Each event sees winners and losers show up on the results page, but it's more than simply who gets their hand raised and who misses out on their win bonus. We'll take a look at who the biggest winners and losers are coming out of the night's action.
- Frankie Edgar - An obvious choice given that he won the main event, but it's more than that. Many (including myself) felt that Edgar lost his first fight with B.J. Penn. He dominated the rematch and then went to a draw with Gray Maynard. What seemed like a 1-1-1 record in his three title fights and the fact that he was 0-1-1 against Maynard meant that there was still some sort of need for Edgar to get a clear win to feel like he staked his claim as a big time champion. He did so in a big way by knocking out Maynard and getting rid of the one big question mark. He still has some big challenges coming and it's going to be exciting seeing him try to meet them.
- The Featherweight Division - There had been a lot of people selling the idea that once the UFC brought in the featherweight division there would be a flurry of current UFC 155'ers dropping weight and taking over the division. The idea that 145 was somehow an incomplete division has been shot down pretty strongly thus far. Tyson Griffin dropped and edged out a majority decision over Manny Gamburyan, Kenny Florian dropped and struggled through a fight with Diego Nunes and was thoroughly dominated by Jose Aldo. Aldo is a legitimate pound for pound top guy, I had him at #3 coming into the year and I still have him there now. Some guys will move to 145 and find success if it's where they belong, but the division wasn't in need of 155'ers who were out of title contention to become legitimate.
- Anderson Silva - Silva only has a handful of fights left and it's no secret that he wants to make them count. It's about legacy and making big money. When Chael Sonnen ran through Brian Stann and made the challenge to Silva for their loser leaves the division/the UFC fight, he sold a lot of pay-per-views as long as the UFC sees fit to make the fight happen. There simply are no other money fights at 185 other than maybe a fight with Michael Bisping. The fight with Chael will do big business and provide Silva with a chance to really shut up the guy who will go down as his biggest rival whenever it is he hangs up the gloves.
- Kenny Florian - The story of Florian's career was set in stone at UFC 136. He came up short in the finals of the first Ultimate Fighter, but at least middleweight was simply too high of a weight for him. He was given a lightweight title shot against Sean Sherk and lost 4 of 5 rounds. He was given a lightweight title shot and was drubbed by B.J. Penn before getting submitted. The UFC tried to set up a title eliminator to get him another lightweight title shot and Gray Maynard dominated him. Now he was given a fairly unearned shot at the featherweight title and Aldo calmly and coolly worked him over. In his three title shots he basically won two of fourteen rounds. Florian's legacy is that of a good fighter who never was at the elite level.
- Melvin Guillard - More for what the loss represented than simply that he didn't win. This was not the "new Melvin." It was an overexcited kid who didn't fight with the gameplanning that Greg Jackson and Co. had instilled in him. This wasn't the guy who was moving toward a title shot, it was the guy who Dana White said was previously a waste of talent. With power like Guillard's, he simply needed to keep the fight standing, wait for an opening and unload. Instead he fell into the trap of trying to force it and a much more composed fighter busted him.
- Tiequan Zhang and Chinese MMA - When the commentary team said that Zhang was the best mixed martial artist in China, he created an expectation for viewers. Instead, we saw the same old guy who is a fringe UFC talent at best. Zhang simply has a low "fight IQ" and even though it appeared he could deal with the shot of Darren Elkins and keep the fight standing where he had an advantage, he continually gave up the takedown to chase a guillotine. It's fine to trust a go-to move but you have to have the wherewithal to know when something isn't working and is repeatedly putting you in a bad position. It's worse than the Yoshihiro Akiyama situation for the UFC because while both men serve a purpose in trying to break into Asian markets, Akiyama is losing to more established fighters and Japan is a market with strong MMA history. China needs a major star to have the fans invest in and Zhang just isn't good enough. There are only so many Jason Reinhardts that can be put in with Zhang to pick up losses.