Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) made its third trip to Texas in 2014 last night (Sat., Nov. 22, 2014) with the exciting UFC Fight Night 57 event live from Frank Erwin Center in Austin, Texas.
In the main event of the evening, former UFC lightweight champion Frankie Edgar took out Cub Swanson with the latest stoppage in UFC history. After dominating Swanson for five rounds, Edgar locked in a fight-ending rear-naked choke with only four seconds remaining in the fight.
Check out the highlights here.
In the co-main event, Edson Barboza outstruck Bobby Green en route to a dominant unanimous decision victory. The win is Barboza's second in a row, and will likely catapult him into the top 10 in the lightweight rankings. Check out the highlights here.
Also featured on the main card were a stable of decisions and one ferocious knockout. Joseph Benavidez once again proved to be the clear No. 2 flyweight in the world, earning a unanimous decision victory over Dustin Ortiz. Alexey Oliynyk earned an earth-shattering knockout over Jared Rosholt late in the first round (and a $50,000 bonus). Matt Wiman returned to the cage with a unanimous decision victory over Isaac Vallie-Flagg, and Chico Camus defeated Brad Pickett by split decision in an exciting affair.
With that quick recap, here are your biggest winners, as well as the runners-up from Austin.
Biggest Winner: Frankie Edgar
The former UFC lightweight champion may have put on his best performance of his career last night in Austin, and that sure is saying something.
Coming into this fight many were questioning whether or not Edgar still had the ability to hang with the top dogs of the division, and after his utter dismantling of Cub Swanson last night, pundits and fans alike are discussing his name in the title picture today.
Edgar was supposed to be Swanson's ticket to Jose Aldo, but instead "The Answer" took "Killer Cub's" spot in line. While Edgar may have to wait for Conor McGregor to get a UFC title shot (barring a loss to Dennis Siver in January), there is no question that Edgar deserves another crack at UFC gold down the line. Whether or not Edgar takes a fight or waits for his opportunity is likely up to him.
To top off his impeccable performance, Edgar had the fight won easily in the fifth round, but went full throttle for the finish anyhow. Swanson hung tough through a brutal series of elbows and submission attempts, but Edgar was not to be denied. With just four seconds remaining in the fight, Edgar secured the fight ending rear-naked choke, earning the latest stoppage in UFC history in the process.
Edson Barboza looked sensational yesterday in derailing Bobby Green's eight-fight win streak. Green, who was coming off a very impressive win over former Strikeforce champion Josh Thomson, was dominated by Barboza on the feet as he became the latest victim in the Brazilian's highlight reel.
Barboza once again proved to be one of the most exciting fighters in MMA today, and even without finishing Green he will move up the lightweight ladder into a top-10 spot.
Barboza's loss to Donald Cerrone this past April seems like a distant memory after two impressive wins to close out 2014. Could Barboza finally reach the apex by beating a top contender in 2015? With his victory over Green last night he will definitely get a chance.
Paige VanZant could not have looked any better in her UFC debut. Matched up against a tough out in Kailin Curran, VanZant took it to her opponent for three straight rounds before getting the late finish in dramatic and exciting fashion.
VanZant proved to be a force in the new women's strawweight division, and looks to be a burgeoning star for UFC at only 20 years old. With her prime likely years away, the sky is truly the limit.
For a fighter who recently left Team Alpha Male and was booted off the current season of The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) for being too young, VanZant certainly made a statement in her Octagon debut.
Biggest Loser: Cub Swanson
Last night was a really rough outing at the office for Cub Swanson.
With the opportunity to fight for UFC gold just one win away, Swanson ran into a former champion and was grossly out of his element. The shifty striker never got off as Edgar utilized an unrelenting wrestling game to put Swanson on his back early and often.
Swanson fought valiantly, but in the end had nothing for Edgar in the biggest fight of his career.
The loss not only derails his title chances and his six-fight win streak, but the late finish will set him back even further. Unfortunately for Swanson, he is going to have to start back at square one come 2015.
Too much trash talking and too little activity.
Bobby Green is used to frustrating his opponents by trash talking inside the Octagon, but Edson Barboza was completely unfazed by Green's antics throughout their 15-minute affair. Green was simply not active enough to score points and make Barboza hesitant, and he paid the price for it in the end.
The loss snaps Green's incredible eight-fight winning streak, and will likely boot him out of the top 10 in the division. While Green still has a lot of fight in him, you have to wonder whether or not his mind was fully fixated on fighting coming into UFC Fight Night 57. Only a few days ago he hinted at retirement after his bout with Barboza, so it remains to be seen whether or not Green returns to the Octagon in 2015.
If Green does decide to call it quits on his career, it would certainly be an unceremonious end to one of UFC's most intriguing and exciting fighters.
While it may not have been advertised in the pre-fight hyperbole, Dustin Ortiz would have likely earned a crack at UFC flyweight champion Demetrious Johnson had he defeated former two-time title challenger Joseph Benavidez last night.
Ultimately, Ortiz faltered on his big opportunity as he was beaten to the punch in every scenario against Benavidez. Ortiz was far too hesitant in the first round, and Benavidez put it on the Roufusport product from the opening bell to the final whistle. While Ortiz was certainly impressive in that he did not wilt where many other fighters would have, losing a 30-27 unanimous decision never bodes well for anyone.
Ortiz definitely has a bright future in UFC, but there is a clear discrepancy between he and the cream of the crop right now. Expect him back in a mid-tier UFC fight in early 2015 as he climbs back up the ladder.
That's a wrap!
For more results and fallout from UFC Fight Night 57 including play-by-play, videos, reactions, recaps, and more, check out our "Edgar vs Swanson" live story stream right here.