UFC 166 exceeded all expectations, turning out to be one of the most entertaining fight cards in the Ultimate Fighting Championship’s history.
As always, a handful of fighters used the opportunity to increase their stock in their respective divisions, while others crumbled under the pressure.
Here are the biggest winners and losers from the UFC 166 fight card held on Oct. 19, at the Toyota Center in Houston, Texas:
1. Gilbert Melendez and Diego Sanchez
These two stole the show at UFC 166, putting on one of the most-entertaining three-rounders in UFC history. The fight was action-packed in every sense of the word, with lots of grappling and striking exchanges until the final bell. In the end, Melendez proved to be the better man, walking away with the unanimous decision.
2. Cain Velasquez
Velasquez imposed his will on Junior dos Santos at UFC 166, smothering the Brazilian with his wresting, barely giving him any opportunities to get much going offensively, eventually forcing the stoppage during the fifth round. Cain looked so good at UFC 166, it’s hard to see any heavyweight dethroning him.
3. Hector Lombard
Lombard needed to make a strong statement during his welterweight debut, and he did just that, mauling Nate Marquardt at UFC 166, bringing the contest to an end with vicious hammer-fists at 1:48 of round one. With the win, Lombard instantly establishes himself as a force to be reckoned with in the welterweight division, opening the door for many intriguing matchups.
4. Facebook prelim fighters
Every man on the Facebook prelims deserves some recognition for setting the stage for what turned out to be one of the best cards in UFC History. Kyoji Horiguchi pulled off an entertaining come-from-behind victory, after getting dominated during the first round, putting Dustin Pague away with brutal shots on the ground in round two. Andre Fili looked good during his UFC debut, forcing the TKO stoppage during the second round. Tony Ferguson made quick work out of Mike Rio, putting him away early in the first round with a D’arce choke. While Adlan Amagov improved his UFC record to 2-0, knocking TJ Waldburger out cold three minutes into the contest.
Notable mentions: Gabriel Gonzaga and John Dodson.
1. Nate Marquardt
Nate needed a victory at UFC 166 to save his spot on the Ultimate Fighting Championship’s roster, but things couldn’t have gone any worse for him last Saturday. He ended up getting knocked out during the first round of a fight for the second straight time, making him a likely candidate for the UFC’s next round of cuts.
2. Roy Nelson
Nelson had the opportunity to shake up the Ultimate Fighting Championship’s heavyweight and light-heavyweight divisions with a win against Cormier, but he wasn’t able to soil DC’s perfect record. Sure, there’s no shame in losing to Cormier who was a 5:1 favorite heading into UFC 166, but that doesn’t change the fact “Big Country” now goes from being 15 minutes away from potential title shots in the two biggest divisions to losing the ninth spot on the UFC’s heavyweight rankings.
3. Anyone who missed the fights
If you missed the fights, slap yourself 78,529 times. Now do it again!