UFC on Fox 12 delivered on Saturday evening.
The main card was four fights of high-level action. We saw quality performances that sent the winners into title contention across several divisions. However, the undercard also performed mightily.
There were eight fights on the undercard with four being seen on UFC Fight Pass and the second four starting the action on Fox. One was the smallest platform for fighters to be seen inside the Octagon, and the other was the biggest.
Seven of the eight fights went to the judges' scorecards, but do not let that fool you. The vast majority of those fights offered quality entertainment from solid prospects looking to make noise under the banner of the UFC.
Here are four of the standout stars from the preliminary action.
Lahat opened the card with a fun scrap against Steven Siler.
The Israeli fighter won a unanimous decision, but he will now go home to a much bigger fight.
The UFC did well to share his story both during the fight and in the post-fight interview. Lahat will return to Israel to fight for his country during a tense time politically. The sports world does a great job of bringing the world together and helps us forget about difficult situations. Training for this fight and stepping in the Octagon allowed Lahat a way to escape—even if only for a brief time.
As the world wishes for peace, the MMA world wishes for Lahat to return unscathed.
The talented Polish fighter entered with an undefeated 6-0 record and was coming off a knockout victory over UFC veteran Rosi Sexton.
In her UFC debut, dropping back to 115 pounds, Jedrzejczyk showcased her incredible skills. Jedrzejczyk even earned the praise of UFC president Dana White.
As the UFC begins to flesh out the strawweight division, Jedrzejczyk introduced herself as a contender. Claudia Gadelha won the first ever UFC 115-pound fight earlier this month, and it would seem both she and Jedrzejczyk are at the top of the list to be the first contender to the inaugural title that will be decided later this year.
Jedrzejczyk has all the tools to be the UFC champion, and there will only be bigger and brighter things for the outstanding fighter as she moves forward in her career.
In the opening bout of the Fox prelims we were already treated to four decisions. The fans were wanting a finish, and Ortega delivered in 99 seconds.
Ortega is a former RFA featherweight champion. The young gun is a quality prospect in the 145-pound division. He announced himself to the UFC fans with a quick and decisive victory. More importantly, Ortega did so in exciting fashion.
Fighters who get placed on national network television have to take advantage of the platform, and Ortega did.
Ortega got the back, sunk in the rear-naked choke and put himself on the map in the UFC.
Cummins made his UFC debut in high-profile fashion earlier this year. He stepped up on a week's notice to fight Daniel Cormier.
He was unceremoniously destroyed by Cormier.
Cummins returned to defeat Roger Narvaez in June and stepped back inside the cage on Saturday against veteran Kyle Kingsbury.
As luck would have it, having a full training camp and not fighting an elite fighter does wonders for how a growing fighter looks inside the UFC's Octagon. Cummins has looked every bit of the prospect we were told he was in his last two outings.
On Saturday, he dominated Kingsbury from bell to bell. He not only earned a 30-25 scorecard from one judge, but also a 30-24 from another. Those type of scorecards are rare. Yet, those scorecards were very much deserved as Cummins scored 10 takedowns and battered Kingsbury.
Official: Patrick Cummins landed 10 takedowns tonight, the 2nd most by a LHW in a single fight. (Wallace, 11 at UFC 111)— Michael Carroll (@MJCflipdascript) July 26, 2014
The former Penn State Nittany Lion still has a long way to go in his development, but now fans are getting to see his upside.