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Jean-Yves Ahern-USA TODAY Sports

How odd it must feel for Demetrious Johnson to be a master of something so many people actively want to ignore.

Johnson presented a clinic on the art of being Demetrious Johnson on Saturday at UFC 186. He efficiently sucked the life out of game challenger Kyoji Horiguchi during five grueling rounds before retaining his flyweight title via armbar with one second left on the clock.

It was another signature performance from the best 125-pound fighter on the planet. Great, because once again, Johnson looked a generation ahead of his next-best competition, winning just about every exchange, every moment of another high-profile bout.

Forgettable, because it felt like a tedious rerun of something we’d all seen before, and fans inside Montreal’s Bell Center reportedly began heading for the exits long before the end:

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Eric Jamison/Associated Press

It’s fairly common in combat sports for people to say they don’t believe in luck.

Perhaps we have Dan Gable to thank for this. The legendary amateur wrestler and coach is fond of imploring people to “make their own luck” during autograph signings and speaking events. There is an even older adage, often attributed to Thomas Jefferson, which insists, "I am a great believer in luck, and I find the harder I work, the more I have of it."

It’s easy to see why such notions appeal to MMA types. Nobody wants to pour his guts into a grueling life as a professional fighter, one filled with the drudgery of training camps, the pain of injury and worries over long-term health risks, only to think the end result depends largely on chance.

The truth is, however, you just can’t control a lot about this sport.

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AP Images

We haven’t even seen the fights yet, and UFC 186 is already among the UFC’s wildest events of the year.

What was originally meant to be a championship doubleheader is now reduced to one. An injury to bantamweight titlist T.J. Dillashaw swept a proposed rematch with Renan Barao off the table until July, leaving Demetrious Johnson’s flyweight defense against Kyoji Horiguchi to fend for itself on Saturday.

Then there is Quinton “Rampage” Jackson, who was on, off and back on the card according to the whims of various New Jersey state judges. His current status is "on," as the Bellator defector is thought to be headed for a catchweight showdown with Fabio Maldonado, at least as of this writing.

Add in the announcement on Wednesday that the UFC is currently on the outs with Dish Network and this card starts to seem like a real goat rope.

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AP Images

There's no nice way to say this, so I'm going to just come out with it: UFC 186 is not the UFC's best pay-per-view offering. Even when compared to some of the UFC's more injury-riddled recent events, Saturday's card falls under what I'd call the "subpar" heading.

But the non-existent hype for this event received something of a kick-start Tuesday night when the UFC announced that the injunction granted to Bellator a few weeks ago that would keep Quinton "Rampage" Jackson from competing on the card had been overturned, to the shock of everyone. Well, everyone who did not read our story on the lawsuit in the first place, anyway. 

So Jackson is back on the card, and former hockey thug/local draw Steve Bosse is relegated back to the sidelines. It's the first true good news the UFC has received around this injury-riddled fight card, and to be frank, the company needed a little bit of good news when it comes to the Canadian market. 

Now that we have an idea of what the finalized card will look like (with just a few days to spare, even!), let's go through each matchup with a fine-tooth comb. 

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USA Today

If nothing else, Saturday night’s loss to Luke Rockhold at UFC on Fox 15 signaled another sharp downturn for Lyoto Machida.

During the first one minute, 15 seconds of their main event fight, we got to see Machida at his best. He came out of his corner bouncing on his toes, firing off combinations and circling away as Rockhold plodded forward. He connected with a hard right, made the American miss and landed another pair of punches that drew a characteristic “Oh! Oh!” from color commentator Joe Rogan.

For a few fleeting moments it seemed like this could be Machida’s fight. Then came Rockhold’s sweeping, off-target right and the slip/knockdown/stumble that put the former light heavyweight champion down on the canvas.

He never really recovered. Badly hurt by an elbow to the side of the head at the end of the first, he began the second looking like a bad carbon copy of himself. From there, he was easy pickings, and the end result was an impressive, statement victory by Rockhold.

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Joe Camporeale/USA Today

UFC on Fox 15, a card that lived up to every bit of its promise, was all about renewal. From time to time the combat sports world must refresh itself with young challengers emerging from the battered remains of their predecessors. 

This was one of those nights.

The Machida era, well and truly, has finally come to an end. Let's all welcome our new southern Californian surfer lords. And while Luke Rockhold certainly led the way, he had a cast of new characters behind him, with Max Holloway, Paige VanZant and Beneil Dariush staking their claims as potential contenders.

It was a big night for the UFC's future—but it wasn't quite perfect. In a new post-fight series, we'll look at the card as a whole and choose the five best and worst moments—the handful of things worth talking about on Twitter in the event's aftermath.

Want to extend the bout from five rounds into infinity? That's what the comments are for. Make your voice heard.

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USA Today

Luke Rockhold’s incremental climb to top contender status ended in an all-out blitz at UFC on Fox 15.

If you thought Rockhold looked impressive last November, when he dispatched Michael Bisping via second-round submission in a fight seen only on UFC Fight Pass…

Or the time before that, when he tapped Tim Boetsch in a hair more than two minutes on pay-per-view…

Or the time before that, when he crumpled Costas Philippou with a body kick TKO in the first round on Fox Sports 1…

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USA Today

We said—and I include myself herethat she didn't deserve the things she was getting.

We said she received too much, too soon. She landed an exclusive Reebok deal before the champion in her division. She was lauded by Dana White and promoted and put on Fox network television, the largest platform available to the UFC.

She received all of this, we said, because of her looks. Because, as White said, she has "it."

Perhaps that's true. Perhaps she was signed by Reebok and put on Fox and pushed so heavily because she is attractive, and because she is young, and because she is a fresh face for a UFC in need of new stars. All of those things may be true.

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USA Today

Perhaps the biggest and best compliment we can pay Lyoto Machida vs. Luke Rockhold is that it feels completely necessary.

In an MMA world now defined by dilution and excess, this is one we must absolutely have. When the two middleweights meet on Saturday in the main event of UFC on Fox 15, theirs will be among the most anticipated non-title fights of the year so far.

It will be steeped in meaningful stakes and will play out on the mainstream stage provided by network television.

Oh yeah, and it also stands to be a whole lot of fun.

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USA Today

Even as it limps down the home stretch, UFC on Fox 15 remains the best MMA card of the month.

Yoel Romero is out, owing to a knee injury, but the UFC's second foray of the year into network television still promises to be a rollicking good time. Luke Rockhold and Lyoto Machida fight for presumed No. 1 contender status in the middleweight division, Ronaldo "Jacare" Souza promises to roll over short-notice replacement Chris Camozzi, and Cub Swanson meets Max Holloway in an interesting featherweight matchup.

With preliminary fights moving from Fox Sports 1 to the network, UFC fans will also be able to cut out any superfluous channel surfing. Just set it and forget it for the full four hours.

As usual in the case of a fight card as good as this one, bold predictions are required. Luckily for all involved, Bleacher Report Lead Writers Chad Dundas (that's me) and Jonathan Snowden have them to spare.