(A triumphant loss for Trevor Smith, and an awe-inspiring punch-face for Ed Herman. / Photo via Getty. Click to enlarge.)
By Adam Martin
UFC on FOX 8 not only provided a number of awesome moments from some unexpected heroes, but it also saw a few fighters who were expected to do big things disappoint in a big way. In the first of a new post-event column only on CagePotato.com, here are three fighters who surprised us at UFC on FOX 8 and three fighters who let us down.
Demetrious Johnson: Many expected UFC flyweight champion Demetrious Johnson to successfully defend his title against John Moraga in the main event of UFC on FOX 8, but I don’t think anyone predicted him to win the fight via armbar with just one minute and 17 seconds left in the fight.
But that’s exactly what Johnson did as he earned his first stoppage victory in eight UFC fights, en route to shutting up the critics who called him boring and said he didn’t have what it takes to finish a tough guy like Moraga.
Johnson had all four rounds in his pocket and was ahead in the fifth, but instead of coasting to a win he tried desperately to get the finish and put an exclamation point on his performance, and that’s exactly what he did with his first submission win in the Octagon, a victory that earned him the $50,000 “Submission of the Night” award.
“Mighty Mouse” is always going to have his detractors because of his wrestling-heavy style, and I think his finish of Moraga is a bit of an anomaly, but on Saturday night he deserved all the praise in the world for a brilliant performance, one that has truly earned him his spot amongst the pound-for-pound best fighters in MMA. And hopefully, it’s just a sign of things to come.
Melvin Guillard: It had been over two years since Melvin Guillard last stopped an opponent inside the Octagon, but with his brutal second-round KO of Mac Danzig on the UFC on FOX 8 preliminary card, it’s safe to say that “The Young Assassin” is back.