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UFC 179 Results: Winners and losers

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Jose Aldo retained his featherweight championship in brilliant fashion, but who were the other winners and losers from the card?

Buda Mendes

We all knew going into UFC 179 that it was a top-heavy card. Still, the main event provided enough thrills n' spills that it made up for what was generally a pretty tepid night of fights.

But who were the real winners and losers? Let's take a look.

Winners

Jose Aldo - Despite the improvements of his opponent, Aldo came out on top once again, showing he hasn't slipped in terms of his speed, reflexes, or his impeccable takedown defence. In fact, Mendes' ability to push the pace in different areas of the game only brought out more aggression in the champion, who put forth blistering combos with his hands which harked back to his glory days in the WEC. Their will be some controversy over the punches that landed after the horn in round one, but seeing as Aldo suffered eye pokes and low blows after that, I think the foul evened itself out to a degree. Mendes has his own success, but that's a given when two fighters of such a high level are putting it all on the line. Aldo deserves the credit that being a longtime dominant champion brings, and he has put to bed any notion that Chad Mendes is the better man than him.

Phil Davis - 'Mr. Wonderful' got back on track with a dominant win over Jon Jones' last challenger, and in Texeira's own country no less. Davis used his bread and butter and manhandled Glover in all aspects of grappling. A finish would've elevated Davis' stock even higher, but the way in which he won showed that only the most physically dominated fighters in the division will be able to shut him down.

Fabio Maldonado - Alhough Hans Stringer isn't a notable opponent by any means, Maldonado showed he hasn't lost a step after being blasted out in quick fashion in the horrible mismatch he walked into against Stipe Miocic up at heavyweight. Maldonado's surplus fat doesn't seem to hold him back, as he came back from being stifled on the mat to dish out his patented body attack in the second round. Always good value, Maldonado puts himself back in the mix for fun fights at 205lbs and reasserted himself as a man not to be messed around with.

Darren Elkins - Well, it wasn't pretty by any means, but Elkins shut down Martins' powerful striking game with an old fashioned wall n' stall against the cage. Elkins remains relevant, and showed that he is still a solid gatekeeper in the featherweight division.

Beneil Dariush - MMAMath never works, but Dariush beating the man that beat him shows at least that he belongs in the cluster of lightweights outside the top 15, and that Ramsey Nijem wasn't necessarily levels above him when he smashed him back in April of this year. A workmanlike performance, but Dariush moves on.

Neil Magny - Continued success for Magny, who takes his tally to 5-0 for the year to date and showed that being decent in every area can trump having very good attributes in a few areas. Magny is a prove road warrior at this stage, and beat down the younger and seemingly more gifted William Macario. While Magny hasn't claimed any outstanding scalps this year, should he win another fight before the year is out he will be 6-0, and in the current MMA climate that is something he can really brag about.

Wilson Reis - Reis had to give up weight to his opponent, yet it didn't seem to phase him. He even got caught with a well-timed overhand right counter punch and hit the deck, something missed by Brian Stann as it happened, but regrouped well, taking out Jorgensen with a snappy body kick and a tight arm triangle for the win. In a division that has a lot of talent but no stand out challengers, Reis will only need another win or two to put himself right in the frame for a title shot.

Conor McGregor - He wasn't fighting, yet was on everyone's lips all weekend. The Brazilian fans hate him, and the champion addressed him after the fight, showing that McGregor is a relevant title challenger. I'm sure I'll be chastised in the comments for including McGregor in the winners considering he only did what was natural to him and run his mouth, but he is a winner for even provoking that kind of debate when he isn't even challenging for the title. Well played by McGregor.

Losers

Chad Mendes - How can Mendes be in this section when he did so well in the fight and made such a better showing than he did in his first attempt to wrest the crown from its snug fit on Jose Aldo? Mendes drew first blood, dropping Aldo with a left hook in the first. He stunned him later in the bout. But Aldo always got the better of Mendes after these exchanges, and hurt him more. Yet again he showed he couldn't be kept down for too long, and although I personally gave Mendes two rounds, he was well beaten despite clearly improving all aspects of his game. It's the fact that Mendes is so much better to my eyes at least, that makes him the biggest loser here. He has little to fall back on now when trying to stake his claim for another crack at the title, and joins his Team Alpha Male buddies Joseph Benavidez and Urijah Faber in the 'will smash contenders and can't beat the champion' club. The fact that the UFC will want to get a rematch for either Frankie Edgar or Cub Swanson, as well as making the marketable Conor McGregor fight for Aldo, shows that Mendes is now at the back of the pack despite his obvious talent and skill level. Mendes seemed resigned to the fact he had to stay relevant by calling out McGregor after the fight, but in fact he should be hoping that the Irishman can dethrone Aldo, because that's the only way Mendes will see himself in a title fight any time soon.

Glover Teixeira - Speaking of another obviously skilled fighter that won't be getting a title shot anytime soon, the hard-hitting grapple-boxer Teixeira was dominated for the second time in a row last night. He had no answer for Davis' smothering game, and looked in a lesser condition that he has for previous fights. You have to wonder whether being so soundly beaten by Jon 'Bones' Jones has doused Glover's fire for good, although in a division with little quality near the top, he will get a chance to rebuild sooner rather than later.

Scott Jorgensen - Dropping to flyweight has done nothing for the former highly-ranked 135lber. Jorgensen's punch resistance has clearly been on the wane since Eddie Wineland knocked him out, and at 125lbs Jorgensen is much too slow. Now 1-3 at the lower weight class, with his only victory being a back-and-forth affair that 'Young Guns' was hurt in a few times, it may be that he gets a ticket out of the UFC after this. Perhaps he may be kept around to provide a name victory for a prospect, but it's clear to see that Jorgensen's best days are not only behind him, but that any chance of being even a middling top ten guy are as well.

Lucas Martins - The power puncher had started to build some steam at featherweight after toying with bantam and lightweight, but Elkins is a solid litmus test at 145lbs and Martins failed. Perhaps he can make the necessary adjustments, but he seemed to have little answer to Elkin's strength and grappling ability, and at 145lbs there are wrestle-boxers hiding round every corner on every fighters journey to the top. Not a backwards step perhaps, as Elkins is a tough out for anyone except the very, very best, but Martins has reached a roadblock that's for sure.

Other thoughts

Yan Cabral, Gilbert Burns and Tony Martin scored submission victories and provided the only respite in what was a pretty turgid preliminary card.

Anderson Silva made an appearance to rapturous applause, showing that the Brazilians love him regardless of being punched off his throne and having his leg snapped on his attempt to sit back in it. That was heart warming, and whets the appetite for his return against Nick Diaz in the new year.

Overall, the card almost felt like we were being made to suffer in order to earn what was a truly great main event. The biggest thing to take away from the card is that Jose Aldo should be able to overcome any criticism that has come his way for his cerebral style since he made the transition from the WEC to the UFC, and that Chad Mendes, despite his improvements the last few years, is still very much in Aldo's shadow.

What do you think readers? Anyone that deserved to be mentioned that wasn't? Am I being unfair to Glover Teixeira?