The Ultimate Fighting Championship delivered once again with the UFC 173 card, which turned out to be quite the treat. T.J. Dillashaw pulled off one of the biggest upsets in MMA history during the main event while undefeated Daniel Cormier made it clear he is the best light heavyweight in the Ultimate Fighting Championship not named Jon Jones.
Here are the biggest winners and losers from UFC 173:
1. T.J. Dillashaw
No surprise here, T.J. did his thing during his five-rounder against Renan Barão, taking control early on, dominating the striking exchanges. He hurt Barão late in the first round, and he had the defending bantamweight champion in trouble a few more times as the fight progressed.
T.J. capped off his dominant performance with a vicious TKO during the final round of their UFC 173 encounter, bringing Barão’s run to an end, snagging the Ultimate Fighting Championship’s bantamweight title.
There are no words to describe how impressive Dillashaw’s performance was. From start to finish, he fought like a champion.
2. Daniel Cormier
As impressive as T.J. was, “DC” turned in the most dominant performance at UFC 173. He rag dolled Henderson like no one had ever done before, throwing and slamming the MMA legend at will, keeping “Hendo” on the defensive with his crushing top game.
Cormier put Henderson to sleep during the third round, winning via rear-naked choke.
Make no mistakes about it; Daniel Cormier is the biggest threat to Jon Jones’ reign right now, not Alexander Gustafsson.
3. Robbie Lawler
Lawler also made a strong statement at UFC 173, hurting Ellenberger early in their three-rounder. He chased down Ellenberger during the first two rounds, then he turned things up during the final round, putting Jake away with a vicious barrage of knees and punches.
Another vicious finish like that against a top contender should earn him another title shot.
Notable mentions: Tony Ferguson, Vinc Pichel, Chris Holdsworth.
1. Renan Barão
No surprise here, Barão didn’t just lose the bantamweight title at UFC 173, he failed to win a single round on my scorecard. Bouncing back from such a demoralizing loss won’t be easy.
2. Al Iaquinta
Iaquinta got off to a solid start at UFC 173, but his carelessness got him in trouble when his opponent, Mitch Clarke, locked up a d’arce choke from bottom side control. Tough way to lose a fight he was clearly winning on the scorecards.
3. Anthony Njokuani
Njokuani is normally a tough guy to ground, but that was not the case at UFC 173. His opponent, Vinc Pichel, threw him around the Octagon in just about every way possible for 15-minutes, something seasoned wrestlers like Benson Henderson and Danny Castillo weren’t able to do.
Njokuani certainly needs to go back to whatever he was doing back in the day for his takedown defense.
David is a Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and boxing practitioner who has watched and studied MMA for the past 9 years. Send him your questions @davidkingwriter.