UFC 161 may not have been the most stacked card or exciting series of fights, but there were still plenty of big winners from Saturday night's showcase.
No, there weren't any championships won, but a few fighters likely put themselves in contention to either fight for a belt in the near future or further padded their resumes.
Let's break down the biggest winners from UFC 161.
3. Shawn Jordan
Well, that was fast.
Jordan needed just 59 seconds to finish off his friend and opponent, Pat Barry. It was a disappointing if hardly shocking result for Barry, who has never won consecutive fights in his UFC career (he's now 5-6 in the UFC). At least Barry is fun to watch, for better or worse.
For Jordan, this was his biggest victory and third in four UFC bouts (with his lone loss coming against Cheick Kongo at UFC 149). He delivered several impressive punches from the get-go, taking control of the fight and showing why his name should be one to monitor.
While he may never be a true heavyweight contender, he proved he is a fighter worth watching moving forward.
2. Rashad Evans
Not only did Evans erase a two-match losing streak by beating Dan Henderson in their three-round fight by a split decision, but he also put himself back in the title picture at 205 pounds.
Fresh off consecutive unanimous decisions to Jon Jones and Antônio Rogério Nogueira, "Suga" needed a win in the worst way to keep his name in the running for Jones' title.
While his victory wasn't exactly decisive—the decision could have gone to Henderson, given how tight the fight was—Evans will surely take it. He displayed the speed and stamina to outlast Henderson, and his performance in the final round was enough to carry him to a win.
He'll now try to ride that momentum to his next opponent.
1. Stipe Miocic
Did you see this one coming?
Miocic scored a huge upset, defeating Roy Nelson by tactically frustrating his opponent and earning himself a unanimous decision. While Nelson kept looking to land a killer blow with his infamous right hand, Miocic was cagey on his feet and didn't allow Nelson to unload on him, peppering him with smart combinations.
He is now 4-1 in his UFC career and has a marquee win under his belt. For Miocic, Saturday night was easily the biggest victory of his career and could lead to higher-profile fights down the line.
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