UFC 105: "Couture vs. Vera" from the Manchester Evening News (MEN) Arena in Manchester, England, is officially recent history.
It marked the triumphant return of a legend to the land of light heavies, as well as critical redemption for one of The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) winners in the middleweight division.
Of course, we also now have the next number one welterweight contender teed up for division champion, Georges St. Pierre.
And an event these days wouldn't quite be the same without a little controversy in the final marquee match now would it?
There's tons to talk about so feel free to do just that in the comments section below. Let's get cracking:
The ageless Randy Couture, who was on a two-fight skid since returning to the promotion (again) late last year as the heavyweight champion, decided to try his luck (again) in the 205-pound class.
He's apparently somehow still got it.
Couture was up against a younger, faster and more powerful opponent, Brandon Vera, but he used his significant experience and cage generalship to earn a unanimous decision from all three judges sitting ringside. It's a result that more than likely won't elicit a chorus of discontent among fans (see UFC 104), but it was an extremely close and competitive match.
Did Couture do enough inside the cage to earn it or did Vera get the shaft? We'll let you decide.
In the meantime, UFC President Dana White and matchmaker Joe Silva are probably wondering how they can coax Couture into returning in a few weeks to save the main event-less (again) UFC 108 card on Jan. 2, 2010. But after seeing some of the body shots Couture absorbed tonight, he might need more time to recover.
He just so happens to be 46-years-old, too. Besides ... a future showdown with reigning division champion, Lyoto Machida, might be worth waiting for, anyway.
Couture wasn't the only one to raise a few eyebrows (in a good way) with his performance -- Dan Hardy earned the opportunity to challenge division champion, Georges St. Pierre, with an impressive performance to defeat Mike Swick to become the current number one welterweight contender.
That feels odd to type.
Hardy did well tonight, without question. It just seems like he's at least one more win away from a chance like that -- wins over Swick, Marcus Davis, Rory Markham and Akihiro Gono just don't seem to justify the booking.
Here's an idea: Let him fight Jon Fitch, Matt Hughes, Thiago Alves or some other former number one contender first. And let's do it on the year-end show (UFC 108) so that the winner can take on "Rush" sooner rather than later.
Otherwise, it might just be more worthwhile to wait for St. Pierre vs. Anderson Silva. Then again, Hardy might have something to say about that and once again prove the doubters wrong.
Are you among them or have you become a believer?
Welcome back, Mike.
If there were ever a fighter who needed a big win, in convincing fashion, to get his career back on track it was Michael Bisping. He went from being one win away from a middleweight title shot to a total "joke" on the message boards after his devastating knockout loss to Dan Henderson earlier this year.
It wasn't easy, however.
Denis Kang had him rocked early in the first round of their bout tonight. In fact, Bisping even asked his corner, "What happened?" between rounds.
What happened is Bisping recovered from a big punch, turned the tide, and scored a big win when it mattered most. That, for now, will probably go down as his biggest win ever. He needed it bad and did what he had to do to get it.
Will it be enough to sway public opinion back in his favor (if it was ever even there to begin with)?
Let's hear what you have to say in the comments section below.