UFC 166 Biggest Winners — “Mikey’s the big winner!”

Posted: October 23, 2013 in Biggest Winners/Biggest Losers, Commentary/Opinion
Tags: ,

bigwinnerOk, full disclosure…there’s no one named Mikey on this list.

I was touting this event—on paper—for the past few weeks. Even the prelims were stacked with interesting fights—on paper. Problem is; ‘on paper’ means nothing. It probably wasn’t possible to live up to my expectations, but somehow UFC 166 did just that. Even though the fried pickles I ordered tasted like fried ass, this was a thoroughly entertaining show. Here are my Biggest Winner selections.

Cain Velasquez. This one almost goes without saying. Velasquez punished the 2nd best heavyweight in the world for almost 25 minutes—AGAIN—in the main event. Not only does Cain retain his belt, he also effectively eliminated his most worthy adversary for the foreseeable future. With a tough—but very winnable—fight against Fabricio Werdum coming up, followed by possibly Josh Barnett or Travis Browne, Cain is setting himself up for the longest UFC title reign in HW history. Let the GOAT discussions begin.

Gilbert Melendez. Already seen as one of the elite lightweights in the world, Gilbert proved it by beating up a more-than-game Diego Sanchez in what is being called one of the greatest fights ever. Despite the late scare Sanchez gave him, let’s not forget, Melendez won on all 3 scorecards—and even picked up a 30-27 nod on one. Proven winner + Exciting fighter = El Nino jumps to the head of the class with a likely title shot with Pettis right around the corner.

Diego Sanchez. He has a knack for making people think he might have won a fight that he really didn’t. A small contingent of fans think he beat Melendez—and they are wrong. Still, his performance was nothing short of amazing. Despite losing his 1st fight back at 155, this guy just assured himself a place on the main card against big names for the rest of his life.

Hector Lombard. Seemingly out of ideas, Lombard decided to drop to a brand new weight class after some lackluster fights since jumping to the UFC. Even at the lighter weight class, Lombard seemed to be able to channel his beastly past by making very quick work of Nate Marquardt. At 35, I doubt he can turn this into a sustained title run, but he’ll no doubt parlay this win into a pretty nice fight next time out.

Jessica Eye. Eye looked very sharp in her UFC debut—and it was a tough one too. She managed to take a razor thin decision from the #2 contender in the world. Not a bad way to start with your new company. Kaufman delivered some big shots, but Eye maintained her crisp boxing skills and a steady pace to earn the impressive win. She’s a keeper.

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