UFC 173 Results: Full Winners, Scorecards and Analysis for Main Fight Card
Only appropriate for the bright lights of Las Vegas, UFC 173 features a stacked main card at MGM Grand Garden Arena.
Renan Barao, arguably the best fighter in the world, defends his bantamweight title against TJ Dillashaw in the headliner.
Olympian Dan’s (Dan Henderson and Daniel Cormier) also square off in a crucial light heavyweight matchup, while two of welterweight’s hardest punchers, Robbie Lawler and Jake Ellenberger, will tangle.
Throw in Takeya Mizugaki vs. Francisco Rivera and Jamie Varner vs. James Krause, and there is plenty to pique your interest.
Let’s take a look at how the entire main card unfolded on Saturday night.
TJ Dillashaw Defeats Renan Barao Via TKO
Well, no one (except maybe TJ Dillashaw) saw that coming.
"The Viper" put an end to Renan Barao's 32-fight win streak Saturday night, putting forth a clinical performance to capture the bantamweight championship with a fifth-round TKO.
Dillashaw nearly stopped Barao, who many believed to be the best pound-for-pound fighter in the world, in the first round, continued to dominate through the next three rounds and finally finished the job with a flurry of punches in the final frame.
Going up against one of the most dangerous men in the world, it was a perfect effort from the challenger, and this championship performance won't soon be forgotten.
Barao certainly has the credentials (he hadn't lost since April of 2005) to earn a rematch, but this night (and the next several nights) belongs to Dillashaw, the new world champion.
Daniel Cormier Defeats Dan Henderson Via Submission
Daniel Cormier improved to 15-0 (and 2-0 at light heavyweight) with an absolutely transcendent submission win over Dan Henderson Saturday night, strengthening his case for a title shot.
The 35-year-old looked every bit like one of the most feared forces in all of UFC, throwing around Hendo like a rag doll for three rounds before finally choking him out with just over a minute left.
Cormier proved once again that he is a beast, and whether he fights champion Jon Jones (who he was quick to call out after Saturday's win) or another top-five opponent next, it's going to take something special to beat him.
Throw in Alexander Gustafsson, who already gave "Bones" a battle, and light heavyweight division is in a very good place.
As for Henderson, this marks the 43-year-old’s fourth loss in five fights. While it's starting to look like he won't ride off into the sunset with a UFC title around his waist, though the consummate professional is one of the toughest men in the business and isn't done yet.
Robbie Lawler Defeats Jake Ellenberger Via TKO
In a very important fight at the top of the welterweight division, Robbie Lawler bounced back from a loss to Johny Hendricks, knocking off Jake Ellenberger with an impressive third-round knockout victory.
The 32-year-old California native dominated most of the fight, finally earning the knockout with a flurry of punches with two minutes left. Of Lawler's 23 wins, 20 have now come via knockouts, with many of those way of powerful punches.
"Ruthless" lost a back-and-forth fight against Hendricks for the vacant welterweight title back in March, but this win helps keep him as the top contender in the division. It will be interesting to see if he gets a rematch with Hendricks once the latter recovers from his torn bicep, or if he meets the winner of Rory MacDonald vs. Tyron Woodley (UFC 174).
Either way, he proved he is still clearly a major force in this division.
Ellenberger, on the other hand, is still a very solid fighter, but he was overmatched on Saturday. This marks his second loss in a row against a top-five opponent.
Takeya Mizugaki Defeats Francisco Rivera Via Unanimous Decision
UFC veteran Takeya Mizugaki continued to roll right along, notching his fifth-consecutive victory with a unanimous decision win over an equally red-hot Francisco Rivera.
It wasn't the most thrilling fight, but it was a clinical win for the 30-year-old. He hurt Rivera early and controlled the pace of the rest of the fight, using superior wrestling skills to coast to the victory.
Mizugaki, the former WEC title contender, hasn’t lost since February of 2012. After beating Rivera, who entered with six-straight wins (three in UFC, and one of which was overturned after Rivera tested positive for a banned substance), he continues his climb up the bantamweight ladder. He now stands to get a shot at a top-five opponent, which is what was going to happen before TJ Dillashaw was moved to the main event.
As for Rivera, this is just his first UFC loss, but he still lacks a signature win after struggling on Saturday night.
James Krause Defeats Jamie Varner Via TKO
James Krause took a major step forward on Saturday night, kicking off the main card with a TKO victory over Jamie Varner.
A popular candidate for Fight of the Night ended prematurely, as the referee was forced to stop the fight after the first round when it appeared Varner had suffered a broken ankle.
After a Submission of the Night over Sam Stout in his UFC debut, “The James Krause” took a step back in November with a defeat at the hands of Bobby Green. He regained that momentum, though, stopping Varner to earn the best win of his short UFC career.
Krause has shown off some impressive stoppage ability, and he could be looking at a top-15 battle after this win.
Varner, meanwhile, is now 1-4 in his last five fights, but he deserves major credit after suffering the early injury and still fighting through the entire first round. He's now likely facing a significant rehab process before he attempts to get his career back on track.