UFC 149 is in the books.
From Ryan Jimmo's seven-second knockout of Anthony Perosh all the way to the main event, this much-maligned card looked poised to deliver after a thrilling preliminary card.
That, unfortunately, was not the case.
After a great start to the pay-per-view with Matt Riddle vs. Chris Clements, the show ground to a halt with three consecutive terrible fights. Urijah Faber and Renan Barao had a decent technical striking battle in the main event, but the damage was already done to one of the least-exciting UFC pay-per-view events of all time.
Let's take a look at what could be next for some of the night's biggest winners and losers.
Bryan Caraway may have come from The Ultimate Fighter—and he may be best known as Miesha Tate's boyfriend—but he's a real veteran.
He's got a 17-5 record, with 15 of those wins coming by submission, and he's now 2-0 in the UFC after submitting exhausted crowd favorite Mitch Gagnon in the third round with a rear-naked choke.
For his next bout, why not pair Caraway with another submission specialist and see what happens? Raphael Assuncao—a Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt—has also won two fights in a row, and he's the exact kind of competition Caraway should be facing next. I'd dig it.
Well, that was fast. And by "fast" I mean "nearly record-setting fast."
Ryan Jimmo's seven-second knockout of Anthony Perosh was one for the all-time highlight reels. On the broadcast, Joe Rogan noted that it tied Duane Ludwig's record for the fastest knockout in UFC history, but that's not the case.
Jimmo actually tied Todd Duffee for the third-fastest KO in promotion history; Duane Ludwig's adjusted record is 6.0 seconds, while Chan Sung Jung owns a 6.2-second KO. Regardless, it was impressive.
It was quite the debut for Jimmo, a fighter not usually known for being exciting in the cage. For his next trick, I'd like to see him in the cage with Forrest Griffin. Jimmo isn't getting any younger, and a win over Griffin would earn him a step up the ladder in the light heavyweight division. Griffin has noted that he'd enjoy fighting some of the younger prospects in the division; Jimmo fits that bill perfectly.
Matt Riddle spent time in this training camp with legendary grappling wizard Robert Drysdale, and boy, did it show.
Riddle finished Chris Clements by starting with a sweet standing arm triangle off a badly missed spinning backlist, then used a Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson-esque move to toss Clements to the mat. Riddle cinched in the arm triangle there for the submission win.
Riddle seems to be involved in exciting fights more often than not, and I've got an idea for his next bout: Siyar Bahadurzada. It's interesting for a bunch of reasons, mostly because Bahadurzada was actually scheduled to be in this bout—against Thiago Alves and then Clements after Alves pulled out with an injury—before ultimately pulling out and being replaced by Riddle.
Bahadurzada's striking would be an interesting test for Riddle, and Riddle's willingness to brawl might result in a violent knockout.
I was all set to write up a slide about Hector Lombard getting a title shot after destroying Tim Boetsch. That didn't happen. Instead, Lombard entered the cage and, for whatever reason, didn't really do much of anything. Gone was the "Tyson-like" Lombard we're so used to seeing, replaced by a guy who barely engaged and dropped a split decision to Boetsch.
It was a boring fight. The third boring fight in a row, actually, after the Ebersole/Head and Jordan/Kongo bouts. The Calgary crowd was not happy, and I can't imagine many of you watching from home were all that enthused about it, either.
That settles it. Lombard will likely get his wish of fighting Mark Munoz, and the next shot at Anderson Silva's belt should go to Chris Weidman.
Boetsch got the win, but he didn't do enough to be remotely considered for contention. Weidman is the most visible guy available and, providing Silva fights one more time this year, he'll also have the best shot at putting together a full training camp.
It's safe to say that the Lombard hype train was officially derailed at UFC 149.
Renan Barao has arrived, ladies and gentlemen.
Barao, unbeaten since 2005, did to Urijah Faber what the majority of pundits expected him to do: use his superior striking to keep Faber at bay and batter the former WEC champion from bell to bell, capturing the UFC interim bantamweight title in the process.
Faber couldn't overcome his lack of reach, and Barao deftly avoided his strikes while also smashing Faber's leg to bits just like his teammate Jose Aldo did back in their WEC days. The damage sustained by Faber's leg made takedown attempts a virtual impossibility, and Faber never really even tried. And on the rare instance when he did try to get the fight to the mat, Barao shrugged him off with ease.
We know, courtesy of Dana White and Barao himself, that the new interim bantamweight champion will wait for Dominick Cruz to recover from his knee injury. So there's no point in speculating on what might be next for Barao, because we know what's next.
Barao looked good. Not great, but good enough to dispatch Faber with relative ease. Unfortunately for the fans in attendance, the fight—like so many others on this card—did not live up to pre-fight billing.