UFC 159's televised preliminary action on FX commenced Saturday evening with a high-octane bantamweight affair between The Ultimate Fighter alums Bryan Caraway and Johnny "Brutal" Bedford.
Pegged as a potential Fight of the Night, this bout did not quite live up to its billing, largely because of Bedford's inability to handle Caraway's relentless pressure and ground control.
Caraway capped off an impressive fight with a last-second guillotine choke that forced Bedford to tap in Round 3.
After taking the fight on extremely short notice, Caraway boosts his stock tremendously with this dominant victory.
What we'll remember about this fight
It's fun to rag on Bryan Caraway and pretend that his better half, Miesha Tate, wears the proverbial pants in their relationship, but the dude can fight, and his skill set makes him a frustrating opponent for nearly anybody at 135 pounds.
Caraway demonstrated his considerable abilities inside the Octagon—on short notice, no less—and Bedford had no answers for the fight's duration.
This was a great win for Caraway and a disappointing setback for Bedford, who strolled into the fight on a cool three-fight winning streak.
What we'll remember about Bryan Caraway
Caraway's wrestling and ground control set the stage for his eventual submission late in Round 3, but he did not look totally outclassed on the feet as many expected, either.
He peppered Bedford's right eye with a high volume of left hooks, and Bedford simply could not piece anything of significance together.
Adding in the fact that he took the fight on late notice, this fight exposed Caraway's dedication and character as much as his ever-growing skill set inside the Octagon. This was a near-perfect situation and performance for him.
What we'll remember about Johnny Bedford
What a disappoint for "Brutal" Bedford.
Previously seen as one of the most promising rising stars in the bantamweight division, Bedford now faces questions concerning his takedown and submission defense as well as his formerly lauded tenacity and power.
He will need to seriously reassess his position in the world's greatest mixed martial arts promotion, adjust and move on.
What's next for Bryan Caraway
Bryan Caraway certainly improved his stock in this fight, but it is unlikely that he will get a top-10, high-profile fight in his next outing.
George Roop, who recently bounced back from a loss with a big win over Reuben Duran at UFC 158, makes sense for each fighter moving forward.
What's next for Johnny Bedford
Like Bedford, Edwin Figueroa enjoyed a nice winning streak before being stopped in his most recent trip to the Octagon at UFC 156.
This fight would provide the perfect opportunity for one guy to step up to the plate and cement his spot in the division while the other will, unfortunately, fade into obscurity.