The Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) wrapped up its eighth network television event on Saturday night (July 27, 2013) as UFC on FOX 8: "Johnson vs. Moraga" went down from KeyArena in Seattle, Washington.
Reigning UFC flyweight champion Demetrious Johnson successfully defended his title for the second time as he outpaced, outskilled and outlasted John Moraga en route to a fifth-round submission win in the main event of the evening.
In a sport like mixed martial arts (MMA), each bout can only have 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 cage is looking for that moment of glory. Some capture it, others don't.
There were several shining stars on UFC on FOX 8 fight card as well as an equal amount of disappointments. With that said, it's time to name the biggest winner and biggest loser from the event in "The Emerald City."
The Biggest Winner
Demetrious Johnson held on to his UFC flyweight championship with a one-sided victory over John Moraga. Johnson is looking more and more like he will be the longtime king of the 125-pound division with a complete thrashing of his challenger and a performance like that is only going to help his confidence and skills flourish.
Not only did the 26-year-old earn his first finish inside the Octagon with an armbar of Moraga, but he sprinkled it with a bit of history by earning the latest stoppage ever in a UFC fight at the 3:43 of the fifth round.
Even though he was a fairly sizable favorite going into the fight, credit has to be given to the fact "Mighty Mouse" underwent shoulder surgery earlier this year following his fight with John Dodson and didn't appear to miss a step in the fight itself. Moreover, the fact his first child was born just over one week ago didn't appear to be a distraction whatsoever.
Prior to the event the only knock on Johnson at this point in his career was his lack of finishes; however, he silenced those critics with his most impressive win to date.
Rory MacDonald defeated Jake Ellenberger by unanimous decision for the most relevant win of his career in the UFC on FOX 8 co-main event.
It was far from the most thrilling showing of his UFC career, and despite UFC President Dana White's extremely harsh words about his performance, there are some positives to take away from the fight for MacDonald as he outmaneuvered Ellenberger for the entire duration of their 15-minute battle.
MacDonald has received a lot of flack for being ranked as the No. 3 welterweight contender in the world without holding any victories over top-10 opponents, but after recording a win over the No. 4 ranked Ellenberger --exciting or not-- there is no denying "Ares" is deserving of his place in the rankings.
There were other fighters on the card whose performances were much, much more memorable; however, when it comes to moving towards a world title, no one on the card earned a more important win than MacDonald
The Biggest Loser
Jake Ellenberger said prior to UFC on FOX 8 that he was going to make Rory MacDonald regret ever taking a fight with him by humiliating the young Canadian inside the Octagon.
Unfortunately, it was "The Juggernaut" who suffered the humiliation on Saturday night as he was decisively defeated by MacDonald, washing away any title hopes he may have had for the immediate future.
Coming off a thunderous knockout of Nate Marquardt earlier this year, Ellenberger's dream of competing for a world championship appeared within his grasps as he was put in a featured fight on a network television fight card.
The 28-year-old firmly believed he was out of MacDonald's league and was going to teach the youngster a lesson; however, it didn't go that was at all as he looked completely lost and had no answer for the precise jab and footwork of MacDonald.
Ellenberger had a flat and uncharacteristic performance and if he plans to trash talk any more opponents in the future he should make sure he will show up on fight night before doing so.
It's always devastating for a person to have a goal within inches of completion only for it to fall through their fingertips at the last moment. That's exactly what happened to John Moraga when he got opportunity to become a UFC world champion against Demetrious Johnson.
Moraga wasn't able to get his offense going in an effective way against the champion and was mauled for nearly five-straight rounds, succumbing to takedown after takedown until he was finally submitted with less than 90 seconds left in the fight.
The story of "Facebook to FOX main event" was a good one to rally behind for Moraga, but at the end of the day it was obvious he wasn't prepared for the spotlight and the skillset "Mighty Mouse" brought to the table, thus costing him the first loss of his UFC career and a spot at the back of the 125-pound pecking order.
Who were your biggest winner and loser from UFC on FOX 8? Let us know in the comments in the comment section below.
For more news and notes on "Johnson vs. Moraga," visit our complete event archive here.