Nobody ever wants to lose, but sometimes it's good to make the most of a bad situation. A few fighters who tasted defeat at UFC 175 should still be somewhat encouraged with how well they fought.
Not all losses are created equally. It's one thing to get completely dominated in every round. It's something different to go down fighting until the end and make a strong case that you were the deserving winner. Even a knockout/submission result can be deceiving because all it takes is one split-second mistake, and it's all over.
These three fighters may not have come out on the winning end Saturday night, but they at least made a good account of themselves.
In an earlier article Sunday, I made the parallel between Chris Weidman's win over Lyoto Machida to one of Ric Flair's title defenses from the late 1980s and early '90s. Flair was such a great wrestler that even in victory, he made his opponents look like a million bucks, and they came out looking stronger in defeat.
Of course, Weidman and Machida didn't work out a prearranged finish for their title bout, but the comparison remains effective.
Machida might have fallen short Saturday night, but his stock hardly took a hit. By the end of the fight, most fans were applauding him for coming back in the late rounds and giving Weidman a run for his money:
What a fight. Great heart/comeback from Machida. Not enough.— Russillo (@ryenarussillo) July 6, 2014
The challenger remained gracious in defeat.
"The plan was to keep the fight standing but Chris Weidman is a tough opponent," Machida said, per Mike Chiappetta of FoxSports.com. "He's the true champion. He deserves the title."
Machida might have lost at UFC 175, but he still found a way to burnish his reputation in the Octagon.
While most will agree that Machida was the clear loser in his bout, the same couldn't be said of Marcus Brimage, who lost a split decision to Russell Doane.
ESPN.com's Brett Okamoto had the 29-year-old ahead on the cards, while Sherdog's Jordan Breen thought that Brimage at the very least took Round 3:
Russell Doane wins split decision over Marcus Brimage, 30-27, 29-28, 28-29. Hmmm. I had it Brimage 29-28.— Brett Okamoto (@bokamotoESPN) July 6, 2014
Wait, 30-27 Doane? Really? R2 and R3 were both competitive, but that's pretty suspect stuff there. Brimage won R3 clearly at a bare minimum.— Jordan Breen (@jordanbreen) July 6, 2014
All in all, Brimage could've had a much worse debut to the bantamweight division. He registered a knockdown on Doane in the second round and looked to be in control by landing a series of leg kicks.
The judges obviously felt otherwise, but they cannot cloud what was a strong performance from Brimage.
The burden was on Urijah Faber Saturday night. He was the more experienced fighter and the consensus pick to beat Alex Caceres. After all, the 35-year-old is now 20-0 in nontitle fights, as per Mike Johnston of Sportsnet:
There's no shame in losing to a better fighter, and that's exactly what happened to Caceres:
It's over. Faber chokes out Caceres for the win in the third round. Faber too strong, too experienced for Caceres.— Jason Jones (@mr_jasonjones) July 6, 2014
Faber is an animal. Ask the guys who have fought him. Caceres hanging around, though. #UFC175— Jon Anik (@Jon_Anik) July 6, 2014
This was his chance to earn consideration as a main-card player in the pay-per-view scene. Although this is a setback, Caceres is only 26 years old, so he has plenty of time to recover and get his UFC career back on track.