UFC 135 packed the Pepsi Center in Denver, Colorado with the third highest attended UFC event (16,344) this year for a live gate of two million. The small 10 bout card produced a handful of highlight reel finishes, capped off with Quinton “Rampage” Jackson tapping out for only the second time in his career.
With every fight you get a winner and a loser (unless it’s a draw), but putting their MMA record a side, here are the UFC 135 winners and loser:
Tim Boetsch – The Barbarian improved to 2-0 as a middleweight after going 3-3 as a light heavyweight in the UFC. Boetsch defeated Kendall Grove at UFC 130 by unanimous decision and at last night’s UFC 135 he handed Nick Ring his first career defeat. Having handled his first two tests at 185 pounds, it’s time for Boetsch to get a step up in competition, maybe against Alan Belcher.
Nate Diaz – Home sweet home in the lightweight division for Diaz. After moving up to welterweight and winning his first two fights, the Ultimate Fighter season 5 winner was manhandled in the next two. Diaz looked better than ever in his return to 155 pounds, quickly submitting the dangerous Takanori Gomi. Using a crisp jab Gomi was unable to get anything going as Diaz improved his UFC record to 9-5 (7-3 at lightweight). The lightweight division is one of the deepest divisions in the UFC so Joe Silva and Dana White have many options for what to do the Diaz next.
Mark Hunt – The New Zealander looked horrible in his UFC debut when he was submitted in just 67 seconds by Sean McCorkle at UFC 119. While many wondered why he was given a second UFC fight, Hunt bounced back with a second round knockout victory over Chris Tuchscherer at UFC 127. Hunt looked his best at UFC 135, busting out a takedown and a submission attempt on route to winning a unanimous decision over Ben Rothwell. Now hunt won’t be fighting for the title any time soon (if ever) but a fight against the winner of Joey Beltran vs. Stipe Miocic sounds good.
Aaron Riley – Breaking you jaw once is bad, but breaking it a second time is devastating and possibly career ending. Riley had his jaw broken the first time by Spencer Fisher back in 2006 at UFC Fight Night 3. Last night a pin point uppercut from Tony Ferguson halfway through the first round broke that jaw once again and between rounds the first was obviously stopped. Having a jaw prone to breaking isn’t a good idea for a fighter……
Takanori Gomi – The Fireball Kid was kept on the outside by Nate Diaz and never got anything going in the fight. The loss brought Gomi’s UFC record to 1-3 with all three of those defeats coming by way of submission. With the lightweight division having a long list of talent Gomi is likely to find himself unemployed shortly.
Cole Escovedo – Losing your first two fights in the UFC usually doesn’t earn you a third fight. Coupled with having a 1-4 record over your last five fights overall and things don’t look promising for Escovedo. Another fight in the UFC is a massive longshot, Escovedo will most likely be released this week and have to fight his way back to the big show.
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