UFC 173 - Winners and Losers

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The dust has settled on the UFC world after an action-packed UFC 173 on Saturday and with it the picture is a lot clearer as to who gained, and lost, the most traction.

Winner - TJ Dillashaw

This one is a no brainer as the Team Alpha Male member overcame 7-1 odds to defeat Renan Barao and capture the UFC Bantamweight Title.

Dillashaw was an injury replacement for Raphael Assuncao and was overlooked as yet another Team Alpha Male fighter that would fall short but then he rocked Barao halfway through round one and never let go of that lead.

A devastating kick to the head and punches to a downed Barao in the fifth sealed his victory and now, has some people debating whether or not Dillashaw is the new 'pound-for-pound' king that Barao had been touted as.

It hasn't been made clear if Dillashaw will face Barao again or Assuncao next, but what's certain is that the UFC will be eager to market Dillashaw massively and that means more money and more fame for Dillashaw.

Loser - Renan Barao

Before his fight, Barao had just signed a new three-fight deal, so I he didn't lose everything had from a fight perspective... just everything else left him at UFC 175.

A near decade long unbeaten streak was lost. His UFC Bantamweight title was lost. His status as one of the best 'pound-for'pound' fighters was lost.

Now Barao will now have to work hard to reimpose himself and recapture his title and claim to be one of the best 'pound-for-pound' fighters, as for his near-decade long streak? Well let's come back to that in 2024.

His coach is asking for an immediate rematch... in Brazil, which before UFC 173 was rumoured to be headlined by Barao versus Raphael Assuncao. For now, a long awaited clash with Dominick Cruz could await.

Either way, Barao is no longer top dog and that's always a big loss.

Winner - Daniel Cormier

Daniel Cormier put the light heavyweight division on notice on Saturday, with a dominating display that saw him handle Dan Henderson as if he was a lightweight.

The two are both former Olympic wrestlers but there was no doubting how superior his wrestling was as he smothered and exhausted Henderson.

Post-fight he called out Jon Jones and with his victory over Henderson, his title shot is confirmed and he's willing to wait for the winner of Jones vs. Alexander Gustafsson - to the displeasure of Dana White.

It could be up to a year before we see Cormier again if he sticks to his plan but if he can do what he did against Henderson then neither Jones or Gustafsson would stand a chance.

Loser - Jamie Varner

Varner's night could be summed up in two words 'ouch' and 'brave'.

Just a minute into his fight with James Krause, the lightweight fighter broke his ankle and he somehow managed to carry on and put up some offence.

Although he rather wisely retired from the fight at the end of the first round, Varner was still swinging for the fences and trying to finish Krause before the inevitable.

Replays of his injury had the live crowd going 'ooh' and if his night couldn't get much worse after a defeat and broken ankle, the ringside doctor managed to step on his foot for even more pain.

Varner faces a lengthy lay-off with his injury and not a cheap one either but with such a courageous performance, he's won new fans and the approval of the UFC officials.

Winner - Mitch Clarke

The Canadian fighter pulled off a sensational comeback victory over Al Iaquinta and secured a 'Performance of the Night' bonus that earned him $50,000 on top of his fight purse.

He managed to catch Iaquinta with a D'Arce choke, one of the more impressive ways to choke someone out and the Saskatchewan based fighter then went on to have one of the best post-fight interview sessions, winning over more fans.

In his interview as seen here, Clarke talks emotionally about his win and also goes onto detail how he is a 'geek' who prefers Super Nintendo to partying. His celebration for winning? Eat a ton of ice cream.

This lead to a burst of Twitter followers and praise the the 28 year old lightweight. It was his second win a row, after two losses and although he's a long way from the rankings, he's climbing back up the ladder.

Loser - Dan Henderson

For Dan Henderson it was a miserable showing at UFC 177, he was outwrestled, out punched, outkicked and even out thrown.

At one point he was picked and slammed by Cormier as if he was in a WWE wrestling ring, not the octagon.

Although he said that he wants to continue, this was definitely the end of Henderson as one of the elite fighters at light heavyweight with the likes of Jones, Gustafsson, Cormier and Evans ahead of him.

The best 'use' of him that the UFC could do is use him in a gatekeeper role for the elite or he could even drop down a division. He weighed in at just 199lbs for his fight with Cormier and he even discussed it in his post-fight interview.

The 43 year old hasn't been anyone except Mauricio 'Shogun' Rua in nearly three years of action in the ring. He did beat Shogun twice but the second required a comeback knockout in the third round of a right he was losing.

Winner and Loser - Takeya Mizugaki

A decision victory over the #10 ranked Francisco Rivera was huge for Mizugaki in taking another step towards a bantamweight title shot... and then the main-event happened.

A fifth victory in a row for the #6 fighter had the commentators questioning whether or not Mizugaki was in contention for a title shot, which would be huge for the Japanese fighter. However, with Dillashaw defeating Barao, his path just got a lot harder.

If things had gone how they were widely predicted and Barao triumphed over Dillashaw then Assuncao would face Barao in Brazil in October and Mizugaki likely fights in Japan in September for a title shot.

Now it's likely he'll have to face Assuncao or Barao, depending on which one gets the first shot at Dillashaw. Or he could face Urijah Faber who is the #1 contender, but that would be difficult for UFC officials to make as Faber said he doesn't want to fight Dillashaw.

Either way, the path to a title shot got a lot harder for Mizugaki and although he's now a fringe contender, it could see him waiting another year before a shot.

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