UFC on FX Results: The Real Winners and Losers
The UFC’s first card on FX was an exciting one, featuring a ton of finishes and quality wins by some UFC veterans.
The card was exactly what we should expect to see from these FX and Fuel events, which is entertaining fights between mid-tier fighters and a main event that has title implications.
Jim Miller rebounded from his loss to Benson Henderson with a sick submission win over Melvin Guillard to get back into title contention, Josh Neer put Duane Ludwig to sleep inside of the first round and Pat Barry showed off some skills on the mat before knocking out Christian Morecraft.
Winner: Nick Denis
One of a half dozen UFC newcomers to make their promotional debut on this card, Nick Denis looked fantastic against Joseph Sandoval.
Even after taking this fight on short notice, Denis had a lot of people hyping his finishing ability and style, and he didn’t disappoint, as he came out throwing leather and ended the bout in just 22 seconds after landing some hard elbows from the clinch.
The Canadian fighter was gaining recognition on the regional scene prior to this fight, and those who didn’t know his name before should make note of it now.
The impressive win will do wonders for his stock in the bantamweight division and he should get a nice little step up in competition during his next bout.
Winner: Charlie Brenneman
It wasn’t the prettiest win, but Charlie Brenneman did what he had to do to earn a victory and remain relevant in the welterweight division.
Brenneman made headlines last year when he took out then-top contender Rick Story on just two days notice, but his momentum came to a halt when he was crushed by Anthony Johnson a few months later.
Tonight, Charlie got back into the win column, gaining control from the top position throughout the fight and securing dominant positions, including the crucifix on several occasions.
There was a bit of a scare when Daniel Roberts locked in a kimura late in the third round, but Brenneman was able to survive until the bell and picked up the decision.
Loser: Kamal Shalorus
The former WEC contender has had some difficulties adjusting to life inside the Octagon, and his loss to Khabib Nurmagomedov was his second in as many UFC fights.
Once regarded as a scary fighter due to his outstanding wrestling base and heavy hands, Shalorus has become one dimensional over the course of his last few fights, and he is now in serious danger of getting cut by the promotion.
If Shalorus gets another opportunity inside the UFC, he’ll need to put on a much better performance than he did tonight if he wants to stay employed.
Winner: Khabib Nurmagomedov
At just 23 years old and with a 16-0 record, many fans were excited to see Russian lightweight Khabib Nurmagomedov make his UFC debut, and he looked impressive in disposing of Kamal Shalorus.
There is a shortage of good European prospects in the UFC right now, and Nurmagomedov may have given the promotion a reason to bring a few more stateside, as he put on an impressive performance both striking and on the mat.
After fighting seven times in 2011, one has to wonder if we will see Nurmagomedov in the near future or if the UFC will give him a bit of time to rest.
Loser: Ryan Jimmo
The former MFC light heavyweight champion was set to make his UFC debut at this event, but a last-minute injury forced him to withdraw from the card.
Jimmo lost his MMA debut back in 2007, but he has been on a roll ever since, defeating former UFC veterans Marvin Eastman, Wilson Gouveia and Rameau Thierry Sokoudjou in the last few years.
Jimmo has the potential to be a strong competitor in the 205-lb division over the next few years, and it’s unfortunate that he was unable to get in the cage.
Winner: Jorge Rivera
Honestly, whether he had won or lost, Jorge Rivera was going to end up a winner tonight.
Rivera came out and survived a rocky first round against Eric Schafer, and after landing an impressive amount of punches to Schafer’s dome, he walked out of the cage with a second-round TKO.
“EL Conquistador” gave fans many memorable bouts in the Octagon over the course of his career, and it was truly a feel-good moment to see him walk away from the sport with a victory.
Loser: NFL Music on UFC Programming
I realize that the music used for the event tonight is technically just FOX sports music, but there is no one in the US that doesn’t automatically start looking for Terry Bradshaw when that theme plays.
It may not seem like a big deal, but until the UFC gets a theme of their own, it is going to look like the NFL’s little brother, something most fans won’t be happy with.
Loser: Christian Morecraft
The heavyweight prospect has gotten no favors during his four-fight run inside the UFC, but after losing to Pat Barry in the first round, he may be headed back to the regional scene soon.
Morecraft had Barry in trouble on the ground on a few separate occasions during the fight, and a few fights ago, Barry may not have been able to escape.
But unfortunately for Morecraft, Barry has drastically improved his ground game since the last time we saw him, and it forced Morecraft to stand and trade with an elite kickboxer.
Winner: Pat Barry's Ground Game
In a must-win situation, Pat Barry showed that he has not only evolved his ground game, but that he has retained his finishing ability when he smashed Christian Morecraft.
A big left hand from Barry put the bigger man on the floor, and the follow-up punches sealed the deal for “HD.”
But the real story is Barry escaping multiple submissions, including a tight armbar and a rear-naked choke.
Adding a decent ground game to his already fantastic striking is going to make Barry a solid competitor in the UFC’s heavyweight division.
Winners: Mike Easton and Jared Papazian
These two bantamweights were the two least known fighters on the main card, but they put on the bout that fans will be talking about this weekend.
After a bizarre exchange during the fighter introductions, these two met in the center of the cage and started throwing down, something that would be repeated over and over again throughout the fight.
Easton came into the bout as a heavy favorite, but Papazian obviously proved that he belongs in the same cage, and these two were robbed of a fight of the night check.
Winners: Jon Anik and Kenny Florian
So far, so good for the UFC’s commentary “B-Team.”
Anik and Florian were solid, providing an entertaining broadcast throughout the night and getting better and better as the night progressed.
It took a little getting used to not hearing Goldberg’s trademark phrases and Joe Rogan’s voice slowly going out throughout the course of the card, but Anik and Kenny seem to have solid chemistry and should be a formidable option for the smaller cards.
Plus, Anik made sure we weren’t completely uncomfortable as he threw us an “everything else…is virtually identical” for the very first fight of the night.
Loser: Melvin Guillard
After getting submitted for the sixth time in his UFC career, one has to wonder if Guillard will ever improve enough to become a champion.
He looked solid in the first minute of his bout against Jim Miller and even rocked the New Jersey-based fighter, but once again, his submission defense proved to be his Achilles heel.
Unless we see dramatic improvements in his ju jitsu, Guillard will forever be stuck just outside of the top contenders at 155.
Winner: Jim Miller
It wasn’t his most flawless performance, but Jim Miller got a quick finish over a dangerous fighter.
The win over Guillard is a nice feather in Miller’s cap and might be his biggest win inside the Octagon. However, more importantly, it brings him back into the title picture in the wide open lightweight division.
Miller’s post-fight interview where he thanked the MMA community for supporting his nephew was almost as good as his win, and his popularity is only going to rise after that.