UFC on FX 4 is in the books, and the card did a good job of being surprising without being all that surprising. Clay Guida put in a spirited performance (in many ways), Sam Stout used wrestling to control his fight, and Hatsu Hioki lost. Cub Swanson slept Ross Pearson too, which was all kinds of awesome. In the end though, very little changed in the grand scheme of things. That's what makes these cards a bit frustrating, at least to me. Either way let's get onto the winners and losers.
Gray Maynard: I'm one of those guys that was immensely frustrated with Guida getting on his bike for a large portion of the fight. There were plenty of moments where he stood toe-to-toe with Maynard and it wasn't all bad. But man, that's not the fight anyone expected and it threw Gray off. It threw everyone off. Maynard deserves props for actually going out and trying to engage. Too bad his opponent didn't very often, and that's why Gray ended up in the winner's circle. What a weird fight.
Sam Stout: Really? Sam Stout won a fight with his wrestling? There's absolutely no reason to hate on Stout for being a well-rounded fighter (though I never thought I'd type that). If this bout had been on the undercard where it belonged, a lot of the complaints wouldn't have seen the light of day. Instead, a potentially explosive co-main event fizzled out, despite Spencer Fisher's best efforts to actually fight. I don't particularly like how it went down, but Stout won. I hope Fisher fights once more though, just for kicks. I'm not trying to hate on newer fans by saying this, but Spencer Fisher is one of the guys that newbies will never truly respect, and that's a shame. I want to see him go out on his shield, not his back.
Brian Ebersole: I watched this fight at the bar with an uber-casual, someone that couldn't even pronounce Ebersole's name correctly. She said "it'd be funnier if the arrow was pointing down, not up, right?". Leave me alone, I never said I hung out with the classiest ladies in the world. But even she could see that Ebersole was in trouble early. "Holy crap, he didn't get knocked out?" "Holy crap, his head turned purple! He didn't give up?" No honey, no he didn't. That was a classic fight, a guy that threatened with all sorts of stuff on the bottom but the guy on top persevered over and over. Props to T.J. Waldburger for a helluva fight, but Ebersole showed what 66 fights means in the long run. By far my favorite fight of the night.
Cub Swanson: Was that fun or what? I've been a huge Cub Swanson fan since his bout with Micah Miller way back at WEC 31. I'm a WEC homer, it's not like that's a secret. Tonight he finally got the opportunity to hang on the feet with a real striker and he slept him, and it was awesome. Pearson was using a more well-rounded skillset for the first half of the fight, but he gave Cub just enough space to land a big shot and it was nighty night. I loved it. All Hail The WEC.
Dan Miller: Miller's been through more personal adversity than any of us could ever imagine, and his bout with Ricardo Funch was vital in terms of future employment with the UFC. Funch put up a valiant fight, but Miller's third-round guillotine was awesome. Dan's post-fight speech was dignified and intense, and easily wins my personal highlight of the night. Daniel James Miller could use your help, folks. I know we're all heartless bastards most of the time and I'm no preacher, but you should find it in your heart to help Dan and his family out. Seriously.
Clay Guida: Clay rolled the dice tonight and he lost. He had to know that his style wasn't going to win awards, but he was out for the win and I commend him for that. He came up a braided hair short though, and he'll have to pay the Piper. We can debate the decision all night, but the bottom line is that he lost and he's waaay back in the pack now. Some people are convinced he can go down to featherweight, but I highly doubt that. The weigh-ins made it pretty clear that he's a tank at 155. If he actually can make 145, more power to him, but it seems like a pipe dream for Guida fans.
Spencer Fisher: Enjoy retirement. I know you didn't show up expecting to get taken down 10 times, and I don't blame you. You wanted to fight your way into the sidelines but you weren't really given the chance. If Sammy didn't apologize to you post-fight, he should have. You were always one of my favorites (and not just because you loved Ric Flair), and the UFC isn't as entertaining without you as a member of their roster. Thank you for everything.
I don't really have it in me to come up with a bunch more losers at this point. I'm sure I'll hate a bunch of fighters tomorrow though, so stay tuned for BE's coverage of UFC 147!