UFC 155: Breaking Down Ramifications of Top Losses

Rick WeinerFeatured ColumnistDecember 30, 2012

Dec 29, 2012; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Derek Brunson (left) and Chris Leban (right) during UFC 155 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports
Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

UFC 155 offered something for everyone.

From the preliminary card to the main event, intriguing bouts littered the landscape and bought with them the promise of some incredibly competitive and entertaining fights at all weightclasses.

While some fighters lived up to and exceeded expectations, others fell perilously shy of reaching even the most modest of goals.

Who on the losing end has taken a major step backwards in their career?

Let's take a look. 


Tim Boetsch

Heading into UFC 155, Tim Boetsch seemed destined for a shot at the middleweight championship—a belt that has been firmly affixed around the waist of Anderson Silva since UFC 64: Unstoppable back in 2006.

Those thoughts have been put on hold—likely permanently—after Boetsch was taken apart by Constantinos Philippou, who was filling in for his injured teammate, Chris Weidman.

Philippou didn't just beat Boetsch, he dominated him.

From the second round on, Boetsch was unable to mount any sustained attack, instead taking a barrage of punches from Philippou and finding his attempts to bring the fight down to the mat thwarted every time.

No longer near the front of the middleweight division, Boetsch will have his work cut out for him as he tries to return to the land of contenders.


Chris Leben

You couldn't help but root for Chris Leben to succeed against Derek Brunson.

Leben, who broke onto the scene after the first season of The Ultimate Fighter, was making his triumphant return to the octagon after serving a year-long suspension for a failed drug test (h/t UFC.com). But instead of proving to the world that he was back with a vengeance, Leben left us with more questions than answers.

Unable to muster any form of an attack against Derek Brunson, a fighter that Leben should have had his way with, Leben dropped a unanimous decision and is now faced with an uncertain future.

At 32, Leben is no longer a young, up-and-coming fighter, and he's lost four of his last five fights.

Whether he wants to return to the octagon or not is something that he'll need to figure out, but there are no title shots in his future.

Perhaps a bout against the aforementioned Tim Boetsch would be a good move for both fighters and their respective careers.


Michael Johnson

One of the lightweight division's most highly-touted prospects, Michael Johnson was dominated by Myles Jury from beginning to end.

Most alarming for Johnson was his inability to do anything when on his back. 

To be fair, Johnson took a beating from Jury and kept on going. But not being able to work your way off of your back has to be a major concern.

Unlike Leben and Boetsch, Johnson still has a bright future. But he's certainly taken a step back after this bout and has much to work on before he can be thought of as a true contender for the lightweight belt.