UFC on Fox 7 proved to be one of the best cards in recent memory with action from top to bottom.
Benson Henderson retained his UFC Lightweight Championship in another tightly contested battle. The champion outpointed Gilbert Melendez over the course of 25 minutes. Henderson has yet to stop anyone in his UFC career.
With eight knockout finishes, the event tied UFC 92 for most on a single card. There were no submission finishes as the other four bouts all went to the scorecards.
UFC on Fox 7 delivered in a big way.
Here is your post-fight stock report after the UFC's latest trip to the Bay Area.
T.J. Dillashaw, Joseph Benavidez and Chad Mendes were in the Octagon for a total of 15:20 and posted three technical knockouts.
Dillashaw finished Hugo Viana in 4:22. After a head kick grazed Viana, Dillashaw pasted him with a right hand, and then he pounced and finished. The bantamweight is rising quickly in the division.
Benavidez took on eighth-ranked Darren Uyenoyama and controlled the fight. Uyenoyama's only hope was to catch Benavidez with a submission on the ground, but Benavidez would have none of it. If you like body work, then you loved this fight. Benavidez finished Uyenoyama with a devastating liver shot at 4:50 of the second round.
Mendes made quick work of Darren Elkins. Elkins entered on a 5-0 streak at featherweight, but Mendes needed just 1:08 to finish him.
Benavidez and Mendes kept their top rankings in their respective divisions and made big cases for earning title shots. Duane Ludwig was a fantastic hire for Team Alpha Male, and his striking expertise was on full display by his fighters on the UFC on Fox 7 prelims. He may have to raise his rates now.
Outside of Team Alpha Male, the preliminary card had three more finishes.
Yoel Romero kicked off the night with a beautiful flying knee against Clifford Starks. He quickly pounced on the opportunity and finished Starks in just 92 seconds. It was a fantastic debut for the former Olympian.
Anthony Njokuani had one of the finest knockouts on the card. Roger Bowling and Njokuani had a very good first round, but Njokuani found his range, which paid off in the second round. Bowling charged forward, and Njokuani shut out his lights with a clean left hook that was picture perfect.
The other knockout came from Myles Jury. Ramsey Nijem and Jury had one of the most fun first rounds of the night. Their ground work was evenly contested and exciting. Jury had enough of that in the second and decided to end matters with a punch. Nijem's brain was turned off momentarily, and Jury established himself as one of the finest prospects in the 155-pound division.
Whereas Team Alpha Male had three TKO performances, these three preliminary card fighters didn't need the "technical" tag for their knockouts. They were all brutal finishes.
Francis Carmont may have won to remained undefeated in the Octagon, but for the second straight fight, he looked unimpressive.
The Tristar product mustered little offense against Lorenz Larkin. He had a hard time getting the takedown, and the few times he did get Larkin down, he was unable to do much. In the third round, Larkin even swept Carmont with a kimura from the bottom.
Tom Lawlor and Lorenz Larkin both were on the wrong ends of contentious decisions against Carmont.
Carmont looked impressive early in his UFC career, but he is losing the buzz surrounding him. He needs to have a dominant performance in his next fight to regain some of his mystique and to move forward in the division. Performances like Saturday night's will not make anyone want to see him on a main card.
Matt Brown did it again. Who allowed Brown to get this good?
Jordan Mein was supposed to showcase his prospect status by winning this fight. Brown was there to make it a good scrap against the skilled youngster, but he was supposed to lose. Or so we thought.
The "technical brawler" changed the script. He made the fight ugly, and he is so proficient at fighting ugly.
Brown was able to hurt Mein in both rounds, and Mein couldn't recover in the second. One minute into the second frame, the fight ended with barrage of strikes from Brown. He had to be pulled off Mein, and now the question is: Where does he stand in the division?
The welterweight division is loaded with talent, but Brown has won five straight. He has derailed the hype trains of Stephen Thompson, Mike Swick and now Jordan Mein. Brown is not the fighter any welterweight wants to see across the cage at this point.
Jordan Mein was supposed to win this fight and surge into the Top 10 of the division.
Matt Brown had other ideas.
Mein looked phenomenal in his UFC debut against Dan Miller, but he did not look the same at UFC on Fox 7. Dana White noted at the post-fight press conference that he looked a bit nervous. On such a big stage as network television, the nerves were understandable.
Mein had his moments in the first round and hurt Brown with a body shot.
Fans who were excited after his UFC debut are now cooled on Mein. The young gun of the 170-pound division will take this loss back to Canada and learn from it. He will try to re-establish himself in the division in his next outing.
Josh Thomson's performance on Fox moved him up the lightweight ladder in a big, big way. He was the biggest beneficiary from the event.
Thomson made his UFC return with little fanfare. Casual fans of the sport were not around when he last fought in the UFC, and they were unfamiliar with his wars against Gilbert Melendez in Strikeforce.
The ever-tough Nate Diaz was put off his game plan by Thomson's speed and movement. Thomson did whatever he wanted against the former title challenger.
In the second round, Thomson staggered Diaz with a crisp head kick and smelled blood. He rushed in with punches to earn the stoppage and became the first man to knock Diaz out inside the Octagon. It was the first time Diaz had been stopped in his whole career.
That made a statement. Thomson made an impact when he needed to, and now the mixed martial arts world knows "The Punk" is a legit contender at 155 pounds.
Daniel Cormier entered the night with a lot of hype surrounding him, and he went out and defeated the former UFC heavyweight champion Frank Mir with ease.
Unfortunately, Cormier's performance felt just a bit flat compared to the rest of the card.
Cormier dominated Mir. He was able to do whatever he wanted to Mir but was unable to hurt Mir badly or showcase his finishing abilities. The San Jose crowd was not enthused with the performance after seeing such spectacular finishes in the night's previous fights.
Cormier did not have a bad performance. However, the heavyweight division has contenders such Junior dos Santos, Mark Hunt and Fabricio Werdum. The light heavyweight division also has contenders like Lyoto Machida and Alexander Gustafsson on the path to title shots. Cormier needed to make a statement in his debut to put his name in the title-contention discussion.
Cormier was unable to put Mir away and simply controlled the action. The push for him to have an immediate title shot is likely over, but this was only his Octagon debut. He has plenty of time to re-establish a connection with the fans. For now, though, his stock took a minor hit.