SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - MARCH 03: Demetrious Johnson of the USA and Ian McCall of the USA fight during the UFC On FX flyweight bout between Demetrious Johnson and Ian McCall at Allphones Arena on March 3, 2012 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Mark Kolbe/Getty Images)
Another event is in the books, and it was completely saved by the main card. Six of the eight UFC on FX 3 preliminary card fights went to decision and none of those six fit the definition of "hotly contested". Tim Means and Dustin Pague did their best to make the prelims interesting but it just wasn't happening. The main card was another story though, with three of the four fights ending early and the main event delivering as advertised. Apparently ticket sales were not good and Dana White claims that the UFC won't be returning to Florida anytime soon, but it still worked out okay for the TV audience. Let's get on with things.
Demetrious Johnson: After the debacle from the first fight with McCall, it was obviously do-or-die for Mighty Mouse in this bout and he got it done. His takedown defense in the third round was excellent and probably decided the fight. He now moves onto a flyweight title bout with Joseph Benavidez, a guy he matches up very well with. It was probably closer than he liked but he was clearly the biggest winner of the night. I'm kinda bummed because I think McCall/Joe B is much more appealing, but DJ earned the fight. Props to him.
Erick Silva: Sure, it's easy to knock guys out in a minute or less. But the doubters all said the same thing - "How will Silva deal with a legit wrestler?" Well, he passed that test with flying colors tonight. Brenneman was absolutely relentless but Silva did an excellent job of making Charlie pay for the takedown attempts with knees, and when he did get dragged down he popped up as soon as possible. He then took advantage of the smallest of mistakes and rode it to a submission victory. Indio seems to be the full package and could be a force in the welterweight division. I can't wait to see him fight again.
Mike Pyle: His fight with Josh Neer was kind of weird, but that knockout was awesome. I've stated on many occasions that I'm not a Pyle fan, but how can anyone talk smack about that finish? Who knew Pyle had that in him? Laying out Josh Neer is no small feat. Pyle is 36 and probably won't be fighting for a belt, but the man deserves a top fighter next. Erick Silva sounds logical. That'd be a hell of a fight.
Eddie Wineland: I've been a Wineland fan since he lost the WEC bantamweight title to Chase Beebe in a bloodbath, and he looked awesome tonight. When Wineland gets comfortable in a fight, he's damn near impossible to overwhelm and he got comfy quickly against Scotty. I'm not a boxing expert like Brent, but I absolutely love Wineland's head movement and footwork. He is constantly cutting angles and getting out of striking range the right way, as opposed to just backing straight out. He landed some superb counters, had his jab on point, and set up the powerful right hand with precision. When do you ever see a double jab set up a kill shot in MMA? It was awesome. Sean Shelby, even if it doesn't make a ton of sense, please book Wineland vs. Brian Bowles next.
Seth Baczynski: I'm sure I'm in the minority on this, but I actually had Benoist winning the fight. Lance got hosed on the ref standup with a minute to go, and likely would have picked up a decision win if Chris Adams wasn't a terrible official. Then again he probably deserved to lose a point for two illegal knees, so I guess it all balances itself out. Seth ended up on top at the end of all three rounds, and that was likely the difference in the judge's eyes. I can't say it was an excellent performance or anything, but a win's a win and Baczynski has now won three in a row at 170 in the UFC. That's impressive.
Ian McCall: Uncle Creepy just didn't look like Uncle Creepy tonight. He clearly won the second round and the judge that had it 30-27 (Chris Lee) isn't the brightest fellow, but McCall clearly lost the fight. He was flat-footed for a lot of the bout and didn't display the same aggressiveness that he showed in the first bout (and all his TPF fights). I don't know if it's true or not, but less than a minute into the fight I saw him react awkwardly to something Mighty Mouse did and said out loud that he was injured. He's not the type to ever admit it, and I'm not saying that to take anything away from Johnson's win. It might be hogwash. He just didn't look like himself tonight. And it cost him dearly.
Charlie Brenneman: He had the right gameplan, that's for sure. Pressure, pressure, pressure. He walked through some solid knees and got some takedowns, but Silva was too slippery for him. One minor mistake led to Silva getting his back, and he just got schooled by a top-flight grappler at that point. I have the feeling that in a year or two, no one will be looking at this loss as truly damaging to Brenneman's career. Silva's just really good. Brenneman can still give most welterweights fits on any given night, and I suspect that he'll do exactly that in his next bout.
Scott Jorgensen: Man, Scotty got worked tonight. Getting dropped by a jab is one thing, but he was eating Wineland right hands like they were going out of style for the whole fight. He probably has whiplash from the number of times his head got snapped back. The loss was extremely damaging in terms of his place in the bantamweight rankings, and it might not be something he'll ever fully recover from. He's only 29 and all that, but coming back from this is going to be tough.
Ric Bays: You might not recognize the name, but this is the judge that turned in the 30-27 scorecard in favor of Carlos Eduardo Rocha in his bout with Mike Pierce. I immediately thought it was just a simple mistake, as did many. But the event ended a long time ago, and no "mistake" has been announced as of yet (that I've seen at least). Brent pointed out tonight that this guy is an old school boxing judge, but his MMA record is really spotty. If he truly did think Rocha won that bout, he needs to be banned from MMA events for life. And if was indeed just a mistake, poop happens. Sorry Ric!
Florida: You seem like a pretty liberal state, one that would enjoy some fisticuffs now and again. So why don't you turn up for MMA shows? Dana White was actually on the street giving away tickets after the event had already started...that's how bad ticket sales were. You're not going to get an event anytime soon after the dismal attendance and gate for tonight's show, and quite frankly you don't deserve one. I know Florida is a big state and pigeonholing is probably irresponsible or whatever, but come on. I wouldn't want to go back either if no one wants to show up. Shame on you, Sunshine State.