UFC 167 was definitely one of the more memorable events of the year. While it wasn't exactly full of crazy action, almost every one of the bouts delivered despite a host of decisions. Obviously the most debatable one was in the main event,and the fallout from that is likely to be dragged out for a while. The post-fight press conference was a gong show, and Dana's media scrum wasn't much better. I understand everyone's frustration about the whole thing, but it's likely that were never going to know the full situation so speculation is probably pointless. Anyway, let's get onto the winners and losers.
Johny Hendricks - He didn't get to take home the belt. But it's pretty obvious to most of us that he won the fight. That's not why I have him in this column though - he's here because of the way he handled the whole thing. He was obviously adamant that he won and that he wanted a rematch as expected, but he handled the situation with class. He didn't stoop to crying or whining, he just accepted it and said that he hopes to get another shot. He honestly assessed the fight, talked about what his plan was regarding his cardio, and he knows there are things he can improve upon. I never really counted myself as a big Johny Hendricks fan before last night, but I am now. Class act all the way.
Rashad Evans - He desperately needed a strong showing to keep his place in the division, and he definitely got that with his win over Chael Sonnen. Once Evans got the takedown, the bout was pretty much over. His post-fight interview on Fox was pretty funny as well - he said Chael was talking to him in the cage as he hit him and he almost apologized to him. Either way, I don't think anyone wants to see Rashad face Jon Jones again anytime soon, but he's still a top guy in the division for sure.
Robbie Lawler - How about that career renaissance? When he returned to the UFC, I doubted that he could even make 170. Now he's reeled off three straight wins and just handled a really, really good fighter. He seems a lot more comfortable in the cage and in his own skin nowadays, and he's a lot of fun to watch. I look forward to his next fight.
Tyron Woodley -He absolutely blasted Koscheck. The final two shots in particular were just devastating. I thought it was kind of weird that Joe Rogan was concentrating on how Woodley's physique might affect his cardio so much, but it never came into play so it didn't matter. While I don't think he's in the top 10 yet, that was a huge win for the former Strikeforce fighter. Oh, and Strikeforce guys went 4-0 last night. Just sayin'.
Donald Cerrone - Like Rashad, Cowboy really needed to put together a good performance to keep his name in the discussion among the lightweight elite. And all he did was look about as good as I've ever seen him in Zuffa. His striking was absolutely on point all night and the way he locked up that triangle so fast was just beautiful. He's considering going to 145 and he's an immediate threat in that division if he does. But there are plenty of exciting lightweight fights out there for him as well.
Georges St-Pierre - What a bizarre night. He fought a good fight and picked up a debatable decision. But the rumors were flying regarding retirement before he stepped into the cage, and his post-fight statements (brought about by a prodding Joe Rogan) were just strange. Dana White ripped him and his "decision" at the press conference, thinking he wouldn't be there. Then GSP showed and the media grilled him. Saying things like "I can't sleep at night" and "I'm going crazy" actually led White to stop St-Pierre from dealing with any more questions. I have absolutely no idea what his personal issues are or how this is going to be resolved. If he retires, I'm okay with that. If he doesn't, I'm cool with that too. But the way it all came across was definitely a black mark on GSP's image.
Rory MacDonald - I understand the idea behind fighting smart, but he basically gave a round away while he was trying to figure out what to do. I appreciate how violent he is when he gets into good positions, but he needs to do more than that if he wants to consistently beat the top guys in the division. And while I liked the way he rebounded after getting shellacked in the third, the loss was a huge hit to his standing in the division.
Josh Koscheck - Is it time for Koscheck to step away from MMA? He has lost three in a row and got brutally knocked out in the last two fights. He's not hurting for cash and he seems like a pretty intelligent guy. White said at the scrum that he got a text from Kos that "sounded like retirement", but he wouldn't know for sure until he talked to him. I should be clear here - Kos is only in this category because he got blown out last night. I will be the first guy to write a glowing article about him if he does retire though, because he has done a lot of good work over the years. He's certainly not a loser from a career standpoint. Anything but.
Brian Ebersole - He just got totally worked by Rick Story. All of his goofy, or as Rogan said "sneaky" moves didn't really get him anywhere. His facial expressions after he got clubbed over and over were odd as well. Either way, it was a brutal performance and took away any lingering thoughts that he might be a factor in the division.
Kim Winslow - First, she stands up Erik Perez right in the middle of him setting up an arm triangle choke. Then she scolds Ed Herman like a child for an upkick to a grounded opponent, and followed it up with more chiding following a hilariously obvious cage grab by Short Fuse. Is she allergic to taking points? Oh yeah, she also looked ridiculous trying to stop the Gian Villante/Cody Donovan fight. Forgot about that one. Go NSAC. John McCarthy can't ref in your state but Winslow can. Okay.