Another Ultimate Fight Championship (UFC) event is in the books and its 20th Anniversary show was like a new beginning, giving the fans of this sport another string of memorable mixed martial arts (MMA) experiences.
UFC 167: "St. Pierre vs. Hendricks," which took place at MGM Grand Garden Arena in the fight capital of the world, Las Vegas, Nevada, and the judges seemed to be on a roll until the main event. Johny Hendricks seemed to do enough to dethrone Georges St-Pierre, but the French-Canadian was awarded a split decision victory that could have been one of the most shocking decisions in a championship fight in the history of the sport.
There were more decisive outcomes on the rest of the main card, with two veterans of the sport showing there is still time to get work done inside the Octagon.
Nonetheless, in MMA, each bout can have only one winner and one loser. Earning a victory inside the world-famous Octagon is the highest of highs, while suffering a defeat in front of millions of viewers can be the lowest of lows.
Every competitor who steps foot in the eight-walled cage is looking for that moment of glory. Some capture it, others don't.
There were several shining stars on UFC 167, including career-defining performances and capitalizing homegrown talent. With that said, it's time to name the biggest winner and biggest loser (and their runner ups) from the 20th anniversary event in Las Vegas.
Let's do this:
Biggest Winner -- Robbie Lawler
The revival of Lawler continues, as he showed the Welterweight division has another contender to worry about and that his third UFC stint could not be going any greater for him -- undefeated with three-straight victories in the Octagon upon his return.
In one of the most impressive performances of his career, Lawler was able to grind out an upset over a rising prospect in Rory MacDonald and showed that there's no slowing down the "Ruthless" veteran -- still having power in his hands and dropped MacDonald in the third round.
Almost a mirror image of MacDonald in terms of hype when Lawler was young, he now steals the thunder that MacDonald possessed in posing a threat to the title -- and Lawler will have no problem anticipating another tough fight until he's knocking on the champion's door -- whomever that is in the near future.
Runner Up -- Rashad Evans
With his back against the wall, "Suga" stopped Chael Sonnen in the first round and it looked as if the self-proclaimed "Gangster from West Linn, Oregon" was undeserving of a place inside the Octagon with Evans, tapping because of strikes from his friend's onslaught.
Looking fairly average in a loss against Antonio Rogerio Nogueira, it seemed like Evans was missing the drive and ambition he had when he secured his first UFC Light Heavyweight championship. After a split decision win over Dan Henderson at UFC 161, Evans looked uninspired.
After demolishing his broadcast partner Chael Sonnen in just over four minutes, "Suga" cannot be counted out in the 205-pound division and remains a threat for anyone -- establishing himself back into contention.
Biggest Loser -- Johny Hendricks
This is a devastating label to give Hendricks because, in all fairness, he won his main event championship fight more so than he lost it.
At least winning three rounds in his welterweight championship fight with Georges St. Pierre, "Bigg Rigg" was on the brink of rewriting history on the UFC's 20th anniversary show however his plans came to a halt when Bruce Buffer read the split decision scorecards (watch video highlights here).
Not only did "Bigg Rigg" make "Rush" exciting -- he brought him in something more than a dog fight, taking him down and making his face a mess with significant damage.
Maybe the outcome is too fresh to diagnose, and watching the fight a number of times on mute or extensive use of freeze-frame should be applied. When a judging call like this happens, it usually takes a few days for it to sink in and sometimes opinions change.
The sure thing is that Johny Hendricks lost that contest -- since GSP was declared the winner. By no means did Hendricks look bad in his loss, but more so won the fight in almost every aspect of the word as it stands.
Runner Up -- Josh Koscheck
After Tyron Woodley landed a devastating right hand followed by a quick combination to finish Josh Koscheck, it was apparent that "Kos" may still be one of the world's toughest welterweights, yet his time has passed him by after getting kayoed last night. .
He did put up a good fight, rocking the Strikeforce veteran with some bombs of his own, but was getting tagged too much for his own liking, with his eagerness to trade and inability to cover up costing him this fight.
Koscheck has now lost three fights in a row, and it seems like the cast of The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) is slowly fading away.
For full UFC 167: "St. Pierre vs. Hendricks" results and extensive fight coverage click here.