What a card. I was with a group of people that included some MMA neophytes and old school boxing fans, and the night had something for everyone. All of those that don't religiously watch fights agreed that Cruz/Faber was the best, most competitive, most difficult to judge (more on that later) bout they had ever seen. These little guys - fast, damn near impossible to gas and scrappy - have a bright, bright future in the UFC.
Melvin Guillard facing off against Shane Roller didn't make any sense to me when it was announced, and it doesn't make any sense to me now that it's happened in the same way everyone predicted. Melvin looked confident, loose and comfortable as he decimated Roller standing while fending off the prospect of a take down. You can't go from beating Shane Roller to getting a title shot, Joe Rogan - right now, I'm leaning toward Guillard/Siver because Jim Miller is already slated to face Benson Henderson. If Miller was available, that would be the ideal opponent for Melvin, with the winner earning a title shot.
Looking back on it, I was stupid for calling the first round of Anthony Njokuami and Andre Winner a 10-9 affair. The lack of a knock down shouldn't be held against Njokuami - he absolutely put it on Winner for the last half of the first round, essentially saving his energy and picking his power shots based on how Andre was defending (Anthony never had to worry about a counter or Winner improving his position/getting off the cage). That was a 10-8.
I absolutely loved the reaction of the corner of Brian Bowles when he complained of a possibly broken hand after the second round: "Don't give a shit. Don't care. This is when champions fight." This is apparently a recurring theme for Bowles, as he was making his return after a long layoff caused by breaking his hand against Dominick Cruz (and not answering the bell for the third round). He looked good against Takeya Mizugaki and is definitely back "in the mix" for a rematch with Cruz (although I'd be shocked if we don't see Cruz/Faber III after last night) - fighting through an injury that previously ended his undefeated streak is a hopeful sign for his future.
Aaron Simpson beat Brad Tavares. There was only one person I saw that didn't have the bout scored as such - Dallas Winston's inexplicable 30-30 scorecard on the Bloody Elbow liveblog - so I'm not going to spend a lot of time on this, but I think it's silly to just assume that Tavares was spending the majority of those rounds stuffing take down attempts. Simpson seemed perfectly content to grind Brad, keep his back against the cage and feed him punishment. If you can't get your back off of the cage, I have zero sympathy for you.
Over at Head Kick Legend, I discuss where Ryan Bader and Tito Ortiz go from here, refuse to talk about Leben/Silva, advocate again for Siver/Guillard and propose Carlos Condit's next opponent. No #storyjump this time, kiddies - you'll have to click page down once in order to see what you can't see here. A thousand apologies, you whiny things.