The UFC’s debut in Seattle, Washington last Saturday night proved to be a successful one. UFN 24 was full of ups and downs, though the crowd was treated with everything they could ask for in a night of fights. Below is a list of the winners and losers at the end of the night.
“The Korean Zombie” Chan Sung Jung pulled off a nasty submission that had never before been seen in the UFC. Jung applied a Twister to Leonard Garcia, forcing the tap at 4:59 of round two. The two fought previously and gave fans a fight many believe to be one of the most exciting fights in MMA history. Although their second meeting was not the repeat slugfest that was hoped for, the impressive ground game of Jung gave fans something else to talk about. The submission earned him Submission of the Night honors and likely pleased the man who made the unique move famous, Eddie Bravo.
Amir Sadollah proved he is continually growing as a fighter when he defeated DeMarques Johnson by submission due to strikes. The TUF Season 7 winner showed improved stand-up and great control of Johnson throughout the fight. Sadollah had faced a revolving door of opponents in the weeks leading up to the fight. He was originally scheduled to face Duane Ludwig, who was forced out due to injury. James Wilks was then picked as the replacement until he suffered an injury. Johnson became the final replacement when he took the fight on about two weeks notice. Sadollah will now look to take on a new challenge at 170 lbs. as he keeps improving his game with every fight.
Anthony Johnson did the unthinkable in his bout against Dan Hardy. Johnson, who openly stated that a knockout was guaranteed between the two strikers, used takedowns and a superior top game to grind out a well-earned decision over the former number one contender. Throughout the fight, fans booed for the lack of striking seen from Johnson. Despite the fact that a war on the feet was something fans wanted to see, Johnson utilized the perfect game plan to put himself back on top after a long layoff following his loss to Josh Koscheck.
Phil Davis earned one of the biggest wins of his career when he won a unanimous decision over Antonio Rogerio Nogueira. Although it took some time, Davis eventually figured out what needed to be done to defeat a fighter like Nogueira. The two fought a tough fight, but Davis used a mix of wrestling and ground control to keep the Brazilian out of his comfort zone. Since the crowning of Jon Jones as the new light heavyweight champion, Davis has been the one fans are talking about to potentially defeat the young champion. Although the bout could happen in the future, it will take Davis longer to rise to the top than it took Jones. Davis is moving in the right direction though and with a few more top-level opponents, he will be at the top with Jones.
Sean McCorkle has made a name for himself on the Internet. He uses the web to try and get in his opponents head and throw them off their game. In his last two fights, this approach has done nothing to help him get a win. Saturday night could be the last time we see the cyber fiend inside the Octagon. Christian Morecraft submitted McCorkle via standing Guillotine in the second round of their heavyweight showdown. It would be no surprise if the UFC decided to cut McCorkle after the losses, but his ability to hype up a fight could give him one more shot.
Dan Hardy has gone exactly one year without a win in the UFC. March 27, 2010, Hardy took on Georges St. Pierre for the welterweight title and was defeated via unanimous decision. Now, 365 days later, he has lost three straight. Against Johnson, Hardy had no answer to the takedowns and wrestling being used against him. Similarly to his bout with St. Pierre, Hardy was left with the fact that he still has a lot to work on in order to compete with the best at 170 lbs. It’s clearly a possibility for the former number one contender to be cut, though his toughness and willingness to fight anyone, anywhere could keep him alive for one more fight.