UFC 138 Results: This Event Is Proof You Don't Need Big Names for a Great Event

Jordy McElroyCorrespondent IFebruary 20, 2017

Styles make fights.

This clichéd saying in the world of MMA was proven once again on Saturday night as the highly-criticized UFC 138 fight card showed that marquee names aren't needed to put on a great show.

There wasn't a single bout that went to a decision on the main card. The fighters involved put on a solid showing on a shockingly stellar card that was initially deemed as one of the worst events ever put together in UFC history.

With major MMA events, the main event can make or break the expectations of an entire fight card.

The idea of Chris Leben and Mark Munoz headlining was met with the utmost scrutiny. In hindsight, some of the pre-fight assumptions surrounding the Leben-Munoz main event were a bit harsh and unfair.

There is a huge difference between marquee names and marquee matchups.

Fans are generally infatuated with major bouts boasting marquee names. A couple of easy examples would be the UFC 129 championship bout between Georges St-Pierre and Jake Shields and the upcoming UFC 141 No. 1 contender bout between Brock Lesnar and Alistair Overeem.

In a champion versus champion showdown, St-Pierre and Shields was billed as one of the biggest welterweight title bouts in UFC history, but the actual fight didn't really live up to the hype.

Despite their star power, St-Pierre-Shields isn't that interesting of a style matchup. While St-Pierre is one of the most well-rounded and technical fighters in all of MMA, Shields' only advantage was his world-class Brazilian jiu-jitsu.

The world knows St-Pierre isn't necessarily a finisher on the feet, and Shields has an underrated chin and great recovery. With that said, this "historic" showdown turned into what the styles dictated. St-Pierre kept the fight standing and periodically jabbed at Shields for five rounds.

As for Lesnar and Overeem, who can really say if the actual fight will live up to the monumental hype the bout will surely receive?

Overeem is one of the most feared strikers in the entire heavyweight division, and Lesnar tends to shy away from standup exchanges and look for an opening to shoot in for a double leg takedown on the outside.

This has the potential to be a good fight, but the styles could easily be a precursor for a slop fest.

Fans look to marquee names, but they're really looking for marquee matchups.

Leben and Munoz would sell out very few venues as a headliner for a major UFC card. Renan Barao and Brad Pickett, who competed in the co-main event, would be lucky to even make the Spike TV prelims.

Still, these fights managed to deliver more action than some of the UFC's most blockbuster bouts.

Instead of marquee names, UFC 138 consisted of a multitude of great stylistic pairings. Leben and Munoz are known for their knockout power and incredibly wild striking styles. Barao and Pickett are both well-rounded, constant aggressors and phenomenal grapplers.

Along with the names involved, fans should try to pay more attention to the actual matchups to get a better feeling on what to expect.

As the old saying goes, you can't judge a book by its cover.