UFC 161 was all about the underdogs, as fighters from the blue corner won a majority of bouts at the event which was held on June 15, at the MTS Centre in Winnipeg, Canada.
As always, a few fighters used the opportunity to increase their fan bases and climb higher up the rankings in their respective divisions, while others removed themselves from the title conversation with their poor showings.
Here are the biggest winners and losers from UFC 161:
1. Stipe Miocic
Stipe Miocic reestablished himself as one of the rising stars in the Ultimate Fighting Championship’s heavyweight division with his upset victory against Roy Nelson on Saturday.
I use the term “upset” loosely considering the fact Miocic enjoyed a 7-inch advantage, was clearly the technically superior boxer, and he had a full training camp heading into UFC 161, while the “big-boned” Nelson only had a two-week camp.
It’s really not that surprising things went down the way they did.
2. Shawn Jordan
Almost everyone knew there would be a knockout when these two met inside the Octagon, but most had Barry emerging victorious given his superior technique. However, Jordan landed the first damaging shots during the bout, hurting Barry with a series of right uppercuts that put “HD” on all fours. With his 59-second destruction of Barry, Jordan improves his professional mixed martial arts record to 15-4, with 11 of his wins coming via KO.
3. James Krause
Krause was another underdog who emerged victorious at 161. He surprisingly got the better of the striking exchanges during his encounter against Sam Stout, opening a nasty cut on the side of the Canadian’s head. When Stout tried to make his push during the latter rounds, Krause held his ground, eventually forcing the stoppage via guillotine choke with only 13 seconds left in the fight.
Notable mentions: Rosi Sexton, Dustin Pague, and Jake Shields.
1. Roy Nelson
Nelson was one or two wins away from a title shot, but it’s now back to the drawing board for “Big Country.” To make things worse, the fight against Miocic was the last on his current contract with the Ultimate Fighting Championship, which means he’ll now have to negotiate a new contract coming off a loss. It’s a tough break for a guy who had three consecutive first-round knockouts under his belt coming into UFC 161.
Hopefully, UFC president Dana White will put personal differences aside, and offer Nelson the type of contract a fighter who puts backsides in seats as well as “Big Country” does deserves.
2. Pat Barry
Barry was looking for his first pair of consecutive wins inside the Octagon at UFC 161, but — once again — he wasn’t able to fight to his full potential. Barry didn’t seem focused on Saturday, making funny faces and goofing off during fighter introductions while Jordan looked like a man who was about to knock someone out.
It wasn’t that surprising when Barry was turtled up about 59 seconds later.