Photo by Josh Hedges via Getty Images
No controversy this time.
Their fight was a rematch of a UFC 115 match that was screwed up by a huge mistake made by the referee who stopped the bout via technical submission while Mac Danzig was still obviously conscious.
The match was as back-and-forth entertaining as one would have expected and when it was all said and done, the judges sided unanimously with "Handsome" Matt Wiman, although he wasn't quite as pretty as he used to be.
So how did The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) season five veteran pull it off and what's on the horizon for both fighters?
This bout was a typical dogfight, with no man gaining a dominant advantage for any significant amount of time. Wiman worked aggressively with takedown and clinch attempts as well as constant pressure with strikes while Danzig looked to counter and throw short flurries of punches.
This was a typical exchange of strikes seen throughout the full fifteen minutes. Notice how Wiman was pushing forward, getting inside and landing big elbows while Danzig would counter with flurries of less powerful strikes.
Wiman remains in Danzig's face, throwing short knees, body kicks and even keeping a forearm on his opponent whenever he was close enough to help calibrate his distance and give him an easier job of targeting the TUF season six winner's face with his giant elbows. This tactic allowed him to control much of the stand-up exchanges.
In the second round, Wiman found himself on his back for an extended period of time and while he threatened with submission attempts including a very close armbar, he couldn't finish the holds and Danzig was able to remain on top and land ground and pound for much of the five minute period.
What likely was the finishing touch that helped secure a victory for "Handsome" was a scramble in the third round in which Danzig tried to take Wiman's back but instead allowed his opponent to slip out the back door.
As evidenced by the gif to the left, Wiman immediately seized the advantageous position and proceeded to rain down some huge punishing elbows on Danzig's already busted up and bleeding face.
This was a huge turning point in a round that had been very even. Wiman's physical dominance here likely swayed the judges to his side.
For Mac Danzig, this was a hard-fought performance in which he simply came up short. It certainly wasn't for lack of trying. The only thing he likely could have or should have done different was keep going to the body with his punching combinations. He found some nice openings there and didn't really follow up. He also didn't have quite the zip on his strikes that we saw the last time around, as he may have been trying to exchange speed for power. There were some situations were power would have been more applicable.
The TUF season six winner pulled in a hefty "Fight of the Night" bonus so he's not going anywhere. Expect him to face a fellow down-on-his-luck lightweight in his next bout like Spencer Fisher, Danny Castillo or perhaps Shane Roller.
For Matt Wiman, this was a strong performance and it was a continuation of what he started the last time these two fought. His aggressive, brawling style in the stand-up is great for guys who rely on rhythm and timing. His only issue was the fact that he gives up on takedowns a little too easy at times and falls to his back. Against a very strong top control fighter, that could get him in serious trouble and allow him to lose rounds or worse.
Look for Wiman to face someone like Evan Dunham, Nate Diaz or Edson Barboza in his next fight. He proved his toughness on Saturday night and now it's time for another test to see where he stands in the lightweight division.
So what did you think Maniacs?
Did you think Wiman vs. Danzig deserved the "Fight of the Night" award? Does Mac Danzig have a future in the lightweight division?