UFC 167 had its fair share of strange occurrences.
To kick things off on the main card, Tim Elliott had emerged as an interesting flyweight prospect following his wins over Louis Gaudinot and Jared Papazian. That momentum went out the window, as he was outclassed by Ali Bagautinov over the course of three rounds.
Josh Koscheck apparently failed to to replicate the success Jake Shields had against Tyron Woodley. Instead, Koscheck seemed content to stand on the feet with the much faster, stronger fighter. Bad idea. Woodley blasted Koscheck not only out of consciousness but also possibly out of the UFC.
Seemingly pegged as the next champion in the welterweight division, Rory MacDonald lost to Robbie Lawler. Yes, the same Lawler whose first fight in the UFC was all the way back at UFC 37.
The evening's co-main event was a fight between pals, as Rashad Evans completed a one-sided beatdown of Chael Sonnen to take home a first-round TKO.
Georges St-Pierre retained his title but did so in a highly controversial decision win. The photos of St-Pierre's face tell it all, as the champion was involved in a very close fight that saw GSP take a lot of damage.
I'm still not sure what exactly Tim Elliott was trying to do against Ali Bagautinov. First, Elliott came out with his hands at his waist, which is always a bad idea unless your name is Anderson Silva. But maybe Elliott wanted to sit back and counter by using head movement? Well, that couldn't be the case, because he moved forward rather than backward.
The result was about as predictable as you could expect. Bagautinov landed the better strikes, and Elliott struggled to get any offense going, which makes his incredulity as to how he lost so surprising.
Elliott was an interesting contender before UFC 167, but now he'll likely find himself out of the top 10 in the division. Luckily for him, the flyweight division in the UFC is extremely thin.
I wouldn't mind seeing him face the loser of John Moraga vs. Darren Uyenoyama or Scott Jorgenson if he loses to John Dodson.
I don't think Josh Koscheck could've stamped his ticket out of the UFC any more emphatically than the way he did at UFC 167.
Kos decided it would be a good idea to stand and trade strikes with a faster, stronger fighter in Tyron Woodley, and the result didn't work out in his favor. Regardless of how much Joe Rogan was trying to knock on Woodley for having zero body fat, his cardio level never came into play, as Woodley blasted Koscheck in the first round.
It marks the third loss in a row for Koscheck and his second by way of knockout. Is his chin failing him? I'm not sure. Robbie Lawler is one of the hardest punchers in MMA history, and Woodley is a physically imposing fighter and threw everything he could with a right-handed hook.
Either way, I think Koscheck is smart enough to realize his days as a contender in the welterweight division are done. Does he head to Bellator? Its welterweight division is wide open with Ben Askren setting up shop, but I believe Koscheck doesn't need the money and would rather focus on his personal endeavors.
I'm convinced Rory MacDonald is one of the best fighters in the gym during sparring. That's because every MacDonald performance lately resembles something you'd see in the gym. MacDonald stands back, looks to use his technique and fights without a sense of urgency.
But when push comes to shove, MacDonald struggles.
He did a good job of avoiding Robbie Lawler's power for the better part of two rounds, and I believed he was up on the scorecards. Apparently, so did Lawler.
The veteran came out with guns blazing in the final round and put MacDonald in serious trouble. Hopefully the young MacDonald learns from this experience and realizes that a fighter can fight both smart and aggressively.
Peg MacDonald for the loser of Carlos Condit vs. Matt Brown for his next matchup.
Chael Sonnen was in a weird position coming into UFC 167. Not only was he facing his pal Rashad Evans, but Sonnen already had his next gig lined up, a coaching stint on The Ultimate Fighter Brazil against rival Wanderlei Silva.
In the cage however, Sonnen had nothing lined up.
Not only did he lose, he lost emphatically, as Evans routed him in the first round. Sonnen's trip to light heavyweight was about as successful as his initial run years ago. It's unclear whether or not Sonnen will face Silva at 205 or 185 pounds considering Silva has been against cutting weight at this point in his career.
Regardless of where the fight takes place, I think we can all agree Sonnen needs to face Silva in his next trip to the Octagon.
John Hendricks probably shouldn't be on this list. A lot of fans were ready to anoint Hendricks as the new welterweight champion only to have Bruce Buffer announce Georges St-Pierre as the winner.
Then, in a stranger twist, St-Pierre announced he wanted to step away from the fight game for a bit. Now Hendricks' future seems to be in a bit of limbo.
No matter if GSP drops the title or not, Hendricks deserves to be involved in the next title match. If St-Pierre does indeed drop the title, I believe it would be Hendricks vs. the winner of Carlos Condit vs. Matt Brown for the vacated title.
Not only does the UFC have a certifiable star in the heavy-handed Hendricks, but it also has an easy sell for Condit or Brown as the next challenger. Condit and Hendricks had a close action-packed fight in their previous encounter at UFC 158, and Brown easily has one of the most marketable stories in MMA.