UFC on Fox 12 Results: The Real Winners and Losers
UFC on Fox 12 delivered on Saturday night.
Welterweights Robbie Lawler and Matt Brown capped off the evening with a thrilling five-round battle with a shot at Johny Hendricks' title on the line. It would be Lawler who got the nod on the scorecards, but it was an exciting fight that everyone could appreciate.
Anthony "Rumble" Johnson destroyed Antonio Rogerio Nogueira in the co-main event to put himself right in the mix in the light heavyweight title picture.
Ten other fights happened on Saturday, and despite nine of them going to the judges' scorecards, nearly every fight delivered action. A rarity, it seems, in 2014.
With 24 fighters competing in five divisions, these are your real winners and losers from UFC on Fox 12.
Loser: Women's Strawweight Division
The newly minted strawweight division had its first official bout earlier this month. That fight, which Claudia Gadelha won, was buried on the UFC's subscription service known as Fight Pass despite being one of the only relevant bouts on the card.
At UFC on Fox 12, Joanna Jedrzejczyk and Juliana Lima were also relegated to Fight Pass.
To add insult to injury, UFC commentators Mike Goldberg and Joe Rogan said that this was the first fight. Fed the information that they were wrong through their headsets, they later corrected their error.
The UFC will put the new division front and center later this year when the 20th season of The Ultimate Fighter debuts, but it has had two shining opportunities to introduce high-level fighters to the fans. Yet, the powers that be have chosen to put them where the least amount of eyes can see them.
Winner: Fight Pass Subscribers
July has been a big month for Fight Pass subscribers, and that continued on Saturday.
All four of the preliminary bouts went to the scorecards, but only one was truly a dud. In fact, the other three were fun scraps that any fight fan would have enjoyed watching.
Noad Lahat vs. Steven Siler, Jedrzejczyk vs. Lima and Gilbert Burns vs. Andreas Stahl all were solid bouts. They continued to add value to what was already a fantastic month of action on the UFC's digital platform.
For the fighters, it cannot be thrilling to have their bouts featured on the smallest distribution channel, but those fans who have shelled out the $9.99 per month for the service are certainly winning.
Losers: South Florida Residents
Some fight fans in the great state of Florida tuned in to Fox to watch the prelims and were greeted with local programming.
Why? Those specific affiliates chose not to air the preliminary bouts until later on Saturday.
Neither Fox nor the UFC is to blame, but fight fans in that region of the country got shortchanged. The only way for them to watch the preliminary fights was through the Fox Sports Go app, but even that is not available to all.
At least the main card was not pre-empted.
Winner: Brian Ortega
Former RFA featherweight champion Brian Ortega was in the opening bout on the Fox preliminary card, and he won by way of submission in just 99 seconds.
He is not merely a winner because he won or because he finished the fight. He is a winner because he was able to win on Fox.
Ortega emphatically announced himself to UFC fans by winning quickly and impressively on national network television. He took full advantage of the platform at his disposal, maximizing his opportunity at UFC on Fox 12.
Ortega is a solid featherweight prospect. Now, the world knows.
Winner: Patrick Cummins
It turns out when you are not fighting No. 2-ranked contender Daniel Cormier on a week's notice, you don't look that bad.
He even garnered a 30-24 scorecard from one judge and a 30-25 card as well.
Former NCAA All-American wrestler Patrick Cummins has looked solid in his last two outings. At UFC on Fox 12, he dominated veteran Kyle Kingsbury for 15 minutes. It was not the most beautiful performance, but it shows how much upside the former Nittany Lion has.
His UFC debut did him a disservice. It made him look like he did not belong in the Octagon. It was just a mismatch in terms of where Cummins was in his career, and not having a full training camp certainly didn't help. Cummins' performance on Saturday proved what he can do when given the time to prepare properly.
He has a long way to go, but he's shown a lot of promise.
Loser: Viewers on a Schedule
The UFC does have to set the stage for some fights, but when the clock struck 8 p.m. ET for the main card, it took another 22 minutes for the first fight to begin. It was not until 8:14 that the promo before the first fight aired.
It was not a tactful way to fill time.
In fact, it killed a bit of the momentum that the previous fight had built. I am sure there were a few aging fans out there who drifted off to sleep in the time it took to get to the first bout. The UFC and Fox may have been better served to put five fights on the main card and quickly get to the first bout.
They must improve on filling time with something at least resembling quality content.
Winner: Bobby Green
Filling in as a late replacement and battling No. 3-ranked Josh Thomson for the full 15 minutes in a tight tilt, Green took the split-decision victory, and now he will surely move into the Top 10 of the division.
With the win under his belt, he will move on to possibly an even bigger fight with title implications. It was his eighth win in a row and fourth inside the UFC, making it very interesting to see where UFC matchmakers Joe Silva and Sean Shelby book Green next.
A huge win and an impressive performance overall. Green made the most of this fight.
MMA fans love Pride. MMA fans love the Nogueira brothers. 2014 should put a stop to the nostalgia when it comes to active competition.
MMA journalist Josh Gross says what most feel: "I'm OK not watching either Nogueira brother fight again. Monumental names in MMA. Big Nog's a legend. But their time has come and gone."
Roy Nelson starched Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira earlier this year, and Johnson melted Rogerio Nogueira at UFC on Fox 12 in less than a minute.
Nogueira looked old coming in and was trying to knock off more than a year's worth of cage rust. Johnson uppercutted the dust into outer space on Saturday. Nogueira is well past his prime, much like his brother, and there is little for him to prove.
There are several Pride veterans still fighting, and plenty of good vibes out there. However, it's time to put those old memories to bed. Time waits for no man, and it most surely left the Nogueiras some time ago.
Loser: The Red Corner
The fighters in the blue corner started the evening 10-0.
There was no voodoo going on; it was simply an anomaly. Regardless, it was an interesting tidbit for those who noticed the trend.
The final fighter to win on that side of the cage was Dennis Bermudez. The up-and-coming featherweight defeated Clay Guida soundly to put himself right in the middle of the packed 145-pound division. He mentioned in his post-fight interview that he wants a Top Five fight next, and he has earned that.
In future events, we will have to be mindful of dominant corners. Perhaps there'll be a few prop bets out there for the next card.
Winner: The Universe
Sure, there was no finish to the main event, but does it matter? It was great.
Brown and Lawler got after it in a technical brawl. They did not go out there and throw haymakers in sloppy exchanges. It was a controlled brawl with plenty of offense, per the official UFC fight statistics.
Brown started off strong, but Lawler rebounded. Each fighter had his moments throughout the fight, and when the chips were pushed into the center of the cage, both men went for it. There was a title shot up for grabs, and they acted like it.
Lawler got the victory, setting himself up for a rematch against the champion Hendricks.
The Ohioan may have come out on the losing end, but his performance was another one that would endear himself to fans. The UFC brass will love him for the heart he showed on Saturday. Up next for Brown is likely another top-tier fight. He won't drop completely out of the title picture.
This was the fight we were promised, and it didn't disappoint. The UFC won. Brown and Lawler won. The fans won. Everyone was a winner thanks to Saturday's main event.