A card riddled with injuries and replacement bouts, UFC 108, like many other "less than stellar" cards, actually turned out to be well-worth the fifty dollars. It's hard to see fans complaining about this one, but they still do about the what-should-of-been's.
It's hard to fault the company for events that take place leading up to the fights, as it was the injury bug that tried to make it's presence felt, taking out one marquee name after another, but the fight community moved on with each passing withdrawal.
As a fellow B/R writer once said in conversations leading up to the card, "The players change, but the game remains."
Junior dos Santos
Junior dos Santos had the pleasure of welcoming in the controversial addition of Gilbert Yvel. The fight was expected to be a stand-up war, and they certainly delivered.
Both guys are heavy handed strikers, and the victor really depended on who was faster on the take, which happened to be dos Santos. The fight ended in the first round with Junior putting Yvel to rest.
Being stuck in a division that has quite a few contenders scrapping for position, dos Santos isn't exactly leading the bunch.
His next opponent should be Cain Velasquez, regardless of the outcome between Velasquez and Antonio Nogueira.
Both guys have very impressive resumes inside the UFC walls, but both just need one or two more marquee victories. After the heavyweight division gets all their marbles in one bowl, sorts itself out if you will, this fight could easily be used to crown the next championship contender.
The strength of Jim Miller is his all-around ability, which he put on full display this past Saturday against Duane Ludwig.
He stood toe-to-toe with the dangerous striker, and eventually put him on his back with a left hook. From there, it was a systematic breakdown of Ludwig's defenses until Miller nabbed an arm and finished the fight with an armbar.
Now, the lightweight division needs some sorting out of it's own. As of right now, there really is no clearcut contender, and Jim Miller is still at least two wins away from being one himself.
Testing himself against Tyson Griffin would be a great step-up in competition for Miller. This fight would also be crucial for the division, to start clearing out the pretenders and developing the contenders.
Sam Stout was dangerously close to being cut by the UFC after two straight losses, but has since earned two consecutive victories, more recently against the heavily-favored Joe Lauzon.
Once again, Stout's remarkable conditioning played a huge role in the outcome of the fight.
Always a fan favorite, Stout came in and owned Lauzon for a better part of two rounds. He stuffed Lauzon's take-downs, and he gradually picked him apart en route to a unanimous decision.
Isn't it about time for another three-round war, another potential fight of the year candidate. Isn't it about time for the rubber match between Stout and Spencer Fisher?
The first two fights were very exciting and fun to watch, even to the casual fans. Both fighters have improved, the UFC should let the world see who has improved more.
There has been an electric buzz in the air of the welterweight division since the arrival of feared U.K. striker, Paul Daley.
He thoroughly thrashed Martin Kampmann on his feet, and just recently sent Dustin Hazelett away dazed and battered, in search of better striking.
Daley has exploded through the ranks, and deserves an opponent who might be able to last an entire round with him; someone who might be able to test his weaknesses, a guy like Josh Koscheck.
Like most of the other divisions, the welterweights are lacking a clearcut contender, and this one has contender status written all over it. Let's face it, this one would be a barn-burning war, an explosive slug fest.
Both guys would likely try and put on a striking clinic, aiming for a knockout, especially with the recent trash talk that has been going on between the two camps of Rough House and American Kickboxing Academy.
Yes, there would be trash talk galore. In fact, this fight would practically sell itself.
After a decent layoff from fighting, Rashad Evans was in need of a win to stay relevant in the light-heavyweight division. He got exactly that at 108-lbs against the very dangerous, Thiago Silva.
Evans came in with a solid Greg Jackson game plan and out-worked Silva for the first two rounds with a number of take-downs and clean counter strikes.
In the third round, Evans seemed to falter a bit, and he appeared to slow down. Maybe it was the ring rust of being out as long as he was, but it nearly cost him, and it's something that should be fixed.
It's obvious who is next foe should be, especially with Evans calling out Quinton Jackson in his post-fight interview.
While the pot may have settled slightly, there is still some boiling hate going on between these two, and that won't ever change until they lock horns and let out their most savage qualities.
Surely, Evans would probably abandon a wrestling-based game plan and aim for the knockout. It would likely be a reckless war of flailing fists, they're both under each other's skin so deep that it's almost impossible for it to be anything else.
Plus, not only would this fight generate some serious bucks, it would also be another great number one contender fight, as both guys are only one win out of a title shot.
Check out Robert Gardner's article for his take on who the loser's should fight next.