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‘UFC on FOX: Diaz vs. Miller’ Aftermath: Diaz Stops Miller, Belcher Upsets Palhares

By Elias Cepeda

Props: MMAMania

As expected, it was a great idea to pit two heavyweight knock out artists against one another for the Fox audience. Lavar Johnson and Pat Barry swung for the fences and beat the tar out of each other for almost a whole round before Johnson stopped Barry with punches.

“Big” secured a $65,000 KO of the night bonus with the beating. Johnson now has two consecutive entertaining UFC wins under his belt, after back to back Strikeforce submission losses. He’ll likely get at least a couple more style-friendly sluggers to duke it out with from the UFC since he’s performed so well against them thus far.

Barry’s situation may be a little more complicated. The former K-1 fighter always brings it in his fights, is fan-friendly and has some big wins on his resume. But he’s also now lost three out of his last four fights and five out of his last eight. One would imagine he’ll get at least some more fights from the UFC given that he won his prior fight and how exciting he was, even in defeat, against Johnson.

Alan Belcher may have just capped the stealthiest rise to title contender in the UFC with his first round TKO win over Rousimar Palhares. Belcher defended a flurry of leg-lock attempts from Palhares expertly, allowing his He-Man shaped opponent to gas out, before putting on a ground striking clinic and finishing the fight himself.

Belcher has only lost one time since September of 2008, and that was a controversial decision to Yoshihiro Akiyama. He’s now piled up four consecutive finishes against solid competition and, short of Chael Sonnen, Mark Munoz and Hector Lombard, there are not many other names other than Belcher’s to consider as #1 middleweight contender.

We got exactly what we could have expected out of the matchup between former NCAA Division I wrestling national champions Josh Koscheck and Johny Hendricks – a wild slug fest. Top wrestlers like Koscheck, Hendricks and Dan Henderson often carry with them nasty one-punch natural knockout power, which they typically wield with reckless abandon. After all, they don’t usually have to worry about being taken down no matter how much they over extend themselves on strikes.

That’s what we saw with Hendricks and Koscheck. They each threw nothing but power shots, in spurts, in between mostly failed takedown attempts. Koscheck appeared to hurt Hendricks in the first round, but Hendricks landed nearly twice as many total strikes as Koscheck, including big uppercuts and straight lefts that landed flush. They didn’t seem to faze Koscheck, but left the right side of his face swollen badly.

In the end, two judges saw it for Hendricks and one for Koscheck. The fight was close but since Koscheck was gifted a decision over Mike Pierce in his last outing, you can’t feel too badly for the recently liberated long time American Kickboxing Academy fighter.

The good news for Koscheck is that he looked like his old self against Hendricks, after seeming flat against Pierce. Also, the dude has a plane, so, you know…it’s all good.

With as crowded and muddled as the talent-heavy lightweight division title picture is these days, some might have wondered if Dana White’s pre-fight statement that Nate Diaz would get a title shot if he beat fellow contender Jim miller was premature or dubious in its logic. But after beating Miller via second round guillotine submission, Diaz has three consecutive wins over former champs or top contenders.

What’s more is that Diaz beat Miller so emphatically and decisively. Miller is not an easy man to stop, in fact, Diaz is the first person to do so.

No one can say that they wouldn’t want to see the volatile and exciting Diaz take his pin-point striking and nasty submissions and challenge Frankie Edgar or Benson Henderson at this point.

If Diaz decides to wait around for a title shot as his next fight, he’ll have a little chunk of change to help him make ends meet. He was awarded the submission of the night bonus for his guillotine over Miller, and with it $65,000.

Louis Gaudinot and John Lineker showed once more why its always a good idea to watch the prelims and also why its always good to watch the flyweights fight. Their exciting battle earned them each a fight of the night bonus as well.

Cagepotato Comments

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Elias- May 7, 2012 at 10:53 pm
Morningwood, you may not think Diaz can become a champ but I don't understand your post - Ben Henderson never faced Diaz that I know of and there is no talk of Diaz fighting at welterweight again right now, much less for a title
MorningwoodII- May 7, 2012 at 10:56 am
as much as I think Nick Diaz is a panic ridden bitch. I do think Nate is very talented. His win over Miller proves he's in the top 5-6. But, I also don't think he beats any of the current champions. So, what do you do with him? Bendo already detroyed him, and Condit would beat him as well. So, where does he go? Too young for gate keeper...
amsterdamheavy- May 7, 2012 at 6:13 am
"...including big uppercuts and straight lefts that landed flush, didn’t seem to *face* Koscheck, but left the right side of his face swollen badly."

*phase* ffs
Hard flip jackson- May 6, 2012 at 10:53 pm
BigPhil....stop stealing lines from Good dare you sir.
UFCFightBlogger- May 6, 2012 at 9:12 pm
I dont know if Hendricks has been given a title shot yet considering that the Ellenberger/ Kampann winner was also promised a title shot. But I would like to see Hendricks and Ellenberger fight to determine the number one contender should Ellenberger get past Kampmann. That would be an awesome fight to see who could face Carlos Condit if GSP does not return this year.

Check out this article about Hendricks
smellypiratehooker- May 6, 2012 at 9:28 pm
If only CP would grant me the power to cast a blizzard of thumbs down on you I would. May god NOT have mercy on your soul
BigPhil- May 6, 2012 at 3:44 pm
Couple thoughts from last nigh. 1. I am a big fan of Pat Barry, but he seems to lose to guys he is more talented than more so than anyone else. Not saying Lavar isn't any good. Barry just seems so disappointing. Maybe it is due to his personality and how he hypes himself. 2. I am glad Belcher and Johnny Cash beat the hell out of that scumbag, fake tough guy Paul Harris. That dude sucks. Comparing Paul Harris to the Diaz bros, who are both a few tacos short of a combination platter, are at least respectful of their opponents and go out there to beat the shit out of you, but not hurt you. 3. I really did not expect Diaz to win, let alone maul and finish Miller. I was really impressed.
smellypiratehooker- May 6, 2012 at 2:25 pm
Koscheck sure does love giving pointers in striking.
Cheeseburger Eddie- May 6, 2012 at 1:21 pm
Anyone down for a tourny in the LW and WW classes??
dranokills- May 6, 2012 at 12:22 pm
I don't like Belcher, nor anyone else with a tattoo of Rosie O'Donnell on their arm.
FowlBeast- May 6, 2012 at 2:00 pm
Naw, it's Kim Jong Il or quite possibly Roy Orbison
mDino- May 6, 2012 at 12:16 pm
glad to see belcher come back so strong
howardsternspenis- May 6, 2012 at 12:08 pm
great card last night. belchers elbows and punches from the top were brutal. so glad koscheck got beat again. he leads with his fingers and of course poked hendricks eye within the first couple mins....i hate that guy...
Kaboom82- May 6, 2012 at 11:58 am
I've been a big Hendricks fan since his early prelim days, but I think they jumped the gun on giving him a title shot. At Best, and not very likely, he could fight on a New Years card.

He's basically the proud new owner of the welterweight Interim-Interim belt now.

I know having too many contenders is a much better problem to have than having none. But between now and Christmas we're going to see Diaz back, Rory MacDonald will be a marquis fighter, and Ellenberger might still want to beat people beyond unconsciousness.

DW Needs to stop promising guys the fucking moon because they stop fighting and wait for it.