The Ultimate Fighting Championship continues to flourish in its new home, Fox Sports 1, with the promotion’s second fight card on the newly launched channel, UFC Fight Night 27, delivering some entertaining bouts MMA fans won’t forget anytime soon.
As always, a handful of fighters furthered their mixed martial arts careers with their performances at UFC Fight Night 27, while others might have to start looking for new gigs.
Here are the biggest winners and losers from the UFC Fight Night 27 fight card held on Aug. 28 at the Bankers Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis, Ind.:
1. Carlos Condit
Even though he had consecutive losses coming into his bout against Martin Kampmann, Condit was still ranked as the No. 2 welterweight in the Ultimate Fighting Championship, and he proved he deserved the second spot with his performance against Kampmann.
After struggling with the Dane’s wrestling during the first round, much like he did during their previous tilt, Condit turned things around in the second round, living up to his moniker, “The Natural Born Killer,” turning Martin into a bloody mess before putting him away with a barrage of knees and punches during the fourth round.
Make no mistake about it: There will be more title shots in Condit’s future.
2. Rafael dos Anjos
Dos Anjos put on a Muay Thai clinic at UFC Fight Night 27, neutralizing Cerrone’s offense while landing hard shots at will early on. When the fight hit the canvas, Rafael showcased his skills on the ground, effortlessly avoiding Cerrone’s submission attempts while landing hard punches and elbows.
With five straight victories inside the Octagon against a respectable list of opponents, dos Anjos has earned the right to challenge one of the top guys in the lightweight division.
3. Kelvin Gastelum
Gastelum put on a dominant performance against Brian Melancon at UFC Fight Night 27, forcing the Houstonian to tap at 2:26 of the first round. It was definitely the most impressive performance of Gastelum short UFC career, considering how imposing Melancon was during his previous bout against Seth Baczynski.
Gastelum just might be a force to be reckoned with at 170 pounds.
4. Brandon Thatch
Brandon had a decent amount of hype coming into his UFC debut, and he lived up to it, handing Justin Edwards a vicious beating on Wednesday. Thatch displayed decent striking technique and composure, smoothly picking Edwards apart, forcing the TKO stoppage 83 seconds into the first round.
That’s nine consecutive first-round finishes under his belt.
Notable mentions: Takeya Mizugaki, Darren Elkins, Jason High, and Zak Cummings.
1. Donald Cerrone
Cerrone failed to bring his A-game, once again, at UFC Fight Night 27, and dos Anjos made him pay for it during the first two rounds of their tilt. When Cerrone finally started fighting like the “Cowboy” who won his first four fights in the Ultimate Fighting Championship, he was able to get Rafael on his bike.
Unfortunately, for Donald, it was too little too late, and he just might have relegated himself to the “gatekeeper” role in the lightweight division with his lackluster performance.
2. Papy Abedi
Abedi went 8-0 as a middleweight starting off his professional MMA career, but he decided to drop down to 170 pounds when he joined the UFC’s roster. After going 1-2 in the Ultimate Fighting Championship, Papy decided to go back to 185 pounds, and it seemed to be the right move during the first two rounds of his UFC Fight Night 27 encounter against Dylan Andrews.
Papy’s striking looked sharper than usual early on, and he looked just as good on the ground, dominating the grappling exchanges, mixing in a few judo throws.
Unfortunately, for Abedi, he faded as the fight progressed, like he typically does, and Dylan was able to pull off the come-from-behind victory, face-planting Abedi with an uppercut, followed by hard shots.
With a 1-3 record in the UFC, Abedi’s days with the world’s premier MMA organization might be coming to an end.
3. Hatsu Hioki
Hioki came close to stopping Elkins during the first round of their showdown, breaking the latter down with hard-body shots. However, Hioki’s commitment to attacking Darren’s body dwindled during the latter rounds — Elkins’ constant pressure didn’t help, and that led to the Japanese fighter’s third consecutive loss.