UFC on FOX 8 went down this past Saturday, July 27 at the Key Arena in Seattle, Washington. The night brought some impressive performances, as well as some not so impressive.
First up we're going to take a look at UFC lightweight Melvin Guillard (32-12-2), he squared off against fellow lightweight, Mac Danzig (21-11-1). Guillard, or the 'Young Assassin' to me and you, is known for his lightning quick pace and his ability to send people to la la land usually via devastating punches. This is backed up by the fact that 20 his 32 wins have come by either KO or TKO.
Going in to the fight, however, his back was against the wall. On a 2 fight skid, losing both by decision, he was fast heading for the UFC's exit door, as most fighters who lose 3 fights in a row do.
Some people, when pushed into a corner, just simply roll over and die; then there’s people like Melvin, who come out all guns blazing and blast their way back into recognition courtesy of a 'Knockout of the Night' performance.
Guillard finished Danzig midway through the second round to end his losing streak, and did so in spectacular fashion. The future is now again looking bright for the 'Young Assassin' who recently changed his training camp from Jacksons MMA to Grudge Training Center and with a couple more victories; he could have the UFC lightweight title in his sights.
The second winner were going to talk about is Robbie Lawler.
Before returning to the UFC in February 2013, Lawler had fought in Strikeforce gaining an unimpressive 4-5 record. You could say some were surprised when he was matched up with long-time welterweight contender Josh Koscheck in February, but Lawler took no notice.
He entered the Octagon for the first time 9 years back at UFC 157 and he entered it with confidence.
He finished Koscheck in the first round via KO which made everybody in the MMA community up and take notice.
At UFC on FOX 8 Lawler was supposed to face former (and last) Strikeforce welterweight champion Tarec Saffiedine, but the 'Sponge' was forced out just weeks before the fight. Up stepped another Strikeforce import, Bobby Voelker, on two weeks’ notice and Lawler had his fight.
Lawler looked mightily impressive whilst on his way to a second round KO via a quite spectacular head kick. Looking light on his feet and fast with his hands, he took apart Voelker piece by piece and in the end was unlucky not to win the 'Knockout of the Night' award.
It's now onwards and upwards for Lawler, who I would predict will probably face Tarec Saffiedine, his original opponent, later this year. With a win over Saffiedine, Lawler would catapult himself into the UFC welterweight title picture and I predict he could well be fighting for a number one contenders spot by the middle to end of next year.
Our final winner from UFC on FOX 8 was the man who dominated the main event to retain his UFC flyweight title, that man is Demetrious 'Mighty Mouse' Johnson.
The first ever flyweight champ, Johnson looked ultra-impressive in his win over surprising contender John Moraga. Dominating every round with his takedowns and ground control, 'Mighty Mouse' looked to have the unanimous decision in the bag heading in to the final 3 minutes of the last round.
Not one to cruise though, Johnson pulled out the latest submission in UFC history (yes even later than Anderson Silva's triangle on Chael Sonnen) to retain his title, and give the UFC flyweights some more limelight.
In a fight that overshadowed the supposed more hyped co-main event of the evening, Johnson displayed his excellent wrestling ability taking down Moraga at will. Johnson was constantly looking for a Kimura submission on Moraga's left arm, and at one point I thought he had it, only for Moraga to escape.
In-between the fourth and fifth round Johnson's corner man, Matt Hume told Johnson took look for the Armbar when Moraga was looking at defending the Kimura, and that he did. With just over a minute left in the 25 minute bout, Johnson locked in the Armbar. It was unclear whether or not Moraga actually tapped, but from the look on his when he saw his arm, I'm sure he's glad ref Herb Dean stopped the fight.
With his second title defence in the bag, and on a 4-0 run in all championship bouts, Johnson looks to be the GSP of the flyweight division. There has been talk of him moving up weights for superfights, but with current UFC Bantamweight champion Dominick Cruz still side-lined with injury, it's difficult to see what's next in the Octagon for 'Mighty Mouse'. One thing I know is though; he has a bright future ahead of him.
Notable winners: Liz Carmouche, Yaotzin Meza & Jorge Masvidal.
This is part one of the UFC on FOX 8 winners and losers review.
Come back on Thursday for part two, featuring the losers.
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