UFC 172 was chock-full of exciting bouts and impressive finishes. This is especially true of the prelims where there were three finishes and a ton of excitement.
Obviously, most of the attention in the aftermath of UFC 172 is on the biggest names, like Jon Jones, Anthony Johnson and Luke Rockhold. Although that is all well deserved, there were some men on the prelims who should get some attention for their work last night.
So, who were the three stars that emerged from the undercard? Let's examine, based on performances and impressiveness.
Chris Beal seemed to catch a tough break when he was not invited back to the UFC following The Ultimate Fighter 18. He was one of the brightest prospects on the show with an inspiring story, and his loss came against eventual winner Chris Holdsworth.
However, when UFC 172 needed to fill some sports on the card, Sean Shelby gave Beal a chance to prove himself against fellow promotional newcomer Patrick Williams. Beal did not disappoint.
In fact, he exceeded expectations. Early into the second round, Beal unleashed a picture-perfect flying knee that landed on the head of Williams, rendering the latter unconscious.
It earned Beal a post-fight bonus for his performance and a ton of fans in the process.
Danny Castillo has consistently performed in the UFC but has continued to float under the radar. After his destruction of Charlie Brenneman, fans are going to recognize Castillo for his talents more than before.
Castillo, known for his wrestling and grinding attack, did not allow Brenneman to get anywhere near the judges. Instead, the Team Alpha Male product decimated Brenneman with extreme prejudice by way of a one-punch knockout.
It was a shocking end to a bout that many people thought would be a strategical matchup. Instead, Castillo saw the door cracked just a bit and punched his way through that door.
Fans, take notice.
It wasn't pretty and it won't be winning Fight of the Year any time soon. However, Bethe Correia greatly boosted her stock with a win over Ronda Rousey teammate Jessamyn Duke at UFC 172.
Correia, who was a flyweight before coming to the UFC, is now 2-0 with the company. In a division not even close to overflowing with contenders, every win puts you very close to the title picture. Correia, who has also beat the gritty Julie Kedzie, can now demand fights in the top 10.
She has a mean attitude to her and can mean mug with the best of them. She has definitely brightened her star following her outstanding performance at UFC 172.