As the dust settles on last night’s TUF 14 Finale we rank the evening’s big winners and losers below.
1. Diego Brandao:
For me Brandao was the star performer on the night. We already knew he was an exciting, aggressive stand-up fighter, but what was most impressive about his win over Bermudez was his explosive submission finish which showed that he can be just as dangerous on the mat.
During the five minute fight he also showed his trademark power, hurting Bermudez early, and also his resiliency to bounce back after being dropped himself.
He’s clearly a fighter with a bright future and should light up the featherweight division, but he’ll need to curb some of his reckless tendancies in the cage if he wants to reach his full potential.
2. John Dodson:
Like Brandao the UFC have come up trumps with Dodson who’s going to be an entertaining addition to the bantamweight roster, though in the long run he’ll be better served fighting in the flyweight division when it finally emerges.
He’s got an eye-catching style of striking, but importantly he backs that up with surprising power for his size, and he’s got very good takedown defense and great movement so he’s going to be a handful for anybody he faces.
He’s also got a flamboyant personality that’s not going to be to everybody’s taste, but it’s certainly going to continue to get him noticed.
3. Johnny Bedford:
Bedford put in a first-rate display against an undersized Louis Gaudinot. He rarely put a foot wrong here, getting the better of the brief stand-up exchanges and absolutely dominating on the ground.
Bedford was competitive in his semi-final match-up with Dodson too, and with his size and skills it’s going to be interesting to watch how he progresses in the UFC’s 135lb weight-class.
4. Michael Bisping:
Truth be told this wasn’t Bisping’s best ever performance which is why I’ve not ranked him higher. He started slowly and appeared to be tiring towards the end.
Nevertheless this was his fourth victory in a row and came against a respected opponent in ‘Mayhem’ Miller. As promised pre-fight Bisping did send Mayhem to the hospital – and he later pointed out that makes him the seventh of his last eight opponents to suffer that fate.
Mayhem’s face was a mess after the fight, again showing that while Bisping doesn’t have natural KO power, his punches do have a cumulative effect, and in fact eight of his twelve UFC victories have come via some form of stoppage.
Jason ‘Mayhem’ Miller
This was a rough night for Mayhem on his return to the Octagon after a six year absence. It started ok with his early takedown of Bisping, but he was never able to do anything with the advantageous position, and it was all downhill from there.
Even his friend Joe Rogan couldn’t help noting during the commentary how sloppy his striking looked, and his cardio deficiencies were clear for all to see.
The last two rounds were one-way traffic and worryingly for Miller, post-fight Dana White said it was one of the most one-sided fights he’d seen in the UFC and indicated that his future in the promotion was far from guaranteed.
Dillashaw was the favorite in his fight with Dodson, but his decision to stand and trade with him ended up proving costly and broke the four-fight unbeaten start to his MMA career.
It was a rude awakening for the 25 year-old, but he’s definitely a promising fighter and despite this loss he’ll remain a UFC fighter and will have further chances to redeem himself in 2012.
Dana White claimed that Mayhem’s loss to Bisping was one of the most one-sided in UFC history, but truth be told Gaudinot’s loss to Bedford was even more so.
It was a terrible match-up for Gaudinot who is undersized for the division and was going up against one of the biggest bantamweight’s. If the UFC keeps him then he will surely be praying for the 125lb division to start up ASAP or he’s going to struggle to stay afloat.