UFC on FX 5 Superlatives: The Best and Worst from the Entire Fight Card
The first flyweight title challenger in UFC history was determined in a UFC on FX 5 fight between John Dodson and Jussier Formiga. Dodson utilized a smart game plan to keep the fight standing and eventually scored a knockout in the second round to set up a meeting with champion Demetrious Johnson.
Antonio Silva also picked up a big win in the main event, stifling the up-and-coming Travis Browne. After losing badly to Cain Velasquez in his UFC debut, Silva's standing as a highly-ranked heavyweight came under question. However, with this win over Browne, Silva has validated the hype that followed him from Strikeforce to the Octagon.
There were plenty of other memorable moments that took place at UFC on FX 5. With another UFC event in the history books, let's take a look at the best and worst from Friday's event.
Best Performance: John Dodson
Fighting against one of the best grapplers in the flyweight division, John Dodson utilized an expert game plan to keep his fight standing at UFC on FX 5.
Dodson mostly avoided kicking Jussier Formiga to minimize the risk of having a kick caught for a takedown opportunity. Instead, the Greg Jackson-trained fighter stuck with his boxing and eventually caught his highly ranked opponent for a knockout in the second round.
Now, Dodson will meet Demetrious Johnson in a 125-pound championship bout. With a win, Dodson could join Matt Serra, Forrest Griffin and Rashad Evans as the only The Ultimate Fighter participants to ever go on to win a UFC title.
Worst Performance: Josh Neer
Josh Neer was a heavy favorite heading into his bout with Justin Edwards on Friday night, but it only took Edwards 45 seconds to lock up a guillotine choke and put Neer to sleep.
Neer is an exciting fighter and one who should be given another chance inside the Octagon before being handed his walking papers, but it is this type of inconsistency against UFC-level competition that has defined his career achievements.
This loss also marks the third time Neer has gone unconscious during a fight due to a choke. Neer's toughness is to be applauded, but the welterweight needs to learn when to say when.
Best Fight: Diego Nunes vs. Bart Palaszewski
Diego Nunes has been a solid striker since he joined the UFC's featherweight division, but he's never been as aggressive with his attack as he was against Bart Palaszewski.
Continuously moving forward, Nunes landed 61 significant strikes, the most he's landed in a fight since his victory over former WEC champion Mike Brown. Nunes also knocked Palaszewski down twice and scored two takedowns in one of the most impressive performances of his career.
Still, the gritty fighter that he is, Palaszewski was able to survive Nunes' hardest shots. By taking the fight the distance, Palaszewski did his part to makes this matchup the most exciting one at UFC on FX 5.
Worst Fight: Marcus LeVesseur vs. Carlo Prater
With their UFC contracts on the line, there was no better time for Marcus LeVesseur and Carlo Prater to leave everything in the cage and go for a knockout or submission. Instead, the two fought to one of only three decisions on the UFC on FX 5 fight card.
Prater looked for three submissions, but he never really committed to any of his attempts and worked methodically when forced to fight off of his back. Meanwhile, LeVesseur was content to simply maintain the top position after scoring three takedowns,
LeVesseur ended up earning the edge in a split decision, but Prater will likely receive his walking papers after a third straight unimpressive performance inside the Octagon.
Best Striking: Diego Nunes
With 17 career knockouts and only one knockout loss, Bart Palaszewski is one of the better strikers in the 145-pound division, and Diego Nunes made him look lost on his feet.
There's a good chance Palaszewski prepared for a completely different Nunes than the one who showed up on Friday night. Often a fighter with a slow pace to his striking, Nunes continually pushed forward and threw with knockout power for three rounds at UFC on FX 5.
Nunes ended up out-landing Palaszewski by a 61-37 margin in significant strikes and scored two knockdowns. We could be seeing a transformation in style that could have Nunes contending for the featherweight title in the near future.
Worst Striking: Jussier Formiga
This really shouldn't come as much of a surprise. Heading into UFC on FX 5, most figured Jussier Formiga would need to take John Dodson to the ground or be forced to deal with his opponent's unreal quickness in the striking department.
Ultimately, Formiga didn't come close to taking Dodson down on any of his five attempts. That led to an inevitable knockout for Dodson, who earned a shot at flyweight champion Demetrious Johnson with the win.
For those who haven't followed the flyweight division prior to its UFC introduction, Formiga is one of the best the division has to offer. However, the Brazilian grappler will need to improve his striking dramatically if he ever hopes to capture UFC gold.
Best Grappling: Justin Edwards
Many believed the somewhat inexperienced Justin Edwards would be overmatched against veteran Josh Neer at UFC on FX 5, but Edwards quickly proved those individuals wrong by putting Neer to sleep with a guillotine choke in less than one minute.
After losing two of his first three official UFC fights, the win was the biggest of Edwards' career. The 29-year-old has now picked up five of his eight wins with guillotine chokes, so future opponents should take note of Edwards' go-to submission attack before shooting in for a takedown attempt on him.
Worst Grappling: Josh Neer
Josh Neer is no slouch on the ground. He recently stopped Duane Ludwig with a nasty guillotine choke, but Neer was the one who found himself going limp due to a guillotine choke against Justin Edwards on Friday night.
Though he was the fighter who initiated the grappling, Neer was unable to drag Edwards to the ground and eventually found himself stuck in the guillotine while still standing. Neer briefly tried to free himself from the choke before dropping to his knees and going unconscious.
With two straight losses, Neer is now in danger of having yet another stint with the UFC come to an abrupt conclusion.
Best Moment: Antonio Silva
There was plenty of excitement surrounding Antonio Silva when it was announced he would be making his way to the Octagon after some strong showings under the Strikeforce banner. However, that excitement quickly dissipated when "Bigfoot" was thoroughly dominated by Cain Velasquez in his UFC debut.
At UFC on FX 5, Silva bounced back with a knockout of Travis Browne to record his first win inside the Octagon. Silva may have plenty of work to do in order to become a top contender in the heavyweight division, but he showed improved striking and did well to take advantage of his opponent's knee injury quickly.
Worst Moment: Jeremy Stephens
On the day of UFC on FX 5, Jeremy Stephens was arrested on assault charges relating to a 2011 incident. Despite the arrest, UFC president Dana White worked hard to bail Stephens out of jail so he could compete an earn a paycheck prior to dealing with his legal issues.
Though White told fans to ignore speculation from MMA media that he may not be able to compete, Stephens was never freed from police custody on Friday and his scheduled bout with Yves Edwards never came to fruition.
The Stephens-Edwards matchup was one of two fights to be canceled within 24 hours of the start of UFC on FX 5, as a bout between Dennis Hallman and Thiago Tavares was also scrapped due to Hallman's inability to come close to making weight for the lightweight scrap.
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