexpected. Maynard went through two hard battles with New Jersey's own Frankie Edgar, so it was borderline ridiculous to expect anything from the Atlantic City crowd other than boos. But those boos turned to cheers as Maynard continually chased Guida around the cage. They became firmly pro-Maynard when Gray went all Diaz Brothers on Guida in the fourth round, flipping him off while putting his hands down and taking punches without flinching.
Maynard scored the win, but it's hard to tell what it does for his career. He was clearly the better, more well-rounded fighter. And I can't say I'm averse to the idea of him going one more round with Edgar.
But here's the important thing to take away from this split decision win for Maynard: the judges got it right.