SYDNEY AUSTRALIA - FEBRUARY 23: Michael Bisping of England speaks during a Press Conference ahead of UFC 127 at Star City on February 23 2011 in Sydney Australia. (Photo by Ryan Pierse/Getty Images)
It's Sunday. While I'm waiting to beat Mike Fagan at fantasy football, it's time to reflect back on the night of UFC fights and discuss who the biggest winners and loser were on the night. It was the second to last UFC broadcast on Spike TV and the last season of The Ultimate Fighter before the series airs live on FX in 2012. As with all major events there are some big winners and some huge losers on the night. Let's take a look at the results and see who came out on top.
Michael Bisping - I'm not a Michael Bisping fan by any definition of the word "fan" but his performance last night was impressive. He's made massive improvements to his takedown defense and his boxing was solid. His ability to keep the fight standing made Jason Miller look like a complete amateur. He'll never be a fan favorite but there is no doubt that he belongs in the top 10 discussions at middleweight.
Diego Brandao - I wasn't sold on him because as powerful of a puncher he is, he also isn't really all that technical. He relies on his ability to put an opponent to sleep to really level the playing field when dealing with someone with better stand up. The armbar was slick as all hell and he has a killer instinct that most fighters don't have.
John Dodson - Dodson is like Demetrious Johnson and Joseph Benevidez: undersized for bantamweight but uses speed to make up for the difference in weight. At flyweight he never really made the big jump to being elite because he didn't have the speed advantage. He's an interesting prospect because of the knockout power and speed he possesses at bantamweight. His fight record means that he doesn't have to be brought along as slowly as past TUF winners so he may be in the shark tank sooner than we think.
Johnny Bedford - I said last night that it was a mismatch and I meant it. Perhaps my wording was incorrect because people were under the impression that I was faulting Bedford for being so much bigger than Louis Gaudinot. Bedford is a massive bantamweight and he put on a helluva performance against Gaudinot. I need to see him do it against someone in the weight class that isn't a flyweight to see what he actually can do but he's an interesting prospect for sure.
John Albert - The TKO was awesome. It's very rare to see a fighter gift wrap his opponent which makes the finish all the more special.
Bantam and Featherweights - The divisions needed this season. Prior to TUF 14, no one cared about the under 155 pound guys. Had the season been boring or filled with questionable talent, it may have set the divisions back even further. Instead the finale is super fun and not a single fight ended up being boring.
Losers and other thoughts after the jump...
Mayhem Miller - Dana White is talking about how that performance could be another "one and done" for Mayhem. Honestly, I'm not sure I disagree with the UFC President. Mayhem was more concerned with the walkout than he was with the fight and looked like dogcrap after the first round. I don't know if it was an adrenaline dump or just poor conditioning but that was the worst case of gassing since Slice/Alexander. Shame since the season of the Ultimate Fighter made him such an endearing personality. C'est la vie I guess?
T.J. Dillashaw - The season already made him see like a guy who tried taking the easiest road to the finale. Last night he got knocked out by a blown up flyweight. I know he's still extremely young and has plenty of room to grow but he didn't do himself any favors with his performance last night.
Josh Clopton - Before the finale I had no idea who Josh Clopton was. After the finale I feel like I'll never really know.
Dennis Bermudez - He really didn't look bad against Brandao and was holding his own on the feet. I figured when he got the takedown he'd ride out the round and get the 10-9 from the judges. Instead he gets arm barred and loses the fight. To add to that, the arm bar snapped his arm and now he's out for an extended length of time while he has to heal up.
Louis Gaudinot - I know he's a flyweight but he had absolutely nothing for Johnny Bedford last night. Everywhere the fight took place he was outclassed. I'm not sure he's going to stick around if he can't hang with the 135ers until the UFC starts the flyweight division.
- The pacing last night was godawful. The first 45 minutes of the SPIKE TV broadcast featured 10 minutes of fighting. The rest was video game and movie trailers. I get that commercials keep the lights on but that's a terrible stat when you're trying to endear fans to the sport.
- The relationship with SPIKE is over and in all of his post-fight interviews Dana reiterated that he has no hard feelings. He is either showing enormous maturity in not burning the bridge on the way out or he's waiting until 2013 to unleash the dogs of war on SPIKE.
- Rogan and Goldie were terrible last night. I don't know what's going on with these two but they've been off their game since UFC 137. I'm hoping it's just a case of being burnt out on the ridiculously busy schedule and not some other underlying issue.
- Marcus Brimage is awesome. His shout out to Alabama was fantastic and his post fight interview with Ariel Helwani was hilarious when he had to explain what "white girl wasted" was and why he exclusively dates fat girls. Hopefully his talents can develop since he's got the personality to be a star in this sport.
- Hopefully the performances from both Brandao and Dodson can put to rest the "Jackson Fighters are boring" meme. Let's instead change that meme to "Georges St. Pierre is boring" and call it a day, okay?