UFC 167 Results: Most Significant Victories from Preliminary Card

Maxwell Ogden@MaxwellOgdenCorrespondent IIINovember 16, 2013

Nov 16, 2013; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Thales Leites (blue gloves) is declared the winner after his middleweight bout during UFC 167 at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports
Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sp

UFC 167 is an event that will feature fights between Georges St-Pierre and Johny Hendricks, and Rashad Evans against Chael Sonnen. Before the stars of mixed martial arts could take center stage, however, there were preliminary card fights with significant long-term importance.

Here's what they were.

UFC 167 Preliminary
WinnerLoserResultRound
Gian VillanteCody DonovanKO/TKO2
Sergio PettisWill CampuzanoUnanimous Decision3
Jason HighAnthony LapsleyUnanimous Decision3
Erik PerezEdwin FigueroaUnanimous Decision3
Rick StoryEdwin EbersoleUnanimous Decision3
Thales LeitesEd HermanUnanimous Decision3
Donald CerroneEvan DunhamSubmission (Triangle Choke)2
via UFC.com

 

Thales Leites Defeated Ed Herman via Unanimous Decision

Nov 16, 2013; Las Vegas, NV, USA; Ed Herman (red gloves) fights against Thales Leites (blue gloves) in their middleweight bout during UFC 167 at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports
Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sp

Thales Leites entered UFC 167 as a fighter with a cloud of uncertainty hanging over his head. He's infamous for taking part in a universally hated fight between him and Anderson Silva at UFC 97 and hadn't yet vindicated himself for that sleeper.

Leites left UFC 167 with a dominant victory over Ed Herman. Unfortunately, it wasn't as entertaining as many were hoping to see.

UFC great Kenny Florian had a different take.

Regardless of what you thought of his win, it was a victory.

Leites is now 22-4 during his career and has won both of his fights since returning to UFC. He's not a finisher, and that's what has held him back in terms of developing a more rabid fanbase, but Leites has worked his way into the title picture with another win.

Exciting or not, he made a statement against Herman.

According to UFC.com, Leites landed 20 significant strikes and three takedowns at UFC 167. He was in control for 11 minutes and 22 seconds to just one minute and 33 seconds for Herman, per UFC.com.

It was a thorough domination that saw Leites overwhelm Herman with his mat and takedown skills. In turn, Leites has worked his way into a main-card fight and should be in line for a fight against another one of the top contenders.

He's not flashy, but Leites gets the job done.

 

Donald Cerrone defeated Evan Dunham via Second-Round Submission

Nov 15, 2013; Las Vegas, NV, USA;  UFC fighter Donald Cerrone participates in the official weigh-in of UFC 167 at MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports
Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sp

This is what Dana White and the UFC had been looking for from former rising star Donald Cerrone.

After rising to near stardom in 2011 and 2012, Cerrone had lost two of his first three fights in 2013. As a result, his name fell further and further down the divisional rankings, and his dreams of winning a title became unrealistic.

Cerrone has righted the ship with a second-round submission of Evan Dunham at UFC 167.

Cerrone was coming off a unanimous decision loss to Rafael dos Anjos in late August. It put the 30-year-old under pressure and had some questioning whether or not he could put together a long enough string of victories to contend for a title.

This was a great start.

In turn, he reminded the MMA community of why he was once an intriguing contender. Now, he needs to do this with consistency.

Cerrone is now 21-6-1 overall. He was a combined 6-1 in 2011 and 2012, securing submission and knockout victories at every turn.

In 2013, he lost via TKO to Anthony Pettis, fell by decision to dos Anjos and earned a decision victory over KJ Noons entering this fight. Now, he's rediscovered momentum.

Per UFC.com, Cerrone connected on 49 percent of his total strikes and 67 percent of his significant strikes. He had one knockdown, one takedown and earned the victory via triangle choke to earn win No. 21 in his MMA career.

The lightweight division is deep, but this performance sets Cerrone up for a main-card fight.