The UFC's incredibly busy first quarter schedule came to a close at UFC on FX 2 live from Australia. The card saw the Flyweight Tournament begin as well as the continued fall of Thiago Alves. The night was not without controversy as the scores were tabulated incorrectly and Demetrious Johnson was announced the winner when in reality the opening Flyweight fight should have resulted in a majority draw. Fans were robbed of the sudden victory round though they will also be treated to Johnson/McCall II which should prove to be a fantastic fight. However, without delaying this any further, let's take a look at the biggest winners and losers on the night.
Martin Kampmann: If Thiago Alves doesn't shoot the double leg, I'm putting Kampmann in the losers bracket. He probably should be there now as outside the first three minutes of the first round, he looked awful in the fight. Now he picks up a much needed win and likely moves up the divisional rankings.
Joseph Benavidez: The biggest winner on the night. He's the tournament favorite for a reason and the knockout over Urushitani was ridiculous. It's obvious that flyweight is the division for him and I expect him to reign at the top for years to come.
TJ Waldburger: He should have won Submission of the Night following that ridiculously slick armbar he pulled off on Jake Hecht. The fact that he's just 23 years old means that we have years of seeing him improve and become a top fighter at Welterweight.
Andrew Craig: Sure Kyle Noke blew out his knee in the first round of the fight but that shouldn't take away from the fact that Andrew Craig upset a tough UFC veteran. I expect big things from him in the future and the fact he showed no jitters last night is a hat tip to his poise in the cage.
Daniel Pineda: 17 wins. 17 finishes. Last night's finish was a fantastic triangle-armbar over a tough Mackens Semerzier. Another young fighter, the UFC's featherweight division may have a future star if pushed correctly.
Sydney Fans: Outside of Philippou/McGee, this was one of the better cards in recent memory. It's obvious the UFC's model of only going to Australia once a year has paid off as the fans are rabid for the fights. The noise level for Noke/Craig rivaled that of the Brazilian crows whenever the UFC hit Rio.
Losers and Other Thoughts after the jump...
Thiago Alves: I said it last night on Bloody Elbow radio but the loss last night may be more telling than people realize. He's an extremely talented fighter but his fight IQ is ridiculously low. He had that fight won and just needed to cruise for the final 40 seconds. I don't know what he does next but he needs to reevaluate things because this was a performance where his best days may be behind him.
Yasuhiro Urushitani: He was likely included in this flyweight tournament as an ode to Japan where the flyweights survived when no one else cared. He's 35 years old and was dominated the entire fight. I'm not sure what role he place in the UFC's flyweight division going forward but he's never going to be a top contender.
Ian McCall: I know he didn't really lose and that the fight should have been score a draw. He's in the losers bracket because the judges robbed him of a chance to win the fight in the fourth round. The momentum was clearly in his favor and now he has to fight Demetrious Johnson all over again. That makes him a loser on the night even though he clearly wasn't.
Court McGee: Was that wrestling? I'm not so sure. He looked terrible against Constantinos Philippou and every time he ducked his head he was uppercutted. He may have reached his ceiling as he apparently cannot defeat guys more athletic or powerful than him. He has an interesting story but that just gets him in the door, he needs to back everything up and I don't think we'll see him close to the top of the division ever.
Cole Miller: When you're looking for vengeance, it's probably a good idea to not get outclassed by an unheralded Steven Siler. Miller looked slow at featherweight and was weak in the clinch. His toughness kept him in the fight but that'll likely be the last time Cole Miller is a favorite over anyone.
Jake Hecht: He was a highly regarded prospect and by all accounts should have dominated TJ Waldburger for the entire fight. Instead he wasn't able to establish his boxing and got submitted in the first round. That's the complete opposite of what everyone expected. He still has time to develop but unless he gets favorable match ups, I don't see him being successful in the UFC.
The Australian Commission: HOW DO YOU SCREW THAT UP? SERIOUSLY? THE UFC GAVE YOUR JUDGES THE ABILITY TO HAVE A TIE BREAKER ROUND AND YOU SCREW UP THE SCORING? TO HELL WITH YOU!
- I feel bad for listing Ian McCall as a "Loser" because the reality is that he didn't lose that fight so please don't get upset. He gets the chance to prove that he's the better fighter sometime in April either in Sweden or at UFC 145. If he is able to fight like he did last nigh he takes the fight easily.
- There were no referee screw ups which was a nice change of pace. Also that was a crazy pop for Herb Dean when he was announced the first time by Bruce Buffer.
- The flyweights definitely made their presence felt last night and I'm excited that we'll be seeing them more in the future. Trying to keep up with the action for the results posts was damn near impossible as they move waaaaay too fast. Hopefully the UFC can bring in Jussier da Silva and Mamoru Yamaguchi because they could do this flyweight division right.
- Steven Siler looked great against Cole Miller. I wasn't sold on him on the Ultimate Fighter but the fact he wasn't just head hunting and was throwing punches to the body made me a fan. It's tiresome to watch fighters only look for the knockout without doing any work to soften the opponent up.