It was an unheralded card, stuck in the middle of the week, during the buildup to one of the UFC's biggest events of the year. The UFC 166 rubber match between Cain Velasquez and Junior dos Santos was hogging all the limelight. Fight Night 29 on Wednesday night from Brazil would just have to make do.
Sometimes these sleeper cards really exceed expectations, giving the hardcore few a chance to gloat about the great night of fights all their friends missed. They're packed head to toe with knockouts, submissions and excitement.
This was not one of those nights.
A snooze-fest between Jake Shields and Demian Maia headlined with each man seemingly content to battle over the nickname "the human blanket." That was in the first three rounds, when they still had the energy to grapple on the mat. By the last 10 minutes, it was a battle to make it to the finish—both for the fighters and fans weary from a long day's work.
Shields ended up edging Maia to take home a split-decision victory. Of course, sometimes an MMA fighter can lose ground with promoters and fans even in victory, especially in the case of a boring fight. Likewise, a loser on paper can win the hearts and minds of all who saw him compete.
Was Shields a winner? A loser? Or both? Click on to find out.
Disagree with my choices in either category? Let me hear it in the comments.