Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) just concluded a rare, middle of the week mixed martial arts (MMA) event, as UFC on FUEL TV 3: "Korean Zombie vs. Poirier" took over the Patriot Center, in Fairfax, Va., on Tues., May 15, 2012.
The card featured 12 action-packed fights, showcasing a little bit of everything, from a stylistic perspective. Additionally, the whole event was free (for those blessed enough to have FUEL TV), and you just can't beat free.
The main event featured a crazy fight between "The Korean Zombie" Chan Sung Jung and Dustin Poirier that may have ended up crowning a number one featherweight contender. To check out complete Chan Sung Jung vs. Dustin Poirier full fight video highlights click here.
But, as we said, the exciting 145-pound showdown was just one of many bouts on the bill.
Let's take a look at who emerged as the big winners and low losers from all the UFC on FUEL TV 3: "Korean Zombie vs. Poirier" MMA action from last night:
Chan Sung Jung -- I can't praise this guy enough. For a little over three rounds, "The Korean Zombie" just kept coming. He looked phenomenal everywhere. His stand up was crisp, fast and impossible for Poirier to keep up with. His ground game was deceptive and bordered on a finish every time the fight went south. At one point in the second round, Jung countered a double leg takedown attempt by essentially doing a reverse alligator roll, reversed, transitioned to an armbar, then a mounted triangle and back to an armbar attempt. It was crazy, and it all happened in a span of about ten seconds. It was a highlight reel from beginning to end. I'm still a little stunned.
Tom Lawlor -- After being submitted in his last fight by Chris Weidman, Lawlor got back on the win wagon with a "filthy" knockout victory in less than a minute versus Jason MacDonald. Lawlor is one of those guys you either love or hate for his brash antics. Take him or leave him, he is what he is. He comes out wearing party hats and looks to put people to sleep. Last night, he did just that.
Rafael dos Anjos -- Holy cow. Talk about righting the ship! After going 1-2 in his last three fights, dos Anjos scored a very nice submission victory over Kamal Shalorus. After landing a head kick directly to the temple of Shalorus, dos Anjos wasted no time jumping all over him and eventually sinking in the deep choke. Shalorus is now 0-3 in the UFC, so dos Anjos shouldn't be planning any parades for himself. Still, it's a move in the right direction.
Cody McKenzie -- I thought he was finished. I really did. Marcus LeVesseur appeared to have hurt him with a big punch and looked to finish the fight. The problem is that he dove headfirst into trouble. If LeVesseur had merely backed away and made McKenzie get back up, there's a good possibility he could have finished him on the feet. Unfortunately, he did McKenzie a huge favor by descending to his level and ended up as another casualty of McKenzie's specialty submission, "The McKenzie-tine."
Yves Jabouin -- Against lesser men, Jabouin would have ended up with a very impressive first round finish. He may have also ended up with a second or third round finish. Really, there were multiple occasions in his fight versus Jeff Hougland were the end appeared imminent. The fact that the bout kept going was not as much a detriment to Jabouin as it is a sign of Hougland's remarkable toughness. Regardless of the lack of a knockout or submission, "Tiger" won a lopsided decision and looked fantastic in the process.
Jon Anik and Kenny Florian -- This new announcing duo is really coming along as a team. I'm enjoying their dynamic together, as well as their ability to not overdo things. It's a good balance and I'd like to see and hear more of it.
Donald Cerrone -- Now, this was the "Cowboy" I remember seeing in the cage. Cerrone took his time getting into the flow of things, but once he settled in, he was dead on. Cerrone was throwing flying knees like they were nonchalant jabs. He stood in the pocket, with his hands at his side, like an old western gunslinger looking to inflict as much damage as possible. By the end of the fight, Jeremy Stephens was only recognizable through the tattoo on his back and his dental records. Welcome back, "Cowboy."
Kamal Shalorus -- "The Prince of Persia" is now 0-3 in the UFC and has been finished in all three contests. At 39 years of age, Shalorus is a little aged to be re-inventing himself. He doesn't have the frame to cut down to featherweight, and he doesn't have the skill set to compete in the UFC's toughest division. This will probably be his swan song.
Amir Sadollah vs. Jorge Lopez -- There's really not a lot to say. For 15 minutes, fans were treated to a lot of leaning, jockeying for position and flat-out stalling. Most of the inactivity was on the part of Lopez, who, at 0-2 now in the UFC, has not looked very impressive. Regardless of whose fault it was, this fight may end up being the cure for insomnia. Maybe I'll feel differently when I watch it again. Or maybe, I'll just fall asleep.
Referee Todd McGovern -- Jeff Hougland should have been finished in the first round of his fight against Yves Jabouin. After a fierce spinning back kick to the liver, Hougland spiraled to the canvas in a pile of himself. It looked like a certainty that Jabouin would pounce on him and finish the fight with strikes before Hougland could recover. Unfortunately for everyone, McGovern stepped in between for a moment, looking like a deer in the headlights. Several seconds went by before he finally gave some sort of advisement to Jabouin to continue. By that point, the cobwebs were cleared and Hougland had recovered. God bless Hougland for sucking it up and making it through the rest of that fight, but he never should have had the chance.
Jeff Curran -- I hate putting "Big Frog" on this list. I really do. He's a great guy and has played a role in the success of a lot of prominent fighters (namely his little brother Pat who fights for Bellator). He's one of those fighters who has the knowledge, but he just doesn't have the physical tools to back it up. You can only cut weight so many times. He's not going down to flyweight. The painful truth is that he's only ever going to be a mediocre talent in the UFC. For the record, I didn't enjoy typing any of that.
Jeremy Stephens -- "Lil' Heathen" has now lost three of his last five. Granted, he's fighting tough guys in the best division in the world. But last night hurt. Stephens was outgunned to an extent that was, frankly, hard to watch. Is it crazy to suggest that he move down to 145? I know it's the "in" move to make, but with his size and range, I'm not sure how competitive he can really be at lightweight anymore. You're gonna say it's crazy. I just know you are. That's okay. I've been called worse.
The "USA!" chant -- I love my country as much as the next guy. But when you cheer against a guy who has left his family in a foreign country just to fly over here and entertain you, just because he's from Korea, you do us all a disservice. It has no place in this country. It has no place in the sport. Every time it happens, it makes MMA fans look like a bunch of hillbilly meatheads. Stop it. You're an absolute embarrassment.
That's my list of winners and losers. What did I miss?