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UFC 166 Results: The Real Winners and Losers from Velasquez vs. Dos Santos Card

Jonathan SnowdenCombat Sports Senior WriterOctober 20, 2013

UFC 166 Results: The Real Winners and Losers from Velasquez vs. Dos Santos Card

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    Turnover at the top of mixed martial arts makes for a dynamic main event scene. Most fighters' time at the peak of the sport is so short that fresh and interesting matchups are always being produced.

    The price we pay for that, as fans, is a lack of truly memorable rivalries. While there have been some famous trilogies in the sport's 20-year history, only two—Frankie Edgar versus Gray Maynard and Josh Thomson versus Gilbert Melendez—can honestly be referred to as "great."

    Junior dos Santos and Cain Velasquez were supposed to change that. Instead, Velasquez beat him up for five rounds before the bout was mercifully stopped. As it turns out, when Cain isn't injured going into the fight, it's really not much of a contest.

    No matter what the heavyweights did, however, it would have been impossible to match the exciting undercard fight between Diego Sanchez and Gilbert Melendez. The two lightweights let it all hang out as the fight came to a dramatic conclusion. And, though Melendez won a unanimous decision, there were no real losers. The crowd's huge ovation for Sanchez, if nothing else, made that abundantly clear.

    While Joe Rogan called it the best fight he had ever seen, it wasn't the only great bout of the night. Let's take a look at each bout and who the true winners and losers were at UFC 166.

    Have something to add? Leave it in the comments. 

Winner: Cardio

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    Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

    Result

    Cain Velasquez def. Junior dos Santos, Round 5 TKO

     

    Real Winner

    Cardio. No one in the heavyweight class has ever fought at the pace Cain Velasquez fights. He never stops. Even when he's grinding you into the cage, it's never a lazy grind. He's kneeing, punching and going for takedowns. There is no chance to rest. For men well over 200 pounds, that creates difficulties quickly. 

     

    Analysis

    Cain Velasquez is in a different class than Junior dos Santos. After ten rounds of sustained beatdown, is there any doubt? Velasquez's lack of punching power will always keep opponents in the fight. But, barring a one-punch knockout, it's hard to see him losing any time soon.

Loser: One Trick Ponies

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    USA TODAY Sports

    Result

    Daniel Cormier def. Roy Nelson, unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)

     

    Real Loser

    One trick ponies. At one point, Roy Nelson's claim to fame was a dynamic ground game. If you can remember those days, you've been a fan of this sport for a very long time. For years now, he's relied on a single technique—the overhand right. Cormier was ready for it and rendered it moot.

     

    Analysis

    Nelson is a scary opponent. His right hand is a factor from bell to bell. Even when you dominate the fight the way Cormier did, though, it's omnipresent. In a way, it kind of forces a dull fight. Cormier could never really let loose. That right hand was waiting for the moment he did.

    Now we wait to see what Cormier can do at 205 pounds. After this fight, he's not likely to vault all the way to the top of the contender's ladder. But I'm sure light heavyweights are drawing straws not to be the one picked to face him in his first bout.

Winners: Everyone

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    Andrew Richardson-USA TODAY Spor

    Result

    Gilbert Melendez def. Diego Sanchez, unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 30-27)

     

    Real Winner

    Everyone. Joe Rogan called Gilbert Melendez versus Diego Sanchez the most entertaining fight he's ever seen. I'm not sure I would go that far, but it's certainly on the short list of the year's best. It's always fun when two guys are willing to turn off the tactical part of their brain and just get by on pure guts and machismo. 

     

    Analysis

    I think it's clear at this point that Diego Sanchez is never going to be a champion in the UFC. That's not his place in the sport. It's fitting that HBO paid tribute to Arturo Gatti tonight, because I really believe Sanchez is MMA's very own Gatti.

    He's not the best fighter the sport has ever seen, but he is the best action fighter. Let's appreciate him while we can.

Loser: LSU Football

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    Andrew Richardson-USA TODAY Spor

    Result

    Gabriel Gonzaga def. Shawn Jordan, Round 1 KO

     

    Real Loser

    LSU Football. First, alumnus Shawn Jordan gets knocked silly by a counter right hook. Then, his alma mater goes and loses on a last-second field goal by Ole Miss. Not a good night for folks in Baton Rouge.  

