In MMA circles, Renan Barao was like Kim Kardashian, only exactly the opposite. He was famous for not being famous.
Exacerbating the polarity, Barao was also demonstrably, massively talented. Coming into UFC 173 Saturday night, the UFC bantamweight champion looked pretty unbeatable in spite of his anonymity, not having lost since his first professional fight, all the way back in 2005. That included a perfect 7-0 in the Octagon.
This was to be, proponents theorized, a bit of a coming-out party for Barao. That was the subtext of the UFC 173 main event. Could Barao do enough to electrify the fighting public?
Of course, the challenger, TJ Dillashaw, wanted nothing to do with that narrative. No one put much stock in his objections, but they existed nevertheless. And we'll get to them momentarily.
Meanwhile, in the evening's co-main event, former Olympic wrestler Daniel Cormier faced Old Man River Dan Henderson. At 43, Henderson is decidedly past his prime and, on paper, he didn't seem to have much for the streaking Cormier, who is hunting a light heavyweight title bout with the great Jon Jones.
But there was plenty of intrigue across the 12-fight slate. And as always, the final stat lines only reveal so much. Here are the real winners and losers from UFC 173.