UFC 157 was a historic event for MMA, and it lived up to the high expectations. Some fighters took advantage of the unprecedented media coverage surrounding the fight card while others struggled under the spotlight.
Here are the biggest winners and losers from UFC 157:
Ronda Rousey and women’s MMA
Heading into UFC 157 some questioned whether women deserved to headline the historic event. According to those who subscribe to that train of thought, Lyoto Machida and Dan Henderson were more deserving of the main event spot since they were the more accomplished MMA fighters — which is completely true.
Well, the fight between Henderson and Machida turned out to be a dull affair, while Rousey and Carmouche blew the roof off the Honda Center, putting on a performance worthy of all the hype.
At this point it couldn’t be any clearer: Female MMA fighters can be just as entertaining as the guys, and the UFC’s decision to embrace them is going to pay serious dividends in the future.
The unknown MMA fighter
While many are naturally drawn to big-name fighters, Dennis Bermudez and Matt Grice reminded us all that the lesser-known fighters can be just as entertaining, putting on an instant classic at UFC 157. An unexpected surprise that earned them $50,000 each and “Fight of the Night” honors.
Lawler had lost three of his last four fights heading into UFC 157, yet he made the most out of his return to the promotion, knocking out Josh Koscheck during the first round of their bout. The performance earned him the “Knockout of the Night” award.
With the win — and his reputation as a brutal finisher — Lawler has now put himself in a position to get some good fights. With potential opponents like Martin Kampmann, Demian Maia, and the winner of the Jake Ellenberger and Nate Marquardt bout (UFC 158) lurking around, Robbie might even find himself fighting for a title if he manages to string a few wins together.
Machida’s performance at UFC 157 wasn’t memorable, but he did enough to emerge victorious. He followed an intelligent game plan, frustrating Henderson with his elusiveness and landing clean shots. Lyoto received a lot of heat from fans and media members alike for his performance afterwards, but it’s worth noting that his carefulness inside the Octagon is the same reason he’s been the toughest matchup so far for current light-heavyweight champion, Jon Jones. Machida will now get a shot at the winner of the Jones vs. Chael Sonnen title fight set for UFC 159.
While many MMA fans don’t exactly hold “Kos” in high regard, he’s always been one of my favorites. I watched him morph from a one-dimensional wrestler who seemed terrified at the prospect of getting punched in the face, into a one of the best welterweights in the UFC, earning a shot at the title in 2010.
However, Koscheck has now lost consecutive fights for the first time in his professional MMA career, and he’s probably a loss away from getting cut. Heck, it might even be too late for Kos to save his spot on the UFC’s roster given the recent cuts.
Six months ago, Henderson was set to face Jones for the light-heavyweight title at UFC 151(he ended up pulling out due to a knee injury). His loss to Machida puts him at the back of the line of contenders at 205 pounds, and at the age of 42, Henderson might not have enough time left to work his way back into contention.