     

    Analysis

    What to do with Gabriel Gonzaga? Since returning from retirement, he's gone 3-1 with three finishes. It's time to pit him against the division's best to see if he sinks or swims.  

    It's been six years since Gonzaga shocked the world by knocking out the legendary Mirko "Cro Cop" Filipovic with a head kick. He lost his subsequent title shot against Randy Couture, but it was quite a memorable run.

    Is it conceivable he tops it after being drummed out of the UFC in 2010? It would be one hell of a story if he even comes close.

Winner: Little Guys

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    Andrew Richardson-USA TODAY Spor

    Result

    John Dodson def. Darrell Montague, Round 1 KO 

     

    Real Winner

    Little guys. Most guys at 125 pounds don't have one-punch knockout power. Dodson is not most guys. He threw a hard overhand left throughout the fight that was both gaudily wide and ludicrously fast.  

     

    Analysis

    For a long time, Tachi Palace Fights were the home of the best little guys in the country. No more. Montague and Ulysses Gomez both struggled in the Octagon and, at this point, that pedigree is no longer a guarantee of success.

    As for Dodson? He's still the fighter most likely to take the title from Demetrious Johnson. A rematch feels inevitable. I can't wait.

Loser: Tim Boetch's Eye

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    Andrew Richardson-USA TODAY Spor

    Result

    Tim Boetsch def. C.B. Dollaway, split decision (30-26, 27-29, 30-26)

     

    Real Loser

    Tim Boetsch's eye. It's bad enough to be poked in the eye hard enough for it to bleed. But to have it happen twice? That's like Dante's-seventh-circle-of-hell bad. 

     

    Analysis

    Two judges had the fight 30-26 Boetsch. One had it for Dolloway, despite being docked a point for the eye pokes. 

    Ladies and gentlemen, I give you the state of MMA judging in a nutshell.

    However you scored this fight, it was exceptionally close and well fought. Boetsch doesn't have an ounce of subtlety in his entire body. He's all about haymakers and big slams.

    There are worse things to leave as your calling cards.

Loser: Peaceful Sleep

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    Andrew Richardson-USA TODAY Spor

    Result

    Hector Lombard def. Nate Marquardt, Round 1 TKO 

     

    Real Loser

    Peaceful sleep. Every fighter in the world at 170 pounds will toss and turn tonight, with thoughts of Hector Lombard plaguing their dreams. The man, simply put, is terrifying.

     

    Analysis

    For years, the MMA media has been telling Lombard to drop down to 170 pounds. For once, it seems, we were right. It was bound to happen at some point.

    Lombard is a born welterweight and a man of few words. When Joe Rogan attempted to get him to go into detail about his incredible fight-ending barrage of punches, he simply said "Yes. It's what we do." Here's hoping he can do it all the way to the top of the welterweight division. 

    Unfortunately, Lombard's success was at the expense of Marquardt, one of the sport's truly nice guys. He's now lost three in a row. And though his opponents were all the cream of the crop, I don't think that's going to matter. This was probably his last fight in the UFC Octagon. 

Winner: Gender Equality

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    Andrew Richardson-USA TODAY Spor

    Result

    Jessica Eye def. Sarah Kaufman, split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)

     

    Real Winner

    Gender equality. Every time two women step into the UFC Octagon, you'd better be paying attention. Odds are, they are going to put on a show. This was no exception.

     

    Analysis

    Before the fight, Kaufman told me that she felt her size would cause Eye fits. Eye, she believed, was used to being the bigger and stronger woman every time she was in the cage. Kaufman was confident that wouldn't be the case here.

    But once the bell rang, what Eye lacked in size, she made up in quickness and athleticism. Miraculously, she was able to push Kaufman around, scoring with a sustained and impressive dirty boxing attack in the clinch. And when the two were at distance, Eye did just enough with her jab to win a close decision. 

     

Winner: Father Time

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    Andrew Richardson-USA TODAY Spor

    Result

    K.J. Noons def. George Sotiropoulos, unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 30-27)

     

    Real Winner

    Father Time. Fighters after 30 can look old in the blink of an eye. Both men here fit that bill. 

    Noons will soon turn 31. Sotiropoulus is 36. Both men looked at least a decade older in their lackluster bout to open the Fox Sports 1 portion of the card. Their careers, as meaningful fighters at least, are over.

     

    Analysis

    Noons won a decision despite the kind of nonchalance that is unthinkable in a cage fight. He was on cruise control throughout. If he gave a darn, it was certainly hard to tell.  

