The fights are done. The dust has settled. The drama has been resolved inside the Octagon.
Like so many times before, Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) successfully rolled through Las Vegas, Nevada, last night (Oct. 29, 2011) and put on a very exciting event (for the most part) and then called it a day, leaving many new storylines in its wake.
However, "a win is a win" is not always an accurate statement. Some wins are massive, catapulting men into "hero" status. Likewise, not all losses have the same effect on a fighter's career.
Sometimes the wins and losses don't even happen inside the cage.
Take a look at UFC 137's biggest winners and lowliest losers were, after the jump:
Nick Diaz -- Love or hate him, this guy wins big fights and wins them convincingly. He went from fighting Georges St. Pierre for the championship belt in the main event to fighting B.J. Penn in the co-main event to still fighting Penn in the actual main event. Granted, he did it to himself with some silly antics, but not a lot of fighters would be able to ride that roller coaster all the way in, while staying focused enough to put on the kind of display that he did on Saturday night. It wasn't B.J. Penn in his prime. No one is saying it was. Either way, Diaz took the best shot from one of the best mixed martial arts (MMA) fighters of all time, weathered the storm, recovered and then beat him violently. It looks as though he will now get his title shot against "GSP" on Super Bowl Weekend. If he can just stay out of trouble until then.
Donald Cerrone -- "Cowboy" has now won six fights in a row. He's not beating stiffs, either. Each win has been against formidable opposition. Coming into UFC 137, not many were giving Cerrone a lot of credit or much of a chance to beat Dennis Siver, for that matter. You may not appreciate his smack talk, but listen, he backs it up. Every word of it. Cerrone took this fight as somewhat of a short notice replacement, but Siver ended up looking like the fighter who hadn't had a proper opportunity to prepare. In any other division, Cerrone would be getting a title shot. Unfortunately for Cerrone, he happens to be fighting in possibly the toughest combat division in the entire world. For now, he'll have to bide his time, keep training hard and partying with equal intensity until he gets the call from the bosses.
B.J. Penn and Mirko Filipovic -- I know, I know. Both of these fighters lost and lost badly. That's a given. However, two careers came to a close. Two careers that deserve to be celebrated. B.J. Penn and Mirko Filipovic have served the MMA community well and thrilled fans for more than a decade. It would have been nice to see them both go out with a win, but the losses shouldn't tarnish the legacies they are leaving behind. Two classy guys. Two great fighters who always brought it.
Ramsey Nijem -- This guy just looks better every time we see him. He's gone from the "class clown" on The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) season 13 to being a very well-rounded fighter that UFC lightweights should get to know. It would have been nice if he could have gotten the finish against Danny Downes, but that's one tough kid. Anyone else probably would have tapped. Nijem has a tremendous upside and it will be exciting to see how he continues to mature.
Carlos Condit -- What's that you say? Condit didn't even fight on this card? I know. That may be where he began to lose. Look, I'm not gonna hate on the guy. He gets punched in the face for the living. I'm just a keyboard warrior. I admit that freely. That aside, by sitting out, "The Natural Born Killer" may very well have cost himself a title shot. Maybe he's better than Diaz. Maybe he deserves it more. Hard to say. Fans saw Diaz put on a fantastic show on Saturday at Mandalay Bay. History has proven that waiting for your title shot hasn't worked out. Just ask Rashad Evans. Condit is a very good fighter. He'll get his name back in the mix, but fighters don't get to perform their trade forever. Bodies breakdown. Windows of opportunities close. Here's to hoping that he'll get another shot at the belt eventually.
Cesar Gracie -- We all make mistakes. We all say stupid things. In the heat of the moment, sometimes we just see red and respond to adrenaline. You can make that argument for Nick Diaz. He had just spent 15 minutes in an absolute war with his MMA hero. He used some language, called out a champion and flipped off some people in the crowd. Pretty standard for Diaz, really. But Cesar Gracie should know better. He's supposed to be the steadying force in the life of a guy who, let's face it, is generally anything but steady. Instead, he gets in Diaz's ear the first chance he gets and starts yelling, "Find that mother f---- St. Pierre! Call that mother f----- out!" Really? After everything Diaz had to overcome (mostly self-imposed) to get to that point, Gracie would choose to try and instigate and push the buttons of a guy who could go off and destroy his own career, on a whim? It just looks "bush league." Let the fighters do the trash talking. You keep teaching them how to throw up armbars and make sure they get to press conferences. Cool?
Tyson Griffin -- You gotta know when to hold 'em and when to fold 'em. Griffin is 27 years old, but he could pass for a man much older these days. After losing three fights in a row in the lightweight division, Griffin made the strategic move to 145 pounds, hoping to avoid being cut from the Zuffa roster. He was re-inventing himself. It was a whole new Tyson Griffin. Only, it wasn't. In his first fight at featherweight, Griffin won a very uninspired (and almost unwatchable) decision victory over Manvel Gamburyan. It certainly wasn't the jump start his career sorely needed. Saturday night, Griffin came in overweight, out of shape and was completely outclassed by Bart Palaszewski. It may be time to take a break. Maybe do some traveling. Fight a few fights on some smaller regional shows. Do a gut check. After his performance at UFC 137, the decision may no longer be up to him.
So that's it. What did we miss? Fill up the comment section with your suggestions, arguments and words of fond flattery! To check out complete UFC 137 results and detailed blow-by-blow coverage click here.