Ross Pearson's TKO win over George Sotiropoulos highlighted a solid night for MMA in Australia.
With a weekend packed full of mixed martial arts, TUF: The Smashes held its own and provided a memorable night of fights for UFC on FX 6.
Two solid brawls ended a competitive international season of The Ultimate Fighter. A much-hyped middleweight contender finally emerged from his shell, and the main event delivered with a high-paced battle between two gritty veterans.
Thanks for the memories, Australia.
Without further ado, here are the 12 spots that highlighted the UFC's sixth FX card.
With usual UFC announcer Bruce Buffer unable to introduce the UFC on FX 6 fights due to a schedule conflict with the TUF 16 finale, the duty fell to veteran Joe Martinez.
Formerly a staple of the now-defunct World Extreme Cagefighting, Martinez's booming, youthful voice gave UFC on FX 6 a rather decent shot in the arm from the first fight to the main event.
As the UFC expands, expect to see more staples absent from international cards.
Thankfully, professionals like Martinez prove that there's still plenty of production talent to go around in the ever-growing promotion.
Donovan proved to be a very game opponent for Penner, fighting inch-for-inch in the clinch and threatening his Canadian foe with submissions from the back.
But even though he eventually lost via TKO, an amazing counterpunch from Penner almost shut off Donovan's lights about halfway through the first round. He dropped him like a brick—and in the relatively quiet Gold Coast Convention Centre, the perfectly timed blow sounded like a gunshot.
Loughnane and Wilkinson put on an exciting three-round battle, testing each other's chins with everything in their respective arsenals.
The end of the second round featured a great exchange.
Wilkinson hit Loughnane with a clean knee to the face, fought off a kimura attempt against the cage and briefly had his back taken by Loughnane during the heated sequence.
In one of the most bizarre calls in UFC history, referee Steven Percival almost turned a timeout for a groin kick into a TKO win for Benny Alloway, who had just started to press a finishing sequence of strikes against Manuel Rodriguez.
Thankfully, Percival consulted with cageside officials and continued the fight after a short break.
Amazingly, Alloway still got the finish.
With less than 20 seconds left, Alloway continued his assault and knocked out Rodriguez with a sharp kick to the jaw, ending the fight with another blitz of swarming strikes.
With the UFC's usual ring girls unavailable for duty in Australia, half of the round card-carrying duties fell to TUF: The Smashes' replacement Kristie Jane McKeon.
She was a welcome sight to viewers on TV and in the arena, and we would be more than happy to see McKeon return to the Octagon.
Out of all the prominent MMA referees, Marc Goddard is especially known for his ill-timed stand-ups and unnecessary coaching mid-fight.
Quite simply, he's one of the worst.
During the Mike Pierce versus Seth Baczynski fight, Pierce spent most of three rounds smothering Baczynski, but he suffered one of Goddard's horrible judgement calls in the process.
With more than a minute left in the final round, Pierce was stood up while actively working Baczynski's guard, trading blows and working for position—a situation that could've cost him the match.
A newly slimmed-down Joey Beltran displayed some brilliant grappling against Igor Pokrajac, but what was equally impressive was the amount of strikes absorbed by the Croatian's chin.
It was a good, hard-fought brawl that saw high points from both men, but Beltran was just better.
Late in Round 2, Pokrajac ate more than 30 strikes in row during a sequence that would have finished a lesser fighter—but he powered through nonetheless, dragging Beltran to a hard-fought decision.
It was a win that Beltran badly needed. He punctuated it with a crowd-pleasing and heartfelt post-fight interview that probably won the "Mexicutioner" a few more fans.
Honestly, the UFC needs to stop throwing softballs to Chad Mendes. One day he's going to put some poor fighter into a coma.
Yaotzin Meza proved to be horribly overmatched against the one-time featherweight title contender, as Mendes capped off a short first round of feints and leg kicks with a blisteringly powerful overhand right.
To Meza's credit, he lasted more than a minute longer than Cody McKenzie did in his own embarrassing loss.
After his horrible decision loss to Tim Boetsch, the pressure was on Lombard to look impressive against Rousimar Palhares.
The former Bellator middleweight champion finally showed what the hype was about.
Straight from the get-go, Lombard traded explosive kicks with Palhares in a solid display of aggression, measuring his opponent with no visible hesitation.
After dropping Palhares twice with heavy punches, Lombard finished the job with a trio of monster left hands that left the Brazilian out on his back and unconscious. Lombard established himself as a credible threat in the UFC's middleweight division.
Lightweight fighter Norman Parke stamped his ticket to the UFC with a dominant and gritty performance against Colin Fletcher. He put on an competitive show of grappling with his equally-skilled "Freakshow" opponent.
The fight was an intense 15-minute affair punctuated by sharp striking, several reversals, tons of attempted submissions and two of the most visually jarring tattoo jobs in UFC history.
Whatever the lightweight TUF Smashes finals lacked in excitement, the welterweight finals more than made up for it.
Whittaker dropped Brad Scott late in the first round, but Scott refused to go down, battling back over the next two rounds with his much-lauded technical boxing game.
Granted, it took a shot to the groin to get Scott fired up, but the momentum definitely shifted.
Although neither man could press for a finish, the fight wound up being one of the night's most entertaining brawls, as Whittaker's heavy punches rightly won him both the judges' scorecards and the six-figure TUF contract.
George Sotiropoulos weathered the storm as best he could, but Ross Pearson's superior speed and striking eventually put "The Octogenarian" to sleep in the final round.
It was a thrilling affair, though, as "G-Sot" used an active grappling game to threaten submissions through early parts of the fight, nearly finishing Pearson on a few occasions.
But Pearson gutted out the win, catching G-Sot clean on the chin with a solid set of strikes and handing the Australian TUF coach his third straight loss.
Still, you have to give Sotiropoulos credit: For someone who's 35 years old and nearing the end of a remarkable MMA career, he really didn't look half bad in defeat.