    Fortunately for the Hawaiian, half speed was fast enough to beat G-Sot, who is quickly resembling a living skeleton. But against a fighter with a pulse? Let's just say that I wouldn't put money on Noons.

Loser: English

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    Andrew Richardson-USA TODAY Spor

    Result

    Adlan Amagov def. TJ Waldburger, Round 1 KO

     

    Real Loser

    English. Over the course of my career as a combat sports writer, I've had interviews translated into what feels like every language in the book—from Russian to Portuguese to Arabic and everything in-between. And, if this fight is any indication, I'll be adding Chechen to the mix any day now.

     

    Analysis

    Who doesn't love a good kick to the body? Thanks to former Pride announcer Bas Rutten, it's a blow all hardcore fans understand and appreciate. Rutten got downright giddy when calling anything that even approached the liver.

    I'm sure he was smiling somewhere as Amagov landed a spinning-side kick to Waldburger's midsection. 

     

Winner: Joe D'Arce

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    Andrew Richardson-USA TODAY Spor

    Result

    Tony Ferguson def. Mike Rio, Round 1 submission 

     

    Real Winner

    Joe D'Arce. Although the Renzo Gracie black belt didn't invent the choke that bears his name, he did popularize it. Ironically, though his last name is pronounced "Dee-Ar-See," even D'Arce pronounces the choke as if it rhymes with "farce." That, my friends, is the power of Joe Rogan.

     

    Analysis

    Ferguson, a former The Ultimate Fighter winner, wasn't on the Facebook prelims to lose. This, of course, was a fight set up for him to win and win impressively. Ferguson had been out of action for more than a year after breaking his arm against Michael Johnson. If ever there was a time and place for an easy touch, this was it.

    But, sometimes, that's easier said than done. Lots of guys have been put in the cage to lose—but forgotten their role along the way. Ferguson, however, took care of business, proving that he's fit for duty.

    Next time, he will be ready for a more competitive bout.

Loser: Sanity

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    Andrew Richardson-USA TODAY Spor

    Result

    Andre Fili def. Jeremy Larsen, Round 2 TKO 

     

    Real Loser

    Sanity. Fili ended up being OK, but it's simply not healthy to make the cut from 178 pounds to 145 pounds in less than two weeks.

    Fili didn't quite make it. That he even tried is ill-advised.

     

    Analysis

    Something is in the water at Team Alpha Male. Fili looks like another in a collection of great young athletes who are dominating the lower weight classes. It's hard to tell in the Facebook prelims, but he is certainly a young fighter with serious promise.

Loser: Dustin Pague

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    Andrew Richardson-USA TODAY Spor

    Result

    Kyoji Horiguchi def. Dustin Pague, Round 2 TKO 

     

    Real Loser

    Dustin Pague. He's now lost four consecutive fights in the UFC. I don't want to be negative, but I'm positive Dustin doesn't belong at the highest level.

     

    Analysis

    Thanks a lot, Horiguchi! For years, it's been fairly easy to make good money betting against Japanese fighters in the Octagon. Only Yushin Okami has defied the odds among his countrymen. Now it appears the 23-year-old Shooto veteran has a chance to make something of himself. He looked good here, even if it was against a human punching bag like Pague.

Complete Results

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    Andrew Richardson-USA TODAY Spor

    Cain Velasquez def. Junior dos Santos via TKO (Round 5, 3:09)

    Daniel Cormier def. Roy Nelson, unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)

    Gilbert Melendez def. Diego Sanchez, unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 30-27)

    Gabriel Gonzaga def. Shawn Jordan, KO (Round 1, 1:32)

    John Dodson def. Darrell Montague, KO (Round 1, 4:13)

    Tim Boetsch def. C.B. Dollaway, split decision (30-26, 27-29, 30-26)

    Hector Lombard def. Nate Marquardt, TKO (Round 1, 1:48)

    Jessica Eye def. Sarah Kaufman, split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)

    K.J. Noons def. George Sotiropoulos, unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 30-27)

    Adlan Amagov def. TJ Waldburger, KO (Round 1, 3:00)

    Tony Ferguson def. Mike Rio, submission (Round 1, 1:52)

    Andre Fili def. Jeremy Larsen, TKO (Round 2, 0:53)

    Kyoji Horiguchi def. Dustin Pague, TKO (Round 2, 3:51)

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