Velasquez vs. Silva 2 Fight Card: Most Impressive Performances from UFC 160

Riley Kontek@@BigRIlesMMAFeatured ColumnistMay 26, 2013

Velasquez vs. Silva 2 Fight Card: Most Impressive Performances from UFC 160

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    UFC 160 provided a number of memorable moments and performances from the fighters on the card. From devastating knockouts to fantastic fights, there were few dull moments in Las Vegas.

    There were a number of performances that stick out from the card. From the Facebook prelims to the main event, fighters stepped up to the plate and gave their all in an effort to move closer to title shots.

    Here are the best performances from UFC 160. 

Jeremy Stephens

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    Opening the UFC 160 preliminary card was a bloodbath courtesy of Jeremy Stephens and his ground-and-pound attack.

    Facing a striker in Estevan Payan, Stephens mixed his striking with timely takedowns and punishing ground strikes. He opened up a massive gash on Payan's forehead with big elbows and made the Octagon look like a surgery ward in the Civil War.

    The move to featherweight was obviously a good one for Stephens. 

Khabib Nurmagomedov

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    Khabib Nurmagomedov made only one mistake in his UFC 160 experience: He missed weight.

    Other than that, the Russian put on a clinic in the Octagon. He landed over 20 takedowns, outgrappled Abel Trujillo and was dominant overall.

    He is proving to be one of the hottest commodities in the lightweight division. If he can make weight from now on, he will launch himself into an eventual title shot. 

Robert Whittaker

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    Robert Whittaker proved to be the better Ultimate Fighter winner at UFC 160, sprawling and brawling his way to a knockout victory against Colton Smith.

    The big question mark going into the fight was if Whittaker could withstand the takedowns and grinding attack of Smith. He did that with flying colors and devastated Smith in the third round of a fight in which he was already ahead on the scorecards.

    Whittaker's performance shows the young Australian has a big future in the UFC. 

Donald Cerrone

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    Donald Cerrone showed what mixed martial arts is at UFC 160 with his performance against KJ Noons. 

    Cerrone used his patented Muay Thai attack in harmony with takedowns and ground-and-pound. In fact, his elbow had a disgusting gash from banging Noons' head so much.

    Cerrone erased the memory of his loss to Anthony Pettis. He's now put himself back into title contention. 

TJ Grant

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    TJ Grant was the underdog coming into UFC 160, but he changed that moniker to top contender when it was all said and done. 

    Grant employed his newly minted striking game in his drubbing of Gray Maynard. After catching him, Grant smelled blood in the water and pounced on the dazed former title contender.

    Just like that, Grant made a statement that he should have never been the underdog.

Junior dos Santos

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    Junior dos Santos did what many people didn't think was possible: He knocked out Mark Hunt.

    Dos Santos avoided the home run shot that Hunt possesses with every strike and used his athleticism to move in and out on "The Super Samoan." From there, he landed a spinning heel kick to the noggin and finished Hunt off with punches on the ground.

    Dos Santos punched his ticket to a date with destiny against Cain Velasquez for the title.