it didn't get a lot of fanfare leading up to the event, but UFC on Fox 8 went down in Seattle, WA Saturday night. The Key Arena played host to Demetrious Johnson picking up his second consecutive Flyweight title defense. As a whole it was a solid night of fights, but lacked any spectacular moments to really set it apart. Let's take a look back at who stood out and who took a step back after the evening's fights.
Demetrious Johnson - This one's pretty obvious, of course. Despite his claim as Flyweight champion, Mighty Mouse is far from a household name even amongst MMA fans. His fight against John Moraga looked to be another predictable decision before he pulled off the last minute armbar. DJ has remained unbeaten at 125 lbs, but he needed to set himself apart as champion and finding a way to finish clearly overmatched competition. As this was his first finish inside the Octagon, it's far from a trend, but it is a step in the right direction.
Rory MacDonald - Fox 8's co-main event will certainly never be brought up as one of the UFC's classic fights. However, MacDonald managed to come out and clearly beat a very dangerous opponent with rather simple gameplan. His jab-heavy strategy may not have been a real crowd-pleaser, but it got the job done and move him close to a Welterweight title shot if he decides he wants to take it.
Liz Carmouche - Carmouche got thrust into the spotlight when she was brought into the UFC to be Ronda Rousey's first victim. She made the most of the situation, however, and despite losing in predictable fashion, she made a real fight of it. A loss last night would have forced Carmouche back into obscurity, but she managed to turn the fight around after a rough first round. She needed a win here to remain relevant in the division and got it after dominating the second round to finish the fight.
Melvin Guillard - It's no secret "The Young Assassin" had his back against the wall coming into the event. He was 1-4 in his last 5 bouts and could have very easily been dismissed despite his status as a long time UFC Lightweight. Guillard looks to have taken his final chance seriously and got a much needed win. He'll need to continue that success in the future, but for now it keeps him on the 155 lb. roster.
Ed Herman - "Short Fuse" came back from almost a two-year hiatus to put together a 3-fight win streak in 2011-12, but was clearly out of his depth when he faced Shields and Souza in his last two fights. Herman will never be a top Middleweight, but he put on a Fight of the Night performance and got the W against Smith. He may not have been fighting for his job Saturday night, but he definitely doesn't need to worry about that now.
John Moraga - Moraga was the first and, with any luck, the last fighter to come off the Facebook prelims to challenge for a UFC title. The jump in competition proved too much for him and he was dominated throughout his fight with Mighty Mouse and gave up a last-minute submission. Unfortunately for John, he's not likely to enjoy any notoriety as a "former contender" and will probably go right back to fighting on the prelims in his next fight.
Jake Ellenberger - Ellenberger talked a lot of trash going into his fight with MacDonald and completely failed to back it up. Jake has had a few chances to solidify himself as a top Welterweight and has now fallen short in every attempt except his first round KO over Jake Shields.
Mac Danzig - Since coming out of the TUF 6 house, Danzig has never really been able to find his role in the Lightweight division. He's now lost two both Takanori Gomi and Melvin Guillard late in their careers when both men have looked pretty beatable in their previous fights. having dropped to 5-7 in the UFC, it's hard to see the promotion keeping him around after this.
John Albert - The TUF 14 competitor certainly wasn't given an easy road at Bantamweight in being matched up with veterans ivan Menjivar and Scott Jorgensen in two of his four post-TUF bouts. But, in this latest fight, he lost to a lower tier competitor in Yaotzin Meza and is unlikely to cap off a four fight losing streak. Even though he put up a valiant effort and almost finished his opponent, he's unlikely to get another chance to fight in the Octagon.
MMA Judging - The judges in Washington certainly made a name for themselves at Fox 8. It wasn't until their fifth attempt that they finally managed to score a bout unanimously, which is somewhat a shame as a 5th split decision would have set a UFC record. One even managed to score Herman/Smith 30-27 for the loser in an impressive display of failure. Overall, it was an absolutely terrible display by the judges.