It was another long night of Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) fights to say the least.
UFC Fight Night 36: "Machida vs. Mousasi," which took place last night (Sat., Feb. 15, 2014) from Santa Catarina, Brazil, went on until the wee hours of the night in most regions. And if it weren't for a few impact players, it would have been an atrocious card to kick off the mixed martial arts (MMA) promotion's 2014 campaign in South America.
Lyoto Machida was victorious in the main event against Gegard Mousasi (watch the video highlights of the fight here), dominating the Dutchman for five rounds and seemingly booked his place in a Middleweight title fight with a win. However, "The Dragon" awaits the final ruling from the brass, and if he is granted a shot at either Chris Weidman or Vitor Belfort after UFC 173, he has a chance to become a multiple weight class champion.
Also victorious on the main card was Ronaldo "Jacare" Souza -- who scored a unanimous decision win over Francis Carmont -- Erick Silva -- who decimated Takenori Sato in less than a minute -- and Charles Oliveira -- who submitted Andy Ogle in a hard-fought victory.
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.
With that said, it's time to name the biggest winner and biggest loser (and their runner ups) from the event in Santa Catarina.
Biggest Winner -- Lyoto Machida
It was a tactical and carefully calculated performance from Machida, and for the course of five rounds, he took the fight wherever he needed to defeat the former Strikeforce Light Heavyweight champion.
Not only does "The Dragon" look leaner and meaner at Middleweight, but also he's also crazy fast and a lot more crisp in his attacks. Machida has been in five round wars before; however, this was his best 25-minute fight inside the Octagon.
Why is Machida the biggest winner?
It's fairly obvious.
He's all but guaranteed the next shot at the 185-pound championship, and it's safe to say he's asking for cage side seats at UFC 173 in Las Vegas, Nevada, where Chris Weidman will defend the strap against fellow Brazilian, Vitor Belfort.
He also shares the "Fight of The Night" bonus with Mousasi, becoming $50,000 richer.
Runner Up -- Erick Silva
What a terrible time to eliminate the "Knockout of The Night" bonus.
Silva entered the Octagon, threw a kick to the body, fought off a takedown by trying to kick Takenori Sato's head with backward heel kicks, and then punched the living daylights out of Sato's temples with hammer fists.
That's a pretty accurate description of how the fight went down from start to finish.
The explosive Brazilian needed only 52 seconds to trounce the Japanese veteran, continuing his dominance inside the cage with a knockout victory.
"Indio" spent the less time in the cage out of all active UFC fighters before this bout, and he continues his quick ascension in UFC, once again looking like a future championship contender in the stacked Welterweight division. He just needs to work on being consistent, even though he should have only lost two out of his three UFC fights in which he did not leave the victor.
This card needed a performance to talk about, and Silva woke up everyone who was snoring in an incredibly violent way.
Silva also secured a "Performance of the Night" bonus.
Biggest Loser -- Francis Carmont
It's easy to say that Mousasi was the biggest loser on Saturday night, but let's opt for Carmont instead.
"Limitless" was anything but that -- and despite a solid second round against "Jacare" -- Carmont had nothing for Souza on the ground. He did make the most of his time on the feet, however he simply couldn't get the job done.
We can't exactly go out on our shield here and say that Carmont is a boring fighter, however, his last performance against Costas Philippou certainly didn't impress his boss, and his previous two wins against Lorenz Larkin and Tom Lawlor should have been losses in the eyes of many observers.
He is a freak athlete and he's got the talent to stick around. It all depends on if the promotion wants to keep him around with another loss or two, since it doesn't find him that exciting to begin with.
It is kind of harsh seeing that Carmont is 6-1, but ask Jon Fitch or Yushin Okami where they ended up with unfavorable styles being the root of their success.
Runner Up -- Viscardi Andrade
So, you just dropped your opponent with a monstrous right hand and you have him badly hurt.
What do you do next?
Maybe you pounce on him and continue to do damage. Maybe you hack at his legs a bit. Maybe you join him on the ground and dish out some strikes to his cranium.
Or, you could just celebrate prematurely and lose the fight afterward.
We get it -- it's the heat of the moment, and maybe the way Nicholas Musoke fell after his legs buckled was an indication to Andrade that he was on his way out.
Still, we can't find sympathy in our hearts for Andrade, who let a seven-fight win streak go to waste after being dominated for the following two rounds -- losing the fight by unanimous decision.
At least when that nutcase Rousimar Palhares celebrated prematurely with style he won the fight.
That just about wraps it up.
For complete coverage of UFC Fight Night 36: "Machida vs. Mousasi" click here.