The prelims continue with a star-studded contest between lightweights Melvin Guillard and Jamie Varner. This fight was moved from The Ultimate Fighter finale after Varner became ill the night of the contest.
Varner has looked great since making his UFC return earlier this year. At UFC 146, Varner shocked the world when he steamrolled undefeated Edson Barboza in the first round. He later followed it up by delivering a Fight of the Year contender against Joe Lauzon at UFC on FOX 4.
Meanwhile, Melvin Guillard has lost three of his last four bouts, and each loss saw him stopped in the first round. This marks a major drop off for "The Young Assassin," who had won five consecutive bouts from 2010 to 2011.
Varner won this fight via split decision, although the dissenting judge who scored the contest 30-27 for Guillard was immediately chastised by Joe Rogan for his incredible ability to ignore what actually happens inside of a cage.
What we'll remember about this fight
If nothing else, we will remember the piledriver-esque drop that Jamie Varner utilized in the final 10 seconds of the fight. With Guillard inverted on his back, Varner simply pulled his own legs out and seemingly slammed all of his weight (and Melvin's) onto the head and neck of Guillard.
This was a great, action-packed fight full of power kicks and punches that landed with authority.
What we learned about Melvin Guillard
Guillard has finally learned how to be patient inside the Octagon. Despite his enviable amount of success in the UFC, Guillard has often made silly mistakes due to throwing caution to the wind and being overzealous.
What we learned about Jamie Varner
Varner knows how to steal a round. After spending the first four minutes of Round 1 eating nasty leg kicks, he exploded with several combinations, earned a quick knockdown, a takedown and locked in a guillotine choke before the horn sounded.
We also got to see exactly how good Varner's takedowns are, as Guillard's excellent defense couldn't prevent the considerable amount of time he spent on the ground.
What's next for Melvin Guillard
After losing four of his last five fights inside the Octagon, it's not impossible that Guillard will be sent out of the UFC. However, he is a popular star who always puts on a show and delivers highlight-reel knockouts. He will likely be paired against another lightweight striker such as Sam Stout or a returning Paul Taylor.
What's next for Jamie Varner
Two major wins and a Fight of the Year candidate speak volumes about the stock of Jamie Varner. Expect him to get another high-profile opponent the next time he enters the cage. I'd love to see him meet Ross Pearson or potentially a debuting Eddie Alvarez. Fingers crossed.