UFC 172 promised to deliver an intriguing batch of fights to a live audience at Baltimore Arena, and it did just that.
From an impressive title defense from light heavyweight champion Jon "Bones" Jones to the emergence of a familiar face as a new contender to that title, the card certainly delivered.
Here's a look at how each of the fights turned out on Saturday night and what to expect from the winners going forward.
Jon Jones Defends Title Yet Again
The main event of the evening was everything fans of the champion thought it would be. Jones took advantage of his massive reach advantage from the outset of the fight and slowly broke down his latest challenger from there.
The champion's domination was so distinct that the judges awarded him all five rounds on their cards as he picked up the unanimous decision.
He even made a little history, according to Mike Bohn of MMAjunkie:
There's not much to take away from this fight that we didn't already know. If Jones is paired against a fighter who can't contend with his size advantage, that challenger doesn't stand much of a chance.
Glover Teixeira deserved to fight Jones. The UFC can only ignore what he did in the Octagon for so long. However, it only served to put off the fight that everyone wants to see, and that's a rematch between Jones and Alexander Gustafsson.
The lanky Swede took Jones to a close decision in their first bout, and there's no doubt that fans will be pushing Dana White to make the fight again.
Anthony "Rumble" Johnson Makes Statement in UFC Return
Gustafsson probably deserves the next shot at the light heavyweight title, but Anthony "Rumble" Johnson might be knocking at the door after UFC 172. He looked better than ever in his return to the UFC against Phil Davis in the night's co-main event.
Rumble proved that his six-fight win streak he accrued since being cut by the UFC is no fluke. He looked as comfortable as ever stalking down Davis in his first bout in the organization since moving to light heavyweight and also got the nod from all three judges:
Johnson's emergence muddies the waters a bit in the light heavyweight division. Ranked just No. 14 heading into the fight, according to the UFC's rankings, it's clear that he belongs much higher on the list. The question now becomes who should be next for the suddenly rising contender.
After watching Johnson struggle to find his natural weight class in his first run at the UFC, his emergence as a top fighter at 205 was among the top storylines of Saturday night.
Luke Rockhold Proves He's Still an Elite Middleweight
Speaking of fighters earning some redemption on Saturday night, Luke Rockhold looked superb in his second fight since losing his UFC debut to Vitor Belfort. He submitted longtime middleweight stalwart Tim Boetsch via inverted triangle kimura in the first round.
As for what's next for the former Strikeforce star? Well, he wasn't shy about letting White and Co. know exactly who he'd like to see across the cage from him next time out.
As long as he continues to deliver exciting finishes like the one he had against Boetsch, the UFC won't have any issues in keeping Rockhold happy. His place as a legitimate threat to anyone in the middleweight division was sealed with this victory.
Jim Miller Does What He Does Best—Submit Opponents
Jim Miller entered his bout with Yancy Medeiros with 12 submission victories to his name. So it wasn't a stunner when the 30-year-old was able to lock in a guillotine just 3:18 into the first round.
Especially for Miller, who explained that the submission is always something he's looking for:
Miller didn't waste any time letting UFC brass know who he wanted to see next either. He called out multiple fighters, and Donald Cerrone was one of them.
With a historic knack for finishing fights on the ground, Miller managed to keep himself in the lightweight title picture for at least another fight.
Max Holloway Opens the Night With a Submission
Max Holloway opened up the main card action with one of the best scraps of the night as he submitted Andre Fili via guillotine in the third round. As Brett Okamoto noted, the showing was really impressive from both fighters, though:
At just 22 years old, Holloway showed the tenacity and composure of a grizzled veteran as the small underdog against Fili. That's what fighting the likes of Dustin Poirier, Dennis Bermudez and Conor McGregor before you're 22 will do for you.
While many young fighters will assume they are ahead on the cards in a close fight, Holloway admitted he thought he was behind and became more aggressive in the final frame to assure victory.
With the featherweight division constantly in need of challengers this was a big win for Holloway. He now has a legitimate case to take on a top-15 fighter in his next bout and is well on his way to cashing in on the massive potential he's shown to this point.
Like the new article format? Send us feedback!